11 Exciting New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Releases Out in April 2023
It’s spring, and the world is speeding back up after a long, chilly winter. The tulips and daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding in an allergy-rich green medley of colors, and I can finally read and walk down a Chicago sidewalk without the cold making my entire face hurt. Plus, you should know, it’s my birthday — and yes, I do like to get books as gifts. Especially if they’re these books.
Spring is the perfect time to dive into new, exciting releases — books about queer discovery and falling in love; books about people rebelling against dystopias of disordered eating and climate disaster; satisfying conclusions to trilogies you should already be reading right now.
There is a flood of fantastic books on the way, but I dug in for you and did the research. Emily Tesh, Olivie Blake, Chana Porter, and other big names have books coming out this month, but I hope there are also names on this list that you don’t already know, and that you’ll be ready to go get at your local bookstore the moment they come out.
Some of these books are already in the running for my favorites of 2023, and I hope they soon inspire the same lingering book hangovers and rushing heartbeats that they did for me! Here are 11 new science fiction and fantasy releases coming out in April 2023 that you should put on hold ASAP.
As always, you can 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.
Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling (April 4)
Rose is nearing the end of her rope. In a world of virtual realities and disastrous climate change, she needs housing for herself and her mother, who was recently displaced. So she agrees to take a job as a spy on an American camp on the far north of Canada, tasked with investigating the architect and observing the camp. She’s at Camp Zero when rumors start to spread of an all-women stronghold…Compared in its pitch to Station Eleven, this realistic climate fiction dystopia digs into the demographics of who will and won’t survive a world haunted by climate disaster.
One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake (April 4)
Two rival witch families clash in this fantasy inspired by Romeo and Juliet and Russian folklore. Lev, son of the man known as Koschei the Deathless, and Sasha, daughter of boss Baba Yaga, naturally fall for each other. That part might feel obvious, but the fantasy that blossoms around them is anything but. Plots of star-crossed love, family loyalty and betrayal, magic, and ghosts swirl in the newest re-release of Olivie Blake’s viral work, originally self-published.
Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh (April 4)
Emily Tesh, the award-winning author of Silver in the Wood and Drowned Country, now brings us an action-packed, emotionally devastating, queer space opera. Decades after the Wisdom destroyed planet Earth in a single blast, Gaea Station continues to fight as the last bastion of resistance. Kyr is one of its best soldiers — and it shocks her to learn that she’s been assigned to nursery, to reproduce, rather than to the front. When she learned her brother has defected, she goes after him, determined to find out the truth about what Gaea Station is for, and why people keep leaving.
Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (April 11)
In this satiric speculative novel reminiscent of Bitch Planet, prisoners compete to try to win their freedom from prison through death matches organized by Criminal Action Penal Entertainment. Partners, and lovers, Loretta Thurwar and “Hurricane Staxxx” are the star attraction — but can they fight their way out without losing themselves? If you, like me, loved Adjei-Brenyah’s story collection Friday Black, you’re probably impatient to get your hands on this one.
The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill by Rowenna Miller (April 11)
People in Prospect Hill have depended on the Fae for their magic, making careful, small trades, since you have to be careful with the Fae. Alaine Fairborn is a believer despite rising skepticism. When her sister tells her that her husband is abusive, Alaine decides it’s time to make a big bargain with the Fae — one that might be a bit risky. This book is the newest from Miller, who you may know as cohost of Hugo Award–nominated podcast Worldbuilding for Masochists. So she knows her stuff when it comes to creating immersive worlds.
Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee (April 11)
Years ago, Esther’s mother and brother were killed by a manticore. Now, she is one of only a few women in a program training Rukhs, enormous birds of prey (who in myth were large enough to carry off full-grown elephants!), in the King’s Royal Mews, a group that hunts manticores. She needs to succeed and learn to bond and react with her roc Zahra, a stubborn creature who once grown could easily break her skull in its claws. Fantasy lovers should be beyond excited for Lee’s newest, and the novella format will make it a fast read.
The Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro (April 18)
La Llorona is haunting Alejandra. Despite all she has and loves, she can’t see past the crying white-gowned woman who keeps appearing in front of her. This is one of those genre-bending stories I always love — it’s horror, and eerie, but it’s primarily about this generational trauma and the stories and weights we inherit from our mothers and grandmothers. Alejandra will have to unpack her life and her family’s history with a therapist until she can figure out what it will take to get La Llorona to finally leave them alone.
The Bone Shard War by Andrea Stewart (April 18)
The third and final volume in the Bone Shard trilogy is finally here, and it’s a knockout. Lin Sukai is trying desperately to keep her Empire together while mourning the loss of her allies. Meanwhile, hostile groups across the kingdom are finding allies of their own. And an old friend is alive, but under the control of a dangerous enemy with revenge on his mind. This book about violence, old stories, and magic born of skeleton shards brings the world-building of the first two books together into a compelling, page-turning finale.
The Last Animal by Ramona Ausubel (April 18)
Jane is an under-appreciated female scientist who wants to bring mammoths back to life — almost as much as she wants her teenage daughters to be happy and not cause trouble as they accompany her to Siberia on her hunt for mammoth DNA. But when they find a preserved baby mammoth that might be the key to everything, Jane goes rogue. She and her daughters end up on a madcap adventure — to Italy, Iceland, California, and more — in her quest to bring the mammoth back to life with her two daughters by her side.
The Thick and the Lean by Chana Porter (April 18)
In this new capitalist dystopia, food and eating are closely monitored and tracked, and eating for pure nutrition — never for pleasure — is the norm. But one girl wants to taste real food, to cook, to experiment, to create. And another is in the big city, determined to escape her circumstances and access something of what the rich have. But as they grow up and are exposed to the horrors of the world they live in, both will have to drastically change their plans and try to find happiness where they can. This is an excellently written dystopia that’s one of my favorites of the year so far.
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune (April 24)
Android Gio has built a home in the trees for himself and robot creations Nurse Ratched (a sadistic nurse machine) and Rambo (an anxious, lovable little Roomba). He adopts young Victor, who grows up in the treehouse happy and safe — until stumbling on a broken-down android named HAP, who throws everything he knows about his life and father out the window. As Victor struggles to rescue Gio from the City of Electric Dreams, he has to figure out how to cope with discovering his father’s true past.
Want more great book recommendations? Dive backwards into my list of the best SFF of 2022 — or devour the 30 must-read SFF books by Black authors in this piece by K.W. Colyard — or shoot off into the future with the SFF and horror debuts to watch for in 2023. You can find also 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.