Christmas Lit Gifts 2017: Out of this world picks in science fiction and fantasy

Thrilling tales of magical worlds and outerspace adventures are what you’d find in our suggestions of science fiction and fantasy new releases and special edition classics. Go forth and make your bold choice, O intrepid literary explorer!

Artemis: A Novel
By Andy Weir
The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller – a heist story set on the moon. It centres on Jasmine Bashara’s quest to get rich – not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony, but rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time. So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle. The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, Jazz finds herself in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city. (Paperback, RM75.90)

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1)
By Philip Pullman
Masterful storyteller Philip Pullman weaves a captivating tale in this first book of his new trilogy, a prequel to his phenomenally successful His Dark Materials. It centres on Malcolm Polstead, the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. Malcolm’s parents run an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his daemon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal. During a winter of unceasing rain, he finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust, and the spy it was intended for finds him. When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he sees suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a baby girl named Lyra. Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm. (Paperback, RM86.95)

The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard
By David A. Goodman
Here’s one that all Trekkies should not miss! This tells the story of one of the most celebrated names in Starfleet history. His extraordinary life and career makes for dramatic reading: court martials, unrequited love, his capture and torture at the hand of the Cardassians, his assimilation with the Borg and countless other encounters as captain of the celebrated Starship Enterprise. (Hardcover, RM104.90)

 

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth)
By N. K. Jemisin
Winner of the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel, this is the acclaimed sequel to the bestselling The Fifth Season (also a winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novel). Essun – once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger – has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever. Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power – and her choices will break the world. (Paperback, RM69.90)

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Trilogy: The Royal Imperial Boxed Set
By Ian Doescher
May the verse be with you! Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this retelling of George Lucas’s Star Wars® Trilogy in the style of the immortal William Shakespeare. This Royal Imperial Boxed Set includes all three volumes in the original trilogy: Verily, A New Hope, The Empire Striketh Back, and The Jedi Doth Return. Also included is an 8-by-34-inch full-color poster illustrating the complete cast and company of this glorious production. (Hardcover, RM152.90)

Dune – 50th Anniversary Edition
By Frank Herbert
Dune is a masterpiece, widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written. This special 50th anniversary commemorative edition features an all-new cover by artist Sean O’Connell. Melange, or “spice”, is the most valuable – and rarest – element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person’s life-span to making interstellar travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis. Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice, and whoever controls the spice controls the universe. When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands. In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them. His journey will change the universe. (Paperback, RM54.90)

2001: A Space Odyssey
By Arthur C. Clarke
This is a deluxe hardcover edition of the wondrous space adventure with a series introduction by Neil Gaiman. Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a science-fiction classic that has changed the way we look at the stars and ourselves. On the moon, an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent deep into our solar system. But before they can reach their destination, things begin to go very wrong. From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn at the turn of the 21st century, Arthur C. Clarke takes us on a journey unlike any other. Brilliant, compulsive, and prophetic, and the basis for the immensely influential Stanley Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey tackles the enduring theme of man’s and technology’s place in the universe and lives on as a landmark achievement in storytelling. (Hardcover, RM99.95)

The Hobbit Facsimile First Edition (80th anniversary slipcased edition)
By J. R. R. Tolkien
This sumptuous gift set includes a replica of the very rare first edition of The Hobbit, the only edition where one can now read the original version of the story before Tolkien re-edited it to become the one enjoyed by readers since 1951. The Hobbit was published on Sept 21, 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black and white illustrations and two black and red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans. In addition, subsequent changes to the text particularly those to chapter 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult. This special printing reprints the first edition, so that readers can finally enjoy Tolkien’s story as it originally appeared. (Hardcover, RM137.90)

The Princess Bride Deluxe Edition: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure
By William Goldman, illustrated by‎ Michael Manomivibul
William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers is now available in a beautifully illustrated deluxe edition with foil and embossing on the cover and an interior printed on elegant uncoated cream stock with rough-cut edges. This tale of true love, high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts is accompanied by 50 full-page colour illustrations by Michael Manomivibul, full-colour chapter openers, and a gorgeous colour map printed on the endpapers. (Hardcover, RM157.90)

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