As the whole world is seemingly gripped with fantasy fever I thought it only right to have a closer look at sci-fi and fantasy fiction.

The obvious start would of course be George RR Martins’ A Game of Thrones and I think here, I am meant to rant a little while about the books being better than the TV show and probably something about TV ruining everything, but that my friends would be a lie. I’m sure that A. more people have been driven to reading the books than ever would have been without the TV show and B. anything that spurs said people onto reading books can only be a good thing. What’s more, everyone is talking about them – yay!

Anyway moving on from that, I will just say that you could read this book or indeed the series to date, if you so desired but personally I think the grass is greener elsewhere and this is one for the ‘maybe one day’ pile.

I thought I would try something different for this post, so instead of me telling you all about books I have read, I asked a lovely colleague of mine to send me a list of contemporary Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors and I am going to list them for you here and I’ll be sure to fess up if I have read any of them and be suitably ashamed if I have not! I have to admit that I am a fantasy snob and generally avoid like the plague, any reference to Sci-Fi, I realise this is irrational but it is what it is.

I think a little disclaimer is warranted at this point as well, as I know that many of you will be quite passionate about Sci-Fi and Fantasy and think that I/we have snubbed your top ten authors but this post is just a brief exploration into waters unknown and I’m sure we can return back to basics in another post…


The Wormwood Insurrection trilogy, parts 1 & 2 currently available:

Rosewater  and The Rosewater Insurrection 

Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry, and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumoured healing powers. Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again – but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realisation about a horrifying future.

I have to say that I am intrigued by these covers, I am almost (almost) tempted to give them a try, what about you? leave a comment if you think I should read them…

Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy:

1. Annihilation 
2. Authority 
3. Acceptance

Again I am cooing over the pretty covers and I am a little surprised because I have actually read Annihilation! Admittedly I was spurred on by last years film adaptation, but read it I did and recommend it I would.

Alex White’s “Salvagers” series:

1. A Big Ship At The Edge of the Universe 
2. A Bad Deal For The Whole Galaxy 

My first impression before I read what they are about? They seem very Douglas Adams, Let’s find out:

“[T]his ambitious start…combines magic and space opera to create a fast-paced adventure with charismatic characters and formidable enemies in a realized universe of greed and power.”Booklist

A washed-up treasure hunter, a hotshot racer, and a deadly secret society. They’re all on a race against time to hunt down the greatest warship ever built. Some think the ship is lost forever, some think it’s been destroyed, and some think it’s only a legend, but one thing’s for certain: whoever finds it will hold the fate of the universe in their hands. And treasure that valuable can never stay hidden for long…

Truthfully I am not sure I would read these, how about you? They actually sound interesting and fun but I think I am more attuned to ‘watching’ this kind of drama than reading it.

Cory Doctorow – Walkaway 

In a world wrecked by climate change, a society owned by the ultra-rich, in a city hollowed out by industrial flight, Hubert, Seth and Natalie have nowhere else to be and nothing better to do. But there is another way. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life from a computer, there is little reason to toil within the system. So, like thousands of others in the mid-21st century, the three of them turn their back on the world of rules, jobs, the morning commute and walkaway. It’s a dangerous world out there, the empty lands are lawless, hiding predators – animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, they are joined by others, building what threatens to become a post-scarcity utopia. But then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. And now it’s war.

This sounds like the plot of a dystopian YA novel, to me and bizarrely, if the cover wasn’t so orange, I would probably read it. Hey, I said I would be honest!

This last mention for Sci-Fi is not one on my lovely colleagues list but one that I wanted to add as it is a series that whenever I see one of the books I think ‘I really must read those.’

Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown

  1. Red Rising
  2. Golden Sun
  3. Morning Star
  4. Iron Gold

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars, generations of people who spend their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that, one day, people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left. Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down at Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Aren’t they pretty? Am I the only one who gets really upset by changes in cover art mid way through a series? There really is no excuse for it!


Naomi Novik 

Winner of the 2016 Nebula Award for Best Novel Winner of the 2016 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel Winner of the 2016 British Fantasy Society Award for Best Novel Shortlisted for the 2016 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel Shortlisted for the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novel A dark enchantment blights the land in the award-winning Uprooted – a enthralling, mythic fantasy by Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series. 


Spinning Silver 

I am surprised that I haven’t read these books as I adore any and all takes on folk tales, fairy tales or mythology.  I’m heading over to Borrowbox as soon as I’ve finished this post to listen to the audio! I would love some modern fairy tale recommendations – leave them in the comments.

VE Schwab

V.E. Schwab is the No.1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including This Savage Song and the Darker Shade of Magic series, whose first book was described as “a classic work of fantasy” by Deborah Harkness. It was one of Waterstones’ Best Fantasy Books of 2015, The Guardia’s Best Science Fiction novels, and a Telegraph choice. The Independent has called her “The natural sucessor to Diana Wynne Jones.”

Shades of Magic trilogy

Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London.

1. A Darker Shade of Magic 
2. A Gathering of Shadows 
3. A Conjuring of Light 

Another author who I have not read, there is plenty available on our catalogue as well as from Borrowbox so no excuse not to get started!

Katherine Arden – Winternight trilogy

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain,intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, the father hides the gift away and his daughter, Vasya, grows up a wild, wilful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

1. The Bear and the Nightingale 
2. The Girl in the Tower 
3. The Winter of the Witch 

Okay so I am definitely being seduced by these covers!  It is set in Russia and as I have mentioned before I am a little obsessed with all things Russian, my TBR pile is certainly increasing at a rapid rate…


Zen Cho’s  –  Sorcerer Royal trilogy

In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England’s first African Sorcerer Royal. He leads the eminent Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, but a malicious faction seeks to remove him by fair means or foul. Meanwhile, the Society is failing its vital duty – to keep stable the levels of magic within His Majesty’s lands. The Fairy Court is blocking its supply, straining England’s dangerously declining magical stores. And now the government is demanding to use this scarce resource in its war with France. Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she’s drudged all her life, and a visit by the beleaguered Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries – and she intends to make the most of it.

1. Sorcerer to The Crown 
2. The True Queen 


N K Jemisin – Broken Earth

This is the way the world ends – for the last time. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

1. The Fifth Season
2. The Obelisk Gate 
3. The Stone Sky 

Sounds nice and dark! I see this authors name a lot and I feel somewhat remiss in not having read any of their works.

This is the end.

Or is it?

So many books to read. Have you been tempted by anything? do you have any suggestions for me? Do let me know in the comments. There really is no such thing as too many books.

Just not enough time – but that’s why we have audio books!

Stephanie (and lovely colleague!)