These are the Pulp Fiction bestsellers for the month of July 2019. Other months’ bestsellers may be found on the Catalogues page.
Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: July 2019
All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries 01)
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
Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries 02)
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
The October Man (Rivers of London novella)
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
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
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
Eye Spy (Family Spies 02)
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
Aftershocks (Palladium Wars 01)
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
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
Rogue Protocol (Murderbot Diaries 03)
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
Restoration (Verity Fassbinder 03)
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
The Body in the Castle Well (Bruno, Chief of Police 12)
A missing art student. An international investigation. A secret that will shatter the village of St Denis. Bruno, chief of police, faces a dark reckoning with France’s past in this gripping mystery. A rich American art student is found dead at the bottom of a well in an ancient hilltop castle. The young woman, Claudia, had been working in the archives of an eminent French art historian, a crippled Resistance war hero, at his art-filled chateau. As Claudia’s White House connections get the US embassy and the FBI involved, Bruno traces the people and events that led to her fatal accident – or was it murder? Dollars to doughnuts, it’s murder. And you just know our hero will solve the case. Amidst the most beautiful scenery, and the best food and wine, imaginable! So, simply lie back and let rural France overwhelm you – you know you want to!
Mystery | TP | $32.99
Surfeit of Suspects (British Library Crime Classics)
‘At eight o’clock in the evening on the eighth of November, there was a terrific explosion in Green Lane, Evingden.’ The offices of the Excelsior Joinery Company have been blown to smithereens; three of the company directors are found dead amongst the rubble, and the peace of a quiet town in Surrey lies in ruins. When the supposed cause of an ignited gas leak is dismissed and the presence of dynamite revealed, Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard is summoned to the scene. But beneath the sleepy veneer of Evingden lies a hotbed of deep-rooted grievances. The new subject of the town’s talk, Littlejohn’s investigation is soon confounded by an impressive cast of suspicious persons, each concealing their own axe to grind. First published in 1964, Bellairs’ novel of small-town grudges with calamitous consequences revels in the abundant possible solutions to its central, explosive crime as a masterpiece of misdirection.
Classic mystery | TP | $28.95
Knife (Harry Hole 12)
Harry is in a bad place: Rakel has left him, he’s working cold cases and notorious rapist and murderer Svein Finne is back on the streets. The first killer harry put behind bars is out to get him. Harry is responsible for the many years Finne spent in prison, but now he’s free and ready to pick up where he left off. A man like Harry better watch his back. When Harry wakes up with blood on his hands, and no memory of what he did the night before, he knows everything is only going to get worse… Nesbø was huge favourite of our former staffer, Iain. And they’re still bestsellers, the world over – in fact, as I type this, we’ve sold out – and Random House Oz have as well! – but they’re reprinting and more stock will be here soon – fear not!
Mystery | TP | $32.99
Berlin Noir (Bernie Gunther 01–3 omnibus)
Ex-policeman Bernie thought he’d seen everything on the streets of 1930s’ Berlin. Then he went freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily white, by comparison… Omnibus of the first three in the series – and we just keeping recommending it and selling it. Great stuff!
Noir | TP | $29.99
Kossuth Square (Danube Blues 02)
When Detective Balthazar Kovacs is called out before dawn to a brothel owned by his brother, he knows it can only be bad news. A customer has died in the brothel’s VIP room. Worse still, he’s an Arab financier, a guest of government, connected to a massive investment programme that could transform Hungary. It looks like a heart attack – but why has the brothel’s CCTV footage been erased? Kovacs knows, only too well, the treacherous undercurrents that permeate life in Hungary’s capital – the deadly intersection between the criminal underworld, the corridors of power and the ghosts of history. He knows that his investigation is more than likely to lead back to the seat of power, the Orszaghaz, in Kossuth Square… but he does not expect to be swept into his own family’s dark past too… Machinations in Mittel Europa! And, apparently – all most entertaining! The sequel to District VIII (PBK, $19.99): the first in the Danube Blues series.
Mystery/suspense | TP | $32.99
The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs 23)
‘Beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs, ‘one of the great fictional heroines’ (Parade), investigates the mysterious murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz in a page-turning tale of love and war, terror and survival…’ – publisher’s blurb (somewhat hyperbolic!) Sometimes, blurbs just sound turgid and soapy. So, in a nutshell: A well-connected American war correspondent is found murdered and – through various twists and turns – our favourite servant girl turned sleuth is brought in to investigate. Think Phryne Fisher – only not as frock-and-party oriented. And, whereas Phryne is doomed to forever dwell in the light-hearted late twenties, Maisie has moved on a couple of decades… So many regulars love this series – it’s always a big deal when the new one arrives!
Mystery/suspense | TP | $29.99
Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom (Aunt Dimity 23)
On a dull and dreary October day, Lori Shepherd and her husband set off for a quiet weekend without the kids. But before they go, he must pay a visit to a reclusive client. After Lori drops him off, a storm that’s been brewing intensifies, and she ends up stranded in an ancient, rambling inn named for a king’s ransom in smuggled goods that passed through the village in ages past. When Lori begins hearing footsteps and strange noises, Aunt Dimity reminds her that the inn is almost certainly haunted but that not all ghosts are interested in harming the living. But the longer Lori is stuck at the inn, the stranger things seem. Are the noises she hears the spirits of smuggling’s past? Or should Lori be more concerned with the living inhabitants of the inn, like the hulking, grizzled cook, an ex-con who seems to be everywhere at once? Joining forces with her new friend, Bishop Smallwood, Lori sets out to discover once and for all who – or what – is haunting the King’s Ransom. One of the best cosy crime series? Certainly, our regulars think so! Recommended!
Mystery | TP | $29.95
Booking the Crook (Bookmobile Cat mysteries 07)
Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat, Eddie, cruise around lovely Chilson, Michigan delivering happiness and good reads in their bookmobile. But the feisty librarian is worried that the bookmobile’s future could be uncertain when a new library board chair arrives and doesn’t seem too friendly to her pet project. Still, she has to put her personal worries aside when she and Eddie are out on their regular route and one of their favourite customers doesn’t turn up to collect her books. Minnie, at Eddie’s prodding, checks on the woman and finds her lying dead in her snow-covered driveway. Now, it’s up to Minnie and her friends – feline and otherwise – to find the perpetrator and give them their due. Fun, cosy series – with cats (and books)!
Mystery | PBK | $21.95
Lethal White (Comoran Strike 04)
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott – once his assistant, now a partner in the agency – set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been – Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that… J K Rowling writes crime. And does a brilliant job! Series is recommended! Start with The Cuckoo’s Calling ($22.99)
Mystery | PBK | $22.99
Jeeves and the King of Clubs (In homage to P G Wodehouse)
The misadventures of P G Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster and his incomparable valet, Jeeves, have delighted audiences for nearly a century. Now, bestselling author Ben Schott brings this odd couple back to life in a madcap new adventure that is full of the hijinks, entanglements, imbroglios, and Wodehousian wordplay that fans love. And, by Jove, there’s a hook! In this escapade, the Junior Ganymede Club (Jeeves’s association of butlers and valets) is revealed to be an arm of the British intelligence service. Jeeves must ferret out a fascist spy, and only his hapless employer can help. Unfolding in the background are school-chum capers, affairs of the heart, drawing-room escapades, antics with aunts, and sartorial set-tos. Fun! (Leanne: I think Schott has captured the tone and spirit of Wodehouse, perfectly!)
Mystery | PBK | $19.99