Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: October 2019

#1

Uncompromising Honor (Honor Harrington 19)
David Weber
Now in paperback – the first new Honor Harrington novel in five years! The Solarian League’s navy counts its superdreadnoughts by the thousands. Not even its own government knows how enormous its economy truly is. And for hundreds of years, the League has borne the banner of human civilisation, been the ideal to which humanity aspires in its diaspora across the galaxy. But the bureaucrats known as the ‘Mandarins’, who rule today’s League, are not the men and women who founded it so long ago. They are corrupt, venal, accountable to no one… and they’ve decided the upstart Star Kingdom of Manticore must be destroyed. Honor Harrington has worn the Star Kingdom’s uniform for half a century and served her monarch and her people well. In the course of those years – very few people know war the way she does. Very few have lost as many men and women, as many friends, as much family as she has. Yet, despite that, hers has been a voice of caution. She knows the Mandarins and the Solarian League Navy are growing increasingly desperate as the truth of their technological inferiority sinks home. But the Mandarins have embraced a desperate new strategy, and in pursuit of that strategy, the SLN has committed atrocities such as the galaxy has not known in a thousand years. And they have finally killed too many of the people Honor Harrington loves. Hers is the voice of caution and compromise no longer, and the galaxy is about to see something it has never imagined… The Honor Harrington series has long been a bestseller here at Pulp – and so many regulars are relieved to finally have a new one! The series starts with On Basilisk Station ($21.95) – so, if you haven’t yet sampled them – that’s the place to start!
Space opera | PBK | $22.95

#2

The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust 02)
Philip Pullman
Return to the world of His Dark Materials – now an original TV series starring Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda – in the second volume of Philip Pullman’s new bestselling masterwork the Book of Dust. The windows between the many worlds have been sealed and the momentous adventures of Lyra Silvertongue’s youth are long behind her – or, so, she thought. Lyra is now a twenty-year-old undergraduate at St Sophia’s College and intrigue is swirling around her once more. Her daemon Pantalaimon is witness to a brutal murder, and the dying man entrusts them with secrets that carry echoes from their past. The more Lyra is drawn into these mysteries, the less she is sure of. Even the events of her own past come into question when she learns of Malcolm Polstead’s role in bringing her to Jordan College. Now, Lyra and Malcolm will travel far beyond the confines of Oxford, across Europe and into the Levant, searching for a city haunted by daemons, and a desert said to hold the truth of Dust. The dangers they face will challenge everything they thought they knew about the world – and about themselves… Highly recommended – start with La Belle Sauvage ($16.99).
YA fantasy | TP | $32.99

#3

A Little Hatred (Age of Madness 01)
Joe Abercrombie
The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep as ever. On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to win fame on the battlefield, and defeat the marauding armies of Stour Nightfall. He hopes for help from the crown. But King Jezal’s son, the feckless Prince Orso, is a man who specialises in disappointments. Savine dan Glokta – socialite, investor, and daughter of the most feared man in the Union – plans to claw her way to the top of the slag heap of society, by any means necessary. But the slums boil over with a rage that all the money in the world cannot control. The age of the machine dawns, but the age of magic refuses to die. With the help of the mad hillwoman Isern-i-Phail, Rikke struggles to control the blessing, or the curse, of the Long Eye. Glimpsing the future is one thing, but with the guiding hand of the First of the Magi still pulling the strings, changing it will be quite another… Really – so often fantasy blurbs just sound silly – or don’t make much sense. Or just don’t inspire you to read the book in question… Let’s just say, if you like Abercrombie, you’ll love this!
Grimdark fantasy | TP | $32.99

#4

Archangel One
Evan Currie
Humanity has reached an uneasy truce with the Empire – but unless the allies bring the fight to the enemy, extinction is all but assured. In preparation for the inevitable next war, Commander Stephen Michaels is at the helm of the Archangel Squadron, and his orders are simple: go rogue. Disguised as mercenaries, Commander Michaels and the Archangels seek valuable intelligence on their imposing foe. Their mission takes them deep into uncharted territory, where they make inroads with the Empire, fiercely guarding their true identities and purpose. Fighting for the enemy goes against everything they stand for, but these are desperate times. As their deception increases, so does the risk. With the Empire’s deadliest secrets within reach, Commander Michaels and the Archangels accept a mission that will take them even deeper into the Imperial fold. They know all too well that one wrong step won’t just end their lives… it could end their entire civilisation. Military space opera – hugely popular here at Pulp!
Space opera | TP | $24.99

#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 recently 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

The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith 01)
David Wragg
Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home. When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath. All he has to do is drag the brat from one side of the country to the other, through war and wilderness, chased all the way by ruthless assassins. With killers on your trail, you need killers watching your back. You need the Black Hawk Company – mercenaries, fighters without equal, a squabbling, scrapping pack of rogues. Prepare to join the Black Hawks. ‘Dark, thrilling and hilarious, The Black Hawks is an epic adventure perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.’ – publisher’s blurb. One out of the box! Kinda came from nowhere without much fanfare and sold and sold – with great feedback from regulars!
Fantasy | PBK | $22.99

#7

World Engines: Destroyer
Stephen Baxter
In the year 2570, a sleeper will wake… In the mid-21st century, the Kernel, a strange object on a 500-year orbit, is detected coming from high above the plane of the solar system. Could it be an alien artefact? In the middle of climate-change crises, there is no mood for space-exploration stunts – but Reid Malenfant, elderly, once a shuttle pilot and frustrated would-be asteroid miner, decides to go take a look anyway. Nothing more is heard of him. But his ex-wife, Emma Stoney, sets up a trust fund to search for him, the next time the Kernel returns… By 2570, Earth is transformed. A mere billion people are supported by advanced technology on a world that is almost indistinguishable from the natural, with recovered forests, oceans, ice caps. It is not an age for expansion; there are only small science bases beyond the Earth. But this is a world you would want to live in: a Star Trek without the stars. After 500 years the Kernel returns, and a descendant of Stoney, who Malenfant will call Emma II, mounts a mission to see what became of Malenfant. She finds him still alive, cryo-preserved… His culture-shock encounter with a conservative future is entertaining… Latest from one of the modern masters of the genre – and couple of reviews are saying this may be his best, yet…
Science fiction | TP | $32.99

#8

Aurora Blazing (Consortium Rebellion 02)
Jessie Mihalik
To save her brother and protect her family’s future, a powerful princess must join forces with a dashing man from her past in this thrilling space adventure, the second novel in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy. Sounds simple – but this is supposedly really well done military space opera and had regulars raving about the first; constantly needing their bookseller’s reassurance that the second one would soon be here… And, so, it is! Enjoy! The first is Polaris Rising ($29.99).
Space opera | TP | $29.99

#9

The Sky-Blue Wolves (Change 15)
S M Stirling
Two generations after The Change, Crown Princess Orlaith struggles to preserve the hard-won peace her father brought to Montival – the former western North America. But the Change opened many doors, and through them Powers strong and strange and terrible came, to walk once more among humankind. With her fire-forged friend and ally, Japanese Empress Reiko, Orlaith must take up her sword to stop the spread of the mad malignancy behind the Yellow Raja, who has imprisoned her brother Prince John. And from the emerging superpower of Mongolia, the Sky-Blue Wolves of the High Steppe ride once more beneath the banner of Genghis Khan – the thunder of their hooves resounding across a world in turmoil. So many customers love this series! Series starts with Dies the Fire ($21.95).
Alternate history | PBK | $22.95

#10

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