Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: June 2019

#1

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? After all, in the vastness of space, anything is possible… ‘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

#2

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. His aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger, and paperwork. 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, and the suspect list extends to people born before Frederick the Great… 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

#3

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

#4

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

#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. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets. – 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

#6

1637: The Volga Rules (Ring of Fire 25)
Eric Flint, Paula Goodlett & Gorg Huff
It’s been five years since a cosmic incident known as the Ring of Fire transported the modern-day town of Grantville, West Virginia, through time and space to 17th-century Europe. The course of world history has been forever altered. And Mother Russia is no exception. Inspired by the American up-timers’ radical notion that all people are created equal, Russian serfs are rebelling. The entire village of Poltz, led by blacksmith Stefan Andreevich, pulls up stakes to make a run for freedom. Meanwhile, Czar Mikhail has escaped house arrest, with the aid of up-time car mechanic Bernie Zeppi, his Russian associates – and a zeppelin. The czar makes his way to the village of Ufa. There he intends to set up a government-in-exile. It is to Ufa that the serfs of Poltz are heading, as well. The path is dangerous – for the serfs as well as the czar. They face great distances and highwaymen. But the worst threat are those in the aristocracy who seek to crush the serfs and execute the czar in a bid to drive any hope for Russian freedom under their Parisian-crafted boot heels. But the Russians of 1637 have taken inspiration from their up-timer counterparts. And it could be that a new wind of liberty is about to blow three centuries early – and change Mother Russia forever… This shared world series is so beloved by regulars – start with 1632 and let it all wash over you.
Alternate history | PBK | $21.95

#7

The Grand Dark
Richard Kadrey
‘The Great War was over, but everyone knew another war was coming, and it drove the city a little mad…’ Raised on the streets of Lower Proszawa, Largo makes his living as a cycle courier in a vast, decadent metropolis. With a dazzling girlfriend and a chance of promotion, he avoids politics and delivers without question. While Lower Proszawa’s citizens seek oblivion in sex and drugs, secret police stalk its streets, strange beasts and intelligent machines emerge from its factories, and the powerful prepare for war. Soon, as the dark forces driving the city threaten everything he loves, Largo must confront them and fight to uncover their deepest secrets. From New York Times bestseller Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim series of urban fantasy/paranormal mysteries, The Grand Dark is a subversive fantasy of survival and defiance, in a world sleepwalking toward disaster.
Fantasy | PBK | $19.99

#8

Fall, or Dodge in Hell (Reamde 02)
Neal Stephenson
When gaming billionaire Richard ‘Dodge’ Forthrast is pronounced brain dead following a routine medical procedure, his family and close friends are left stunned, devastated, and forced to make difficult decisions. Dodge’s will asks that his body be given to a cryonics company, owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd, whose business practices give Dodge’s family understandable cause for concern. But when Dodge wrote his will he didn’t anticipate that one day he’d be declared brain dead. He also didn’t anticipate his brain being turned on again. Years later, an astounding achievement in technology will allow the human race to defy death itself, giving birth to the Bitworld, an eternal afterlife. But this imagined state of perfection is not all that it appears to be… ‘A grand drama of man and machine, Fall, or Dodge in Hell is a mind-blowing literary saga for the modern age’ – publisher’s blurb.
Science fiction | TP | $32.99

#9

Salvation (Salvation Sequence 01)
Peter F Hamilton
In 2204, humanity is expanding into the wider galaxy in leaps and bounds. Cutting-edge technology of linked jump gates has rendered most forms of transportation – including starships – virtually obsolete. Every place on Earth, every distant planet humankind has settled, is now merely a step away from any other. And all seems wonderful – until a crashed alien spaceship of unknown origin is found on a newly located world 89 light years from Earth, carrying a cargo as strange as it is horrifying. To assess the potential of the threat a high-powered team is dispatched to investigate. But one of them may not be all they seem… First in a new series – now in paperback! Had excellent feedback on this when it was in large format – recommended!
Space opera | PBK | $19.99

#10

The Consuming Fire (Interdependency 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