Asian authors are consistently serving storytelling excellence, and mark my words, 2023 won't be any different. And these Asian-inspired and Asian-led stories ought to be celebrated!
On that note, much like last year's listicle, I am once again here to further my agenda—which is to encourage you to pick up SFF releases written by these authors. Here are 14 upcoming Asian science fiction and fantasy books releasing in 2023 that we can all greatly look forward to. Are you as hyped as I am? I sure hope so!
The Heavenly Sword
Perfect for fans of Daughter of the Moon Goddess, this debut fantasy starts with the goddess Chang'e being reborn as a simple village girl named Tang Sai'er, whose celestial mission is to end the brutal war waged by the tyrannical Sky Wolf Zhu Di.
Set in an Arabian-inspired fantastical land where spice magic is a well-guarded secret, Imani sets out to find her disgraced brother and stop him from spreading their nation's magic beyond their desert city's walls.
Set in a future where humans are restricted to Earth while posthuman descendants freely explore the galaxy, two unlikely companions venture to verify the habitability of the unoccupied Earth-like planet of Meru in the hope of jumpstarting human-alloy relations.
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride
For readers who enjoy dark fairytales and gothic elements, this story begins with a married couple who truly believed in their happily ever after. But upon returning to the bride's childhood home, the bridegroom finds it impossibly difficult to resist investigating his partner's past, which leads to the unraveling of everything.
As an immortal descendant of the Chinese god of medicine, mediocre magical calligrapher Elle maintains a secretive life with her elder brother, terrified of exposing their location to their other dangerously vengeful sibling. The last thing she needs is to fall for a French half-elf whose mission is to hunt her younger brother down.
The Moonlight Blade
When Narra Jal enters a violent competition in a desperate attempt to save her imprisoned mother's life, she will need to tap into the forbidden lethal magic resting inside of her. Especially if she hopes to survive until the end.
The Surviving Sky
On floating jungle-planets that house the last refuges of humanity, architects are profusely revered by everyone for their life-saving psychic architectural abilities. Perhaps except for Ahilya, a powerful architect's wife who is desperate to tip the balance of rule in their society.
And Break the Pretty Kings
Drawing inspiration from the Three Kingdoms of Korea, this historical fantasy debut follows a crown princess who must use her unpredictable time-traveling abilities to save her kingdom from a terrifying monster that even the gods fear.
The Saint of Bright Doors
The story begins in Luriat, the city of mysterious, bright doors—though no one really knows what lies beyond them. Including Fetter, who was raised as a weapon with the sole purpose of killing his sainted father. But when he finds himself in this broader world, he will discover what kind of man he is, as well as the secrets of these doors.
The Deep Sky
At the cusp of Earth's environmental demise, a deep space mission is launched, involving eighty elite individuals who are tasked to give birth to keep the vestiges of humanity alive. But when a lethal explosion knocks the ship off course and is blamed on Asuka, she sets off to identify the real culprit.
Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra and the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong, the story takes place in the kingdom of Talin's yearly competition where jumpers (people with the ability to jump between bodies) across the land must fight to the death in order to win unimaginable wealth.
This epic fantasy follows a young woman who drops out of an esteemed magical school and turns to a life of crime. However, when external forces put her loved ones at risk, Rosha must save her family by impersonating the most powerful man in the empire.
In this highly anticipated continuation to the New York Times-bestseller Iron Widow, Zetian fights to dismantle the corrupt, misogynist mecha system. However, beyond the continued threat of Hundun attacks, she must also contend with the gods themselves, who seek to break Zetian's iron will.
Guardians of Dawn: Zhara
Pitched as Sailor Moon meets Cinder, this story follows Jin Zhara who is forced to hide her divine abilities in a society that's hostile towards magic. But when she is invited to join a secret magical liberation organization called the Guardians of Dawn, she must help her team investigate the mysterious plague that's corrupting the magicians and transforming them into monsters.