With Christmas officially under a month away (where did that come from…), it’s probably time to start thinking about presents. Yeah yeah we know we know, for some that can cause a minor headache, but fear not, festive adventurer, because we’ve compiled a list of some of the best books you can gift your loved ones this year.
From intense adventures in deep space, to a nightmare epidemic right here on planet Earth, our gift guide has something for everyone to open on Christmas day.
WANDERERS – Chuck Wendig
Look at any ‘Best Books of 2019’ list from the past few months and there’s a very good chance Wanderers will be on it, and for good reason. This chunky 800-page hardback is the ideal book to unwrap this Christmas, and will keep whoever reads it enthralled over a few of those cold winter nights!
Chuck Wendig’s magnum opus is an epic tapestry of humanity, told in a chorus of disparate voices, including Shana, a young girl who wakes up one morning to discover her sister in the grip of a strange malady.
She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone.
Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead. For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it.
Waterstones says – “A mighty, apocalyptic epic, Wanderers takes the reader on a journey through a crippled, collapsing America, where an army of sleepwalkers may hold the key to a mysterious epidemic that is claiming the lives of millions. Wendig’s writing is astonishingly consistent throughout the novel’s 800 pages, with the humanity he brings to his huge cast complementing the disturbing twists and turns of the narrative in the most rewarding fashion.”
THE GOBLIN EMPEROR – Katherine Addison
A critically acclaimed smash hit in the US, nominated for the Nebula and Hugo awards, a World Fantasy Award finalist AND one of Unbound World’s 100 Best Fantasy Novels of All Time, The Goblin Emperor has finally been brought to the UK for the first time! With it’s gorgeous UK exclusive cover art, The Goblin Emperor is the perfect gift this Christmas, mixing court intrigue and dark magic all in a vividly imagined fantasy world!
Maia, the youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an “accident,” he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir.
Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.
Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favour with the naïve new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the spectre of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor.
“Challenging, invigorating, and unique.” Scott Lynch, bestselling author of The Lies of Locke Lamora.
THE CALCULATING STARS/THE FATED SKY – Mary Robinette Kowal
Mary Robintette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars has well and truly taken 2019 by storm, winning the rare trio of Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards for best sci-fi novel, amongst others, and with the second book in the Lady Astronaut series – The Fated Sky – releasing a few short months ago, we’re sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of her in 2020! The Calculating Stars is the perfect book for any sci-fi fan, and tells the story of one woman’s mission to go in to space, in the face of not only a cataclysmic event, but prejudice as well.
It’s 1952, and the world as we know it is gone. A meteorite has destroyed Washington DC, triggering extinction-level global warming. To save humanity, the world unites to form the International Aerospace Coalition. Its mission: to colonise first the Moon, then Mars.
Elma York, World War Two pilot and mathematician, dreams of becoming an astronaut – but prejudice has kept her grounded. Now nothing – and no man – will stop her from reaching for the stars.
One woman. One mission. One chance to save the world.
“This is what NASA never had, a heroine with attitude.” The Wall Street Journal
THE QUANTUM MAGICIAN/THE QUANTUM GARDEN
Last, and by no means least, our final gift recommendation is The Quantum Magician and The Quantum Garden, the first two books from the Quantum Evolution series by the insanely talented Derek Kunsken! The number one best-seller The Quantum Magician is sure to be a hit with not just sci-fi fans, but those who love a good heist story! Pop these in a stocking or under the tree and you’re on to a winner.
Belisarius is a Homo quantus, engineered with impossible insight. But his gift is also a curse an uncontrollable, even suicidal drive to know, to understand. Genetically flawed, he leaves his people to find a different life, and ends up becoming the galaxy’s greatest con man and thief.
But the jobs are getting too easy and his extraordinary brain is chafing at the neglect. When a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of secret warships across an enemy wormhole, Belisarius jumps at it. Now he must embrace his true nature to pull off the job, alongside a crew of extraordinary men and women.
If he succeeds, he could trigger an interstellar war… or the next step in human evolution.
“An audacious con job, scintillating future technology, and meditations on the nature of fractured humanity” – Yoon Ha Lee