December 2023 science fiction & fantasy bestsellers

Dec2023 bestsellers, SF&F

 

bestsellers, December 2023

System Collapse (Murderbot Diaries 07)
Martha Wells
Everyone’s favourite lethal SecUnit is back in the next instalment in Martha Wells’ bestselling and award-winning Murderbot Diaries series.
Am I making it worse? I think I’m making it worse.
Following the events in Network Effect (HC/TP, $42.99/$32.99), the Barish-Estranza corporation has sent rescue ships to a newly-colonised planet in peril, as well as additional SecUnits. But if there’s an ethical corporation, out there, Murderbot has yet to find it, and if Barish-Estranza can’t have the planet, they’re sure as hell not leaving without something. If that something just happens to be an entire colony of humans, well, a free workforce is a decent runner-up prize.
But there’s something wrong with Murderbot; it isn’t running within normal operational parameters. ART’s crew and the humans from Preservation are doing everything they can to protect the colonists, but with Barish-Estranza’s SecUnit-heavy persuasion teams, they’re going to have to hope Murderbot figures out what’s wrong with itself, and fast!
Yeah, this plan is… not going to work.
Murderbot, Murderbot: how do we love thee?
If you haven’t read this great little multiple award-winning military space opera series (soon to be an AppleTV+ series!) — then start, at once, with All Systems Red (HC/TP, $29.99/$26.99).
Science fiction novella | HC/TP | $49.95/$34.99

bestsellers, December 2023

All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries 01)
Martha Wells
‘As a heartless killing machine, I was a complete failure.’
Need we even print the blurb, again? Just read the damned book, FFS. And it won just about every award, in the field — so it’s not just us, okay?!
Science fiction novella | HC/TP | $29.99/$26.99

bestsellers, December 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, December 2023

The Olympian Affair (Cinder Spires 02)
Jim Butcher
For centuries, the Cinder Spires have safeguarded humanity, rising far above the deadly surface world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses rule, developing scientific marvels and building fleets of airships for defence and trade.
Now, the Spires hover on the brink of open war.
Everyone knows it’s coming. The guns of the great airship fleets that control the skies between the last bastions of humanity will soon speak in anger, and Spire Albion stands alone against the overwhelming might of Spire Aurora’s Armada and its new secret weapon — one capable of destroying the populations of entire Spires.
A trading summit at Spire Olympia provides an opportunity for the Spirearch, Lord Albion, to secure alliances that will shape the outcomes of the war, and to that end he dispatches privateer Captain Francis Madison Grimm and the crew of the AMS Predator to bolster the Spirearch’s diplomatic agents.
It will take daring, skill, and no small amount of showmanship to convince the world to stand with Spire Albion — assuming that it is not already too late.
Well, well, well… better late than never! It’s only been about eight years since the first one that got everyone so excited and revved-up and ready for the sequel. But good things do come, to those who wait…
Refresh your memory with the opening book in the series — Aeronaut’s Windlass (PBK, $22.99). Really, really good. Recommended!
Fantasy | TP | $32.99

bestsellers, December 2023

The Fractured Dark (Devoured Worlds 02)
Megan E O’Keefe
Dying planets, dangerous conspiracies, and secret romance abound, in the second book of the Devoured Worlds trilogy by award-winning author Megan E O’Keefe.
Naira and Tarquin have escaped vicious counter-revolutionaries, misprinted monsters, and the pull of a dying planet. Now, bound together to find the truth behind the blight that has been killing habitable planets, they need to hunt out the Mercator family secrets.
But, when the head of Mercator disappears, taking the universe’s remaining supply of starship fuel with him, chaos breaks loose between the ruling families. Naira’s revolution must be put aside for the sake of humanity’s immediate survival.
The first in the series is The Blighted Stars (PBK, $24.99). Our space opera fans have been loving this new O’Keefe series… recommended!
Space opera | PBK | $24.99

bestsellers, December 2023

Tiffany Aching’s Guide to Being a Witch (Tiffany Aching series companion)
Rhianna Pratchett & Gabrielle Kent; with Paul Kidby (artist)
The ultimate illustrated guide to being a witch in the Discworld universe — a must-have for any Terry Pratchett fan.
‘They say you don’t find witchcraft, it finds you…’
An illustrated and practical guide to being a witch in Discworld, covering everything you’ve ever wanted to know from telling the bees to magical cheese, from working with other witches to dealing with elves, from tending flocks to fending off forces from other worlds.
This beautiful and practical guide has been compiled by Tiffany Aching, herself, including snippets of remembered wisdom from Granny Aching, alongside notes from Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Miss Tick, and Rob Anybody — who offer their own unique perspectives on all things witchcraft.
Whether you’re a herbologist or a headologist, this book will inspire and empower new witches and seasoned practitioners alike.
With colourful illustrations from Paul Kidby throughout, this brilliant in-world guide is the perfect addition to any Discworld collection.
Discworld | HC | $55.00

bestsellers, December 2023

Bookshops and Bonedust (Legends & Lattes 02)
Travis Baldree
‘Glorious’ — Ben Aaronovitch, author of the Rivers of London series.
Set in the world of Legends and Lattes, Travis Baldree’s Bookshops and Bonedust is a cosy fantasy about the power of good bookshops, great friends, and the unexpected choices along the way.
First loves. Second-hand books. Epic adventures.
Viv’s career with the renowned mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned. Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off, against her will, to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk — so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it. What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do?
Spending her hours at a struggling bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted. Even though it may be exactly what she needs.
Still, adventure isn’t far away. A suspicious traveller in grey, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.
Sometimes, right things happen at the wrong time. Sometimes, what we need isn’t what we seek. And sometimes, we find ourselves in the stories we experience together…
‘A perfectly-executed prequel… the stakes are higher, and the scones are hotter still!’ — Nicholas Eames.
Start with Legends and Lattes (PBK, $22.99).
(NB: there are days, when Ron can be quite foul-mouthed, also — see bookshop proprietor text above.)
Fantasy | TP | $34.99

bestsellers, December 2023

Anything With Nothing (Valdemar anthologies)
Mercedes Lackey (editor)
The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom’s ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages — and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents — combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counsellors, warriors, and more — make them indispensable to their monarch and realm.
Sought and Chosen, by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.
Join a variety of authors as they ride with Mercedes Lackey to the beloved land of Valdemar and experience the many facets of this storied, high-fantasy realm.
This 17th anthology of short stories, set in the beloved Valdemar high fantasy universe, features tales by debut and established authors and a brand-new story from Mercedes Lackey.
Valdemar | TP | $39.95

bestsellers, December 2023

The Blighted Stars (Devoured Worlds 01)
Megan E O’Keefe
When a spy and her mortal enemy crash-land on a dying planet, she must figure out how to survive long enough to uncover the deadly, galaxy-spanning conspiracy that landed them there. The Blighted Stars is the first book in an epic new space-opera trilogy from the author of the Philip K Dick-nominated Velocity Weapon (PBK, $24.99).
She’s a revolutionary. Humanity is running out of options. Habitable planets are being destroyed as quickly as they’re found, and Naira Sharp thinks she knows the reason why. The all-powerful Mercator family has been controlling the exploration of the universe for decades, and exploiting any materials they find along the way under the guise of helping humanity’s expansion. But Naira knows the truth, and she plans to bring the whole family down from the inside.
He’s the heir to the dynasty. Tarquin Mercator never wanted to run a galaxy-spanning business empire. He just wanted to study geology and read books. But Tarquin’s father has tasked him with monitoring the settlement of a new planet, and he doesn’t really have a choice in the matter.
Disguised as Tarquin’s new bodyguard, Naira plans to destroy the settlement ship before they land. But neither of them expects to end up stranded on a dead planet. To survive and keep her secret, Naira will have to join forces with the man she’s sworn to hate. And together they will uncover a plot that’s bigger than both of them.
‘A delightfully-twisty space opera filled with unique worldbuilding and deft explorations of humanity, family and power. Add in a dash of rebellion and a hint of romance, and I’m hooked — I can’t wait for the next book!’ — Jessie Mihalik, author of Hunt the Stars.
Recommended! The sequel is The Fractured Dark (PBK, $24.99).
Space opera | PBK | $24.99

bestsellers, December 2023

Defiant (Skyward 04)
Brandon Sanderson
The fourth and final novel in Brandon Sanderson’s unstoppable, New York Times, and Sunday Times bestselling series — which began with Skyward (PBK, $22.99) — about a girl who will travel beyond the stars to save the world, she loves, from destruction.
Spensa made it out of the Nowhere, but what she saw in the space between the stars has changed her forever. She came face to face with the Delvers, and finally got answers to the questions she’s had about her own strange Cytonic gifts.
The Superiority didn’t stop in its fight for galactic dominance while she was gone, though. Spensa’s team, Skyward Flight, was able to hold Winzik off, and even collect allies to help with the cause, but it’s only a matter of time until humanity — and the rest of the galaxy — falls.
Defeating them will require all the knowledge Spensa gathered while in the Nowhere. But being Cytonic is more complicated than she ever could have imagined. Now, Spensa must ask herself: how far is she willing to go for victory, if it means losing herself — and her friends — in the process.
The final book in the Skyward series will free humanity, or see it fall forever.
Space opera | TP | $32.99

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