Once again, it’s May in New York! Which means that it’s that exhausting, exhilarating time of year in which publishers and authors, bloggers and traditional journalists, librarians and bibliophiles make the long, sweaty journey to the Javits Center for the biggest trade show of the year: BookExpo America (BEA). As with last year, BEA is open to more than just bloggers and book professionals—the consumer-facing BookCon runs on Saturday May 30 and Sunday May 31, with a ton of sweet programming and famous authors and celebrities.

Today, we offer up our list of our most highly coveted speculative fiction titles available at the show (even though BEA technically covers all kinds of books and authors, not just SF/F). Without further ado, here are the titles we’ll gladly wait in hour-long lines for at Javits:

Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson. We loved Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns debut series, and eagerly await Walk on Earth a Stranger—another historical fantasy series about a girl who can sense gold in the ground beneath her, and the consequences of that power.

Positive by Dave Wellington. A zombie novel in the vein of The Passage by Justin Cronin and The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, Positive sounds like it has a lot of potential.

Continue reading >


 

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker. Billed as a cross between Graceling by Kristin Cashore and Game of Thrones, The Witch Hunter is a debut YA fantasy novel about a former witch hunter hiding her past.Cage Shepherd

The Silence of Six by E.C. Meyers. “What is the silence of six and what are you going to do about it?” This is the provoking question at the heart of E.C. Meyers’ new book, which delves into questions of privacy, hacking, and government conspiracies. FUN.

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel & Jon Klassen. Kenneth Oppel is a beloved author of great middle-grade and YA fantasy and science fiction (see the Victor Frankenstein books, Airborn) and Jon Klassen is a multiple award–winning artist. Add the two of them together and you get The Nest--a dark Gaiman Coraline-esque tale of love and family, fears and dreams.

Little Robot by Ben Hatke. Did you ever read Zita the Spacegirl, the graphic novel series for young readers from First Second books? Little Robot is the new effort from Zita creator Ben Hatke, and it sounds and looks adorable. In short: a five-year-old girl finds a little robot and accidentally activates it. They become friends...but some nasty robots want little robot back for their own evil purposes.

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu. Technically this is an older book which came out two years ago—but it’s so, so good. If you haven’t read Anne Ursu’s surprising, magical take on Pinocchio, you should make a point of it to stop by the autographing area and grab yourself a copy.

The Cage Seveneves BEAby Megan Shepherd. Teens are held in cages in a sick menagerie for aliens. Tell me more, tell me more.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. What if you lived in a YA SF/F world where you weren’t the hero fated to save the world from zombies or the rising darkness or what have you? You’d then be the hero of this tale—who has to figure out how to go about life (even though his best friend is said fated one). From award-winning author Patrick Ness, this newest book sounds hilarious, satirical, and fun.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. The end of the world is coming, and humanity bands together to save as many of its best and brightest by shipping them off into space. Now, 5,000 years later, the new races of former humans decide to head for the most strange, alien planet yet—their old homeworld, Earth.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. A historical fantasy novel that promises to deliver N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms crossed with academic nonfiction favorite Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (yes, you read that correctly), The Traitor Baru Cormorant is a hugely anticipated debut novel. We wants it.

The Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer. A debut fantasy novel set in a world where music is magic, and a culture with extreme censorship, The Last Song Before Night follows a rebellious heroine who will sing, or die trying.Last Song before Night

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor. Based on the podcast of the same name, Welcome to Night Vale is set in a small American town where appearances and disappearances—of the Twilight Zone variety—are commonplace.

Updraft by Fran Wilde. A city of living bone. In the clouds. Where people use wings (mechanical?) to get around. A mystery. We love all of these things and cannot wait for Fran Wilde’s Tor debut novel.

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow. We actually first discovered Erin Bow at a BEA many years ago (Plain Kate) and have been blown away by her most recent book, Sorrow’s Knot. The Scorpion Rules looks like it will be even better: it features a world in which the UN keeps the peace by holding children from each nation’s leaders hostage. If war should strike, those lives are forfeit. Creepy.

The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu. Ok. We don’t know that The Dark Forest will be at BEA—but we do know that Chinese bestselling SF/F author Cixin Liu will be there. The sequel to his mind-meltingly original science-fiction epic The Three-Body Problem, The Dark Forest is probably THE most highly coveted SFF title of 2015, period. A girl can dream, right?

And that’s it from us! What SF/F books are you looking forward to finding at BEA this year?

Thea James and Ana Grilo are The Book Smugglers, a website for speculative fiction and YA. You can also find them on Twitter.