Best of 2017 - Sci-fi & Fantasy

Any year which sees the return of Stephen King, Andy Weir and Ann Leckie is a fantastic year for speculative fiction.

The books below stand out from the crowd for their ingenuity, and the way that they have stretched the limits for what is possible in science fiction and fantasy.

Scroll down and let yourself be taken away to another world...

Gnomon

In a near-future Britain, a distributed surveillance-democracy called The System knows everything you, and can even spy on your mind.

It's a Panopticon country. But when state investigators then look into the head of a refusenik novelist named Diana Hunter, what they find there is not her life story but that of four other people, spread across thousands of years, all vibrantly real and each utterly impossible - and before they can unravel that puzzle, Diana Hunter, shockingly, dies as a result of the investigation, an unheard of result in a perfect system which protects everyone from harm.

That's where Inspector Mielikki Neith comes in, a staunch believer in The System who is assigned to investigate the Hunter case. The only problem is that the teasing mysteries in the dead woman's mind may change all that. And these are extraordinary memories, ranging from the life of a banker named Constantine Kyriakos, who finds himself pursued by a shark that may in fact be a god; and an Ethiopian retired pop artist, Berihun Bekele, who picks up his brushes to create a virtual world called The System at the behest of his games' designer grand-daughter; and Athena#65533;s Karthagonensis, the jilted lover of one of the Church's most beloved saints, who seeks to resurrect her dead son with the help of a non-existent miracle; and then finally GNOMON, the acerbic post-human who is plotting to assassinate the next iteration of the Universe . . .

The question is whether there is a truth hidden in the noise of all those lives, as Mielikki begins to suspect?

Or is all that unfolding experience and drama simply a cover for some kind of attack upon the fabric of the most democratic nation state ever constructed?

And the questions just keep coming. Who was Diana Hunter, and why are her books impossible to obtain? And above all, was Diana Hunter innocent all along - worse, could she have been correct to attempt to withstand a perfect, democratic system?

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
13/11/2017
RRP  $32.99 $30.75

A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms

Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne there was Dunk and Egg.

A young, naïve but courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals – in stature if not experience. Tagging along with him is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg whose true identity must be hidden from all he and Dunk encounter: for in reality he is Aegon Targaryen, and one day he will be king. Improbable heroes though they be, great destinies lie ahead for Dunk and Egg; as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.

A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms brings together for the first time the first three official prequel novellas to George R.R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice And Fire, set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory.

Featuring more than 160 illustrations by Gary Gianni, one of the finest fantasy artists of our time, this beautiful volume will transport readers to the world of the Seven Kingdoms in an age of bygone chivalry.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
15/06/2017
16%
OFF
RRP  $22.99 $19.50

Assassin's Fate

The much-anticipated final conclusion to the Fitz and the Fool trilogy.

Prince FitzChivalry Farseer's daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river.

Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed. Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four, not only for the loss of Bee but also for their torture of the Fool. Accompanied by FitzVigilant, son of the assassin Chade, Chade's protégé Spark and the stableboy Perseverance, Bee's only friend, their journey will take them from the Elderling city of Kelsingra, down the perilous Rain Wild River, and on to the Pirate Isles.

Their mission for revenge will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected?

But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices.

ASSASSIN'S FATE is a magnificent tour de force and with it Robin Hobb demonstrates yet again that she is the reigning queen of epic fantasy.

will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected?

But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices.

ASSASSIN'S FATE is a magnificent tour de force and with it Robin Hobb demonstrates yet again that she is the reigning queen of epic fantasy.

Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
08/05/2017
  $39.99

Beren and Lúthien

Painstakingly restored from Tolkien's manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Luthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien's Middle-earth.

The tale of Beren and Luthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year.

Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Luthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Luthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Luthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Luthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril.

In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Luthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father's own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
01/06/2017
23%
OFF
RRP  $44.99 $34.90

Norse Mythology

Bestselling and much loved author Neil Gaiman brings vividly to life the stories of Norse mythology that have inspired his own extraordinary writing

The great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman's own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction. Now he reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales.

Gaiman's gods are thoroughly alive on the page - irascible, visceral, playful, passionate - and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok and the twilight of the gods. Galvanised by Gaiman's prose, Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers and the crackling, brilliant writing demands to be read aloud around an open fire on a freezing, starlit night.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
01/02/2017
22%
OFF
RRP  $27.99 $21.90

Oathbringer

The eagerly awaited sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling Words or Radiance, from epic fantasy author Brandon Sanderson.

From the bestselling author who completed Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series comes a new, original creation that matches anything else in modern fantasy for epic scope, thrilling imagination, superb characters and sheer addictiveness.

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive series, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe whose numbers are as great as their thirst for vengeance.

The Alethi armies commanded by Dalinar Kholin won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, and now its destruction sweeps the world and its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the true horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that their newly kindled anger may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths the dark secrets lurking in its depths. And gradually realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put Dalinar's blood-soaked past aside and stand together - and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past - even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not avert the end of civilization.

'I loved this book. What else is there to say?' Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind, on The Way of Kings

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
14/11/2017
  $32.99

Artemis

Artemis

 
4/5 Rating 1 Reviews

The Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of The Martian returns with a new adventure a twisty, smart, high concept thriller about a heist set on the moon.

The #1 New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible near-future adventure.

You grew up on the moon, of course you have a dark side...

Jazz is a small time criminal, subsidising work as a porter on the moon with smuggling a little contraband. But it’s never enough.

When she’s offered the chance to get rich quick she jumps at it. But planning the perfect crime in 1/6th gravity was never going to be easy, especially as there is a conspiracy at the heart of Artemis.

At first it was about the money, then it was about control. Now it’s about survival…

Reviewed by Olivia at Angus & Robertson Bookworld:

The Martian was always going to be a tough act to follow but Andy Weir has definitely delivered with Artemis, a thrilling heist story with a brilliant sci-fi twist. Artemis follows small-time criminal Jazz, scraping by a measly existence on the moon with odd smuggling jobs, who finds her chance to hit the big time with the perfect heist, only to find herself deep in the heart of a conspiracy that threatens more than just her freedom.

Jazz is a fantastic character who has more than earned her place among the legions of roguish yet lovable space smugglers that have dominated sci-fi over the years - one imagines she’d feel right at home alongside Han Solo or Mal Reynolds. The world she inhabits on the world is gritty and complex, a haven to the rich and a hell for the poor, and makes for a perfect backdrop to the gripping ride that this novel takes you on. If you’re looking for your next exciting read for the summer, this is it!

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
13/11/2017
  $32.99

Provenance

Following her record-breaking debut trilogy, Ann Leckie, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards, returns with a thrilling new story of power, theft, privilege and birthright.

A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artefacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned.

Ingray and her charge will return to their home world to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating interstellar conflict.

Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future, her family, and her world, before they are lost to her for good.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
26/09/2017
RRP  $32.99 $30.75

Godsgrave

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Conquer your fear, conquer the world

Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.

Her position is precarious, and she's still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfill the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
08/09/2017
  $29.99

Sleeping Beauties

A spectacular father/son collaboration like no other, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place...

The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain?

Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women's prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously absorbing father/son collaboration between Stephen King and Owen King.

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
26/09/2017
  $32.99

 

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