All-new science fiction, epic fantasy and must-read LitRPG – these are the 28 (so far) most anticipated new sci-fi and fantasy books of May 2023
Temporal paradoxes, immortal enemies and prehistoric predators to avoid. From sprawling space operas and dystopian thrillers to epic dark fantasies with mind-bending new realisations – these are some of the most anticipated new sci-i and fantasy books in May 2023.
Complete with titles, release dates, authors, synopsis and links to pre-order and buy your favourite new science fiction and fantasy book releases right now…
28 Awesome New Sci-Fi Books in May 2023
Lords Of Uncreation
Adrian Tchaikovsky, 2 May 2023
The final book in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Final Architecture series. The brief (though miserable) peace human warrior Idris and crew enjoyed after the alien threat, The Architects, seemingly disappeared in Shards of Earth (Book 1) is well and truly shattered when they return with a vengeance in Eyes of the Void, able to destroy entire planets at will. We join Idris as he returns from terrible “unspace” with news that will spell either hope or doom for the human race in Lords of Uncreation.
LR Lam, 2 May 2023
Billed as sci-fi with fantasy elements. The first book in LR Lam’s all-new Dragon Scales Trilogy, Dragonfall reintroduces dragons to the mortal realm when a thief acquires a magical object that could make all their dreams come true. Problem is it requires a specific dragon to work fully, and that particular dragon is the last male, foretold to be the saviour of his kind – whose already begun to plot the poor thief and all of humanity’s demise in Dragonfall.
Genres Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dragons, LGBTQ, Romance, Adult, High Fantasy, Magic
Author LR Lam Home born California US; lives Scotland
Publisher Astra Publishing House | Buy it
The Salt Grows Heavy
Cassandra Khaw, 2 May 2023
A standalone novella, Cassandra Khaw’s all-new The Salt Grows Heavy is a retelling of The Little Mermaid where the merpeople are toothy and vicious – enough so to lay ruins to the prince’s kingdom. Our mermaid is on the run with a plague doctor (oh my) when they stumble upon a village of ageless, bloodthirsty children controlled by supposed saints – time for a mermaid to do what she does best in Cassandra Khaw’s The Salt Grows Heavy.
Genres Horror, Fantasy, Novella, Adult, Mermaids, LGBTQ, Dark
Author Cassandra Khaw Home born Malaysia; lives Montreal, Canada
Publisher Tor Publishing Group | Buy it
The Sword Defiant
Gareth Hanrahan, 2 May 2023
The first book in Gareth Hanrahan’s new Lands of the Firstborn series sees the one-time hero Sir Aelfric called to battle once again. But this time, his nine companions are scattered. Adventurers no longer, many have become rulers in their own right – and time has twisted even the greatest towards darkness. They have become monsters. And if there’s one thing Aelfric does very well, it’s slaying monsters. And so it begins in Gareth Hanrahan’s The Sword Defiant.
Genres Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Dark Fantasy, Dragons
Author: Gareth Hanrahan Home Ireland, UK
Publisher Orbit | Buy it
David Walton, 2 May 2023
Something for your Jurassic Park itch. Book 2 in David Walton’s Living Memory paleo-thriller series, Deadly Memory, sees China and the US face off to claim Thailand’s fossil riches as an unprecedented new find in a secret CIA lab strikes fear into scientists. While a deadly aquatic killer resurfaces from 250 million years ago. Question is: can humanity work together to save itself? Let’s see in David Walton’s Deadly Memory.
Genres Science Fiction, Thriller
Author David Walton Home Philadelphia, US
Publisher Self | Buy it
Star Wars: The High Republic: Path Of Vengeance
Cavan Scott, 2 May 2023
Book 41 in the Star Wars: The High Republic series, and the sequel to Path of Deceit, Cavan Scott’s Path of Vengeance sees Path of the Open Hand members Marda and Yana Ro working to undo the Jedi. But they’ll come to a crossroads where their choices will not impact the rest of their lives but also the fate of the entire galaxy.
Genres Star Wars, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Space Opera, Canon
Author Cavan Scott Home United Kingdom
Publisher Disney Lucasfilm Press | Buy it
Justin Cronin, 2 May 2023
Justin Cronin’s new standalone novel The Ferryman sees Proctor Bennett’s life upended by his aged father’s prophetic words amid rising tensions in the supposed idyllic paradise, Prospera. He’s always ferried the aged citizens to be re-lifed, and never questioned it, until now. As tension mounts among the citizenry and resistance forms against the order, there might be more to all of this than Bennett would ever have guessed.
Genres Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Thriller, Mystery, Adult, Horror
Author Justin Cronin Home Houston and Cape Cod, US
Publisher Ballantine Books | Buy it
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, 2 May 2023
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s debut novel Chain-Gang All-Stars sees two lovers and top prison fighters make a pact as they take on the toughest inmates in the American private prison system in a gladiator-style battle for the ultimate prize: their freedom. Of course, the corporate owners have other, perhaps deadlier plans, while the inmates search for a way to preserve their humanity in Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s scathing exploration of the US prison system in Chain-Gang All-Stars.
Genres Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Adult, Lesbian
Author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Home New York, US
Publisher Pantheon | Buy it
Mo Dao Zu Shi (Vol. 5): Grandmaster Of Demonic Cultivation
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù, 2 May 2023
The grand finale of Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù’s lifetime-spanning danmei fantasy (a “boy-love” story, literally of a love affair between two male characters, but written for a heterosexual female audience) Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation 5 sees Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji head for their final showdown. Decades-long schemes are finally unveiled, and terrible secrets revealed as this rain-battered night at Guanyin Temple promises to determine the fate of all cultivation and, decide the future of a love story two lifetimes in the making in Mo Dao Zu Shi (Vol. 5).
In An Orchard Grown From Ash
Rory Power, 2 May 2023
Book 2 in Rory Power’s The Wind-up Garden series, In an Orchard Grown from Ash sees the Argyros sisters wrenched apart and all but broken. Rhea struggles to get a handle on her dark new necromancy in the frozen northern wastes, while Chrysanthi travels far and wide in search of their lost brother Nitsos. Alone and further apart than ever, each must find the strength within if they are to free their captured family and restore the kingdom before it is too late in Rory Power’s In an Orchard Grown from Ash.
Genres Fantasy, Adult, High Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction Fantasy
Author Rory Power Home Massachusetts, US
Publisher Del Rey | Buy it
Lilith Saintcrow, 2 May 2023
The first book in Lilith Saintcrow’s all-new Dead God’s Heart urban fantasy series, Spring’s Arcana sees Nat Drozdova strike a deal with a hungry winter goddess to spare her dying mother’s life. But it might all be a trap as Nat crashes across the American continent in search of the object the goddess requires for the feat. Because suddenly, there are gods everywhere, and they’re baying for Nat’s blood. And they seem to know something she doesn’t – her mother’s is no normal illness, and she is no normal human. The race for the truth (and salvation) is on in Lilith Saintcrow’s Spring’s Arcana.
Genres Urban Fantasy, Adult, Paranormal, Gods
Author Lilith Saintcrow Home Vancouver, Washington, US
Publisher Tor Books | Buy it
Capture The Sun
Jessie Mihalik, 9 May 2023
For romance fans, the final instalment in Jessie Mihalik’s Starlight’s Shadow trilogy, Capture the Sun sees intergalactic thief Lexi Bowen prepare to fulfil a new contract when her former crew goes missing nearby. Not good, because this could lead to an all-out war. And the only way to stop it is to throw in her lot with the teleporter who infuriatingly cost her a payday once, not to mention stealing her heart… in Jessie Mihalik’s Capture the Sun.
Genres Science Fiction, Romance, Adult, Fantasy, Space Opera, Adventure
Author Jessie Mihalik Home Texas, US
Publisher Harper Voyager | Buy it
Jennifer Estep, 9 May 2023
A companion novel to Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, Heart Stings takes place after the events of Last Strand with Gin Blanco, but this time is a novella told from the viewpoint of Lorelei Parker, an elemental Ice and metal magic-wielder who has come under threat of a ruthless crime boss. To make matters worse, a temperamental vampire shows up to stir the pot (and her emotions a bit) in Jennifer Estep’s Heart Stings (which also includes the Gin Blanco novella Winter’s Web).
Genres Urban Fantasy
Author Jennifer Estep Home Southern USA
Publisher Jennifer Estep | Buy it
Jennifer Saint, 9 May 2023
A standalone new novel, Jennifer Saint’s Atalanta is a retelling of the ancient Greek legend of Princess Atalanta – the only female Argonaut. Left for dead as a baby, Atalanta is raised by bears. Wild and fierce, goddess Artemis promises her the world but for one caveat: Atalanta may never marry. Joining the Argonauts, she stands head and shoulders above the men. But can such a wild spirit truly forge her own path in a world ruled by Gods and fate? We find out in Jennifer Saint’s Atalanta.
Genres Mythology, Fantasy, Greek Mythology, Historical Fiction, Retelling, Adult
Author Jennifer Saint Home Yorkshire, UK
Publisher Flatiron Books | Buy it
The Cassandra Complex
Holly Smale, 11 May 2023
And making the leap from YA to adult, Holly Smale’s new The Cassandra Complex sees a slightly neurotic Cassandra Penelope Dankworth’s life fall apart as she’s dumped, fired and deprived of her favourite comfort snack. Until she discovers a way to go back in time and maybe save the life she destroyed in The Cassandra Complex.
Genres Science Fiction, Time Travel, Adult
Author Holly Smale Home London, UK
Publisher Penguin | Buy it
The Book That Wouldn’t Burn
Mark Lawrence, 11 May 2023
The first in Mark Lawrence’s all-new The Library trilogy, The Book That Wouldn’t Burn introduces us to a web of people and places interconnected through time and space. Particularly, a boy stuck in an endless library and a fated girl from a provincial town. Two nobodies whose story might yet echo through the ages in Mark Lawrence’s The Book That Wouldn’t Burn.
Genres Fantasy, Adult, Science Fiction Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Author Mark Lawrence, Home: Bristol, UK
Publisher Ace, HarperCollins UK | Buy it
Fidelitas: Trust Realized
Michael Anderle & Auburn Tempest, 11 May 2023
Book 4 in co-authors Michael Anderle and Auburn Tempest’s Chronicles of an Urban Elemental series, Fidelitas: Trust Realized sees the Quebec Quint (aka Jules and the orphans of the lost Fae Realm) drawn deeper into mysteries in Montreal, where something seems to be in the St Lawrence River. Bodies are turning up. People are getting hurt. And a whole bunch of missing persons have been filed. Time for Jules and her sisters to investigate in Fidelitas: Trust Realized.
Genres Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Authors Michael Anderle & Auburn Tempest Home Texas US & Ontario, Canada
Publisher LMBPN Publishing | Buy it
Christopher Paolini, 16 May 2023
The second book in Christopher Paolini’s FractalVerse series, Fractal Noise sees another unexpected and unprecedented find in the furthest reaches of space. This time, it’s an anomaly on an uninhabited planet, and teams are sent to investigate. But this is more than just a curiosity, as the mere act of moving closer to the anomaly starts to have a profound effect on each of the Adamura crew in Christopher Paolini’s all-new Fractal Noise.
Genres Science Fiction, Space Opera, Adult, Action, Young Adult, Sci-Fi Fantasy
Author Christopher Paolini Home Montana, US
Publisher Tor Books | Buy it
Season Of Skulls
Charles Stross, 16 May 2023
The third book in Charles Stross’s New Management trilogy set in the Lovecraftian world of Laundry Files, Season of Skulls sees Eve Starkey having triumphed over her evil boss and now standing to take control of the company – even though it’ll take years to sort out the paperwork. When suddenly she receives communication from Britain’s Prime Minister (an eldritch god who’d almost single-handedly rooted out crime and is somehow responsible for people all over developing supernatural abilities). And it’s an offer she just can’t refuse… in Charles Stross’s Season of Skulls.
Genres Fantasy, Horror, Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction
Author Charles Stross Home Edinburgh, Scotland
Publisher Tor | Buy it
A Corrupt Alliance
DK Holmberg, 16 May 2023
The 11th book in DK Holmberg’s The Chain Breaker epic high fantasy series, A Corrupt Alliance sees Gavin the Chain Breaker (trained to be the ultimate assassin) face a brand-new challenge: He has lost all his fighting powers and must find a new way to thwart the centuries-old plan that threatens all. But, can an assassin, trained from birth to do nothing but kill employ the thinking power (for that is what it’ll take) necessary to stop the scholarly scheme? We find out in DK Holmberg’s A Corrupt Alliance.
Genres Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure, High Fantasy, Adult, Thriller
Author DK Holmberg Home Minnesota, US
Publisher ASH Publishing | Buy it
Vanessa Nelson, 20 May 2023
Book 2 in Vanessa Nelson’s The Grey Gates urban fantasy series, Called sees Max determined to keep her head down and just continue her work as a marshall. But her past comes calling. The Order seems to want her back. And, as if she can’t help herself, she keeps finding herself in parts of the city where only the desperate (or great heroes) would go. Because some things don’t wait for your approval, they simply choose you, in Vanessa Nelson’s Called.
Genres Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Magic
Author Vanessa Nelson Home Scotland
Publisher Self | Buy it
The Blighted Stars
Megan E O’Keefe, 23 May 2023
The first book in Megan E. O’Keefe’s all-new The Devoured Worlds trilogy, The Blighted Stars introduces us to undercover revolutionary Naira whose task is to infiltrate the supposedly corrupt organisation leading a new planetary settlement. Though, the man in charge seems different from the stories she’s heard. But then they get marooned on a dead planet together and must work together to survive, only to discover a sinister plot that’s bigger than both of them in Megan E O’Keefe’s The Blighted Stars.
Genres Science Fiction, Adult, Space Opera, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Space, LGBTQ, Romance
Author Megan E. O’Keefe Home California, US
Publisher Orbit | Buy it
The Will Of The Many
James Islington, 23 May 2023
The first book in James Islington’s new The Hierarchy trilogy, The Will of the Many introduces us to a spy infiltrating the ruling empire (seemingly based on Rome). Their mission: To rise through the academy ranks, all the while secretly searching for an ancient weapon that could overthrow world power. The problem: If anyone finds out who our spy really is, it would mean instant death in James Islington’s The Will of the Many.
Genres Fantasy, Adult, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction Fantasy, Mystery
Author James Islington, Home Victoria, Australia
Publisher Gallery/Saga Press | Buy it
Kill Your Darlings
LE Harper, 24 May 2023
An exciting new standalone novel, LE Harper’s Kill Your Darlings thrusts manically depressed Fantasy author Kyla, whose books always end in horrible tragedy for her characters, from the real world into her latest novel. Suddenly surrounded by the characters she’d created, and now needing to interact with them on a human level, she knows what’s coming… And that it will spell her own end too. That’s why she trades her pen for the sword. And, despite debilitating mental illness, stands next to her doomed darlings to fight. For if she fails, they all die – and she alongside them in LE Harper’s Kill Your Darlings.
Genres Fantasy, Mental Health, LGBTQ
Author LE Harper Home New York, US
Publisher Shivnath Productions | Buy it
Trials Of The Innermost
Jonathan Fuller & Kristina Kelly, 26 May 2023
An all-new and imaginative stand-alone novel, Kristina Kelly and Jonathan Fuller’s Trials of the Innermost takes us to a tidally locked planet, whose three distinct zones (permanent day, night and twilight) have bred diverse cultures that avoid war by sending their brightest to partake in a shared task: the Trials of the Innermost. Beginning their first task, a secret is revealed that could bring all three nations together or tear them apart. But there’s little time to ponder the repercussions, as a new shared enemy appears, an alien force threatening to destroy not only the band of young Truthseekers but consume the entire planet. Working together is now the only hope in Jonathan Fuller and Kristina Kelly’s Trials of the Innermost.
Genres Fantasy, LGBTQ, Adult
Authors Jonathan Fuller & Kristina Kelly Home Texas & Indiana, US
Publisher Hansen House | Buy it
Martha Wells, 30 May 2023
Martha Wells’ new standalone novel Witch King follows powerful magical entity, Kai, who wakes up goodness knows how long after he was assassinated and trapped in a magical death spell. Shocked to discover how much the world has changed, and that the world order has shifted towards old enemies, Kai must try to find allies in this “new” world if he’s to get to grips with what happened, figure out who had killed him and have any effect on the changing world order in Martha Wells’ Witch King.
Genres Fantasy, Adult, Paranormal, Magic, High Fantasy, Witches, Science Fiction Fantasy
Author Martha Wells Home Texas, US
Publisher Tor Publishing Group | Buy it
The Best Science Fiction Of The Year: Volume Seven
Neil Clarke, 30 May 2023
After a two-year hiatus, award-winning Clarkesworld Magazine editor Neil Clarke is back with his annual collection of the year’s best short stories in sci-fi and fantasy. The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Seven features shorts by 32 top authors including Christopher Rowe, Ellen Klages, Rachel Pollack, KJ Parker, would you believe it Ken Liu, Neil Gaiman and many more – with foreword by Jonathan Strahan.
Genres Fantasy, Science Fiction, Short Stories, Anthologies, Collections, Adult
Author Neil Clarke | Home New Jersey, US
Publisher Night Shade | Buy it
Note: I try my best to get every bit of info I can, and will keep updating this page all the time. If you know of a book, author, show, channel or event that should be on this list, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make it happen.
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