2023 science fiction & fantasy bestsellers

2023 bestsellers, SF&F

 

bestsellers, 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, 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, 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, 2023

Fourth Wing (Empyrean 01)
Rebecca Yarros
Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from New York Times-bestselling author Rebecca Yarros.
Welcome to the brutal and elite world of Basgiath War College, where everyone has an agenda, and every night could be your last…
Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general — also known as her tough-as-talons mother — has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.
But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away… because dragons don’t bond to ‘fragile’ humans. They incinerate them.
With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter — like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.
She’ll need every edge her wits can give her, just to see the next sunrise.
Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.
Alliances will be forged. Lives will be lost. Traitors will become allies… or, even, lovers. But sleep with one eye open — because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.
Fantasy | TP | $32.99

bestsellers, 2023

The Goblin Emperor
Katherine Addison
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it.
But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an ‘accident’, he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favour with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the spectre of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor.
Yes, we know it came out several years ago — but Ron finally got around to reading it (a few years ago, now) and is obsessed and forcing copies upon anyone who will listen to him. (It’s very, very good!)
Ignore the drab cover art! Ignore the lacklustre blurb! Just read it!
Fantasy | PBK | $26.95

bestsellers, 2023

Witch King
Martha Wells
After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.
But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?
Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions. He’s not going to like the answers.
Witch King is Martha Wells’ first new fantasy in over a decade, drawing together her signature ability to create characters we adore and identify with, alongside breathtaking action and adventure, and the wit and charm we’ve come to expect from one of the leading writers of her generation’ — publisher’s blurb.
Recommended!
Fantasy | TP | $34.99

bestsellers, 2023

Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries 02)
Martha Wells
Artificial Condition is the follow-up to Martha Wells’ Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award-winning, New York Times—bestselling All Systems Red (HC/TP, $29.99/$26.99).
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 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.
Note that Artificial Condition won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Novella (just as the first one did!) in 2019.
Science fiction novella | HC/TP | $29.99/$26.99

bestsellers, 2023

Fugitive Telemetry (Murderbot Diaries 06)
Martha Wells
No, I didn’t kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn’t dump the body in the station mall.
When Murderbot discovers a dead body on Preservation Station, it knows it is going to have to assist station security to determine who the body is (was), how they were killed (that should be relatively straightforward, at least), and why (because apparently that matters to a lot of people — who knew?)
Yes, the unthinkable is about to happen: Murderbot must voluntarily speak to humans! Again!
This sixth entry into the series is a standalone novella, set before Artificial Condition.
If you haven’t read the preceding books in Wells’ fab series — then start with All Systems Red (HC/TP, $29.99/$26.99).
Science fiction novella | HC/TP | $39.99/$28.99

bestsellers, 2023

Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries 05)
Martha Wells
The first full-length novel in Martha Wells’ bestselling Murderbot Diaries series.
‘I caught myself rereading my favourite parts… and I can’t recommend it enough.’ — New York Times.
You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favourite shows?
And you’re a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction…
Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable AI you’ll read, this century.
I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90-plus per cent of my problems are.
When Murderbot’s human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured, and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.
Drastic action, it is, then.
Love, love, love it! Cannot recommend highly enough! (If you want one, but we don’t have any in the shop — please, do order one, to stake your claim on the stock we will receive!) If you haven’t read Wells’ preceding novellas — then start with All Systems Red (HC/TP, $29.99/$26.99).
Science fiction | HC/TP | $42.99/$32.99

bestsellers, 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

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