October 2023 science fiction & fantasy bestsellers

Oct2023 bestsellers, SF&F

 

bestsellers, October 2023

The Graveyard Shift
Maria Lewis
When a horror-loving radio show becomes the stage of a gruesome murder, its host Tinsel Monroe is put next on the killer’s list…
A fast paced, thrilling murder mystery novel, paying homage to slasher films of the ’90s, The Graveyard Shift is the perfect Halloween read, for fans of Riley Sager and Grady Hendrix.
Tinsel Munroe has busted her guts to get where she is. Yet, her dream of working in radio hasn’t turned out to be everything she hoped it would.
Sure, she has her own show — aptly titled ‘the Graveyard Shift’ — where she celebrates the sounds of cult-cinema, but the wage is barely enough to cover her rent and the midnight hours are putting a strain on her relationship with her boyfriend. Even after three years at Melbourne’s coolest station, she’s seemingly no closer to a prime-time slot.
That is, until someone is murdered, live, on air.
Mistaking it for a Halloween prank, a visit from police informs Tinsel that the hysterical call was — in fact — the real deal. She’s freaked out, but her true-crime obsessed sister Pandora is fascinated.
While detectives assure them the killer will soon be caught, the bodies continue to drop with the killer striking in increasingly gruesome ways. With a growing, macabre audience to her radio show, that potentially includes the killer, Tinsel begins receiving strange messages over the text-in lines. Her workplace, and even her home, are suddenly not the sanctuaries she once thought.
Tinsel and her sister are left with no choice but to team up with Detective James, as they race to find the connection between her and the culprit. The people she thought she could trust are now those she should fear the most. In order to survive, Tinsel is going to have to listen to more than just the airwaves…
Horror | TP | $29.99

bestsellers, October 2023

Starter Villain
John Scalzi
Inheriting your mysterious uncle’s supervillain business is more complicated than you might imagine.
Sure, there are the things you’d expect. The undersea volcano lairs. The minions. The plots to take over the world. The international networks of rivals who want you dead.
Much harder to get used to… are the sentient, language-using, computer-savvy cats. And the fact that, in the overall organisation, they’re management…
We say, it’s Scalzi, just read it! Recommended.
Science fiction | TP | $34.99

bestsellers, October 2023

Legends and Lattes (Legends & Lattes 01)
Travis Baldree
‘The most fun I’ve ever had in a coffee shop’ — Ben Aaronovitch, bestselling author of Rivers of London.
High fantasy, low stakes — with a double shot of coffee.
After decades of adventuring, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream — for she plans to open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. Even though, no one there knows what coffee actually is.
If Viv wants to put the past behind her, she can’t go it alone. And help might arrive from unexpected quarters. Yet, old rivals and new stand in the way of success. And Thune’s shady underbelly could make it all too easy for Viv to take up the blade, once more.
But the true reward of the uncharted path is the travellers you meet along the way. Whether bound by ancient magic, delicious pastries, or a freshly-brewed cup, they may become something deeper than Viv ever could have imagined.
Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree is a cosy, heart-warming, slice-of-life fantasy about found families and fresh starts — perfect for fans of T J Klune, Katherine Addison, and T Kingfisher.
‘This is a warm hug of a book, a place to retreat from the world for a little while, drink a coffee, and come out a little better’ — T Kingfisher, award-winning author of Nettle and Bone.
Word of mouth via social media has been great — and regulars here seem just as charmed! Now in paperback. The prequel is Bookshops and Bonedust (TP, $34.99).
Fantasy | PBK | $22.99

bestsellers, October 2023

Warrior’s Gate and Beyond (Doctor Who target edition)
Stephen Gallagher
A new-to-print, expanded novelisation of the classic 1981 adventure, by the original screenwriter Stephen Gallager.
I am Biroc. The shadow of my past… and your future.
Warriors’ Gate: In this new-to-print, expanded novelisation of the classic 1981 adventure, the TARDIS is caught in a collapsing void between two different universes — and the 4th Doctor, Romana and Adric must enter into a dangerous alliance with the Tharils — a race of enslaved, time-sensitive aliens.
The consequences are explored in two further short stories…
The Kairos Ring: Now allies of the enslaved across all creation, Romana and the Tharil Laszlo ride the time winds in search of the sinister Sluagh — aliens who retool the dead as deadly warriors.
The Little Book of Fate: Searching for the source of a scream across time, the Eighth Doctor investigates a most unusual carnival freak show in the north of England — where a figure from his past awaits him.
Not one story but three, from one of classic Doctor Who’s most original voices — Stephen Gallagher, author of the original screenplay for Warriors’ Gate — in the fantastic old Target Dr Who books livery!
Doctor Who | PBK | $22.99

bestsellers, October 2023

A Stroke of the Pen: The Lost Stories (collection)
Terry Pratchett
A delightfully-funny, fantastically-inventive collection of 20 newly unearthed short stories by Sir Terry Pratchett, the award-winning and bestselling author of the phenomenally successful Discworld fantasy series. This special trove — featuring charming woodcut illustrations — is a must-have for Pratchett fans of all ages and includes a foreword by Neil Gaiman.
These rediscovered tales were written by Terry Pratchett under a pseudonym for British newspapers, during the 1970s and 1980s. The stories have never been attributed to him, until now, and might never have been found — were it not for the efforts of a few dedicated fans.
As Neil Gaiman writes in his introduction, ‘through all of these stories we watch young Terry Pratchett becoming Terry Pratchett’. Though none of the short works are set in the Discworld, all are infused with Pratchett’s trademark wit, satirical wisdom, and brilliant imagination, hinting at the magical universe he would go on to create.
Meet Og the inventor, the first caveman to cultivate fire, as he discovers the highs and lows of progress; haunt the Ministry of Nuisances with the defiant evicted ghosts of Pilgarlic Towers; visit Blackbury, a small market town with weird weather and an otherworldly visitor; and embark on a dangerous quest through time and space with hero Kron, which begins in the ancient city of Morpork…
Irresistibly entertaining, A Stroke of the Pen is an essential collection from the great Sir Terry Pratchett, a ‘master storyteller’ (A S Byatt) who ‘defies categorisation’ (The Times); a writer whose ‘novels have always been among the most serious of comedies, the most relevant and real of fantasies’ (Independent UK).
Pratchett | TP | $32.99

bestsellers, October 2023

City of Bones
Martha Wells
Before Martha Wells captured the hearts of millions with her Murderbot series, there was Khat, Sagai, and Elen, and a city risen out of death and decay…
The city of Charisat, a tiered monolith of the Ancients’ design, sits on the edge of the vast desert known as the Waste. Khat, a member of a humanoid race created by the Ancients to survive in the Waste, and Sagai, his human partner, are relic dealers working in the bottom tiers of society, trying to stay one step ahead of the Trade Inspectors.
When Khat is hired by the all-powerful Warders to find relics believed to be part of one of the Ancients’ arcane engines; he, and his party, begin unravelling the mysteries of an age-old technology.
This, they expected.
They soon find themselves as the last line of defence between the suffering masses of Charisat and a fanatical cult, bent on unleashing an evil upon the city with an undying thirst for bone.
That, they did not expect…
Reissue of Wells’ second novel — a standalone — first published in 1995. This updated and revised edition is the author’s preferred text.
Fantasy (reissue) | TP | $34.99

bestsellers, October 2023

An Inheritance of Magic (Inheritance of Magic 01)
Benedict Jacka
The super-rich control everything — including magic — in this thrilling and brilliant, contemporary fantasy from the author of the Alex Verus novels.
The wealthy seem to exist in a different, glittering world from the rest of us. Almost, as if by… magic.
Stephen Oakwood is a young man on the edge of this hidden world. He has talent and potential, but turning that potential into magical power takes money, opportunity, and training. All Stephen has is a minimum wage job, and a cat.
But when a chance encounter with a member of House Ashford gets him noticed by the wrong people, Stephen is thrown in the deep end.
For centuries, the vast corporations and aristocratic Houses of the magical world have grown impossibly rich and influential by hoarding their knowledge.
To survive, Stephen will have to take his talent and build it up into something greater — for only then can he beat them at their own game.
Jacka’s Alex Verus series was really fun and popular; but with this first in a new, more-complex series, his writing has stepped up a notch. We approve!
Fantasy | TP | $32.99

bestsellers, October 2023

A Hero for the Holidays (collection)
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Sherrilyn Kenyon brings the joy of Christmas in these three novellas, set in the world of Dark-Hunters.
Upon the Midnight Clear: Meet Aidan O’Conner, a world-renowned celebrity who gave freely of himself and his money without wanting anything in return… until those around him took without asking. Now, Aidan wants nothing of the world. When a stranger appears at his doorstep, Aidan knows he’s seen her before… in his dreams. But a ruthless enemy has driven her from the world of dreams and into the home of the only man who can help her: Aidan.
A Dark Hunter Christmas: Gallagher is in New Orleans at Christmastime without his family. Missing the ones he loves is a powerful force and threatens to cast a pall over the Big Easy’s Christmas cheer. But Simi has a few tricks up her sleeve, intent to show him that even though he is apart from his loved ones, he still has people to lean on…
Santa Wears Spurs: Wanted outlaw O’Connell was forced to abandon his spitfire of a woman — his wife, Catherine — so his enemies couldn’t hurt her to get to him. Now he’s ready to turn himself in to the authorities, but not before he does one last good deed. A deed that sends him, head to head, with Catherine — who wants a bigger piece of his hide than his enemies do. It will take a whole lot of Christmas magic to put his enemies behind him and allow him to win back a heart he should never have abandoned.
Paranormal romance | PBK | $26.95

bestsellers, October 2023

Saevus Corax Deals with the Dead (Corax trilogy 01)
K J Parker
There’s no formal training for battlefield salvage. You just have to pick things up as you go along. Swords, armour, arrows — and the bodies, of course.
Over the years, Saevus Corax has picked up a lot of things. Some of them have made him decent money, others have brought nothing but trouble. But it’s a living, and somebody has to deal with the dead.
Something else that Saevus has buried is his past. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite succeed.
The first novel in a new epic fantasy trilogy from World Fantasy Award-winner K J Parker.
We expect the second and third books in this trilogy to be available (PBK, $22.99 each) in December.
Fantasy | PBK | $22.99

bestsellers, October 2023

The Good, the Bad and the History (Chronicles of St Mary’s 14)
Jodie Taylor
‘Jodi Taylor is quite simply the Queen of Time. Her books are a swashbuckling joyride through History’ — C K McDonnell.
St Mary’s is under investigation. Their director has been shot and Max is Number One Suspect. Can things get any worse? We all know the answer to that one.
Max needs to get away — fast — and a Brilliant Idea soon leads her to a full-scale uprising in 20th-century China. If she can come by a historical treasure or two, in the process, even better. That is, if she makes it out alive.
Then there’s the small matter of Insight — the sinister organisation from the future hell bent on changing History for their own dark ends. Having successfully infiltrated their ranks, Max is perfectly placed to stop them. But she knows her cover will soon be blown — because it’s already happened.
Can Max take down Insight, before they come after her? The circle is closing, and only one can survive…
‘Once in a while, I discover an author who changes everything… Jodi Taylor and her protagonista Madeleine “Max” Maxwell have seduced me’ — reader review.
According to the publisher’s blurb, these will go down well with fans of Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde, Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series, and Doctor Who. Which is a pretty big ask? But, they are hugely popular, and lots of fun, and many regulars here have indeed been seduced…
Start with the first, Just One Damned Thing After Another (PBK, $24.99).
Time travel | PBK | $24.99

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