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Incredible fantasy and science fiction awaits: From modern fantasy classics to novels by award-winning authors, these books are on sale all month long.
Every month, we're bringing you a selection of other-worldly reads at a discounted price.
Love in the Ruins and The Thanatos Syndrome
A pair of profound dystopian novels from the “brilliantly breathtaking” New York Times–bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of The Moviegoer (The New York Times Book Review).
Winner of the National Book Award for The Moviegoer, the “dazzlingly gifted” Southern philosophical author Walker Percy wrote two vividly imagined satirical novels of America’s future featuring deeply flawed psychiatrist and spiritual seeker Tom More (USA Today). Love in the Ruins is “a great adventure . . . so outrageous and so real, one is left speechless” (Chicago Sun-Times), and its sequel The Thanatos Syndrome “shimmers with intelligence and verve” (Newsday).
Love in the Ruins: The great experiment of the American dream has failed. The United States is on the brink of catastrophe. Can an alcoholic, womanizing, lapsed-Catholic psychiatrist really save a society speeding toward inevitable collapse? Dr. Thomas More certainly thinks so. He has invented the lapsometer, a machine capable of diagnosing and curing the country’s spiritual afflictions. If used correctly, the lapsometer could make anxiety, depression, alienation, and racism things of the past. But in the wrong hands, it could rapidly propel the nation into chaos.
Swords and Ice Magic
In Swords and Ice Magic, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser discover how the sadness of the Executioner creates a macabre dance from the point of view of the choreographer. Beauties and beasts explain the dual nature of all life’s creatures. Trapped in the Shadowland, our dogmatic duo finds the dualities of swords and needles, maps and territories, girls and demons, mortals and gods, learning of the mischievous vanity of the gods. Lost at sea, Gray Mouser becomes a natural philosopher, drifting, captive of the Great Equatorial Current. He wonders about fire and ice, about women and men, until they arrive at Rime Isle, a tragic comedy of a place, wandering gods and restless mortals, a comedy with puppets and puppet masters.
Before The Lord of the Rings took the world by storm, Leiber’s fantastic but thoroughly flawed antiheroes, Fafhrd and Gray Mouser, adventured deep within the caves of Inner Earth, albeit a different one. They wondered and wandered to the edges of the Outer Sea, across the Land of Nehwon and throughout every nook and cranny of gothic Lankhmar, Nehwon’s grandest and most mystically corrupt city. Lankhmar is Leiber’s fully realized, vivid incarnation of urban decay and civilization’s corroding effect on the human psyche.
Who Is the Doctor
“A joyful celebration of fan love. Unofficial episode guides don’t come much more engaging than this” (Benjamin Cook, co-author of Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale).
Doctor Who was already the world’s longest-running science fiction series when it returned in 2005 to huge success. Enormously popular, the BBC show encompasses multiple other genres, from horror to comedy to action and historical adventure, and is loved for its uniquely British wit and clever scripting.
Its hero, its monsters, and even its theme song have become pop culture icons. In this volume covering six seasons of the new series, two Doctor Who experts provide insights into everything from the history of the show, including Daleks, Cybermen, and the eight Classic Series Doctors, to a detailed episode guide. As Neil Gaiman complained to the authors, “I have just lost four hours to your blasted book. And I only meant to glance at it.” Allons-y!
Tonight and Always
From the #1 New York Times–bestselling author, a widow cursed with immortality vows to spend eternity alone rather than risk love with another mortal.
Widowed at twenty-two, Kristina Holbrook vows to never give her heart away again. But when she meets Max, a widowed high school football coach, she begins to question her decision to live out eternity alone.
The daughter of vampires, Kristina has many gifts, including the power to move things with her mind. But her immortality feels like a curse whenever she’s around Max, the first man to awaken her senses since the loss of her husband. How can she explain to him that while she looks thirty, she’s actually a hundred years older? Or that her grieving heart could not bear to fall in love with another mortal, only to watch him age and die? Yet something draws Kristina to Max over and over again, something that is starting to feel like fate . . .
Tonight and Always is the richly detailed and emotionally satisfying closing chapter to #1 New York Times– and USA Today–bestselling author Linda Lael Miller’s Black Rose Chronicles quartet.RELATED: 18 Must-Read Nebula Award-Winning Books
Lights Out in the Reptile House
A shy and apolitical herpetologist-in-training finds the weight of history bearing down on him as the effects of repression ramp up in his country
In an unspecified country that combines elements of Chile under its military regime, South Africa under apartheid, and Italy under fascism, fifteen-year-old Karel Roeder asks only to be left alone to learn from Albert, his mentor at the zoo’s reptile house, and to devote himself to his girlfriend, Leda. But both Leda and Albert lead him into increasingly proscribed areas of thought and speech, and thus into conflict with a newly ascendant party that intends to prosecute a border war against an officially despised ethnic group and criminalize dissent. Citizens have been disappearing and surveillance in the name of safety has become all-pervasive. When Kehr, a special assistant of the civil guard, billets himself at Karel’s house for unknown reasons, Karel finds his already tenuous hold on his own innocence crushed as Kehr—tribune, inquisitor, and metaphysician of terror—instructs his unwilling protégé in those moments when history is let off the leash.
Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon
“Lisa Goldstein mixes history, faerie, literature and love to engrave a tale both intelligent and fine. [Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon] is, from first to last, a delight.” —Neil Gaiman
London in the time of Queen Elizabeth I is a bustling place, its streets crowded with vendors selling goods from all over the world. In the courtyard of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Alice Wood competes with other booksellers, hawking pamphlets, plays, and the latest poetry from the continent. It is a lonely life for a hardworking young widow, and she will soon put it aside. When a black-clad stranger visits, speaking in riddles and asking questions about her long-vanished son, Alice will be drawn into an adventure straight out of one of her faerie stories.
The Elizabethan court has been infiltrated by the Fair Folk, a race of magical beings whose intentions are shadowy and dangerous. With the help of Christopher Marlowe, the city’s most dashing playwright, Alice must untangle the faerie conspiracy to save her son—and the crown.
Larque on the Wing
Larque Harootunian is having a midlife crisis like no other—but then again, there is much about the frumpy, middle-aged housewife and mother that could never be considered ordinary. Larque’s lifelong ability to generate “dopplegangers,” for example—physical manifestations of her thoughts and emotions—has been a constant source of stress. And now she is being tormented by Skylark, a re-creation of her younger self, an angry inner child who is tormenting Larque about abandoning her youthful ambitions while running away with her artistic abilities, thereby depriving the older Larque of a livelihood as a painter of kitsch.
But perhaps this is Larque’s opportunity to explore her options. Acquiescing to Sky’s demands that she change herself, Larque tries on a series of different personas—to the consternation of her mother, husband, and teenage sons—and finds her way to Popular Street. There, among the devil-may-care misfits, Larque can be Lark, a handsome young gay man, and quite possibly discover what her life is really about.
In her critically acclaimed contemporary fantasy, multiple award–winning author Nancy Springer breaks through boundaries while provocatively comingling the real and the surreal. Larque on the Wing is a marvel—a moving, funny, surprising, and transcendent tale of one woman’s strange quest to come to terms with who she truly is.
RELATED: 8 Captivating Historical Fantasy Books
What if someone wished for a fairy godmother would help the entire city of Seattle? An overworked, overstressed social worker named Rose Samson does just that when she makes an idle wish on a mustard seed. Felicity Fortune of Godmothers Anonymous shows up to help. Rose Samson is neither fashion model beautiful nor a twit, and she happily joins forces with Felicity Fortune, a “Godmother” who demonstrates that Grimm’s fairy tales are still relevant in our humdrum modern world.
Fairy godmothers are on a magical budget, so every possible way they can get human beings or animals to assist one another, they will try, rather than using up their magical means.
Felicity encounters many strangely familiar situations: a pretty stablehand named Cindy Ellis is mistreated by her cruel stepsisters. A rock star’s daughter, scared of the supermodel she married, runs away from home and encounters seven Vietnam veterans at an encounter session and retreat. One of them might be a big bad wolf, who knows?
In all their encounters, Rose and Felicity try to blend their magical aid with realistic human initiative and social responsibility. Scarborough’s fully realized settings and the humor built into the mix of magical solutions and grim reality make this work an entertaining and compelling read.
Imaginative stories of dark powers, courageous heroes, and breathtaking adventure from “one of the pioneer women in science fiction” (Anne McCaffrey).
In a career spanning from the Golden Age of science fiction and fantasy to the modern age, Andre Norton’s brilliant mind and inimitable talents forged an unforgettable legacy in literature. From all-encompassing world-building sagas to charming short stories, her works remain fascinating and compelling reading for lovers of the strange, the surprising, and the wondrous possibilities of human imagination.
This collection of thirteen stories presents the myriad visions of a truly gifted author: “Falcon Blood,” “The Toads of Grimmerdale,” “Changeling,” “Spider Silk,” “Sword of Unbelief,” “Sand Sister,” “Toys of Tamisan,” “Wizard’s Worlds,” “Mousetrap,” “Were-Wrath,” “By a Hair,” “All Cats Are Grey,” and “Swamp Dweller.”
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The Stranger's Woes
The international-bestselling Russian fantasy author continues the adventures of Sir Max, the lazy gumshoe of the enchanted city of Echo.
The tales of Sir Max, who was a daydreaming loser before he discovered the parallel world of Echo, have become an international literary sensation. In the second novel of the Labyrinths of Echoes series, Max is still a hardened smoker, glutton, and all-around loafer. But once again, he finds himself travelling to an alternate universe where he must root out illegal magic as an agent of the Secret Investigative Force.
This time, Sir Max is called upon to handle a peculiar political dispute, investigate strange happenings in the cemetery, and when Echo’s police captain is poisoned, he must lead a team of magicians in pursuit of magical outlaws.
Two hundred years after landing on the Moon, mankind has moved further out into the solar system. With permanent settlements now established on the Moon, Venus, and Mars, the inhabitants of these colonies have formed a political alliance called the Federation.
On the Moon, a government agent from Earth is tracking a suspected spy at a prominent observatory. His mission is complicated by the rise in tensions between Earth’s government and the Federation over access to rare heavy metals. As the agent finds himself locked in a battle for life and death on the eerie, lunar landscape, the larger conflict explodes across space, leaving mankind’s future in doubt.
First published in 1955, this suspense-filled space opera by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inductee was a significant forerunner of television hits like Star Trek and The Expanse.
Return to Mars
Jamie Waterman is returning to the red planet, this time in charge of an expedition in which he hopes to demonstrate that one can study Martian life not only for the sake of the pursuit but more, that it can be profitable. Waterman also hopes to revisit a part of the canyon where he thought he spied a primitive cliff dwelling during the first Martian mission.
But this second voyage to Mars brings trouble right away as Waterman clashes with Dex Trumball, the son of a billionaire who is backing the expedition. Dex wants to turn the planet into a tourist attraction, while Waterman wants to preserve the planet solely for scientific research.
As their rivalry heats up—both professionally and personally—Waterman is faced with betrayal and sabotage. But the planet still guards its most closely held secrets . . . discoveries that could change what everyone thought they knew about Mars—and life in space . . .
Jamie Waterman is a young Navaho geologist who is picked for the ground team of the first manned expedition to Mars. He will be joining an international team of astronauts and scientists. But once the crew land on the red planet, they soon discover they must battle not only the alien land on which they have invaded but earthbound bureaucrats as well. When they come face to face with a chasm ten times as deep and large as the Grand Canyon, all twenty-five astronauts must face the most shocking discovery of all . . .
Before She Sleeps
In modern, beautiful Green City, the capital of Southwest Asia, gender selection, war, and disease have brought the ratio of men to women to alarmingly low levels. The government uses terror and technology to control its people, and now females must take multiple husbands to have children as quickly as possible.
Yet there are some who resist, women who live in an underground collective and refuse to be part of the system. Secretly protected by the highest echelons of power, they emerge only at night to provide the rich and elite of Green City a type of commodity no one can buy: intimacy without sex. As it turns out, not even the most influential men can shield them from discovery and the dangers of ruthless punishment.
This dystopian novel from one of Pakistan’s most talented writers is a modern-day parable, The Handmaid’s Tale for repressed women in Muslim countries everywhere. Before She Sleeps takes the patriarchal practices of female seclusion and veiling, gender selection, and control over women’s bodies, amplifying and distorting them in a truly terrifying way to imagine a world of post-religious authoritarianism.
Night Train to Rigel
The universe is a dangerous place, a fact violently brought home to Frank Compton for perhaps the thousandth time when a stranger delivering a message dies right in front of him. An operative for Western Alliance Intelligence until his whistle-blowing activities got him fired, Compton is now being sought out by the Spiders, the robotic alien beings responsible for the upkeep and operation of the Quadrail transportation system, which connects the galaxy’s twelve inhabited empires. The discovery of a sinister plot to use the Quadrail for ill has brought the Spiders to Compton—for only someone possessing the former agent’s unique skills can stop the scheme for good.
But when Compton leaves Earth behind—joining forces with Bayta, the Spiders’ beautiful, half-human representative aboard the Quadrail—the terrifying scope of a vast, galaxy-wide conspiracy begins to reveal itself. Targeted on all sides by alien assassins of every shape and species, Compton and his enigmatic new partner are suddenly in a race against a clock ticking down to an irreversible doomsday, one in which the galactic night train will derail, carrying all members of humanity screaming to their deaths.
The definitive Tolkien companion—an indispensable guide to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and more, from the author of The Road to Middle-earth.
This “highly erudite celebration and exploration of Tolkien’s works [is] enormous fun,” declared the Houston Chronicle, and Tom Shippey, a prominent medievalist and scholar of fantasy, “deepens your understanding” without “making you forget your initial, purely instinctive response to Middle-earth and hobbits.”
In a clear and accessible style, Shippey offers a new approach to Tolkien, to fantasy, and to the importance of language in literature. He breaks down The Lord of the Rings as a linguistic feast for the senses and as a response to the human instinct for myth. Elsewhere, he examines The Hobbit’s counterintuitive relationship to the heroic world of Middle-earth; demonstrates the significance of The Silmarillion to Tolkien’s canon; and takes an illuminating look at lesser-known works in connection with Tolkien’s life. Furthermore, he ties all these strands together in a continuing tradition that traces its roots back through Grimms’ Fairy Tales to Beowulf.
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