Daniel Abraham, The King’s Blood
(Orbit May 2012)

This sequel to The Dragon’s Path continues the Dagger and the Coin series, set in a war-torn world populated by 13 races of humanity created by dragons long ago. Abraham continues to break new ground in fantasy by focusing as much on the economics of his invented world as he does on the military maneuvers and political schemes.

Paolo Bacigalupi, The Drowned Cities
(Little, Brown May 2012)

Set in the same ruined future world as his Printz Award-winning young-adult debut Ship Breaker, this concerns the odd alliance formed between a maimed girl and the genetically engineered ‘‘half-man’’ Tool, a minor character from the first novel, as they flee a brutal militia. ‘‘A headlong adventure of pursuit, capture, and escape.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Kage Baker, The Best of Kage Baker
(Subterranean Press Apr 2012)

Featuring 20 of the most outstanding SF and fantasy stories by the late author, 11 of them previously uncollected. ‘‘One of the best collections of the year… she was perhaps the best natural storyteller to enter the field since Poul Anderson.’’ [Gardner Dozois]

Ellen Datlow, ed., Best Horror of the Year: Volume Four
(Night Shade Books May 2012)

The renowned anthologist collects 18 of the finest horror stories from 2011, with contributions by Laird Barron, Glen Hirshberg, Stephen King, Margo Lanagan, John Langan, Peter Straub, and more, along with an exhaustive summation of the year in horror and a list of honorable mentions.

Brian Evenson, Immobility
(Tor Apr 2012)

The ambitious author of literary horror outdoes himself with the dark and bizarre tale of a partially paralyzed, amnesiac detective investigating a mysterious crime in a bleak post-apocalyptic future.

Mary Gentle, The Black Opera
(Night Shade Books May 2012)

One of our most adept practitioners of historical fantasy turns her attention to an alternate 19th-century Naples, in a world where sacred operatic music can create literal miracles. But when a heretical cabal plans to stage a ‘‘black opera’’ for devilish purposes, a ragtag group of musicians are gathered to stop them. ‘‘Plays upon the spirit of its place and time with… much imagination…. Readers with a genuine taste for opera should be in their element.’’ [Faren Miller]

Carolyn Ives Gilman, Ison of the Isles
(ChiZine Publications Apr 2012)

This sequel to Isles of the Forsaken continues to chronicle the struggles of the world’s last magic-users to survive on their grim archipelago, beleaguered by imperial invaders, with three figures competing to become the Ison, a mystical leader capable of uniting the islanders against their common foe. ‘‘Gilman subjects the old tropes to a kind of radical displacement.’’ [Faren Miller]

N. K. Jemisin, The Killing Moon
(Orbit May 2012)

Jemisin shows off her deftness at worldbuilding in this fantasy set in an imaginary world inspired by ancient Egypt, launching her new Dreamblood series. A conspiracy threatens the longstanding magical peace of the city-state of Gujaareh, with dark forces stalking the citizens both in the waking world and in their dreams.

Mary Robinette Kowal, Glamour in Glass
(Tor Apr 2012)

This Regency-era fantasy novel is a sequel to debut novel Shades of Milk and Honey, and continues the Jane Austen-flavored tale of the now newly married Jane and Vincent, whose honeymoon in Belgium is complicated when Napoleon escapes exile and plunges the continent into conflict again. ‘‘Kowal ignores the bounds… of romantic fantasy and the comedy of manners.’’ [Faren Miller]

Nancy Kress, Fountain of Age: Stories
(Small Beer Press May 2012)

The prolific author’s latest collection features nine SF stories from 2007-2009, including Hugo Award winner ‘‘The Erdmann Nexus’’ and the Nebula Award-winning title piece. ‘‘What makes her fiction distinctive, apart from the elegance of her craft and the clarity of her prose, is the manner in which she recombines these [familiar] elements into complex structures that reveal their hidden dimensions, and invariably concern their impact on fully realized characters.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Brit Mandelo, ed., Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction
(Lethe Press May 2012)

This reprint anthology of ‘‘Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction’’ includes 17 stories that question, challenge, and redefine common ideas of gender and sexuality, with work by Kelley Eskridge, Nalo Hopkinson, Ellen Kushner, Sandra McDonald, Delia Sherman, Cathreynne M. Valente, and others. ‘‘A delightful sampling of… alternate sexualities.’’ [Karen Burnham]

Robert J. Sawyer, Triggers
(Ace Apr 2012)

Sawyer delivers another high-concept thriller built on intriguing SFnal ideas. When an experimental memory-erasing device malfunctions during a terrorist attack, the President of the United States finds himself in possession of memories that aren’t his own – and has reason to believe some of his memories, including dangerous ones with national security implications, have been shared with persons unknown.

Brian Francis Slattery, Lost Everything
(Tor Apr 2012)

An elegiac, literary post-apocalyptic tale of a man taking a boat up the Susquehanna River in search of his son, journeying through the ruins of an America devastated by climate change and economic catastrophe. Slattery ‘‘turns the horrors of national and cultural collapse into something far more intimate, lacking easy definitions and beyond the scope of most dystopian SF.’’ [Faren Miller]

Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer, eds., The Weird
(Tor May 2012)

This massive ‘‘Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories’’ includes 110 pieces – around three-quarters of a million words – first published from 1908-2010, ranging from classic works by Algernon Blackwood, Franz Kafka, and Mervyn Peake to modern masters like Ray Bradbury, Joanna Russ, and Stephen King, and including relatively new writers such as Daniel Abraham, Margo Lanagan, and Liz Williams. China Miéville provides an ‘‘Afterweird’’.

K. D. Wentworth, ed., L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXVIII
(Galaxy Jun 2012)

The latest volume in this annual series presents 13 original stories by the newest winners of the Writers of the Future contest, as selected by an all-star panel of judges, with illustrations by winners of the Illustrators of the Future competition. Also includes essays on writing and art, plus an introduction by the late editor.