As always, I love spending the beginning of the year looking forward to see what’s being published in the coming year to discover which books excite me, which to keep an eye on, and which I definitely need to get my hands on (sorry backlog TBR!). With every year that I’m a book blogger, it brings my heart so much joy to watch the increasing amount of diverse fiction being published. This year there are so many incredible diverse books written by diverse authors being published that I can’t wait to read and champion. Here are 14 of my most anticipated 2020 releases – each book includes the Goodreads blurb and a 🔍 to signify my reason for including it on my list. Covers link back to GR.
Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her—a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.
🔍 I adore Gailey’s Western-inspired settings and cannot wait to be plunged back – this time with queer badass librarians! YES PLEASE, I NEED IT NOW.
The city of Neo Songdo is a Russian doll of realities — augmented and virtual spaces anchored in the weight of the real. The smart city is designed to be read by machine vision while people see only the augmented facade of the corporate ideal. At night the stars are obscured by an intergalactic virtual war being waged by millions of players, while on the streets below people are forced to beg, steal, and hustle to survive.
Enter Julius Dax, online repoman and real-life thief. He’s been hired for a special job: stealing an unknown object from a reclusive tech billionaire. But when he finds out he’s stolen the first sentient AI, his payday gets a lot more complicated.
🔍 What about this book doesn’t have Avery written all over it? Augmented realities, machines, virtual war, a sentient AI… I love the sound of this debut novel
Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance – and one woman can tip it over.
Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation. It’s humanity’s last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this – to step out of Valerie’s shadow and really make a difference. But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi starts to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret – and realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . .
🔍 I’ve not read any of Lam’s work before but am intrigued by the sound of Goldilocks. I’m always a sucker for disastrous space missions which the fate of the human race is relying on
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
🔍 An ownvoice Latinx Trans masculine book is something everyone is rightfully getting hyped about and I cannot wait for this beautiful book to be out in the world.
In this volume we’ll see the Heartstopper gang go on a school trip to Paris! Not only are Nick and Charlie navigating a new city, but also telling more people about their relationship AND learning more about the challenges each other are facing in private…
Meanwhile Tao and Elle will face their feelings for each other, Tara and Darcy share more about their relationship origin story, and the teachers supervising the trip seem… rather close…?
🔍 I am head over heels for the Heartstopper series and haven’t been able to stop thinking about Volume 3 since I finished Vol. 2 last summer. I’m also excited to get to spend time with some of the other characters, especially Tara and Darcy, as well.
Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.
Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.
Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.
🔍The Seep first caught my attention with that beautiful cover, then pulled me in with its description of an alien entity, utopian vision, technology, and a trans woman MC. I am deeply intrigued by the sound of The Seep
In a botched demonic extraction, they say the demon feels it ten times worse than the man. But they don’t die, and we do. Equilibrium.
The unnamed and morally questionable narrator is an exorcist with great follow-through and few doubts. His methods aren’t delicate but they’re undeniably effective: he’ll get the demon out—he just doesn’t particularly care what happens to the person.
Prosper of Schanz is a man of science, determined to raise the world’s first philosopher-king, reared according to the purest principles. Too bad he’s demonically possessed.
🔍 I am getting really into novellas and short stories, and love the sound of Prosper’s Demon with its questionable exorcist narrator and demons abound. It sounds like it’s going to be a punchy, enjoyable ride.
To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.
Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.
🔍 Another incredible sounding book written by a queer, trans author which I am living for. The entire premise of Docile is exciting and original, and I am intrigued about the world that has been created and the themes that Docile will be playing with
In a post-apocalyptic America, a community survives in a national park, surrounded by water that keeps the Dead at bay. But when winter comes, there’s nothing to stop them from crossing the ice.
Then homebody Peter puts the camp in danger by naively allowing a stranger to come ashore and he’s forced to leave the community of Wranglestone. Now he must help rancher Cooper, the boy he’s always watched from afar, herd the Dead from their shores before the lake freezes over.
But as love blossoms, a dark discovery reveals the sanctuary’s secret past. One that forces the pair to question everything they’ve ever known.
🔍 The gays are finally getting their own atmospheric YA zombie thriller and its very exciting. I recently finished my ARC of Wranglestone and my review will be up this coming Tuesday!
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.
As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
🔍 The Silence of Bones sounds like a haunting debut from a South Korean author which I’ve heard some great things about and I’m looking forward to reading a YA historical fiction set in Korea, something which I’ve not read before.
Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.
After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.
🔍 You all know that I adore Akemi Dawn Bowman’s work and I have been super hyped for the release of Harley in the Sky since it was announced. I can’t wait to see what Akemi brings to the table with this circus-themed YA.
During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic that thrusts her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact. Epic space battles for the fate of humanity take her to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and, in the process, transform not only her—but the entire course of history.
🔍 To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is a recent discovery that I wanted to include here as I am a sucker for SF stories that involve xenobiologists (or xenorelations) and first contact stories!
The last two books that I wanted to include on my most anticipated 2020 releases don’t yet have covers or descriptions available but they are two which I am hugely looking forward to so I wanted to share them here. The first is Tempests and Slaughter 2 by Tamora Pierce which has been on my TBR since I finished my ARC of Tempests and Slaughter in 2018 (!!). And the second is one I stumbled upon my chance when looking at Becky Chambers’ author page on GR, listed as an “Untitled Solarpunk Novella” (?!?!?!?!?) I LOVE Solarpunk and its a genre that doesn’t get written about much yet, so I am absolutely over the moon that we might be getting one from Becky Chambers?!
Of course, there are plenty of other books that I didn’t feature on this list either because they’re not my “most anticipated” and/or in the interests of space/time. As I mentioned in my introduction there is an absolutely incredible array of diverse fiction lined up for publication this year so I’d encourage you all to have a look at what else is coming up and support all of these amazing books! As always please drop a comment or a tweet to tell me which books you’re most looking forward to.