Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: January 2020

#1

Down Among the Dead (Farian War 02/Hail Bristol 05)
K B Wagers
In a surprise attack that killed many of her dearest subjects, Hail Bristol, empress of Indrana, has been captured by the Shen – the most ruthless and fearsome aliens, humanity has ever encountered. As she plots her escape, the centuries-long war between her captors and the Farians, their mortal enemies and Indrana’s oldest allies, finally comes to a head. When her captors reveal a shocking vision of the future, Hail must make the unexpectedly difficult decision she’s been avoiding: whether to back the Shen or the Farians. Staying neutral is no longer an option. Will Hail fight? Or will she fall? The first – and now this second – trilogy are huge favourites with regulars – and Wagers has a new series coming – starting with A Pale Light in the Black – due early March (HC, $49.99 – it’s an import, so stocks will be limited – reserve yours now!).
Space opera | TP | $33.95

#2

Resurgence (Foreigner 20)
C J Cherryh
The twentieth in the beloved, long-running series. Bren Cameron, diplomat in residence, usually represents the ruler of the atevi state. But Ilisidi, the dowager, has been known to borrow his services from time to time – and she has her own notions how to solve the simmering hostilities in the south of the atevi continent, playing one problem against another. This time, she is betting the hard-won northern peace – and the lives of the people – on being right. She has commandeered the Red Train, taken aboard what passengers she chooses, and headed for the snowy roof of the world, where a hard-scrabble town and its minor lord are the first pieces she intends to use… If you want to see where it all began – then start with Foreigner (PBK, $24.95).
Science fiction | HC | $52.95

#3

Future of Another Timeline
Annalee Newitz
1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend’s abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a path of escalating violence and vengeance as they realise many other young women in the world need protecting too. 2022: Determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. And just when Tess believes she’s found a way to make an edit that actually sticks, she encounters a group of dangerous travellers bent on stopping her at any cost. Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine, as war breaks out across the timeline – a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline? New book from the online io9 editor, her first – Autonomous (PBK, $19.99) – was a huge seller here! Recommended.
Science fiction | PBK | $22.99

#4

Through Fiery Trials (Safehold 10)
David Weber
Those on the side of progressing humanity through advanced technology have finally triumphed over their oppressors. The unholy war between the small but mighty island realm of Charis and the radical, Luddite Church of God’s Awaiting has come to an end. However, even though a provisional veil of peace has fallen over human colonies, the quiet will not last. For Safehold is a broken world, and as international alliances shift and Charis charges on with its precarious mission of global industrialisation, the shifting plates of the new world order are bound to clash. Yet, an uncertain future isn’t the only danger Safehold faces. Long-thought-buried secrets and prophetic promises come to light, proving time is a merciless warden who never forgets. Latest in the series – now in paperback!
Space opera | PBK | $24.95

#5

Penric’s Progress (Penric & Desdemona 01–3 omnibus)
Lois McMaster Bujold
Set in Bujold’s World of Five Gods, footloose nobleman Penric journeys from young lord to sorcerer and scholar in the Bastard’s Order – and solves mysteries along the way. An omnibus edition collecting the first three Penric and Desdemona novellas – Penric’s Demon, Penric and the Shaman, and Penric’s Fox – which have, previously, only been available as eBooks, or pricey Subterranean Press editions. Recommended.
Fantasy | HC | $55.00

#6

Salvation Lost (Salvation Sequence 02)
Peter F Hamilton
Fight together – or die alone… In the 23rd century, humanity is enjoying a comparative utopia. Yet, life on Earth is about to change, forever. Feriton Kane’s investigative team has discovered the worst threat ever to face mankind – and we’ve almost no time to fight back. The supposedly benign Olyix plan to harvest humanity, in order to carry us to their god at the end of the universe. And as their agents conclude schemes down on earth, vast warships converge above to gather this cargo. Some factions push for humanity to flee, to live in hiding amongst the stars – although only a chosen few would make it out in time. But others refuse to break before the storm. As disaster looms, animosities must be set aside to focus on just one goal: wiping this enemy from the face of creation. Even if it means preparing for a future this generation will never see. The second in the series; the first is Salvation (PBK, $19.99) – recommended!
Science fiction | TP | $32.99

#7

Last Wish (Witcher TV tie-in edition)
Andrzej Sapkowski
Geralt de Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth. A short story collection that’s been flying off the shelves, thanks to the TV series – as have all the other Sapkowski Witcher books. These days we usually find people binge and the book-of-the-TV-show trend dies pretty quickly – but these are still selling briskly!
Fantasy | PBK | $19.99

#8

Tiamat’s Wrath (Expanse 08)
James S A Corey
Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper… The eighth book in the fabulous Expanse sequence – now, in paperback. It all begins with Leviathan Wakes (PBK, $22.99).
Space opera | PBK | $22.99

#9

Archangel Rising (Archangel One 02)
Evan Currie
At the helm of a commandeered freighter, Captain Steph Michaels has infiltrated the Free Star systems. Leading a captive crew, and posing as a privateer, he’s on a mission to seize a precious resource from an enemy outpost. Backed by his Archangel Squadron, it’s a smash-and-grab operation he can pull off in his sleep. Until it isn’t. Before he and his ‘pirates’ can strike, they’re met with an unexpected obstacle and with a ruthless enemy commander facing them down, Steph will find himself in conflict with not just the Free Stars but potentially with the Empire itself. The odds of victory? Impossible to foretell. Space opera. We do love – and sell! – so much space opera! Mwah! Oh – the first in this series is Archangel One (PBK, $24.99).
Space opera | PBK | $24.99

#10

Throne of Five Winds (Hostage of Empire 01)
S C Emmett
Two queens, two concubines, six princes. Innumerable secret agendas. A single hidden blade… The imperial palace – full of ambitious royals, sly gossip, and unforeseen perils – is perhaps the most dangerous place in the Empire of Zhaon. Komor Yala, lady-in-waiting to the princess of the vanquished kingdom of Khir, has only her wits and her hidden blade to protect herself and her charge, who was sacrificed in marriage to the enemy as a hostage for her conquered people’s good behaviour, to secure a tenuous peace. But the Emperor is aging, and the Khir princess and her lady-in-waiting soon find themselves pawns in the six princes’ deadly schemes for the throne – and a single spark could ignite fresh rebellion in Khir. Then, the Emperor falls ill – and a far bloodier game begins… Intricate and ruthless epic fantasy series – getting good feedback from regulars – and selling lots Oh! And S C Emmett is Lilith Saintcrow in disguise.
Fantasy | PBK | $22.99