Let's Talk Books: Fantasy and Science Fiction

We had a great chat about the SF/Fantasy books we've recently enjoyed and old favorites! Here's the list of every title mentioned at this week's event.

The long way to a small, angry planet

Becky Chambers

eBOOK
Science Fiction

Rosemary Harper doesn't expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers a bed, a chance to explore the galaxy, and some distance from her past. The crew is diverse: Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot; chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, the captain. They are offered a job tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. It's a lucrative job, but a host of unexpected mishaps force the crew to depend on each other.

Recursion : a novel

Blake Crouch

eBOOK
Science Fiction

Investigating a suicide, New York City police officer Barry Sutton finds a connection to the outbreak of a memory-altering disease and a controversial neuroscientist working to preserve precious memories.

Dark matter : a novel

Blake Crouch

eBOOK
Science Fiction

A mind-bending, relentlessly paced science-fiction thriller, in which an ordinary man is kidnapped, knocked unconscious--and awakens in a world inexplicably different from the reality he thought he knew.

Alternate routes

Tim Powers

SCIENCE FICTION Powers Tim
Science Fiction

"Something weird is happening to the Los Angeles freeways--phantom cars, lanes from nowhere, and sometimes unmarked offramps that give glimpses of a desolate desert highway--and Sebastian Vickery, disgraced ex-Secret Service agent, is a driver for a covert supernatural-evasion car service. But another government agency is using and perhaps causing the freeway anomalies, and their chief is determined to have Vickery killed because of something he learned years ago at a halted Presidential motorcade. Reluctantly aided by Ingrid Castine, a member of that agency, and a homeless Mexican boy, and a woman who makes her living costumed as Supergirl on the sidewalk in front of the Chinese Theater, Vickery learns what legendary hell it is that the desert highway leads to--and when Castine deliberately drives into it to save him from capture, he must enter it himself to get her out. Alternate Routes is a fast-paced supernatural adventure story that sweeps from the sun-blinded streets and labyrinthine freeways of Los Angeles to a horrifying other world out of Greek mythology, and Vickery and Castine must learn to abandon old loyalties and learn loyalty to each other in order to survive as the world goes mad around them"--

The Anubis gates

Tim Powers

SCIENCE FICTION Powers, Tim
Science Fiction

All systems red

Martha Wells

eBOOK
Science Fiction

A murderous android discovers itself in "All Systems Red", a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial intelligence. In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern. On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid -- a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Midnight riot

Ben Aaronovitch

eBOOK
Fantasy

Peter Grant, a probationary constable with aims at becoming a detective in London's Metropolitan Police, has the ability to communicate with ghosts and begins to work with Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale as a series of bizarre, magic-related murders plague the city.

Moon over Soho

Ben Aaronovitch

eBOOK
Fantasy

The song. That's what London constable and sorcerer's apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho's 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body--a sure sign that something about the man's death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

The atrocity archives

Charles Stross

SCIENCE FICTION Stross, Charles
Science Fiction

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Douglas Adams

SCIENCE FICTION Adams, Douglas
Science Fiction

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Season one

DVD TV Dirk 1st season
Science Fiction

The bizarre adventures of eccentric 'holistic' detective Dirk Gently and his reluctant assistant Todd.

A stainless steel trio

Harry Harrison

SCIENCE FICTION Harrison, Harry
Science Fiction

One of SF's most beloved rogues: the Stainless Steel Rat! Slippery Jim DiGriz is the Stainless Steel Rat: the galaxy's greatest interstellar thief and con artist. For novel upon novel, the Rat has outfoxed the forces of conventionality, cutting a stylish swathe through dozens of star systems-and stealing the hearts of thousands of readers. Now three of the Rat's greatest exploits are collected in a single volume. In "A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born," we see the origin and early days of Jim DiGriz's brilliant criminal career, as our underworld hero is forced to work for the Good Guys. Conscripted again in" The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted," this time into a planetary army, the Rat must avenge the murder of his mentor-in-crime. And in "The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues," Slippery Jim must retrieve a missing alien artifact, while disguised as a futuristic rock-and-roller...or forfeit his life.

The Sandman

Neil Gaiman

COMIC Sandman
Fantasy, Graphic Novels

An attempt to summon and imprison Death, instead results in the capture of her brother, Morpheus, the Sandman, who after making his escape must regain the tools of his powers. Follow the King of Dreams, brother of the Endless, as he travels through a myriad of landscapes to meet with the gods, demons, and others who inhabit both Earth and the other realms.

Good omens

DVD TV Good
Fantasy

In the beginning and eleven years ago, two immortal beings decide that it might not be time to start an Apocalypse. Having followed the wrong boy for years, Aziraphale and Crowley must now try to locate the whereabouts of the real Antichrist. Perhaps the story of Agnes Nutter and her famous prophecies will hold the answer?

Station eleven : a novel

Emily St. John Mandel

eBOOK
Science Fiction

"An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, from the author of three highly acclaimed previous novels. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it"--

Stardust : a novel

Neil Gaiman

eBOOK
Fantasy

Stardust

DVD MOVIE SF/HORROR Stardust
Fantasy

Tristan hopes to win the heart of his beautiful, but shallow love, Victoria. He promises to recover a star that fell somewhere beyond the stony Wall that sets between the mundane England and the fantasy kingdom of Stormhold. So Tristan sets forth on his own journey in Stormhold. Meanwhile in that magical land, the dying king has set his four surviving sons on a quest for the crown. And the witch Lamia is seeking the heart of the star for an entirely different purpose, one that involves her secret power.

Neverwhere

Neil Gaiman

eBOOK
Fantasy

Urban fantasy.

Anansi boys : a novel

Neil Gaiman

eBOOK
Fantasy

The graveyard book

Neil Gaiman

eBOOK
Fantasy

Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.

Selected stories

E. M. (Edward Morgan) Forster

FICTION Forster, E.M.
Science Fiction

Infinity son

Adam Silvera

eBOOK
Fantasy

"In a world where some people are born with powers and some people take them, brothers Emil and Brighton Rey get swept up in a supernatural turf war generations in the making"--

Mistborn : the final empire

Brandon Sanderson

eBOOK
Fantasy

The name of the wind

Patrick Rothfuss

eBOOK
Fantasy

The thinking woman's guide to real magic

Emily Croy Barker

SCIENCE FICTION Barker Emily
Fantasy

The secret commonwealth

Philip Pullman

eBOOK
Fantasy

Twenty-year-old college undergraduate Lyra is once again thrown together with Malcom Polstead, now a professor, after Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon, receive secrets from a dying man about a daemon-haunted city and the origins of Dust.

Uprooted

Naomi Novik

eBOOK
Fantasy

The Mortal Instruments series "Wild, thrilling, and deeply, darkly magical. An instant classic."--Lev Grossman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Magicians Trilogy "Reading Uprooted was like rediscovering a favorite old sweater, familiar and beloved. It feels as if it has always existed and has been waiting patiently for me to return to it."--Maggie Stiefvater, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shiver Trilogy "Uprooted is one of those tales you come back to over and over again because it's just that enchanting. The adventure builds with such tension that you are peeking through your hands at the end, hoping it will all be okay, and Naomi Novik delivers a conclusion that's deeply satisfying, earning a permanent space on my bookshelf that I'll revisit often."--Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered "Magical and practical, otherworldly and planted in the real, I could not stop reading this book and neither will you!"--Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen "Uprooted by Naomi Novik is enchanting, in every sense of that fine old word. A charming and inviting story that looks unflinchingly at the strangling roots of hurt and revenge."--Robin Hobb, bestselling author of Fool's Assassin"--

Spinning silver

Naomi Novik

eBOOK
Fantasy

"A fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale from the bestselling author of Uprooted, called "a very enjoyable fantasy with the air of a modern classic" by The New York Times Book Review. Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she is issued"--

Altered carbon

Richard K. Morgan

eBOOK
Science Fiction

In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself - a person's consciousness can be easily downloaded into a new body, making death nearly obsolete. Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly brutal. Resleeved into a new body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco), Kovacs is thrown into a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that buys and sells human existence. As a warrior-for-hire, he is called to help a far-flung planet's government put down a bloody revolution. But when a rogue pilot and a sleazy corporate fat cat offer him a lucrative role in a treacherous treasure hunt, he's only too happy to go AWOL with a band of resurrected soldiers of fortune. All that stands between them and the ancient alien spacecraft they mean to salvage are a massacred city bathed in deadly radiation, unleashed nanotechnology with a million ways to kill, and whatever surprises the highly advanced Martian race may have in store.

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This book has also been adapted into a TV show on Netflix.
- Stacey

Going postal : a novel of Discworld

Terry Pratchett

eBOOK
Fantasy

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We discussed a TV adaptation of this book the participant accessed through a streaming service.
- Stacey

Westworld. Season one, The maze

DVD TV Westworld 1st season
Science Fiction

A dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, it explores a world in which every human appetite, not matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged. No rules, no laws, no judgment. Live without limits.

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This was a recommendation ONLY for seasons 1-2. Not season 3, emphatically.
- Stacey

The city & the city

China Miéville

eBOOK
Fantasy

Urban fantasy.

Embassytown

China Miéville

SCIENCE FICTION Mieville, China
Fantasy

Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist on a distant planet populated by the Ariekei, sentient beings famed for their unique language, returns to Embassytown after many years of deep space exploration to find she has become a living simile in the Ariekei language even though she cannot speak it, and she is torn by competing loyalties when hostilities erupt between humans and aliens.

The collapsing empire

John Scalzi

eBOOK
Science Fiction

Faster than light travel is impossible--until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars. Riding The Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war--and, for the empire's rulers, a system of control. But when it's discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperox of the Interdependency must race to find out what can be salvaged from an empire on the brink of collapse. --

Old man's war

John Scalzi

eBOOK
Science Fiction

Agent to the stars

John Scalzi

SCIENCE FICTION Scalzi, John
Science Fiction