“No, emptiness is not nothingness”: New Sci Fi & Fantasy

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“No, emptiness is not nothingness. Emptiness is a type of existence. You must use this existential emptiness to fill yourself.” ― Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem

Welcome to our latest selection of recently acquired science fiction and fantasy titles. As always, we have a cosmos of choice awaiting our readers.

This month’s selection includes three titles from our own fair shores, the first of which is the eagerly anticipated new book by H. G Parry called Heartless. Regular readers will know that H. G. Parry is one of our personal favourites and we were thrilled to see a new title from this wonderful author on the shelves. Another treat from Aotearoa  comes in the form of  best-selling, award-winning  author David Hair’s latest release that’s called The Burning Land, and the third member of our local trio of talent is local author Helen Vivienne Fletcher, who releases a collection of stories called Beside the River Styx. It’s fabulous to see so much exceptional home-grown talent out there. The other title that caught our eye was A View from the Stars by Liu Cixin, author of the exceptional modern classic The Three-Body Problem, currently one of the most popular television adaptations around. If you’ve not read any Liu Cixin before and enjoy deep, thought-provoking cutting-edge science fiction we thoroughly recommend his work.

To see our full list of selected titles and borrow any that interest you, just browse below.

Heartless / Parry, H. G.
“At the age of seven, in a London workhouse, newly-orphaned James meets ten-year-old Peter. Mysterious, mercurial, thoughtless to the point of cruelty, Peter nonetheless takes a liking to James. The two forge a strange friendship, bound together by their shared love of stories…But one fateful night, Peter vanishes from his bed, and in the morning James is found lying alone and broken in the courtyard outside…Over twenty years later, on the deck of a whaling ship in the frozen wastes of the Arctic…James’s obsession with finding his childhood friend will lead him to mutiny and murder, beyond the edges of the world, and finally to an island that shouldn’t exist.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The burning land / Hair, David
“Brandon Sanderson meets Joe Abercrombie in this astounding novel of good and evil where a group of renegade knights disobey their Order and set out on an extraordinary quest to discover why their world is dying.” (Adapted from Catalogue)



Beside the River Styx / Fletcher, Helen Vivienne
“A woman finds a body in a park. A girl watches for witches next door. A cruel town turns against a young mother, while a man kills with humour. A teenager tries to keep a library alive in a world where paper crumbles; a cursed piece of jewellery changes necks. Beside the River Styx brings together nine dark, twisty and comically criminal tales. If you like creepy magic, heart-breakingly human moments, and a touch of black humour, then you’ll love Helen Vivienne Fletcher’s new short story collection.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A view from the stars / Liu, Cixin
“A View from the Stars is a collection of short fiction and nonfiction pieces from Cixin Liu, the New York Times bestselling author of The Three-Body Problem. Included are essays and interviews that shed light on Liu’s experiences as a reader, writier, and lover of science fiction throughout his life, as well as short fiction that gives glimpses into the evolution of his imaginative voice over the years.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Jumpnauts / Hao, Jingfang
“In a future where the world is roughly divided into two factions, the Pacific League of Nations and the Atlantic Division of Nations, tensions are high as each side waits for the other to make a move. But neither side is prepared for a powerful third party that has apparently been an influential presence on Earth for thousands of years, and just might be making a reappearance very soon. With the realization that a highly intelligent alien race has been trying to send them messages, three rising scientists within the Pacific League of Nations form an uneasy alliance. Fueled by a curiosity to have their questions answered and a fear that other factions within their rival Atlantic Division of Nations would opt for a more aggressive and potentially disastrous military response, the three race to secure first contact with this extraterrestrial life they aren’t quite convinced is a threat. Bolstered by recent evidence of alien visitations in the distant past, the three scientific minds must solve puzzles rooted within human antiquity, face off with their personal demons, and discover truths of the universe.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

A feather so black / Selene, Lyra
“In a kingdom where magic has been lost, Fia is a rare changeling, left behind by the wicked Fair Folk when they stole the High Queen’s daughter and retreated behind the locked gates of Tír na nÓg. Most despise Fia’s fae blood. But the queen raises her as a daughter and trains her to be a spy. Meanwhile, the real princess Eala is bound to Tír na nÓg, cursed to become a swan by day and only returning to her true form at night. When a hidden gate to the realm is discovered, Fia is tasked by the queen to retrieve the princess and break her curse. But she doesn’t go alone…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The book that broke the world / Lawrence, Mark
“The Library of Alexandria died in fire. Others fade away with less drama, ignored, forgotten, left to dust. To the athenaeum though, the great library of which all others are echoes, fires are merely a temporary inconvenience. The only true threat to the library’s existence is a book–the one Livira wrote. Livira’s book also brought her together with Evar, a young man who was raised in the library itself, and they discovered secrets that no one else had uncovered. But now they are separated–and something hunts them both.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

I cheerfully refuse : a novel / Enger, Leif
“Set in a not-too-distant America, I Cheerfully Refuse is the tale of a bereaved and pursued musician embarking under sail on a sentient Lake Superior in search of his departed, deeply beloved, bookselling wife. Rainy, an endearing bear of an Orphean narrator, seeks refuge in the harbors, fogs, and remote islands of the inland sea. Encountering lunatic storms and rising corpses from the warming depths, Rainy finds on land an increasingly desperate and illiterate people, a malignant billionaire ruling class, crumbled infrastructure, and a lawless society. Amid the Gulliver-like challenges of life at sea and no safe landings, Rainy is lifted by physical beauty, surprising humor, generous strangers, and an unexpected companion in a young girl who comes aboard…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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