Make Some Room: February

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

2022 looks to be another year where (unsurprisingly after the much-discussed Book Crisis of Winter 2021) some releases are being delayed or having separate digital and physical releases. The good news? There’s plenty of interesting titles heading our way next month! If there’s always room for one more, these are the ones I’m most tempted by.

Let’s start off with the warm fiery tones of some favourite authors who have new books out next month. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed AJ Hackwith’s Hell’s Library books so far, and with the trilogy-ending The God of Lost Words out on February 8th from Titan Books now is a good time to catch up if you haven’t already dived in. A failed muse, a dead librarian, a ‘hero’ banished from his own book and a former angel will do whatever it takes to protect the afterlives of stories and the incalculable power of human imagination that they represent.

Also back in action are the Sisters of the Order of St Rita, whose compassionate rebellion is igniting a revolution across the galaxy. Lina Rather’s second space opera novella The Sisters of the Forsaken Stars is out from on February 15th (paperback) / February 22nd (digital – and yes it seems odd that it’s paperback first, so I do wonder if something will slip).

Gareth L Powell has a new space opera series blasting out across the stars on February 22nd (digital) / March 1st (paperback) from Titan Books. Ark ships piloted by alien-gifted AI saved humanity from the wreckage of Earth, and new cultures are rapidly arising as they sail in opposite directions. Expect world-building and intrigue when investigating a distress call unleashes a new threat on the fractured fleet.

Over in the blue corner, there are releases from three new-to-me authors that have definitely caught my eye. Any pitch that starts with ‘lesbian gunslinger fights spies in space‘ is guaranteed to grab my attention – stir in a rebel without a cause being blackmailed into one last job to save her sister and I’m all in before we even get to the taser-wielding librarian girlfriend. Yes, indeed, this sounds awfully relevant to my interests. Bluebird by Ciel Pierlot is out from Angry Robot on February 8th.

I heard good things about Beth Cartwright’s’ debut Feathertide, but its the (unrelated) follow-up The House of Sorrowing Stars that is likely to be my point of entry to Cartwright’s work. A fading house that is only open to the grieving promises a Gothic setting; a heroine who has no loss to mourn, but is somehow invited anyway is intriguing (is she a reliable narrator?) – but can Liddy unpick the house’s secrets and uncover her reason for being there? Out from Del Rey on February 10th.

Rob Hart’s The Paradox Hotel promises a locked-room murder mystery meets conspiracy thriller when hotel security investigate a corpse that nobody else can see. This sort of hiccup isn’t entirely unusual in a hotel used to travel to other time periods, but with time travel about to get privatised it’s certainly awkward – as are the accidents that have started killing the guests. This may be US import only, with a Ballantine Books hardback available from February 22nd.

Three very different titles to round out the month: first up, Age of Ash marks the beginning of a new fantasy series from Daniel Abraham. I’ve heard great things about The Long Price Quartet and I love The Expanse, so this is my excuse to dive into Abraham’s fantasy worlds. Age of Ash has a simple premise – a street thief uncovers dangerous secrets when she investigates her brother’s death – but I’m beguiled by the promise that this is a layered tapestry of individual histories, where every one can influence the fate of a great city. Out from Orbit on February 15th (digital) / February 17th (hardback).

Andrea Hairston’s Otherwise Award-winning fantasy Redwood and Wildfire gets a tenth birthday rerelease on February 1st (digital, Tordotcom) / March 8th (hardback, St Martin’s Press). As the twentieth century brings new entertainments and new dreams, an African American woman and a Seminole Irishman travel to the city in search of a community where they can belong in a magical tale of hoodoo and healing.

Last up is a new-to-me author SA Barnes whose space opera debut ticks my space salvage and space horror boxes (I read very little horror because I’m an absolute wimp, but put it in space and I can’t resist a look). Dead Silence has an out of luck crew answer a distress signal from a long-lost luxury liner, only to find themselves facing the same terrible fate – I’m shivering already. Out from Tor Nightfire on February 8th (digital) / St Martins Press on February 28th (hardback).

What books coming out this month are you excited for?

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