Temperatures are dropping and we can’t hop a flight to warmer climes for a quick getaway, so why not escape into a whole new world right at home? Today, we’re bringing you staff picks from the sci-fi and fantasy section. Check back next week for more equally un-real recs from the romance, horror, and mystery sections!
The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden, $16
Afro-futuristic novel that combines science fiction and fantasy in the coolest way. This book follows a young demigod, her vengeful sister who is trying to bring about the end of the world, two boys who find themselves caught in the middle, and a disillusioned pop star that’s just trying to feel better. One of the best book I’ve read this year! —Claire
Piranesi by Susannah Clarke, $25
New surreal fiction playing with themes of space, time, and infinity within the walls of a mysterious house – from the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Recommended for fans of David Mitchell, Haruki Murakami, and Jorge Luis Borges. —Conrad
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells, $8
A classic of sci-fi literature from one of the most groundbreaking authors in the genre. A shipwreck survivor gets stranded on a tropical island, populated by a deranged scientist and the subjects of his cruel experiments. —Josh
Hyperion by Dan Simmons, $9
Space opera or tale of horror? Dan Simmons takes inspiration from the Canterbury Tales to tell the tale of pilgrims upon a ship, bound for the mysterious planet of Hyperion, featuring an AI replication of John Keats… in space. —Kosmo
The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey, $10 (used—available while supplies last!)
Aliens! Space battles! Worm holes! Heists! Contentious relations between the governments of Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt! This series has it all. I’m only up to book 5 (and have not watched the TV show), but these books are super fun and each one is better than the last. —Max
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik, $26
El is a brassy and ferociously intelligent Welsh student, trapped with thousands of other kids at a boarding-school-prison-safe-haven called the Scholomance. Over the course of the year, she tries to hide her enormous potential for dark magic, survive the year, and possibly make a few friends. I read this book twice in a week and can’t wait for the second one. For fans of Harry Potter and The Magicians, except this one’s better. 🙂 Would recommend for older YA readers as well as adults. —Audrey
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown, $17
A breathtaking debut novel featuring a world inspired by West and North African mythology. The story alternates between the perspectives of teenage refugee Malik and princess Karina, who are brought together in a tournament that only occurs once a century. Both characters secretly intend to murder the other, but a growing romance between the two begins to complicate things. For YA fantasy readers, especially fans of Children of Blood and Bone! —Courtney
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine, $17
A young woman lands her dream job as her station’s ambassador to the home world of an adjoining empire. Shipped off with only the outdated memories of her (now dead) predecessor, she must juggle her love for Teixcalaanli culture with her need to protect her station from assimilation — and there’s the looming threat of an unknown alien enemy coming closer and closer. Martine constructs a lush and exquisitely cruel world that manages to be as terrifying as it is appealing and this novel was exactly what I wanted, littered with dangerously charming characters and weird memory sharing nonsense. If people are into Ann Leckie’s stuff this will almost certainly appeal to them, though Martine focuses much more on the “opera” part of “space opera.” —Meagan
We hope you liked this (extremely limited) roundup of “SFF” we love. Remember, booksellers are always happy to talk to you about specific recommendations for you, or help you select for someone else. Stop by or give us a call for even more guidance with sci-fi, fantasy, and any other genre.
Check back next week for more equally un-real recs from the romance, horror, and mystery sections!