These are the Pulp Fiction bestsellers for the month of January 2018. Other months’ bestsellers may be found on the Catalogues page.
Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: January 2018
Neogenesis (Liaden Universe 21)
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
The Complex Logic Laws were the result of a war waged hundreds of years in the past, when two human powers threw massive AI navies at each other and nearly annihilated themselves. Being human, they blamed their tools for this near miss; they destroyed what was left of the sentient ships, and made it illegal to be, manufacture, or shelter an independent logic. Strangely, however, not all the Free Ships and other AIs did not turn themselves in or suicide, they merely became wary of humans, and stayed under their scans. A clandestine support network grew up, including hidden yards where smart ships were manufactured, and mentors – humans specially trained to ease a new intelligence into the universe – socialised them, and taught them what they needed to know to survive. Now, many have an interest in the newly-awakening Self-Aware Logic that is rumoured to have the power to destroy universes. The question is: Who will get to it first? The Lee and Miller Liaden series have a long and chequered publishing history – going back to the eighties. It’s a really credible universe, with great characters – but the books focus on one or more individuals from the key family groups at a time – rather than just following one protagonist along a linear narrative. If you like Bujold and Moon – you really should try these! The early novels of this series have been reissued as omnibuses by Baen. The best place to start is with either The Dragon Variation or The Agent Gambit.
Space opera | HC | $46.95
Emergence (Foreigner 19)
C J Cherryh
The nineteenth book in the beloved Foreigner space opera series begins a new era for human diplomat Bren Cameron, as he navigates the tenuous peace between human refugees and the alien atevi. Bren’s job is as general peacemaker – but old enemies want war. Is Bren’s diplomatic acumen enough to prevent a war that both sides are prepared to wage? This series just keeps on going and on – to an ever bigger and more appreciative audience. The first – released back in 1994! – is Foreigner ($19.95) Recommended!
Science fiction | HC | $47.95
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!
Fantasy | PBK | $19.99
Convergence (Foreigner 18)
C J Cherryh
Now available in paperback – see comments for Emergence (#2 above).
Science fiction | PBK | $19.95
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… It’s a bit Diana Wynne Jones – and a bit Roald Dahl – though not certain of the exact proportions. 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 now also available.
YA fantasy | PBK | $16.99
Behind the Throne (Indranan War 01)
K B Wagers
Former gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to fill her rightful position in the palace. With her sisters and parents murdered, the Indranan Empire is on the brink of war. Hail must quickly make alliances with nearby worlds if she has any hope of surviving her rule. This military space opera series has been hugely popular here.
Space opera | PBK | $22.99
Killing Gravity (Voidwitch 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! A new instalment of the series, Void Black Shadow, is due in March.
Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children 03)
A stand-alone fantasy tale from Seanan McGuire’s award-winning Wayward Children series, which began in the Alex, Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning, World Fantasy Award finalist, Tiptree Honor List: Every Heart a Doorway. Return to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the ‘real’ world. A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do. Warning: May contain nuts.
Fantasy | HC | $29.99
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 a couple of her talents. A rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden… When a fantastic paranormal mystery is set here – in Brisbane (or, as Angela would have it: Brisneyland) – how could we not recommend this above all else? Now in paperback!
Urban fantasy | PBK | $22.99
The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller – a heist story set on the moon. Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich. Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavoured algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time. So, when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. But trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself. Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal. That’ll have to do… Really loved this! Great wise-cracking protagonist – and has a vibe of Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust and some other Golden Age tales – while being totally up to date with the tech and social mores. Recommended!
SF caper | TP | $32.99
In this Grave Hour (Maisie Dobbs 13)
Britain is at war. Returned from a dangerous mission onto enemy soil, Maisie Dobbs is fully aware of the gravity of the current situation; her world is on the cusp of great change. One of those changes can be seen in the floods of refugees that are arriving in Britain, desperate for sanctuary. When Maisie stumbles on the deaths of refugees who may have been more than ordinary people, she is drawn into an investigation that requires all her insight and strength. Lots of customers love these! Must say – that Maisie Dobbs has certainly come up in the world – what a life! From a humble servant girl in the twenties, to a private investigator in the thirties – to a spy in the ’40s? – and investigator again. Imagine the memoir! :-)
Mystery | PBK | $19.99
The Dry (Aaron Falk 01)
Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty. Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him 20 years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend’s crime. ‘Packed with sneaky moves and teasing possibilities that keep the reader guessing, The Dry is a breathless page-turner.’ – Janet Maslin, The New York Times. This new Oz crime writer has been receiving awards and accolades, the world over! The sequel, Force of Nature, is now available (TP, $32.99).
Mystery | PBK | $16.99
Death Makes a Prophet (British Library Crime Classics)
‘Small hostilities were growing; vague jealousies were gaining strength; and far off, wasn’t there a nebulous hint of approaching tragedy in the air?’ Welworth Garden City in the 1940s is a forward-thinking town where free spirits find a home – vegetarians, socialists, and an array of exotic religious groups. Chief among these are the Children of Osiris, led by the eccentric High Prophet, Eustace K Mildmann. The cult is a seething hotbed of petty resentment, jealousy and dark secrets – which eventually lead to murder. The stage is set for one of Inspector Meredith’s most bizarre and exacting cases. This witty crime novel, by a writer on top form, is a neglected classic of British crime fiction. Thanks again, British Library!
Classic mystery | TP | $27.95
The Moonstone (Detective Club)
Exactly 150 years since its publication in 1868, this reissue of Collins’ popular Detective Club edition of The Moonstone offers crime fiction fans the chance to read the book that is acclaimed as the very first detective novel in the English language… At a party celebrating her eighteenth birthday, Rachel Verinder wears the stunning yellow diamond she unexpectedly inherited from her uncle, unaware that it was plundered from a sacred Indian shrine, fifty years earlier. When the jewel goes missing later that night, suspicions are raised, and accusations fly in all directions. Sifting through divergent accounts of what happened, the indomitable Sergeant Cuff must find the Moonstone and the truth about its mysterious disappearance. Recognised as the very first detective novel in the English language, The Moonstone earned Wilkie Collins the reputation of the godfather of the classic English detective story, with Dorothy L Sayers declaring, ‘Nothing human is perfection, but The Moonstone comes about as near perfection as anything of the kind ever can.’ For 150 years its intricate locked-room puzzle and multiple narrators have influenced generations of mystery authors.
Classic mystery | HC | $24.99
The Mystery of the Mud Flats (Detective Club)
James Carthew-West, the penniless skipper of the Exmouth coasting vessel Luck and Charity, is chartered by a rich trader to carry unprofitable cargo to Flanders through the treacherous shallows of the Scheldt estuary and return with worthless mud ballast. His crewman Austin Voodgt, a former investigative journalist, is intent on revealing the true conspiracy behind this bizarre trade, but with each new discovery comes the growing realisation that there are lives at stake – beginning with their own. The Mystery of the Mud Flats, first published as WO2, was considered one of the most thrilling adventure stories of its time, combining a first-class mystery with the eternal lure of the sea. Introducing the Dutch maritime detective Austin Voogdt (later dubbed ‘Sherlock of the Sea’), and with its unique English Channel setting, this story of intrepid yachtsmen caught up in smuggling, espionage, and the growing menace of Germany as a military power, made truly exciting reading. This Detective Club classic is introduced by Nigel Moss, who explores how Maurice Drake’s popular seafaring novel epitomised pre-war ‘invasion literature’ and helped usher in a new genre of adventure spy fiction.
Classic mystery | HC | $24.99
The Long Arm of the Law (British Library Crime Classics)
edited by Martin Edwards
In classic British crime fiction, dazzling detective work is often the province of a brilliant amateur – whereas the humble police detective cuts a hapless figure. The twelve stories collected here strike a blow for the professionals, with teasing mysteries to challenge a hard-working police officer’s persistence and scrupulous attention to detail. As in his previous anthologies for the British Library Crime Classics series, Martin Edwards introduces readers to fascinating neglected gems of British crime writing as well as uncovering lesser-known stories by the great novelists of the golden age. Each of these stories combines realism with entertainment, skilfully blending the conduct of a criminal investigation with a compelling murder-mystery plot.
Classic mystery anthology | TP | $27.95
Prussian Blue (Bernie Gunther 12)
The much-anticipated return of Bernie Gunther, our compromised former Berlin bull and unwilling SS officer. With his cover blown, he is waiting for the next move in the cat-and-mouse game that, even a decade after Germany’s defeat, continues to shadow his life. Superb new Bernie Gunther novel – picks up in France in the mid-fifties, where his previous outing: The Other Side of Silence leaves off. The plot thickens when echoes of a much earlier case from the mid-thirties comes back to haunt Bernie. With added Stasi…! Now in paperback.
Noir | 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.
Mystery | PBK | $19.99
Mystery of Tunnel 51 (Wallace of the Secret Service 01)
Chief of the Intelligence Department, Sir Leonard Wallace – bearing always the hall mark of coolness and wit – is up to his earlobes in trouble. Summoned by the Viceroy of India, he makes a rapid flight to India to investigate the mysterious death of British officer Major Elliot and the theft of some very important dispatches. Great Golden Age spies!
Mystery reissue | PBK | $22.99
Death of Kings (John Madden 05)
On a hot summer day in 1938, a beautiful actress is murdered on the grand Kent estate of Sir Jack Jessup, close friend of the Prince of Wales. The arrest of an ex-convict and his subsequent confession swiftly bring the case to a close, but in 1949, the reappearance of a jade necklace raises questions about the murder. Was the man convicted and executed the decade before truly guilty? Though happily retired from the police force, John Madden is persuaded to investigate the case afresh. In a story of honour and justice that takes Madden through the idyllic English countryside, post-war streets of London, and into the criminal underworld of the Chinese Triads… The latest Airth – this one set in the late 1940s. Very Golden Age-ish, reminding Ron of an Ngaio Marsh – which is a very good thing!
Mystery | PBK | $19.99