Science Fiction

Sea of Tranquility

Sea of Tranquility

Author: Emily St. John Mandel Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

The award-winning author of Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel returns with a wondrous novel of time travel that precisely captures the reality of our current moment. Sea of Tranquility is a virtuoso performance and an enormously exciting offering from one of our most remarkable writers. In 1912, eighteen-year-old Edwin St. Andrew crosses the Atlantic, exiled from English polite society. In British Columbia, he enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and for a split second all is darkness, the notes of a violin echoing unnaturally through the air. The experience shocks him to his core. Two centuries later Olive Llewelyn, a famous writer, is traveling all over Earth, far away from her home in the second moon colony. Within the text of Olive's bestselling novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him. When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in time, he uncovers a series of lives upended: the exiled son of an aristocrat driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe. Sea of Tranquility is a novel that investigates the idea of parallel worlds and possibilities, that plays with the very line along which time should run. Perceptive and poignant about art, and love, and what we must do to survive, it is incredibly compelling.

Eyes of the Void

Eyes of the Void

Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

Eyes of the Void is the second high-octane instalment in Adrian Tchaikovsky's Final Architecture space opera trilogy. After eighty years of fragile peace, the Architects are back, wreaking havoc as they consume entire planets. In the past, Originator artefacts - vestiges of a long-vanished civilization - could save a world from annihilation. Yet the Architects have discovered a way to circumvent these protective relics. Suddenly, no planet is safe. Facing impending extinction, the Human Colonies are in turmoil. While some believe a unified front is the only way to stop the Architects, others insist humanity should fight alone. And there are those who would seek to benefit from the fractured politics of war - even as the Architects loom ever closer. Idris, who has spent decades running from the horrors of his past, finds himself thrust back onto the battlefront. As an Intermediary, he could be one of the few to turn the tide of war. With a handful of allies, he searches for a weapon that could push back the Architects and save the galaxy. But to do so, he must return to the nightmarish unspace, where his mind was broken and remade. What Idris discovers there will change everything.

To Paradise

To Paradise

Author: Hanya Yanagihara Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/01/2022

From the author of the modern classic A Little Life, a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss and the elusive promise of utopia. In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist's damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him - and solve the mystery of her husband's disappearances. These three sections are joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another: A townhouse in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village; illness, and treatments that come at a terrible cost; wealth and squalor; the weak and the strong; race; the definition of family, and of nationhood; the dangerous righteousness of the powerful, and of revolutionaries; the longing to find a place in an earthly paradise, and the gradual realization that it can't exist. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness. To Paradise is a fin-de-siecle novel of marvellous literary effect, but above all it is a work of emotional genius. The great power of this remarkable novel is driven by Yanagihara's understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love - partners, lovers, children, friends, family and even our fellow citizens - and the pain that ensues when we cannot.

Black Table

Black Table

Author: Anttimatti Pennanen Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/10/2021

Two modern Sci-fi enthusiasts are whisked away on an adventure to other worlds. ‘Black Table’ by Anttimatti Pennanen introduces us to Jon and Gus, friends since school with a love of all things sci-fi. When a trip to Portland Comic-con to see their hero speak ends dramatically, their convention getaway becomes a road trip that transports them further than expected. This is a great story for readers of Young Adult fiction and beyond that are fans of sci-fi and adventure. Although you learn a lot about Jon and his past in the military, I would have liked to learn more about Gus and hope to learn more about how his life on earth provided him with the skills he needs, in later books. This is a great start to a series, there’s lots of action, new characters and worlds that are sufficiently detailed to be immersive and peril that requires our wandering friends with a love of fist bumping to provide answers. There’s plenty of modern cultural references as well as lots of unique science-fiction features to keep all sci-fi fans entertained. There’s a fast-flowing and enjoyable plot that I think would appeal to fans of the genre.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
The Cabinet

The Cabinet

Author: Un Su Kim Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/10/2021

Winner of the Munhakdongne Novel Award, South Korea's most prestigious literary prize Cabinet 13 looks exactly like any normal filing cabinet. Except this cabinet is filled with files on the 'symptomers', people whose weird abilities and bizarre experiences might just mark the emergence of a new species. But to Mr Kong, the harried office worker who spends his days looking after the cabinet, the symptomers are just a headache; from the woman whose doppelganger broke up with her boyfriend, to the man with a ginkgo tree growing from his fingertip. And then there's that guy who won't stop calling, asking to be turned into a cat... A richly funny and fantastical novel about the strangeness at the heart of even the most ordinary lives, from one of South Korea's most acclaimed novelists. Translated by Sean Lin Halbert

The Animals in That Country

The Animals in That Country

Author: Laura Jean McKay Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/09/2021

WINNER OF THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR Out on the road, no one speaks, everything talks. Hard-drinking, foul-mouthed grandma Jean has never been good at getting on with other humans, apart from her granddaughter, Kimberly. Instead, she surrounds herself with animals, working as a guide in an outback wildlife park. Then, a strange pandemic begins sweeping the country, its chief symptom that its victims begin to understand the language of animals. Many infected people lose their minds, including Jean’s son, Lee. When he takes off with Kimberly, Jean follows, with Sue the dingo riding shotgun. As they travel, they discover a stark, strange world in which the animal apocalypse has only further isolated people from other species.

Iron Widow

Iron Widow

Author: Xiran Jay Zhao Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/09/2021

* Instant New York Times No.1 Bestseller * Science fiction and East Asian myth combine in this dazzling retelling of the rise of Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in Chinese history. I have no faith in love. Love cannot save me. I choose vengeance. The boys of Huaxia dream of the celebrity status that comes with piloting Chrysalises - giant transforming robots that battle the aliens beyond the Great Wall. Their female co-pilots are expected to serve as concubines and sacrifice their lives. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, her plan is to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But on miraculously emerging from the cockpit unscathed after her first battle, she is declared an Iron Widow - the most feared pilot of all. Now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she sets her sights on bigger things. The time has come to stop more girls from being sacrificed.

Unity

Unity

Author: Anttimatti Pennanen Format: Ebook Release Date: 14/09/2021

Available from Amazon Go to Comic Con [check] Find alien technology [check] See the galaxy and make new friends [check] Defeat the ancient evil and save the galaxy [check] But who will save Jon and Gus? After the blind jump, the crew of Unity find themselves lost in space with a broken Black Table, no map, and no allies. And if that’s not enough, they are being hunted by something lurking in the shadows. With the Light as their guide and science fiction on their side, can Jon and Gus give us a fighting chance? PROTECT THE LIGHT! PROTECT THE FUTURE!

Several People Are Typing

Several People Are Typing

Author: Calvin Kasulke Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/09/2021

Super smart and a little weird (in the best possible way), Several People are Typing comes served with a huge dollop of darkly quirky, smirky humour. This novel, which comes in at under 250 pages, is all written in the workplace chat function of the app Slack. Gerald is uploaded into the Slack while working on a spreadsheet, his pleas for help initially go unanswered by his work colleagues. We use Slack at LoveReading, but you really don’t need to be aware of it in order to ‘get’ this book, anyone who uses a workplace communications channel, apps or social media will just slide into this book and within a couple of pages feel right at home. Gerald and his colleagues could be anyone, anywhere, the little darts of jealousy, humour, support, showboating, flirting, and all the other emotions that highlight office life can be found on display. In terms of characters, Slackbot is a particular favourite of mine, the horror of the situation is deftly handled with humour by Calvin Kasulke. While office politics and shenanigans are front and foremost, I really enjoyed the relationship element sneaking in to stir things up. And it really did stir things up as it also poked a thought-provoking elbow into sexual consent. Several People are Typing is a fabulously ballsy read that edges along a tightrope between provocative and humour.  

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Vagabonds

Vagabonds

Author: Hao Jingfang Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/2021

The first novel from the Hugo Award-winning author of 'Folding Beijing', translated by Ken Liu. Can the void between two worlds be bridged? AD2201. Just over a century ago, the Martian colonies declared their independence. After a brief conflict, Earth and Mars cut ties, carving separate trajectories into the future, viewing each other with suspicion and even hatred. Five years ago, a group of Martian students were sent to Earth as goodwill ambassadors from the Red Planet. Now the young men and women are coming home, escorting a delegation of prominent Terrans to see if the two worlds can bridge the void that has opened up between them. Almost immediately, negotiations break down and old enmities erupt. How do you escape the gravity of the past? Luoying, one of the returning Martians, is caught amidst the political intrigue and philosophical warfare. Martians and Terrans, old friends and new mentors, statesmen and revolutionaries - everything and everyone challenges her, pushing her to declare her allegiance. Torn between her native land and the world on which she came of age, Luoying must discover the truth amid a web of lies spun by both sides, she must chart a course between history and the future, or face the destruction of everything she's ever loved.

The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray

The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray

Author: O.R. Simmonds Format: Ebook Release Date: 30/07/2021

William is just an unassuming American who ends up in the wrong place and definitely the wrong time! He lives an unexciting life in London, but when he goes to buy a watch for his girlfriend his life take a very dramatic turn. He ends up being accused of murder,  and being chased through history by a secret organisation who will stop at nothing to get their “timepiece” back. Travel with William through his exciting journey and enjoy a thrilling and riveting read. Maureen Gourlay, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
She Who Became the Sun

She Who Became the Sun

Author: Shelley Parker-Chan Format: Audiobook Release Date: 22/07/2021

She Who Became the Sun reimagines the rise to power of the Ming Dynasty’s founding emperor. In a famine-stricken village on a dusty plain, a seer shows two children their fates. For a family’s eighth-born son, there’s greatness. For the second daughter, nothing. In 1345, China lies restless under harsh Mongol rule. And when a bandit raid wipes out their home, the two children must somehow survive. Zhu Chongba despairs and gives in. But the girl resolves to overcome her destiny. So she takes her dead brother's identity and begins her journey. Can Zhu escape what’s written in the stars, as rebellion sweeps the land? Or can she claim her brother’s greatness – and rise as high as she can dream? This is a glorious tale of love, loss, betrayal and triumph by a powerful new voice.

Audiobooks of the Month