Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: August 2019

#1

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

#2

The Flowers of Vashnoi (Vorkosigan Saga novella)
Lois McMaster Bujold
Just perfect. (Disclaimer: we are Bujoldian superfans, all up in here.) But sadly, now OP and unavailable. Keep an eye out for this, up the line, though. Expect Baen Books will do an omnibus of Bujold novellas and short stories, at some stage…
Science fiction novella | HC | $55.00

#3

All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries 01)
Martha Wells
In a corporate-dominated, space-faring 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 | $26.99

#4

To Be Taught, If Fortunate (novella)
Becky Chambers
In her new novella, Chambers imagines a future in which, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the solar system instead transform themselves. Adriane is one such explorer. As an astronaut on an extrasolar research vessel, she and her fellow crewmates sleep between worlds and wake up each time with different features. Her experience is one of fluid body and stable mind and of a unique perspective on the passage of time. Back on Earth, society changes dramatically from decade to decade, as it always does. But the moods of Earth have little bearing on their mission: to explore, to study, and to send their learnings home… Not related to her Wayfarers series – which, btw, just won the Hugo for Best Series, in Dublin, in August!
Science fiction novella | HC | $27.99

#5

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. Note that the second in the series – Artificial Condition – has just won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards for best novella (just as the first one did!). Congratulations, Martha!
Science fiction novella | HC | $26.99

#6

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!
Fantasy | PBK | $21.95

#7

The Mage-Fire War (Saga of Recluce 21)
L E Modesitt Jr
L E Modesitt Jr, continues his bestselling Saga of Recluce with The Mage-Fire War, the third book in a story arc which began with The Mongrel Mage and Outcasts of Order. Once again, prejudices against the use of chaos magic force Beltur and his companions to flee their refuge in Axalt. The rulers of nearby Montgren have offered them sanctuary and the opportunity to become the Councillors of the rundown and disintegrating town of Haven. Montgren lacks any mages – white or black – making this seem like the perfect opportunity to start again. However, Beltur and the others must reinstitute law and order, rebuild parts of the town, deal with brigands – and thwart an invading army.
Fantasy | HC | $39.99

#8

Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy 04)
Ilona Andrews
In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery… Paranormal mystery/fantasies by Andrews always fly off the shelves – if you like the genre and haven’t read any yet – then maybe you should…
Paranormal romance | PBK | $21.95

#9

Brave the Tempest (Cassie Palmer 09)
Karen Chance
Cassie Palmer has been chief seer of the supernatural world for a little over four months. In that time, she’s battled two gods, and confronted the two sides of her own nature, both god and human. So it’s not surprising that she currently finds herself facing two adversaries, although they have a single purpose: to wipe out the supernatural community’s newest fighting force, leaving it vulnerable to enemies in this world and beyond. To prevent catastrophe, the vamps, mages, and demons will have to do the one thing they’ve never managed before and come together as allies. Cassie has the difficult task of keeping the uneasy coalition intact, and of persuading her own two opposing forces, a powerful mage with a secret and a master vampire with a growing obsession, to fight at her side. She just hopes they can do it without tearing each other apart.
Paranormal romance | PBK | $21.95

#10

Exit Strategy (Murderbot Diaries 04)
Martha Wells
Finally joins its siblings on the bestseller list, now that we have some stock! (And Artificial Condition only missed the list by one sale – and we were out of stock for most of the month… waiting for more to arrive).
Science fiction novella | HC | $26.99