Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: July 2019

#1

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 | $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.
Science fiction novella | HC | $24.99

#3

The October Man (Rivers of London novella)
Ben Aaronovitch
If you thought magic was confined to one country – think again. Trier: famous for wine, Romans, and being Germany’s oldest city. When a man is found dead with his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth. But, fortunately, this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything. Enter Tobias Winter, an investigator for the Abteilung KDA, the branch of the German Federal Criminal Police which handles the supernatural. Together with frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he quickly links the first victim to a group of ordinary middle-aged men whose novel approach to their mid-life crisis may have reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. As the rot spreads, literally, Tobias and Vanessa will need to find allies in some unexpected places. And to solve the case they’ll have to unearth the secret magical history of a city that goes back two thousand years. Presuming that history doesn’t kill them first… Okay – not a novel. But, nonetheless – if you’re a fan – any crumbs from the Aaronovitch table are better than nothing. ;)
Urban fantasy | HC | $26.99

#4

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

#5

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!)
Space opera | PBK | $22.99

#6

Eye Spy (Family Spies 02)
Mercedes Lackey
Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife, Amily, the King’s Own Herald, are happily married with three kids. Their daughter, Abidela, dreams of building on her parents’ legacy by joining her father’s network of spies, hoping to offset her seeming lack of a Gift. But when Abi senses the imminent collapse of a bridge only moments before it happens, she saves countless lives, including that of her best friend, Princess Katiana. The experience, though harrowing, uncovers her unique Gift – an ability to sense the physical strains in objects. Intrigued by the potential of her Gift, the Artificers seek to claim her as their own – but only the Healers can train her. Through training with both of them, Abi discovers unique facets of her Gift, including a synesthetic connection to objects that allows her to ‘see’ as well as feel the strains. Her Gift may also grant her a distinct advantage as a spy – there won’t be a building in the entire kingdom of Valdemar with a secret room that she doesn’t know about. With the help of her mentors, she must hone her gift to uncover the hidden secrets in the depths of Valdemar. (This is coming out early in a UK paperback edition – only $19.99 – later this month. Reserve your copy now! First in this trilogy is The Hills Have Spies, $19.99)
Valdemar | HC | $49.95

#7

Aftershocks (Palladium Wars 01)
Marko Kloos
Across the six-planet expanse of the Gaia System, the Earth-like Gretia struggles to stabilise, in the wake of an interplanetary war. Amid an uneasy alliance to maintain economies, resources, and populations, Aden Robertson re-emerges. After devoting fifteen years of his life to the reviled losing side, with the blood of half a million casualties on his hands, Aden is looking for a way to move on. He’s not the only one. A naval officer has borne witness to inconceivable attacks on a salvaged fleet. A sergeant with the occupation forces is treading increasingly hostile ground. And a young woman, thrust into responsibility as vice president of her family’s raw materials empire, faces a threat she never anticipated. Now, on the cusp of an explosive and wide-reaching insurrection, Aden plunges once again into the brutal life he longed to forget. He’s been on the wrong side of war before. But this time, the new enemy has yet to reveal themselves… or their dangerous endgame. Kloos’ previous military space opera series – beginning with Terms of Enlistment ($29.95) is a great favourite with fans of Weber, et al – this new book is getting great feedback as well!
Military SF | TP | $27.99

#8

Liaden Universe Constellation 04 (collection)
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Book 4 in the multivolume Liaden Universe short fiction collection. For more than thirty years, the Liaden Universe novels by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have captivated readers with their unique blend of action adventure, science fiction, and romance. In addition to twenty-one novels (and counting) Lee and Miller have written dozens of shorter works based in the Liaden Universe, featuring the strong characterisation, detailed world-building, wit, and derring-do that readers of the series adore. Space opera and romance on a grand scale, in a galaxy full of interstellar trading clans. We will sell lots. If you’re not familiar with the Liaden universe – maybe, you should consider becoming so (try starting with the omnibus: The Dragon Variation).
Space opera | TP | $31.95

#9

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

#10

Restoration (Verity Fassbinder 03)
Angela Slatter
Our bestselling F&SF title of 2018, Restoration – now in paperback. 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 (PBK, $19.99).
Brisbane-based urban fantasy | PBK | $22.99