2020 was pretty hard on publishing. But 2021 seems to be a year of recovering — and fast recovery at that. Over at Nerd Daily Elise Dumpleton has compiled 48 Fantasy & Sci-Fi Book Releases To Look Out For In 2021, and it’s a pretty spectacular list. Here’s a few of the highlights.
Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley (Solaris, 336 pages, $24.99 hardcover/$8.99 digital, March 16, 2021)
Drink down the brew and dream of a better Earth.
Skyward Inn, within the high walls of the Western Protectorate, is a place of safety, where people come together to tell stories of the time before the war with Qita.
But safety from what? Qita surrendered without complaint when Earth invaded; Innkeepers Jem and Isley, veterans from either side, have regrets but few scars.
Their peace is disturbed when a visitor known to Isley comes to the Inn asking for help, bringing reminders of an unnerving past and triggering an uncertain future.
Did humanity really win the war?
Aliya Whiteley is the author of The Arrival of Missives (2018) and The Beauty, a dystopian horror filled with cosmic weirdness, strange fungi, and terrifying tales told around post-apocalyptic campfires, which we covered back in 2018.
The Helm of Midnight by Marina Lostetter (Tor Books, 464 pages, $26.99 hardcover/$13.99 digital, April 13, 2021)
A legendary serial killer stalks the streets of a fantastical city in The Helm of Midnight, the stunning first novel in a new trilogy from acclaimed author Marina Lostetter.
In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power ― the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city.
Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.
It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.
Marina Lostetter is also the author of The Noumenon Trilogy by Marina J. Lostetter, which we discussed back in 2018.
The Last Watch by J. S. Dewes (Tor Books, 480 pages, $18.99 paperback/$12.99 digital, April 20, 2021)
The Divide. It’s the edge of the universe.
Now it’s collapsing ― and taking everyone and everything with it.
The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels ― the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military.
At the Divide, Adequin Rake commands the Argus. She has no resources, no comms ― nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted. Her ace in the hole could be Cavalon Mercer ― genius, asshole, and exiled prince who nuked his grandfather’s genetic facility for “reasons.”
She knows they’re humanity’s last chance.
The Last Watch is J. S. Dewes’ debut novel. The Exiled Fleet, Book 2 of The Divide Series, is scheduled for release August 17, 2021.
The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman (Tor Books, 416 pages, $25.99 hardcover/$13.99 digital, May 25, 2021)
Set in a world of goblin wars, stag-sized battle ravens, and assassins who kill with deadly tattoos, Christopher Buehlman’s The Blacktongue Thief begins a ‘dazzling’ (Robin Hobb) fantasy adventure unlike any other.
Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.
But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.
Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.
Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.
Christopher Buehlman’s first novel, Those Across the River, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2012. His other novels include The Necromancer’s House, The Lesser Dead, and The Suicide Motor Club.