Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2019

#1

All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries 01)
Martha Wells
In a corporate-dominated, spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern. On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ’droid – a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though, never out loud) as ‘Murderbot’. Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone, long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighbouring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth. This first in the series won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novella – and rightly so! So, love this – and its three sequels making up the quartet. Can’t recommend them highly enough! (Best to reserve your copies, though – they tend to sell out as soon as stock arrives!)
Science fiction novella | HC | $24.99

#2

Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries 02)
Martha Wells
Artificial Condition is the follow-up to Martha Wells’ Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award-winning, New York Times bestselling All Systems Red. It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself ‘Murderbot’. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel, named ART (you don’t want to know what the ‘A’ stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks… This just won the Nebula Award for best novella – and if it’s possible – I think I love this even more than the first one (it’s the interaction between AIs – just great!) Really – you just have to read these! – Ron. Note that Artificial Condition won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Novella (just as the first one did!) in 2019. Congratulations, Martha!
Science fiction novella | HC | $24.99

#3

Exit Strategy (Murderbot Diaries 04)
Martha Wells
This is the fourth Murderbot book. (The publishers’ Oz distributor brings them in for us at a much better price than we could get them as an import – but they tend to sell out and takes a little while to get more. We always have extra copies on back order, tho – so reserve ’em!)
Science fiction novella | HC | $26.99

#4

Rogue Protocol (Murderbot Diaries 03)
Martha Wells
Our favourite antisocial AI is back on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr Mensah’s SecUnit is. And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good. Martha Wells’ Rogue Protocol is the third in the Murderbot Diaries series, starring a humanlike android who keeps getting sucked back into adventure after adventure, though it just wants to be left alone, away from humanity and small talk. Take the plunge and find out why Hugo Award winner Ann Leckie wrote, ‘I love Murderbot!’ We think you’ll love it too.
Science fiction novella | HC | $26.99

#5

A Murder of Mages (Maradaine Constabulary 01)
Marshall Ryan Maresca
The first book of the Maradaine Constabulary series blends high fantasy, murder mystery, and gritty urban magic… Satrine Rainey – former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty – has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family. Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector, and an Uncircled mage – almost a crime, in itself. Nicknamed ‘the jinx’ because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them. Their first case, together – the ritual murder of a Circled mage – sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics, he’s desperate to avoid. – publisher’s blurb. So – some customers recommended these to Ron – who now recommends them to everyone he can – and the debut novel in this particular trilogy (from 2015!) is on our bestseller lists, again. Sooooo good! And… there are already lots more Maradaine stories for you, after the first, and we usually have them all in stock!
Fantasy | PBK | $22.95

#6

Velocity Weapon
Megan E O’Keefe
‘A brilliantly-plotted yarn of survival and far-future political intrigue’ – Guardian. The last thing Sanda remembers is her gunship exploding. She expected to be recovered by salvage medics and to awaken in friendly hands; patched up and ready to rejoin the fight. Instead, she wakes up 230 years later, on a deserted enemy starship, called The Light of Berossus – or, as he prefers to call himself, ‘Bero’. Bero tells Sanda the war is lost. That the entire star system is dead. But is that the full story? ‘Dazzling space battles, deadly galactic politics and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, an epic space opera from award-winning author Megan E O’Keefe…’ – publisher’s blurb. ‘Furious action sequences, funny dialogue, and a plot that will keep you guessing every step of the way’ – K B Wagers. And our regulars would seem to agree! (And, really – Ron knows you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover – but thinks it has a kick-arse jacket too!)
Science fiction | PBK | $22.99

#7

Behind the Throne (Indranan War 01 (Hail Bristol 01))
K B Wagers
Former gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to fill her rightful position in the palace. With her sisters and parents murdered, the Indranan Empire is on the brink of war. Hail must quickly make alliances with nearby worlds if she has any hope of surviving her rule. This set of military space opera series (Wagers’ current book, Down Among the Dead (TP, $33.95) is Hail Bristol’s fifth, overall) has been hugely popular here.
Space opera | PBK | $22.99

#8

The Cruel Stars (Cruel Stars 01)
John Birmingham
‘This jarring, engrossing story of a species-wide fight for survival is recommended for all science fiction readers.’ – Publishers Weekly (starred review). The galaxy was once terrorised by the Sturm, a group of ‘species purists’ intent on destroying any human with genetic or cybernetic enhancements. Fashioning themselves as the one true ‘Human Republic’, the Sturm cut a bloody swath across the stars, killing billions before finally being defeated and driven into the far reaches of Dark Space. Centuries of peace bred complacency. Everyone believed the Sturm had died out in the Dark. They were wrong. The enemy has returned and, with a brutal and decisive attack, knocks out almost all of humanity’s defences. Now, on the brink of annihilation, humankind’s only hope is a few brave souls who survived the initial attack: These five flawed, reluctant heroes must band together to prevail against a relentless enemy and near-impossible odds. For, if they fail, the future itself is doomed. Local-boy-made-good Birmo knocks it out of the park (again!) – really great feedback from customers – not just his devoted fans, either! Military space opera readers, take note!
Space opera | TP | $32.99

#9

The Goblin Emperor
Katherine Addison
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an ‘accident’, he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favour with the naive new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the spectre of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. Yes, we know it came out several years ago, now – but Ron finally got around to reading it (a couple of years ago, now) and is obsessed and forcing copies upon anyone who will listen to him… (It’s very, very good!) Ignore the drab cover art! Ignore the lacklustre blurb! Just read it!
Fantasy | TP | $26.99

#10

The Consuming Fire (Interdependency/Flow 02)
John Scalzi
The Consuming Fire – the sequel to the 2018 Hugo Award Best Novel finalist and 2018 Locus Award-winning The Collapsing Empire – an epic space-opera novel in the bestselling Interdependency series, from the Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author John Scalzi – now, in paperback! The Interdependency, humanity’s interstellar empire, is on the verge of collapse. The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded. When it goes, human civilisation may go with it – unless desperate measures can be taken… Love it. Recommended!
Space opera | PBK | $18.99