April is the Coolest Month: 10 New SFF Books Out April 2024

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

Spring has sprung, readers, which means it’s time to roll out the amazing science fiction and fantasy books headed our way in April. But I will start by admitting my big disappointment this month: fans of P. Djèlí Clark will have to wait a little longer for The Dead Cat Tail Assassins. Its release has been pushed from April to September. But, it is SO good and totally worth the wait, I promise. And there are so many other amazing SFF books coming out now, you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained until then. To help you make a decision, here are ten new SFF books out in April 2024!

This SFF round-up checks all the boxes. Dragons? Check. Space opera? Check? Fairy tale? Check. Body modifications? Check! There’s something for everyone. You’ll find an author’s first-time fantasy novel for grown-ups all about dragons; a Renaissance historical fantasy from one of the most famous authors to put pen to paper (or maybe fingers to keyboard?); a collection of science fiction stories from a multi-award winning writer; a sapphic YA retelling of the Snow White and Red Rose fairy tale; a Korean space opera that kicks off the launch of Emmy Award—winner Lena Waithe’s imprint; and lots more!

cover of Lake of Souls: The Collected Short Fiction by Ann Leckie; cream-colored with black wavy lines and three different color circles

Lake of Souls: The Collected Short Fiction by Ann Leckie (Orbit, April 2)

You may recognize Ann Leckie’s name: she’s the author of the multi-award-winning Imperial Radch trilogy. (It seems impossible that Ancillary Justice has already been out for over ten years!) Now, for fans of brilliant science fiction, all of her short fiction has been collected in one book, including a brand-new novelette called “Lake of Souls.” These stories will return readers to familiar worlds from Leckie’s novels, including the trilogy and The Raven Tower.

cover of  Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell; illustration of person standing in black and red flames

Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell (DAW, April 2)

Love means never having to say sorry…for wanting to lay your eggs in someone. This is a dark fantasy debut giving off weird and wonderful vibes. It’s about an (egg-laying) shapeshifter named Shesheshen, who is wounded as she runs from hunters intent on her demise. Shesheshen is rescued by a kind human named Homily, who mistakes the form Shesheshen took to flee for a fellow human being. As Shesheshen recovers and begins to think of fondly of Homily, and considers telling her the truth about herself, she learns a terrible truth. Homily is in the woods looking for the shapeshifting monster who cursed her family…

cover of The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo; illustration of a hand holding a chain

The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron Books, April 9)

April brings us one of the most highly anticipated novels of 2024. Leigh Bardugo is known for the Shadow and Bone YA trilogy, the (not-yet-completed) Ninth House trilogy for adults, and more. This is an adult historical fantasy about magic and miracles set during the Spanish Golden Age. Luzia Cotado is a servant with a talent for small miracles whose abilities are discovered and exploited by the Madrid nobility and royalty. You don’t really need to know anything more to want to read a new Bardugo, but I will add that it has picked up starred reviews from all the big publications.

cover of To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang; illustration of a young woman with black hair in multicolored garments holding a gold rope

To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang (Del Rey, April 16)

And speaking of magic, this magical debut deals with matters of life and death. Ruying is of a people who once possessed magic but were ruined by beings from the heavens. Ruying herself was given the ability to remove the life force from people by Death, but she prefers to keep a low profile. Ruying’s only goal in life is to keep her family safe from the invaders. But when an enemy prince discovers her ability, Ruying agrees to help him destroy his enemies in return for the safety and good fortune of her family.

cover of The Practice, the Horizon, and the Chain by Sofia Samatar; interlocking silver circles floating in front of the night sky

The Practice, the Horizon, and the Chain by Sofia Samatar (, (April 16)

This is a novella set among the stars from award-wining author Sofia Samatar. An unnamed boy who works in the bowels of a spaceship is given a chance to advance his position in life in a carceral state. Enrolled in the ship’s university, he forms a friendship with a woman known as “the professor,” who is disillusioned with her place in the universe as well.

cover of Ocean's Godori by Elaine U. Cho; illustration of person standing under a large pink planet and a red spaceship

Ocean’s Godori by Elaine U. Cho (Hillman Grad Books, April 23)

Emmy-award winner Lena Waithe chose this exciting Korean space opera to launch her new imprint! Ocean Yoon is a disgraced space pilot who is not welcome at the Academy any longer because of a mission mishap. But when her best friend is framed for murdering his family, Ocean rallies her crew into action to save her friend and prove she’s still a captain of the stars.

cover of Dragon Rider by Taran Matharu; illustration of a young man standing with a small blue dragon

Dragon Rider by Taran Matharu (Harper Voyager, April 23)

Taran Matharu, known for many YA fantasy novels, is joining the ranks of adult fantasy authors with this debut about, well, dragon riders. Jai is an imprisoned orphan, imprisoned by the enemies who killed his father, the mastermind of a failed rebellion. When the betrothed of his enemy’s son brings dragons to the kingdom as her dowry, Jai uses the opportunity to plan a successful escape, with a dragon hatchling in tow. But with the soldiers on his trail, and a dragon that he doesn’t know how to train, will he survive to taste freedom?

cover of The Wings Upon Her Back by Samantha Mills; bird wing made of many pieces of gold metal and a clockwork spine

The Wings Upon Her Back by Samantha Mills (Tachyon Publications, April 23)

Calling all mecha fans: This novella is about a teenager named Zenya, who ran away to join her city’s mechanically-modified warriors. Now she’s an adult, growing unhappier with the state she serves and the tasks she is asked to perform. When she commits an act that causes her to be exiled, Zenya realizes she is actually seeing the true nature of the world for the first time.

SFF New Releases for Kids and Teens

cover of Call Forth a Fox by Markelle Grabo; illustration border around the title, featuring a fox, a bear, two young women, roses, and a forest cabin

Call Forth a Fox by Markelle Grabo (Page Street YA, April 2)

This is a sapphic retelling of Snow White and Rose Red! Ro is a young girl who lives in the western woods with her sister and stepmother, clinging to the memories she has of her dead father. One day, when she saves a fox from a bear, she witnesses the bear turn into a boy after being struck with an arrow. The boy is confused about who he is but adamant that he must kill the fox, and Ro is determined to keep it safe. As Ro tries to untangle the curse that seems to surround them all, she spends more and more time falling under the spell of a girl from the village.

cover of The Wishkeeper's Apprentice by Rachel Chivers Khoo; illustration of young boy in a yellow raincoat riding a bike past a large black shadow of a monster with red eyes

The Wishkeeper’s Apprentice by Rachel Chivers Khoo and Rachel Sanson (Candlewick, April 23)

Felix doesn’t really believe in wishes, but he throws a penny in the wishing fountain anyway. Not only does his wish come true, but he meets a man who claims to be the fountain’s wishkeeper. He’s named Mr. Beewinkle, and he’s in need of an apprentice. And Felix accepts! He soon learns that being the apprentice wishkeeper is exciting. But it also comes along with danger, in the form of a wolf-like creature from Felix’s dreams, who is a growing threat to everyone in their town.

Bonus mentions: Because I can’t just stop at ten books, in April, be sure to watch for the sequels Court of Wanderers (Silver Under Nightfall 2) by Rin Chupeco and The Hemlock Queen (The Nightshade Crown Book 2) by Hannah Whitten.

And there are a TON of amazing SFF titles out in paperback, including The Stone Road by Trent Jamieson, Abeni’s Song by P. Djèlí Clark, The Thick and the Lean by Chana Porter, Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy by Angie Thomas, and Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh.

If you want to learn about more sci-fi and fantasy books, check out 8 of the Best Sci-Fi Novellas To Read In One Sitting and 12 Perfect Dragon Books to Read During the Year of the Dragon, and be sure to sign up for our SFF newsletter, Swords and Spaceships, and listen to our SFF podcast, SFF Yeah!

Finally, you can also find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.