Make Some Room: May

Header (text): MAKE SOME ROOM (there's always room for one more)

Bookshops are open again, so it’s time to make some room for May’s new releases! There’s another busy month of debuts, sequels, big names and bold ideas heading our way. If There’s Always Room For One More, these are the books I am considering for my shelf…

Yes, a veritable heap of books have already snuck onto my shelves, and I have no regrets (let’s not assume it will reduce how many follow them once May gets started) .

First of these is Black Water Sister by Zen Cho, out from Ace Books on May 11th in the US (UK release from MacMillan to follow on June 10th). I loved Spirits Abroad, so I’m excited for the return to Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy that wrestles with identity, family and how to stop your grandma’s ghost using your body to pick a fight with a gang boss on behalf of an offended deity.

Sticking with novellas, Solaris launches the final (for now) of their Satellites on May 28th. Derek Künsken has been on my Read Already list for ages, so Pollen From A Future Harvest gets the honours. Time travel means personal opportunities and political threats (not to mention paradoxes) in this tale of spies, aliens and murder.

Goldsboro SFF have come through with special editions of Son of the Storm, the first in a new epic fantasy trilogy by last year’s Subjective Chaos winner Suyi Davies Okungbowa (out May 13th from Orbit) and Cari Thomas’s debut Threadneedle (out on May 27th from HarperVoyager), in which a young woman discovers that perhaps her magic doesn’t need be bound for her own good after all…

Rivers Solomon is back on May 6th with Sorrowland from Merky Books, which looks to be an exploration of identity and personal freedom with tough themes including systemic oppression, human experimentation and genocide. Certain not to be an easy read, but likely to be deeply rewarding.

Nicole Jarvis’s debut The Lights of Prague caught my eye earlier this year. The Gothic architecture of Prague is the perfect setting for a gaslamp fantasy of the fight to keep its streets safe from ghosts, vampires and alchemists. Out from Titan Books on May 18th.

While I haven’t read Natalie Haynes previously, I’m always here for writers re-examining the role of women in Classical mythology. Pandora’s Jar is not a collection of retellings, but an examination of how 10 women were presented – or perhaps misrepresented – in Greek myth. Out in paperback from Picador on May 13th.

For my last three picks I’m all about concept. These are new-to-me authors, but with pitches like this they won’t be unread for much longer.

Sticking with Greek myths for a moment, there’s nothing quite like saying ‘Antigone but in space’ to catch my attention. I’m not sure how you get from this classic tragedy of honour and rebellion to an action-packed space opera, but I’m curious to find out. Jonathan Nevair’s Goodbye to the Sun is out on May 18th from Shadow Spark Publishing.

If queer Arthurian knights jousting on motorbikes on live TV doesn’t get your attention, you are a far more serious reader than me and you may want to skip the next two recommendations. Blackheart Knights is set in a dystopian city where magic is illegal, electricity is currency and a girl dons a helmet to fight for vengeance. I’m wild with curiosity about this collision of subgenres by Laure Eve, which will be out on May 27th from Jo Fletcher Books.

Once John Anthony Di Giovanni’s excellent cover art caught my Pacific Rim fangirl eye, Hard Reboot by Django Wexler leapt onto my TBR so fast it left speed lines across my vision. This novella sees a naive young academic adrift in an underworld of mecha arena battles and old world politics instead of focused on the entirely sensible fact-finding she’s meant to be doing on Earth. Giant punching robots hit a bookshelf near you on May 25th.

As ever, this is only the tip of the iceberg – what releases are you looking forward to in May?

All release dates and publishers are for the UK unless otherwise noted.