Looking to expand your TBR (“To Be Read”) list for 2023? Here are some upcoming post-apocalyptic or dystopian novels coming out in the new year!
Below are the synopses and release dates for these titles (in alphabetical order). This isn’t a definitive list, as most publishers only have the first few months of 2023 on their websites at the moment, but it’s a great start! There is a huge variety of sub-genres, from eco-fiction to horror to LBGTQ to literary fiction to romance to thriller! Which of these are you the most interested in?
By Mary Baader Kaley
New Adult – Dystopian
Releasing January 10, 2023, from Angry Robot
If you had to endure a debilitating condition of body or mind, which would you choose? In this world, everyone suffers.
In the far-future aftermath of a genetic plague that separated human society into two different groups – sickly yet super-intelligent Subterraneans and healthy but weak-minded Omniterraneans – a brilliant Subter girl is tasked with fixing the broken genetic code to reunite the two groups in the next generation.
But when a newer plague turns fatal for the surface-dwelling Omnits, the only group able to reproduce (giving birth to both Subter and Omnit children), Zuzan must find a cure or humanity won’t simply remain divided, it will become extinct.
But there’s more conflict at hand than a broken genetic code. The fragile connection between Subters and Omnits has frayed to the point of breaking – to the point of war – and it will take more than genius to repair; it will take heart.
by Michelle Min Sterling
Climate Disaster – Thriller
Releasing April 4, 2023, from Atria Books
In a near-future northern settlement, a handful of climate change survivors find their fates intertwined in this mesmerizing and transportive novel in the vein of Station Eleven and The Power.
In the far north of Canada sits Camp Zero, an American building project hiding many secrets.
Desperate to help her climate-displaced Korean immigrant mother, Rose agrees to travel to Camp Zero and spy on its architect in exchange for housing. She arrives at the same time as another newcomer, a college professor named Grant who is determined to flee his wealthy family’s dark legacy. Gradually, they realize that there is more to the architect than previously thought, and a disturbing mystery lurks beneath the surface of the camp. At the same time, rumors abound of an elite group of women soldiers living and working at a nearby Cold War-era climate research station. What are they doing there? And who is leading them?
An electrifying page-turner where nothing is as it seems, Camp Zero cleverly explores how the intersection of gender, class, and migration will impact who and what will survive in a warming world.
Five Years After (A John Matherson Novel (Volume 4)
by William R. Forstchen
Releasing Aug 22, 2023, from MacMillan
From the New York Times bestselling author of the One Second After series comes Five Years After, a near-future thriller where John Matherson must contend with new threats to the fragile civilization that he helped rebuild.
Five years after the EMP strike that fractured the United States, in the New York Times bestselling novel One Second After, John Matherson is teaching at Montreat, attempting to lead a quiet life when he receives the news that President Bob Scales has mysteriously died. The Republic of New America has all but collapsed into regional powers, and the world at large is struggling to remain stable as regional conflicts ravage the post EMP landscape.
Suspecting assassination, John is pulled back into the fray as he joins the struggle to hold the tottering Republic together, while facing threats on multiple fronts. When another EMP is set off over the Eastern states, years of progress are put in peril. With so much of his work undone, John must find the strength within to start over, so that he can save the country and the people that he holds dear from even greater calamity.
by Grace Curtis
LGBTQ+ Western Romance
Release Feb 14, 2023, from Solaris Press
In the distant future most of the human race has fled a ravaged Earth to find new life on other planets. For those who stayed a lawless society remains. Technology has been renounced, and saints and sinners, lawmakers and sheriffs, travelers and gunslingers, abound.
What passes for justice is presided over by the High Sheriff, and carried out by his cruel and ruthless Deputy.
Then a ship falls from the sky, bringing the planet’s first visitor in three hundred years. This Stranger is a crewmember on the first ship in centuries to attempt a return to Earth and save what’s left. But her escape pod crashes hundreds of miles away from the rest of the wreckage.
The Stranger finds herself adrift in a ravaged, unwelcoming landscape, full of people who hate and fear her space-born existence. Scared, alone, and armed, she embarks on a journey across the wasteland to return to her ship, her mission, and the woman she loves.
Fusing the fire and brimstone of the American Old West with sprawling post-apocalyptic science fiction, FRONTIER is a heartfelt queer romance in a high noon standoff set against the backdrop of our planet’s uncertain future.
by E.A. Field
Paranormal Thriller – Zombies
Releasing July 14, 2023, from Rising Action
Something is wrong in Bunker, Illinois.
Nora Grace Moon thought her toughest challenge this semester would be managing her OCD, but when her deceased roommate turns up as a reanimated corpse, her world starts to collapse.
When her uncle sends her a cryptic message, Nora realizes it must be a call for help. She reaches out to fellow gamer Wesley for advice, a US Marshal with real-life skills for tactical survival not just in-game. They venture out into a world that is growing more and more deadly by the moment—not only are the undead spreading, but other humans are taking advantage of the societal breakdown. And unknown to Nora and Wesley, they have been targeted by an ancient archeological society who will stop at nothing until they have what Nora has: an artifact that will unleash a new world order of the undead.
IRL is a paranormal thriller about leaving the online world and dealing with things “In Real Life.”
The Light at the End of the World
by Siddhartha Deb
Literary Fiction (with an apocalyptic element)
Releasing May 30, 2023, from Soho Press
Connecting India’s tumultuous 19th and 20th centuries to its distant past and its potentially apocalyptic future, this sweeping tale of rebellion, courage, and brutality reinvents fiction for our time.
Delhi, the near future: a former journalist goes in search of answers after she finds herself stripped of identity and citizenship and thrust into a vast conspiracy involving secret detention centers, government-sanctioned murders, online rage, nationalist violence, and a figure of shifting identifies known as the “New Delhi Monkey Man.”
Bhopal, 1984: an assassin hunts a whistleblower through a central Indian city that will shortly be the site of the worst industrial disaster in the world’s history.
Calcutta, 1947: a veterinary student’s life and work connect him to an ancient Vedic aircraft.
And in 1859, a detachment of British soldiers rides towards the Himalayas in search of the last surviving leader of an anti-colonial rebellion.
These timelines interweave to form a kaleidoscopic, epic novel in which each section is a pursuit, centered around a character who must find or recover crucial but hidden truths in their respective time. The Light at the End of the World, Siddhartha Deb’s first novel in fifteen years, is a magisterial work of shifting forms, reminiscent of Cloud Atlas and Underworld.
by Andrew F. Sullivan
Releasing April 18, 2023, from ECW Press
In a near-future Toronto buffeted by environmental chaos and unfettered development, an unsettling new lifeform begins to grow beneath the surface, feeding off the past.
The Marigold, a gleaming Toronto condo tower, sits a half-empty promise: a stack of scuffed rental suites and undelivered amenities that crumbles around its residents as a mysterious sludge spreads slowly through it. Public health inspector Cathy Jin investigates this toxic mold as it infests the city’s infrastructure, rotting it from within, while Sam “Soda” Dalipagic stumbles onto a dangerous cache of data while cruising the streets in his Camry, waiting for his next rideshare alert. On the outskirts of downtown, 13-year-old Henrietta Brakes chases a friend deep underground after he’s snatched into a sinkhole by a creature from below.
All the while, construction of the city’s newest luxury tower, Marigold II, has stalled. Stanley Marigold, the struggling son of the legendary developer behind this project, decides he must tap into a hidden reserve of old power to make his dream a reality — one with a human cost.
Weaving together disparate storylines and tapping into the realms of body horror, urban dystopia, and ecofiction, The Marigold explores the precarity of community and the fragile designs that bind us together.
by Jane Hennigan
Originally self-published, now releasing March 14, 2023, from Angry Robot
Forty years ago, the world changed. Toxic threads left behind by mutated moths infected every man and boy, either killing them quietly in their sleep, or turning them into crazed killers who attacked on impulse. No one was safe from their psychopathic wrath, and no one could help them. All seemed hopeless.
But humanity, as it does, adapted and moved on. Now a matriarchal society reigns and men are kept in specially treated dust-free facilities for their safety, never able to return to the outside.
Mary has settled herself into the new world, taking care of the male residents at her facility. But she is one of the few people who remembers what life was like before the change, and she is haunted daily by her memories. Of her family. Of her joy. Of him …
Now the world is quiet again, but only because secrets are kept safe in whispers. And the biggest secret of all? No one wants to live inside a cage…
Nothing but the Rain
by Naomi Salman
Releasing March 14, 2023, from Tor Dot Com
A sleepy little town discovers its memories have become part of the water cycle in Naomi Salman’s debut novella, Nothing but the Rain.
The rain in Aloisville is never-ending, and no one can remember when it started. There’s not much they can remember. With every drop that hits their skin, a bit of memory is washed away. Stay too long in the wet, and you’ll lose everything you used to be.
By the time Laverne begins keeping a journal, the small town she calls home has been irreparably changed. Every drop of water is dangerous, from leaky faucets to the near-constant rainfall, and a careless trip outside can mean a life down the drain. With mysterious forces preventing escape, calls for rebellion seem to be on every resident’s lips. But Laverne has no interest in fighting. She has no interest in rebellion. She just wants to survive.
The Scriptures – End of Days
Releasing April 4, 2023, from Penguin Random House
Sister Maiden Monster
by Lucy A. Snyder
Releasing Feb 21, 2023, by Tor Nightfire
Sister, Maiden, Monster is a visceral story set in the aftermath of our planet’s disastrous transformation and told through the eyes of three women trying to survive the nightmare, from Bram Stoker Award-winning author Lucy A. Snyder.
To survive they must evolve.
A virus tears across the globe, transforming its victims in nightmarish ways. As the world collapses, dark forces pull a small group of women together.
Erin, once quiet and closeted, acquires an appetite for a woman and her brain. Why does forbidden fruit taste so good?
Savannah, a professional BDSM switch, discovers a new turn-on: committing brutal murders for her eldritch masters.
Mareva, plagued with chronic tumors, is too horrified to acknowledge her divine role in the coming apocalypse, and as her growths multiply, so too does her desperation.
Inspired by her Bram Stoker Award-winning story “Magdala Amygdala,” Lucy A. Snyder delivers a cosmic tale about the planet’s disastrous transformation … and what we become after.
Through the Aftermath
Edited by Shawn Shuster
Releasing December (2022)
Featuring the top three submissions from our 2021 Post-Apocalyptic Short Story Contest, as well as a selection curated by our very own Shawn Schuster, this is a short story collection that you don’t want miss! Featuring stories by Kyla Stone, Scott M. Baker, Maira Dawn, David A. Simpson, and more!
Each story in this 85,000-word anthology is a unique tale of the end times. The topics range quite a bit from anthropomorphic bounty hunters in space to dystopian mind resellers to giant mechs to the most disturbing Thanksgiving story you may ever read.
All the stories are post-apocalyptic with sub-genres covering horror, thriller, drama, suspense, comedy, dystopian sci-fi, and anything else you can imagine!
World Running Down
By Alex Hess
Releasing Feb 14, 2023, from Angry Robot
A transgender salvager on the outskirts of a dystopian Utah gets the chance to earn the ultimate score and maybe even a dash of romance. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch…
Valentine Weis is a salvager in the future wastelands of Utah. Wrestling with body dysphoria, he dreams of earning enough money to afford citizenship in Salt Lake City – a utopia where the testosterone and surgery he needs to transition is free, the food is plentiful, and folk are much less likely to be shot full of arrows by salt pirates. But earning that kind of money is a pipe dream, until he meets the exceptionally handsome Osric.
Once a powerful AI in Salt Lake City, Osric has been forced into an android body against his will and sent into the wasteland to offer Valentine a job on behalf of his new employer – an escort service seeking to retrieve their stolen androids. The reward is a visa into the city, and a chance at the life Valentine’s always dreamed of. But as they attempt to recover the “merchandise”, they encounter a problem: the android ladies are becoming self-aware, and have no interest in returning to their old lives.
The prize is tempting, but carrying out the job would go against everything Valentine stands for, and would threaten the fragile found family that’s kept him alive so far. He’ll need to decide whether to risk his own dream in order to give the AI a chance to live theirs.
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