These are the Pulp Fiction bestsellers for the year of 2018. Other months’ bestsellers may be found on the Catalogues page.
Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2018
Restoration (Verity Fassbinder 03)
Our bestselling F&SF title of 2018 – Restoration. 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 (see #3!)
Brisbane-based urban fantasy | TP | $29.99
The Tethered Mage (Swords & Fire 01)
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce, and those born with power are strictly controlled – taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army. Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that could threaten the entire empire. Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre. ‘Set in a rich world of political intrigue and dangerous magic, The Tethered Mage is a spellbinding debut from a major new talent.’ – publisher’s blurb – AND WE AGREE! Sort of a Renaissance Venice vibe about the city/state – it’s lush. Charming new series – recommended! The sequel, The Defiant Heir (PBK, $19.99) is now also available. Lackey fans should definitely give this series a try.
Fantasy | PBK | $19.99
Vigil (Verity Fassbinder 01)
Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength and the ability to walk between one world and the other as two of her talents. A rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden. But, now, Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those who hold to old, dangerous ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane. Verity must investigate, or risk ancient forces carving the world apart… Our perpetual bestseller – fabulous urban fantasy. Love it!
Brisbane-based urban fantasy | PBK | $19.99
Killing Gravity (Voidwitch Saga 01)
Corey J White
Before she escaped in a bloody coup, MEPHISTO transformed Mariam Xi into a deadly Voidwitch. Their training left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust, and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers. Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumours to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential. A brilliant 176pp Tor.com novella from an ex-Brisbanite! Highly recommended for fans of Scalzi and Firefly. We. Love. This. So polished – hard to believe it’s a first book! Its sequels, Void Black Shadow (PBK, $18.99, see #9) and Static Ruin (PBK, $21.99) are out now.
Science fiction | PBK | $18.99
Into the Fire (Vatta’s Peace 02)
In this military SF thriller from the Nebula Award-winning author, Admiral Kylara Vatta is back – with a vengeance. Ky beats sabotage, betrayal, and the unforgiving elements to lead a ragtag group of crash survivors to safety on a remote arctic island. And she cheats death after uncovering secrets someone is hell-bent on protecting. But the worst is far from over when Ky discovers the headquarters of a vast conspiracy against her family and the heart of the planet’s government itself. The sequel to Cold Welcome (PBK, $22.99). Moon has been writing both fantasy and military-style SF for years – and just keeps getting better and better. Recommended.
Space opera | PBK | $19.99
Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scripts for poor people who can’t otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane. Hot on her trail, an unlikely pair: Eliasz, a brooding military agent, and his robotic partner, Paladin. As they race to stop information about the sinister origins of Jack’s drug from getting out, they begin to form an uncommonly close bond that neither of them fully understands. And underlying it all is one fundamental question: Is freedom possible in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned? Fantastic! Recommended.
Science fiction | PBK | $19.99
The Collapsing Empire (Interdependency 01)
A scientist, a starship captain and the Empress of the Interdependency are all in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse. Oh, yeah! Fantastic new space opera from one of the modern masters of the genre – classic stuff but with a very modern sensibility… Love it! The series continues with The Consuming Fire (TP, $29.99).
Space opera | PBK | $19.99
Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines 01)
The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements. Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth. But as he starts a career of supposed privilege, he soon learns that the good food and decent health care come at a steep price… and that the settled galaxy holds far greater dangers than military bureaucrats or the gangs that rule the slums. This kind of crept up on us – but lots of regulars have been telling us how good the series is (the sixth instalment is just out) – so we’ve been telling everyone about it – and number one is now a bestseller here. Fans of Weber, Honsinger, et al, should enjoy this…
Military SF | TP | $29.95
Void Black Shadow (Voidwitch Saga 02)
Corey J White
Corey J White’s space opera Voidwitch Series continues: Mars Xi returns in Void Black Shadow, sequel to the fabulous Killing Gravity (see #4). Mars Xi is a living weapon, a genetically-manipulated psychic supersoldier with a body count in the thousands, and all she wanted was to be left alone. People who get involved with her get hurt, whether by MEPHISTO, by her psychic backlash, or by her acid tongue. It’s not smart to get involved with Mars, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying. The last time MEPHISTO came for Mars they took one of her friends with them. That was a mistake. A force hasn’t been invented that can stop a voidwitch on a rampage, and Mars won’t rest until she’s settled her debts. Real Firefly vibe – everyone loves!
Science fiction | PBK | $18.99
The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor 01)
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on an unlucky day, she is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks – and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on Eventide. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor… Wundrous! A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world – but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination… Townsend is a young Sunshine Coast writer (who even worked at Australia Zoo!) and this book has sold internationally to uniformly rave reviews… A gorgeous little hardcover edition ($24.99) is also available. The sequel (even better, Leanne thinks): Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (PBK, $16.99/HC, $24.99) is out, now, too!
Children’s fantasy | PBK | $16.99
The Spotted Dog (Corinna Chapman 07)
And our top selling crime/mystery title for 2018 is – The Spotted Dog! Intrepid baker and erstwhile investigator Corinna Chapman returns, triumphantly – in her first adventure in seven years. When a distraught Scottish veteran from Afghanistan is knocked unconscious, waking up to find his beloved ex-service dog missing, Corinna and her partner, Daniel, find themselves inextricably drawn into the machinations of a notorious underworld gang of drug runners. Corinna and Daniel need to pull together all the strings to find the connections between their wandering Scottish veteran, his kidnapped dog, a student dramatic society that’s moved into Corinna’s building, burglaries and the threatening notes that begin to mysteriously appear in Corinna’s apartment. Between her forays into danger, there is still time in Corinna’s life for tender encounters as the delicious aromas of newly-baked breads, muffins and treats waft out of Corinna’s bakery, Earthly Delights. Much fun – Greenwood in great form! Recommended!
Mystery | TP | $29.99
Greeks Bearing Gifts (Bernie Gunther 13)
It is 1956, and Bernie Gunther has a new name, a clean passport, a chip on his shoulder, and a menial low-paying job in Munich. And then an old friend arrives to repay a debt. He encourages Bernie to take a job, as a claims adjuster, in a major German insurance company. Which is why Bernie finds himself in Athens investigating a claim by Siegfried Witzel, a brutish former Wehrmacht soldier who served in Greece during the war. Witzel’s supposed losses are immense, and, even worse, they may have originally belonged to Greek Jews deported to Auschwitz. But when Bernie tries to confront Witzel, he finds that somebody else has gotten to him first. What he has now is a dead man: Both his eyes have been shot out… We love this hugely-entertaining series, which begins with the omnibus Berlin Noir (PBK, $29.99). Unfortunately, Kerr died in March; so, this is the penultimate volume of Bernie’s adventures (Metropolis, the final one, is due in April/May 2019).
Noir | PBK | $19.99
Corpus (Tom Wilde 01)
1936. Europe is in turmoil. The Nazis have marched into the Rhineland. In Russia, Stalin has unleashed his Great Terror. Spain has erupted in civil war. In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks she is found dead, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers. In an exclusive London club, a conspiracy is launched that threatens the very heart of government. When a renowned society couple with fascist leanings are found brutally murdered, a maverick Cambridge professor is drawn into a world of espionage he knows only from history books. The deeper Thomas Wilde delves, the more he finds to link the murders with the girl with the silver syringe – and, even more worryingly, to the scandal surrounding the Abdication… Now in paperback. Recommended! The sequel, Nucleus, is due out in paperback ($19.99) in the second week of January 2019.
Historical suspense | PBK | $19.99
The Herring Seller’s Apprentice (Elsie & Ethelred 01)
L C Tyler
His latest novel is going nowhere, a midlife crisis is looming, and he’s burdened by the literary agent he probably deserves: Elsie Thirkettle, a diminutive but determined individual who claims to enjoy neither the company of writers nor literature of any sort. But however bad things look, they can always get worse, as Ethelred discovers when his ex-wife, Geraldine, vanishes… close to his Sussex home. When the disappearance becomes a murder enquiry, the police quickly decide that Geraldine Tressider has been the victim of a local serial killer. Elsie begs to differ, on the grounds that the killer’s other victims had been very different personality types – and no serious serial killer would murder one in mistake for the other… The first six books in this series have been reissued recently – The Herring Seller’s Apprentice was first published in 2007 – when the most recent (and seventh), The Herring in the Smoke, was published. Several of our regulars are smitten with Elsie and Ethelred and think they’re very funny and a little bit wicked!
Mystery | PBK | $19.99
A Taste for Vengeance (Bruno, Chief of Police 11)
A missing woman, a dash of international intrigue, and a bottle or two of good Bergerac: it’s another case for Bruno, Chief of Police. When a British tourist fails to turn up for a luxurious cooking vacation in Bruno’s usually idyllic Dordogne village of St Denis, the worried hostess is quick to call on Bruno for help. Monica Felder is nowhere to be found, and her husband, a retired British major, is unreachable. And not long after Bruno discovers that Monica was traveling with a mysterious Irishman (her lover?), the two turn up dead. Was she running away? How much does her husband really know? What’s the real story behind a scandal buried in the threesome’s military past? Bruno’s search for the truth leads him to places he hadn’t intended to go – but, as ever, he and his friends take time to savour the natural delights of the Dordogne. Sante! Love this series. Armchair detection – and travel! – at its best! (See #10 for the first in the series.)
Mystery | PBK | $19.99
The Temptation of Forgiveness (Commissario Brunetti 27)
A suspicious accident draws Brunetti into Venice’s underworld – with unintended, disturbing consequences… When important information is leaked from inside the Venetian Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is entrusted with the task of uncovering which of his colleagues is responsible… Why spend a motza going to Venice? – it’s overcrowded and expensive – and as a tourist, you’ll get charged a ridiculous amount for very ordinary food and accommodation. Blah! Instead you can visit Brunetti’s Venice – and explore with the knowledge of a local. You’ll eat the best the place has to offer – and feel like you’re breathing Venetian air – all in the comfort of your favourite chair. Oh, how we love the annual Donna Leon release!
Mystery | PBK | $19.99
The Awkward Squad (Awkward Squad 01)
One of Ron’s favourites! Translated from French – set in Paris – a bunch of misfit Parisian policemen and women are seconded into a new squad and given the files on literally thousands of minor and – it turns out – not-so-minor cold cases. Really charming – great characters – and quite a good little plot! Now in paperback; the sequel, Stick Together (TP, $29.95) is available, too.
Caper | PBK | $22.99
The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce 09)
Flavia is enjoying the summer, spending her days punting along the river with her reluctant family. Languishing in boredom, she drags a slack hand in the water – and catches her fingers in the open mouth of a drowned corpse. She needs to put her super-sleuthing skills to the test to investigate the murder of three gossips in the local church – and to keep her sisters out of danger. Latest in the tales of the quirky, eccentric de Luce clan in post-WWII Britain (imagine this: what if one of the young Mitfords had been a talented sleuth…)
Mystery | PBK | $19.99
The Spy’s Daughter (Philip Mangan 03)
Meet Pearl Tao: an American girl with a lethal secret. Pearl longs for the life of a normal American teenager living in the Washington DC suburbs. But she is different. Her gift for mathematics means overprotective parents and college sponsorship from a secretive technology corporation. And, now, aged nineteen, she is beginning to understand what her parents intend for her and the terrifying role she is to play. Her only hope of escape lies with two sidelined and discredited spies: Trish Patterson and Philip Mangan. Finding out the truth about Pearl will be the biggest mission they’ll ever undertake. This is fantastic! If you’re a fan of le Carré or John Lawton – you will love this! (Mangan first appears in Night Heron (PBK, $19.99) – also fantastic!)
Suspense | PBK | $19.99
Death in the Dordogne (Bruno, Chief of Police 01)
Captain Bruno Courrèges is in charge of a modest force in the town of St Denis in the Périgord region of France. He is not your typical hard-hitting copper: he never carries the gun he owns, and barely needs to arrest people. But, suddenly, all is turmoil in the town as inspectors from Brussels swoop on the rural market, making many enemies. Bruno is worried by the fact that this phenomenon is invoking memories of the town’s ignoble Vichy-France past. Then an old man from a North-African immigrant family is murdered… Inspector Bruno is the best of Frenchmen: noble, loyal, and true. These are irresistible! First in the series. (See #5 for the latest in the series.)
Mystery | PBK | $19.99