Hopefully I’ll eventually have a pretty graphic for this, but since I’m obsessed with upcoming releases (and alliteration) I figured it would be fun to have a regular post featuring some as-yet-unpublished books that I, for one, am coveting dearly.
And since it’s Pride, this month I’ll be focusing on books which have promised us queer main characters! (Bear in mind, though, that I won’t always be able to tag for specific rep. Sometimes the publishers/authors only tell us there will be queer themes, not whether the characters will be bi or ace or nb specifically. When I know, I’ll tag for it!)
Thus!Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Secondary World Fantasy
Representation: Queer Protagonists, Genderqueer Author
Published on: 4th June 2019
Sharp, mainstream fantasy meets compelling thrills of investigative noir in this fantasy debut by rising star Sarah Gailey.
Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It's a great life and she doesn't wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.
But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.
Magic for Liars has to be first, not only because it’s being published tomorrow, but because it’s Sarah Gailey. You know, the amazingly talented, genderqueer author who blew up the reading world with their incredible River of Teeth, the alternate-history novella about an America populated by both wild and domesticated hippos, and peopled by a truly amazing cast of characters. Honestly, Gailey went straight onto my auto-buy list of authors after RoT, so even if Magic for Liars didn’t sound amazing (which it totally does) I’d be picking it up on faith anyway!The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
Genres: Queer Protagonists, Sci Fi
Representation: Queer Protagonist, PoC
Published on: 11th June 2019
Seventeen-year-old Marisol Morales and her little sister Gabi are detainees of the United States government. They were caught crossing the U.S. border, to escape the gang violence in their country after their brother was murdered. When Marisol learns that the old family friend who had offered them refuge in America has died and they are going to be sent home, they flee.
They hitchhike, snagging a ride with an unassuming woman who agrees to drive them to New Jersey, but when Marisol wakes up in D.C. she learns the woman is actually a government agent. Indranie Patel has a proposal for Marisol: she wants Marisol to be a Grief Keeper, someone who will take another's grief into their body. It's a dangerous experimental study, but if Marisol agrees she and Gabi will be allowed to stay in the United States. If the experiment fails the girls will be sent home, which is a death sentence. Things become more complicated when Marisol meets Rey, the wealthy daughter of a D.C. Senator, and the girl she's helping to heal. Marisol likes Rey's short hair and sarcastic attitude. But she didn't expect the connection from their shared grief to erupt into a powerful love.
Suddenly being forced from the United States isn't just a matter of life and death, but a matter of the heart.
Grief Keeper doesn’t seem to fit neatly into any one genre – I’ve seen it being described as contemporary, sci-fi, magical realism, and science-fantasy by different sources – but it’s definitely spec-fic, given that it’s a book about a young woman of colour literally taking on another person’s grief as part of an experiment. There’s a not-so-subtle metaphor there, given how often women of colour are expected to bear up the emotions of others, and the book also deals with immigration and refugee issues, with a f/f romance that will hopefully get a happy ending! Only have to wait one more week for this one!Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone
Genres: Sci Fi, Queer Protagonists
Representation: Queer Protagonist
Published on: 18th June 2019
A feminist Guardians of the Galaxy—a smart, swashbuckling, wildly imaginative adventure of a rag-tag team of brilliant misfits, dangerous renegades, and enhanced outlaws in a war-torn future.
A wildly successful innovator to rival Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, Vivian Liao is prone to radical thinking, quick decision-making, and reckless action. On the eve of her greatest achievement, she's trying to outrun those who are trying to steal her success.
In the chilly darkness of a Boston server farm, Viv sets her ultimate plan into motion. A terrifying instant later, Vivian Liao is catapulted through space and time to a far future where she confronts a destiny stranger and more deadly than she could ever imagine.
The end of time is ruled by an ancient, powerful Empress who blesses or blasts entire planets with a single thought. Rebellion is literally impossible to consider--until Vivian arrives. Trapped between the Pride, a ravening horde of sentient machines, and a fanatical sect of warrior monks who call themselves the Mirrorfaith, Viv must rally a strange group of allies to confront the Empress and find a way back to the world and life she left behind.
A magnificent work of vivid imagination and universe-spanning action, Empress of Forever is a feminist Guardians of the Galaxy crossed with Star Wars and spiced with the sensibility and spirit of Iain M. Banks and William Gibson.
Maybe sci-fi, maybe fantasy, maybe a mash-up of both – who cares, it’s Max Gladstone and has a queer femme lead! Gladstone is another of my auto-buy authors (if you haven’t read his Craft Sequence yet, you need to), so I had this pre-ordered before they even released the synopsis, but seriously – check out that blurb and tell me you don’t want to hit the pre-order button. Go on. I dare yah.
I have more, but if I want to be doing these all month, I’ve got to save some for later! Do you have any of these pre-ordered? Or know of any I’ve missed? Comment below to let me know!