Science Fiction & Fantasy Catalogue: May 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 that make up the quartet. Can’t recommend them highly enough! (Best to reserve your copies, though – they trend to sell out as soon, as stock arrives!)
Science fiction novella | HC | $24.99

#2

The Unbound Empire (Swords & Fire 03)
Melissa Caruso
‘A dashing, compelling and exciting story, blending magic, assassination, conspiracy and diplomacy… I loved this book’ – Blue Book Balloon on The Defiant Heir. We agree! And we love this series – as do so many regulars! Love the Renaissance Venice-ish vibe – love the protags (but feel it’s best not to parrot the plot summary, because most – if not all! – fantasy plot summaries just sound silly. Just read the book!)
Fantasy | PBK | $19.99

#3

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson 11)
Patricia Briggs
My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic. And a coyote shape-shifter… and the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack. Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens, who live in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae. The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming, and her name is Death. But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it. – publisher’s blurb. OTOH, sometimes, fantasy blurbs (especially Urban Fantasy blurbs!) can kick arse and sound utterly compelling! Love Briggs! Mwah!
Paranormal romance | TP | $29.99

#4

Middlegame
Seanan McGuire
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math. Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet. Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained. – publisher’s blurb. A very different stand-alone novel from the wonderful McGuire – lots of pre-publication buzz – and great feedback from regulars, so far.
Fantasy | HC | $39.99

#5

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels 10)
Ilona Andrews
Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She’s made friends and enemies. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be. Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defences again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate’s doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up. Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try… – publisher’s blurb. The husband and wife urban fantasy team’s latest. We have customers who are truly obsessed with this and their other series (if you haven’t tried them, yet – start with Magic Bites).
Urban fantasy | PBK | $22.95

#6

Exhalation (short fiction collection)
Ted Chiang
‘The universe began as an enormous breath being held.’ From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others – the basis for the Academy Award-nominated film Arrival – comes a ground-breaking new collection of short fiction: nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories. These are tales that tackle some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only Ted Chiang could imagine. Including stories being published for the first time as well as some of his rare and classic uncollected work, Exhalation is Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic – revelatory. A new Ted Chiang collection is a Huge Deal. He really is one of the modern masters of the genre. Highly recommended!
Science fiction | TP | $29.99

#7

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

#8

Though Hell Should Bar the Way (RCN 12)
David Drake
Roy Olfetrie planned to be an officer in the Republic of Cinnabar Navy; but when his father was unmasked as a white-collar criminal, he had to take whatever he was offered. What is offered turns out to be a chance to accompany Captain Daniel Leary and Lady Adele Mundy – as they go off to start a war that will put Roy at the sharp end. Pirates, politics, and spies – and waiting for Roy, if he survives all the rest, a powerful warship. The action doesn’t slow – nor can Roy, for if he does the only question is which of the many threats will be the one to catch and kill him. But Captain Leary himself has given Roy a chance; and Roy is determined make the most of it – though hell should bar the way. Now in paperback – lotsa military space opera shenanigans!
Military SF | PBK | $21.95

#9

The Gordian Protocol
David Weber & Jacob Holo
A Man of Two Worlds… Doctor Benjamin Schroder was far from a man of action. In fact, he was a history teacher – chairman of the Castle Rock University history department – and if his life wasn’t perfect, it was close. Until, that is, the discussion of a student’s dissertation on Operation Oz, the Pacific Allies’ invasion of Vladivostok, staged through occupied Japan to meet their Imperial German allies, was brutally interrupted. The psychotic episode that turned his entire world upside down struck with absolutely no warning, and it was more terrifying than anything he should have been able to imagine, leaving him with a complete, incredibly detailed set of false nightmare memories. The knowledge that those false memories had come from somewhere inside his own psyche was terrible, but with help, he’s learned to deal with the nightmares, to recognise that they are only nightmares that can’t – and won’t – be permitted to rule his life. Until, that is, a lunatic named Raibert Kaminski knocks on his door one afternoon with an impossible and horrifying story about alternate realities, time travel, temporal knots, and more than a dozen universes that must inevitably die if the temporal storm front rushing toward the distant future isn’t stopped. He must be lying, of course. Or completely insane. But what if he’s not a madman after all? What if he’s, actually, telling the truth? That possibility is the most terrifying thing of all. Because if he is, the false memories aren’t false after all, and that other world is just as real as the one Schroder has always known. And if that’s true, Benjamin Schroderis about to become the greatest mass murderer in human history, because he must choose. Whether he acts – or refuses to act – Benjamin Schroder is the one man who will decide which universe lives and which dies, along with every star system, every galaxy – and every single human being – in it…
Science fiction | HC | $49.95

#10

Exit Strategy (Murderbot Diaries 04)
Martha Wells
This is the fourth Murderbot book – and the only reason the middle two aren’t here is because we haven’t been able to get them to sell ’em! (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 | $24.99