Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Badge
Severance: A Novel By Ling Ma Cover Image
By Ling Ma
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250214997
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Picador - May 7th, 2019

I loved the emptiness of this book. An aloneness with a touch of loneliness. A slow crawl, a quiet horror that is never fully unleashed. The look at pandemic life before living through an actual pandemic. The 'zombies' that are much creepier than the brain-eating variety. I felt for Candace like I feel for my favorite anti-heroines. Ling Ma handled her characters and this concept very well, as if she were holding broken glass in broken hands. 

 


Review by Emily

Staff Pick Badge
The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer By Janelle Monáe Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780063070875
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Voyager - April 19th, 2022

I adore Janelle Monae's musical career but I didn't know what to expect in her first novel. I enjoyed The Memory Librarian immensely. Her vision is speculative, rooted in science fiction, but it is also hopeful. 

The beating heart of The Memory Librarian is an exploration of technology and artificial intelligence as limitations on individual bodies and as liberation from governmental bodies. Co-written with celebrated and emerging black novelists, in the titular story as well as the four other connected tales that follow, Monae challenges the notion of "dirty" and "deviance" and "abnormal". She gives space to the "othered" and offers a vision of found family--places that are built by community and dreams alike, full of artists and creators and healers and humans who need space to be, just as they are. 

 


Review by Danielle

Staff Pick Badge
Nettle & Bone By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250244048
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tor Books - April 26th, 2022

“You wove a cloak with nettle thread...and built your own dog out of bones, and NOW you are concerned about what is impossible?” 

 

A third-born princess banished to a convent, a dust-wife who can speak to the dead, a disgraced knight far from home, and a godmother with just one ineffectual wish to grant; accompanied by a demonic chicken and a dog constructed of wire and bone, these are the companions tasked with the seemingly impossible quest to infiltrate the palace of the Northern Kingdom and kill the king.  Along the way they will learn that not all gifts are grand or obvious until you find the people who will help you discover the hero within yourself.

 


Review by Deborah

Staff Pick Badge
The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century By Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (Translated by) Cover Image
By Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780811231350
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Directions - February 1st, 2022

If 2001: A Space Odyssey was also about chilling, unnameable workplace minutiae... well, here you go. In the far future, a spaceship orbits a planet littered with strange objects, and the ship's crew—janitors, captains, all—become obsessed with these mysterious mementos. A story of dread and survival, both existential and physical, to be read in a morning, quaking over your coffee. You won't forget it.


Review by Spencer R.

Staff Pick Badge
His Name was Death By Rafael Bernal, Kit Schluter (Translated by) Cover Image
By Rafael Bernal, Kit Schluter (Translated by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780811230834
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: New Directions - November 16th, 2021

An alcoholic hermit discovers the truth of power in the world: the flies are actually in control. Bizarre, thrilling, and fast paced, this newly translated novel is worth a read.



Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series #2) By Tamsyn Muir Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250313218
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tordotcom - September 21st, 2021

Tamsyn Muir has an uncanny ability to write sci-fi / fantasy that is both gut wrenchingly funny and just masterfully, painstakingly plotted. If you're into big picture sci-fi like Dune or Saga but also have an appreciation for eldritch monsters and body horror à la Resident Evil, please treat yourself to this incredible series.


Review by Anje

Staff Pick Badge
A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) By Becky Chambers Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781250236210
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tordotcom - July 13th, 2021

Becky Chambers steeps us her best home-grown tea in this sweet and tender little book. Told through Dex, a tea monk wanting to escape modern life, and Mosscap, a robot fascinated with learning about their world, this story is a glimmer of hope in our never-ending uncertainty about the future of our world.


Review by Javi

Staff Pick Badge
Polaris Rising: A Novel (The Consortium Rebellion #1) By Jessie Mihalik Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062802385
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Voyager - February 5th, 2019

Need a fun space adventure with a dash of royalty, romance, and reconnaissance? Look no further than the Consortium Rebellion series. 

Ada is the daughter of a High House and she's on the run from her family. Fleeing an arranged marriage she can't stomach, Ada finds herself locked up on a mercenary ship with a mysterious stranger named Loch. The Devil of Fornax oozes danger and has the largest bounty in the Universe on his head. Luckily, he's just as interested in foiling her fiance as she is. 

The world-building is technologically complex, the action is fast-paced, and the heat is set to smoldering. If you like our heroes, you'll be delighted: there's 2 more books set in this 'verse!


Review by Danielle

Staff Pick Badge
Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) By Rebecca Roanhorse Cover Image
$27.99
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9781534437678
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - October 13th, 2020

Open this exquisite cover and enter a world equally dark and beautiful, a world where every captivating character is both hero and villain of their own story, their fellow characters' stories and the novel as a whole.  And make no mistake, this is a sweeping #ownvoices fantasy.  Epic in scope and using as it's foundation the mythology of the pre-Columbian Americas, the first book of the Between Earth and Sky series introduces a cast of incredibly diverse characters within a gripping political and religious plot that I could not put down.


Review by Deborah

Staff Pick Badge
Providence By Max Barry Cover Image
$27.00
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780593085172
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 31st, 2020

In my youth I read quite a bit of science fiction, but my interests shifted over the years and I veered away from that genre a little. Over the last few years though, I found myself craving a good sci-fi adventure with spaceships and aliens. Last fall I happened across a copy of Providence by Max Barry (author of Lexicon) and it fit the bill perfectly. I read half the book in one sitting! Interesting characters aboard a ship a mile and a half long venture into deep space to save civilization from impending doom. It's an intense ride from start to finish.



Pages