Brit Bennett. Riverhead, Oct. 11
This debut novel begins with 17-year-old Nadia Turner’s pregnancy (the father is the local pastor’s son), and the subsequent cover-up. Years later, living in debt, the characters are haunted by what might have happened if they had made different decisions.
Mystery / Horror:
Jane Harper. Flatiron, Jan. 10
David Baldacci calls Australian author Harper’s first novel “one of the most stunning debuts I’ve ever read.” John Lescroart adds, “With The Dry, Jane Harper immediately takes her place among the elites in the mystery world.”
Joe Ide. LB/Mulholland, Oct. 18
Ide, a Japanese-American, grew up in South Central Los Angeles reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. High school dropout IQ, the culturally confused hero of this first novel, identifies with his fellow misfit Holmes.
Jan Fedarcyk. Simon & Schuster Oct. 11
This debut novel from “the FBI’s First Lady” (Vanity Fair) introduces a brilliant young special agent, Kay Malloy, whose assignment to the Counterintelligence Program in New York City has devastating consequences—both personal and professional.
Sci-Fi / Fantasy:
K.B. Wagers. Orbit, Aug. 2
Taut suspense and dark, rapid-fire humor mark this excellent debut, in which an interplanetary adventurer is forced to take her place as the heir to an imperial throne.
This one actually came out a couple of weeks ago.
It has gotten a starred review from Publishers Weekly & Library Journal and was Library Journal's "debut of the month" for August.
Thoraiya Dyer. Tor, Jan. 31
The highly anticipated fantasy debut from the Aurealis- and Ditmar-award-winning author is set in a giant mythical rainforest controlled by living gods.
Connie Willis. Del Rey, Oct. 4
SFWA Grand Master Willis’s first novel since 2010’s Blackout/All Clear is a rollicking send-up of obsessive cellphone usage in too-near-future America.
(sorry, I had to throw this in because I'm a Connie Willis fan.)
J. Patrick Black. Ace Sept. 6
In this epic science fiction debut, Earth has battled an alien force for over 500 years, but the course of the war is about to change.