THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: Upcoming SF in 2020

As we head into the futuristic space year 2020, it’s time to look ahead at what sort of SF we’re going to be treated to. This list is by no means comprehensive, as I’m not the omniscient superbeing I’d like to be. But here’s a sampling of what we can look forward to. All dates taken either from Amazon, publisher, or studio announcements.

January 1 – Doctor Who: While the first season of the Whittaker/Chibnall area was rough going, I have high hopes for the sophomore year. With Judoon and Cybermen both poised to return, here’s hoping the storytelling can match up to the quality of acting and effects from last season.

January 10 – The Good Place: The final few episodes of this bizarre, wonderful show ill doubtless bring countless surprises. With so much going on, it’ll be a tricky one to wrap up, but getting to the end will certainly be fun.

January 10 – Titans: With the cats now set in place – Oh, who am I kidding. They’re adding more characters. The Netflix UK release of Season 2 comes the same year as the American release of Season 3, making this one of the few genre shows to survive the swathe of cancellations in 2019.

January 11 – Lord of the Dark Millennium (Dan Abnett): A massive anthology of Dan Abnett’s 40k short stories, covering Gaunt’s Ghosts, inquisitors and more besides.

January 23 – Star Trek: Picard: The series that has the potential to make or break the entire franchise, I have nothing but optimism when it comes to Patrick Stewart’s return to the stars. Hopefully this optimism will be reflected in the show itself.

January 23 – The Puzzler’s War (Eyal Kless): The follow-up to Lost Puzzler that I wasn’t sure was happening, this post-apocalyptic science fantasy has both my curiosity and my attention.

January 30 – Bone Silence (Alastair Reynolds): The final volume in its trilogy, this looks set to wrap things up nicely for the sisters Ness.

February 4 – The Firmament In Flame (Drew Williams): I’m still a book behind on the Universe After series, but any author who can make me enjoy a book about psychics in space clearly deserves a place on this list.

February 6 – The Last Day (Andrew Hunter Murray): QI elf and No Such Thing As A Fish host Andrew Hunter Murray turns to genre writing with this post-apocalyptic tale of a world that has stopped spinning.

February 18 – Light of Impossible Stars (Gareth L. Powell): I only discovered Powell’s work this year, and the final Embers of War novel has shot to the top of my most-anticipated list. This is space opera at its very best.

April 16 – The Last Emperox (John Scalzi): The fats-paced, foul-mouthed space opera of the Interdependency comes to a climax with the third book. Not all of Scalzi’s endings have worked for me, but hopefully this one will.

May 28 – The Doors of Eden (Adrian Tchaikovsky) – A portal-based slice of SF from one of the genre’s most prolific and diverse authors. I’m going into this one pretty blind, but Tchaikovsky is an author who rarely disappoints.

July 9 – Demon In White (Christopher Ruocchio): The middle installment of Ruocchio’s baroque, sprawling space epic sees Hadrian travelling into the heart of the Sollan Empire. Ruochhio is one of the bets authors to emerge in the past few years, and I’m eager to see where he takes us next.

July 21 – Ballistic (Marko Kloos): The second book in Kloos’ second military SF series, dealing with post-war rebuilding, and those who want to see a return to the violent past.

September 17 – To Sleep In A Sea Of Stars (Christopher Paolini): The author of Eragon returns to novel writing with his new science fiction work. Not much to go on at this point, but his fantasy work got me into that genre, so hopefully he can carry the same passion and skill into SF.

September 21 – A Desolation Called Peace (Arkady Martine): The sequel to Martine’s brilliant debut, this is the book I am most looking forward to.  Empires, imperialism and colonialism, this is the future of the thinking person’s SF, while still being a cracking story in its own right.

December 18 – Dune: The latest adaptation has everything going for it. Budget. Writers. Cast. Marketing. Even if it’s only half as good as I hope, it will still be one of the best films of the year.

 

Also coming in 2020, we have Season 5 of The Expanse (and possibly the final novel of the series as well), a new season of The Orville and the potential of books from many more of my favourite authors.

Something I’ve forgotten?
Something you can’t wait to get your hands on?

Tell me about it, and I’ll see you in the New Year.

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