Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2018
Restoration (Verity Fassbinder 03)
Our bestselling F&SF title of 2018 – Restoration. Walking between the worlds has always been dangerous – but this time V’s facing the loss of all she holds dear. Verity Fassbinder thought no boss could be worse than her perfectionist ex-boyfriend – until she grudgingly agreed to work for a psychotic fallen angel. And dealing with a career change not entirely of her own choosing is doing nothing to improve V’s already fractious temper. The angel has tasked V with finding two lost treasures, which would be hard enough – but Inspector McIntyre won’t stop calling: the bodies of Normal women – who disappeared decades before – are turning up, apparently subjected to Weyrd magics – which isn’t something she can walk away from. Meanwhile, the angel is getting impatient for results… We love these – great urban fantasy! – BUT with the added bonus of being set here in Brisbane. While it’s great fun to armchair travel while reading books in this sub-genre set in New York or LA or London, et al – there’s an amazing intimacy reading one set in a city that surrounds you. Start with the first in the series – Vigil (see #3!)
Brisbane-based urban fantasy | TP | $29.99
The Tethered Mage (Swords & Fire 01)
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce, and those born with power are strictly controlled – taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army. Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that could threaten the entire empire. Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre. ‘Set in a rich world of political intrigue and dangerous magic, The Tethered Mage is a spellbinding debut from a major new talent.’ – publisher’s blurb – AND WE AGREE! Sort of a Renaissance Venice vibe about the city/state – it’s lush. Charming new series – recommended! The sequel, The Defiant Heir (PBK, $19.99) is now also available. Lackey fans should definitely give this series a try.
Fantasy | PBK | $19.99
Vigil (Verity Fassbinder 01)
Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength and the ability to walk between one world and the other as two of her talents. A rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden. But, now, Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those who hold to old, dangerous ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane. Verity must investigate, or risk ancient forces carving the world apart… Our perpetual bestseller – fabulous urban fantasy. Love it!
Brisbane-based urban fantasy | PBK | $19.99
Killing Gravity (Voidwitch Saga 01)
Corey J White
Before she escaped in a bloody coup, MEPHISTO transformed Mariam Xi into a deadly Voidwitch. Their training left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust, and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers. Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumours to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential. A brilliant 176pp Tor.com novella from an ex-Brisbanite! Highly recommended for fans of Scalzi and Firefly. We. Love. This. So polished – hard to believe it’s a first book! Its sequels, Void Black Shadow (PBK, $18.99, see #9) and Static Ruin (PBK, $21.99) are out now.
Science fiction | PBK | $18.99
Into the Fire (Vatta’s Peace 02)
In this military SF thriller from the Nebula Award-winning author, Admiral Kylara Vatta is back – with a vengeance. Ky beats sabotage, betrayal, and the unforgiving elements to lead a ragtag group of crash survivors to safety on a remote arctic island. And she cheats death after uncovering secrets someone is hell-bent on protecting. But the worst is far from over when Ky discovers the headquarters of a vast conspiracy against her family and the heart of the planet’s government itself. The sequel to Cold Welcome (PBK, $22.99). Moon has been writing both fantasy and military-style SF for years – and just keeps getting better and better. Recommended.
Space opera | PBK | $19.99
Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scripts for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane. Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understands. And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned? Fantastic! Recommended.
Science fiction | PBK | $19.99
The Collapsing Empire (Interdependency 01)
A scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency are all in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse. Oh, yeah! Fantastic new space opera from one of the modern masters of the genre – classic stuff but with a very modern sensibility… Love it! The series continues with The Consuming Fire (TP, $29.99).
Space opera | PBK | $19.99
Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines 01)
The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements. Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price… and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums. This kind of crept up on us – but lots of regulars have been telling us how good the series is (the sixth instalment is just out) – so we’ve been telling everyone about it – and number one is now a bestseller here. Fans of Weber, Honsinger, et al, should enjoy this…
Military SF | TP | $29.95
Void Black Shadow (Voidwitch Saga 02)
Corey J White
Corey J White’s space opera Voidwitch Series continues: Mars Xi returns in Void Black Shadow, sequel to the fabulous Killing Gravity (see #4). Mars Xi is a living weapon, a genetically-manipulated psychic supersoldier with a body count in the thousands, and all she wanted was to be left alone. People who get involved with her get hurt, whether by MEPHISTO, by her psychic backlash, or by her acid tongue. It’s not smart to get involved with Mars, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying. The last time MEPHISTO came for Mars they took one of her friends with them. That was a mistake. A force hasn’t been invented that can stop a voidwitch on a rampage, and Mars won’t rest until she’s settled her debts. Real Firefly vibe – everyone loves!
Science fiction | PBK | $18.99
The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor 01)
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on an unlucky day, she is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks – and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on Eventide. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor… Wundrous! A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world – but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination… Townsend is a young Sunshine Coast writer (who even worked at Australia Zoo!) and this book has sold internationally to uniformly rave reviews… A gorgeous little hardcover edition ($24.99) is also available. The sequel (even better, Leanne thinks): Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (PBK, $16.99/HC, $24.99) is out, now, too!
Children’s fantasy | PBK | $16.99