Head below for the full list of sci-fi titles awaiting you in May!
Keep track of all new SFF releases here. All title summaries are taken and/or abstracted from the copy provided by the publisher. Release dates are subject to change.
First week (May 3)
eyes of emptiness (Final Architecture #2) — Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit)
After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc by devouring entire planets. In the past, Originator artifacts, remnants of a civilization long gone, could save a world from annihilation. This time, the Architects have discovered a way around these protective relics. As a result, no planet is immune. Faced with imminent extinction, the human colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a united front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist that humanity fights alone. And there are those who would seek to profit from the fractured politics of war, even as the Architects draw closer and closer. Idris, who has spent decades fleeing the horrors of his past, finds himself pushed back to the front lines. As an intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of the war. Along with a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could repel the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his spirit was shattered and remade. What Idris discovers there will change everything.
Fair trade (Liaden #24) – Sharon Lee, Steve Miller (Baen)
Jethri Gobelyn has evolved greatly: from the despised youngest on a ship of the Terran family Loop to second trader on the first trade ship Liaden Elthoria under the guidance of his unlikely adoptive mother Norn ven’Deelin of Clan Ixin. Master Trader Ven’Deelin has taught Jethri much, and she expects much from him. Indeed, one could say that it demands them. Jethri inherited a mission from his father, a plan that will allow the family’s Loop ships like the one he grew up on to survive the encroaching dust of Rostov. In this, he is supported by several prominent Looper families who are to meet and plan at the South Axis Trade Fair. In what seems like a happy pair of missions, Master Trader Ven’Deelin sees Jethri become the main trader on his own little ship, which is due to arrive at the Southern Axis Fair. Unfortunately, this “happy coincidence” might instead be a test of Jethri’s loyalty, as he’s engulfed in a tangle of gray commerce, mistaken identity, misinformation, and galactic politics.
Conscious designs —Nathaniel White (Miami University Press)
Eugene, a wealthy paraplegic, must decide if he wants to retain his consciousness forever in a digital utopia or suffer the pain that plagues his existence. Yet the more he learns about digital replication, the more deeply he understands personality, empathy, and the value of suffering.
Second week (May 10)
Under good stars —Ren Hutchings (Solaris)
Fleeing the final days of the Generations War with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter, the Jonah, crashes into a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of being rescued – until to which they encounter the research vessel Gallion, which claims to be 152 years in the future. The Gallion’s chief engineer, Uma Ozakka, has always been fascinated by the past, especially the story of the Fortunate Five, who ended the war with the Felen. When the Galleon rescues a dilapidated freighter, Ozakka is shocked to recognize the Five’s legendary ship and the Five’s famous leader, Eldric Leesongronski, among the crew. But nothing else on Leesongronski and his teammates appears to match the historic record. With their ships running out of power in the rift, more than the lives of both crews may be at stake.
Star Wars: Brotherhood (Star Wars) – Mike Chen (Del Rey)
The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are drawn across the galaxy. With each world that joins the Separatists, the peace kept by the Jedi Order slips through their fingers. After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the crown jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is in jeopardy and the planet’s fragile neutrality is threatened. The Jedi send Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order’s most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to shift dangerously. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to drag the planet into their plot – and senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cover the planet. Amid the brewing chaos, Anakin Skywalker rises to the rank of Jedi Knight. Despite the mandate that Obi-Wan travels alone – and his former master’s insistence that he listen this time – Anakin’s stubborn determination means nothing can stop him from crushing the party and bringing a promising but conflicted youngster. Once Obi-Wan’s Padawan, Anakin now finds himself on equal, but uncertain, footing with the man who raised him. The lingering friction between them increases the danger to everyone around them. The two knights must learn a new way to work together, and they must learn quickly, to save Cato Neimoidia and his people from the fires of war. To overcome the threat they face, they must grow beyond master and apprentice. They must stand together as brothers.
A shit of crazy powers (Frost Files #4) — Jackson Ford (Orbit)
Teagan Frost has enough to deal with, between his job as a telekinetic government agent and a certain pair of siblings who have returned from the dead to wreak havoc with their powers. But little does she know, things are about to get even crazier… Teagan may have survived the flash flood of the century, but now she’s trapped in a hotel by a gang of armed maniacs. And to make matters worse, his powers have mysteriously disappeared. Facing certain death at every turn, Teagan will have to use every resource at her disposal to stop a plot that could destroy Los Angeles, perhaps even the entire world.
Child Zero —Chris Holm (Mulholland Books)
It all started four years ago with a worldwide resurgence of bacterial infections: meningitis in Frankfurt, cholera in Johannesburg, tuberculosis in New Delhi. Although the outbreaks spread aggressively and proved unresponsive to our drugs of last resort, public health officials initially dismissed them as unrelated. They were wrong. Antibiotic resistance has spread rapidly around the world. Illnesses that we thought were overcome have resurfaced. The death toll has skyrocketed. Then New York City was ravaged by the most heinous act of bioterrorism the world has ever seen, perpetrated by a new brand of extremists bent on driving humanity to extinction. Detective Jacob Gibson, who lost his wife in the August 17 attack, is home caring for his ailing daughter when his partner summons him to a sprawling Central Park slum, the apparent site of a mass murder. Jake is surprised to discover that, despite a life of abject misery, the victims died in perfect health – and his only hope for answers is a twelve-year-old boy on the run from very dangerous men.
Week three (May 17)
The emerging (Cosmic #2) — Nadia Afifi (Flame Tree Press)
The adventures of Amira Valdez continue in the sequel The sensitive, while she finds herself in a situation of unprecedented danger. The ruthless new leader of the fundamentalist group Trinity Compound seeks to understand his strange neurological connection to Amira and unleash an army on an unstable North America. The first human clone has been born, but thanks to mysterious scientist Tony Barlow, he may reveal the secret to human immortality – or disaster. Together, Amira and Barlow form an uneasy alliance in search of scientific breakthroughs and protection against common enemies. But new discoveries reveal dark secrets that Barlow wants to keep hidden.
The Ice Ghost (Rewilding Reports #2) — Kathleen O’Neal Gear (DAW)
In the brutal Ice Age caused by the ancient Jemen War, many archaic human species, including the Denisovans and Homo erectus, are on the brink of extinction. There seems to be no way out, until the greatest Neanderthal holy man, Trogon, had a vision. Legends say that the truce that ended the ancient war left a hostage in the hands of the victorious rebels: the divine leader Jemen known as the Crone of the Mountain. According to Trogon’s vision, only one person knows the location of this burial cave. Trogon must capture the young Quiller and force her to lead him there…because the Crone may not be dead. She may have only been in stasis for a thousand summers, and when she awakens she will save them from oblivion. But according to the Denisovans, the people of Quiller, Trogon is the most powerful witch in the world. He is planning something evil that will surely lead to their destruction. It must be stopped before it is too late. Lynx, Quiller’s best friend, must brave towering glaciers, giant wolves and giant lions to save her and stop Trogon.
Week four (May 24)
City of Orange —David Yoon (Putnam)
He used to live in a place called California, but how did he end up here with a head injury and a bottle of pills in his pocket? It navigates its surroundings, one rough shape at a time. Here is a pipe, there a reed that could be carved into a weapon, beyond a town in which he lived. He could swear his daughter’s name started with a J, but what was it, exactly? Then he meets an old man, a crow and a boy – and realizes that nothing is what he thought it was, neither the present nor the past. He can’t even remember the features of his own face and wonders: who am I?
Fifth week (May 31)
These imprisoned hills — Christopher Rowe (Tordotcom)
In a war long ago, the all-powerful AI ruler of the Volunteer State of Tennessee – Athena Parthenus, Queen of Reason – invaded and decimated the American Southeast. Possessing the ability to infect and corrupt the environment with nanotechnology, she has transformed flora, fauna, and the soil itself into biomechanical weapons of war. Marcia, a former Kentucky captain, has experienced firsthand the terrifying and mind-bending abilities of Athena’s creatures. Back in the Commonwealth, his retreat was cut short by the arrival of Federal troops in his small isolated town. One of Athena’s most powerful weapons may still be buried nearby. And they need Marcia’s help to find him.