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San Diego ~ 5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92111 ~ 858-268-4747
Redondo Beach Satellite ~ 2850 Artesia Blvd., Suite #101 Redondo Beach, CA 90278 - 310-542-6000
Mysterious Galaxy staff have a reputation far and wide for picking the next great SF/Fantasy title. These are books we highly recommend and believe are likely to be collectible ... books you’ll value having on your shelves.
To sign up, or for more information, contact the staff in San Diego (858-268-4747). Club membership lists will be maintained by the San Diego location, but all fantastic titles can be picked up in either store, or shipped to you!
A new title will be revealed each month!
"A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity's future."--Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
"Elan Mastai has conjured up a witty and freewheeling time-traveling romance that packs an emotional wallop. ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS is a page-turning delight."--Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where'd You Go, Bernadette
You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed...because it wasn't necessary.
Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.
But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and--maybe, just maybe--his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom's search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future--our future--is supposed to be.
All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.
The Bear and the Nightingale is a magical Russian fairy-tale of a novel, a gorgeous Ivan Bilibin illustration come to life. There are rusalkas, upyrs, and domovoi, the supernatural creatures of Russian folk-tales; Tsars and boyars, priests and peasants, the traditional inhabitants of medieval Russian tales; and there are bears and wolves and snow and unrelenting winter that in an instant evoke Russia for us in our imaginations. Then there is Vasya, the heroine of the tale, whose courage and resourcefulness when facing family troubles, natural disasters, courtly intrigues, mad monks, and a deep, implacable magical evil make the fairy tale real and immediate. Author Katherine Arden has written the best of books: a book which we never knew we wanted, and now can't live without. The Bear and the Nightingale is orginal, brilliant, and wonderful. My highest recommendation.
— From David's Diamonds
A magical debut novel for readers ofNaomi Novik sUprooted, Erin Morgenstern sThe Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman's myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn t mind she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa's stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse's most frightening tales.
Advance praise for The Bear and the Nightingale
Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate. Publishers Weekly(starred review)
Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family. Booklist(starred review)
Arden's supple, sumptuous first novel transports the reader to a version of medieval Russia where history and myth coexist. KirkusReviews(starred review)
Radiant . . . a darkly magical fairy tale for adults, but] not just for those who love magic. Library Journal
An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . A Russian setting adds unfamiliar spice to the story of a young woman who does not rebel against the limits of her role in her culture so much as transcend them. The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic. Robin Hobb
A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up. Naomi Novik
Haunting and lyrical, The Bear and the Nightingale tugs at the heart and quickens the pulse.I can t wait for her next book. Terry Brooks
The Bear and the Nightingale is a marvelous trip into an ancient Russia where magic is a part of everyday life. Todd McCaffrey
Enthralling and enchanting I literally couldn t put it down. A wondrous book Tamora Pierce
Robert Dickinson’s The Tourist is a terrifically smart time-travel novel. Dickinson gets everything right about time travel, were it real: the time tourists and the time tourism business, the music fans from the future shadowing Bach and Beethoven, and more darkly, how all our human prejudices and politics would get themselves mapped onto slices of time, with one period admiring, hating, and ignoring another, just as we do to each other now on account of race, religion, and gender. The narrative is a wonderful puzzle, as the reader puts together pieces of time to figure out just what is going on, just what is at stake. The Tourist is a challenging, intelligent, and satisfying read
— From David's Diamonds
"Echoes of Bradbury and Orwell, in the service of a crackerjack conspiracy plot; a seductively intriguing work of speculative fiction." ---Kirkus
"A novel that's as fresh and compelling as it is high concept....Immensely enjoyable." ---SFX (four stars)
THE FUTURE HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.
It is expected to be an excursion like any other. There is nothing in the records to indicate that anything out of the ordinary will happen.
A bus will take them to the mall. They will have an hour or so to look around. Perhaps buy something, or try the food.
A minor traffic incident on the way back to the resort will provide some additional interest - but the tour rep has no reason to expect any trouble.
Until he notices that one of his party is missing.
Most disturbingly, she is a woman who, according to the records, did not go missing.
Now she is a woman whose disappearance could change the world.
With breathtaking plot twists that ricochet through time, this is the most ingenious conspiracy novel you will read this year.
In The Queen of Blood, humanity lives in an uneasy balance with the spirits of the natural world. The spirits make possible all life, but they also are greedy for life's inevitable harvest--death. To protect themselves, people rely upon the queen, and her coterie of magical women. The novel follows Daleina, a young girl with magical powers, as she rises through the ranks of witches. And as she does, the title of the novel becomes redolent with unexpected connotations and references. You read the book with a growing horrid fascination, until by the end you are amazed and appalled. The heroine of The Queen of Blood is a woman of steel--and you have to be someone of steel yourself to read her story. A great read. Highly recommended!
— From David's Diamonds
Set in the magical world of Renthia, The Queen of Blood is Sarah Beth Durst's ambitious entry into adult epic fantasy. With the danger of Peter Brett's The Warded Man, heart of Naomi Novik's Uprooted, and lyricism of Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind, this is the first chapter in a series destined to be a classic.
Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .
But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.
With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits restlessness a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it's bathed in blood.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke
Centuries ago, aliens came down and kicked our asses back to the stone age, or damn near. They did it with thelemity ... a weapon which might as well have been magic. Then things got interesting when a few humans discovered they could use this power as well. Now, half a millennia later and we're still at it. The Forever War. Those able to wield thelemity either fight the good fight or they're thrown to the wolves. Humanity is extremely divided and our world is the very definition of “post-apocalyptic.” It's Ender's Game X The Hunger Games X Red Rising and as awesome as a Peter Hamilton novel. Many points of view and loads of world-building (and world-shattering) make this one a little slow to start, but once the ball gets rolling it really rolls. Don't miss this one.
— From Patrick's Periodic Picks
For fans of Red Rising, Starship Troopers, and Ender's Game comes an explosive, epic science fiction debut...
We never saw them coming.
Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it until we discovered we could wield the power too.
Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.
But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.
As booksellers, we are always looking for something new; a book that explores unchartered territory where others have not yet gone. We found it.
What is Dark Matter? Some of that answer is for scientists and others much smarter than me to explain, though this extraordinary novel does a great job initiating readers to the concept of a window into the fifth dimension.
Jason Dessen is a very smart man. He is also a very content man, who lives a simple life as college physics professor with his wife, Daniela, and teenage son, Charlie, in suburban Chicago. He often wonders where his life would have led him if he had made different choices, like pursuing his theories about quantum mechanics. When he finds out, the results are not what he or anyone else could have predicted. I don’t want to ruin this wild ride of a novel with any of the plot lines; I just suggest that you run to Mysterious Galaxy and pick up this book immediately. Just don’t plan to do anything else until you have turned the last page.
Our August Fantastic Firsts SF Selection. Signed first editions available while supplies last.
A brilliantly plotted, relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy.
“Are you happy with your life?”
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His “wife” is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that's the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined, one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
"Dark Matter" is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we ll go to claim the lives we dream of.
Imagine a United States of America where no Civil War occurred and Abraham Lincoln was assassinated before his inauguration. Four states, the Hard Four, still practice slavery. Victor is first introduced as Jim Dirkson, a former slave appealing to a pastor to find his wife who is enslaved in a mine in the Carolinas. We discover this is a ruse: Victor is a government agent who works with the U.S. Marshals to hunt down escaped slaves. His current mission is to infiltrate the Underground Airlines, a system that helps escaped slaves flee to Canada, and locate a slave named Jackdaw. Victor realizes those in command aren’t telling him the whole truth and he must find Jackdaw for his own reasons. A fast-paced compelling read that paints a grim and chilling picture of what could have been, with observations and experiences that remain timely in today’s world.
— From Sarah Chen
It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.
A gifted young black man calling himself Victor has struck a bargain with federal law enforcement, working as a bounty hunter for the US Marshall Service. He's got plenty of work. In this version of America, slavery continues in four states called "the Hard Four." On the trail of a runaway known as Jackdaw, Victor arrives in Indianapolis knowing that something isn't right--with the case file, with his work, and with the country itself.
A mystery to himself, Victor suppresses his memories of his childhood on a plantation, and works to infiltrate the local cell of a abolitionist movement called the Underground Airlines. Tracking Jackdaw through the back rooms of churches, empty parking garages, hotels, and medical offices, Victor believes he's hot on the trail. But his strange, increasingly uncanny pursuit is complicated by a boss who won't reveal the extraordinary stakes of Jackdaw's case, as well as by a heartbreaking young woman and her child who may be Victor's salvation. Victor himself may be the biggest obstacle of all--though his true self remains buried, it threatens to surface.
Victor believes himself to be a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he has worked so hard to earn. But in pursuing Jackdaw, Victor discovers secrets at the core of the country's arrangement with the Hard Four, secrets the government will preserve at any cost.
"Underground Airlines "is a ground-breaking novel, a wickedly imaginative thriller, and a story of an America that is more like our own than we'd like to believe.
This month's Fantastic Firsts pick brings readers to a Victorian England unlike any other, where wicked thoughts of any kind appear as wisps of smoke. Young Thomas Argyle is the son of aristocracy sent to an elite boarding school to purged of such Wickedness, as the wealthy do not smoke. After resisting a sadistic head boy's temptations to Smoke, a much larger struggle beyond the school walls is revealed, taking Thomas and his best friend to London and to a grand estate where secrets lurk in attic rooms and hidden laboratories and dangerous deed must be snuffed out in a desperate race against time. This book is a June 2016 Indie Next pick.
A young girl running through the woods falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit is a giant metal hand. The hand, buried for millennia, defies any explanation involving humans. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin and a team of scientists and military staff work together, under the direction of a mysterious unnamed supervisor, to seek out and assemble other body parts, and try to glean what the significance of the dismantled Titan means, and who left it to be discovered. Neuvel deals with a vast array of issues – personal and political consequences, questions of morality and manipulation – as well as fascinating scientific speculation, in a brilliantly crafted debut. A young girl running through the woods falls into a pit. At the bottom of the pit is a giant metal hand. The hand, buried for millennia, defies any explanation involving humans. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin and a team of scientists and military staff work together, under the direction of a mysterious unnamed supervisor, to seek out and assemble other body parts, and try to glean what the significance of the dismantled Titan means, and who left it to be discovered. Neuvel deals with a vast array of issues – personal and political consequences, questions of morality and manipulation – as well as fascinating scientific speculation, in a brilliantly crafted debut.
This month's Fantastic Firsts pick brings readers a thriller fueled by an earthshaking mystery, and a fight to control a gargantuan power. Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.Seventeen years later and Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand's code. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
Kali Ling is the first female captain of Rage tournament history. Every week, she and her team fight to the digital death on TV in the Virtual Gaming League’s competition. The Rage tournament is designed to bring top gladiator/gamers together to compete in bloody combat, face virtual death, and most important, to entertain their many fans. Kali and her teammates have died many times. Their weapons and armor are digital, their deaths are virtual, but the pain from fighting and dying is very real. Kali is excited to be at the top of her game until her lover and teammate overdoses. The subsequent cover-up concerning the circumstances surrounding his death makes Kali see the truth. She is determined to expose the League’s craving for ratings at any cost and show the world the high cost gladiators pay for fame and fortune. You don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy Arena. There’s lots of action from the get-go with a bit of romance tossed into the arena for those of us who like that sort of thing (me!). For fans of The Hunger Games’ dystopian society or Ender’s Game virtual combat.
— From Linda's Latest List
Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV. She's died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier...
The RAGE tournaments the Virtual Gaming League's elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a fight to the digital death. Every kill is broadcast to millions. Every player leads a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses.
And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.
Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world until one of her teammates overdoses. Now she's stuck trying to work with a hostile new teammate who's far more distracting than he should be.
Between internal tensions and external pressures, Kali is on the brink of breaking. To change her life, she ll need to change the game. And the only way to revolutionize an industry as shadowy as the VGL is to fight from the inside.
After two millennia of not being worshipped, many of the Greek gods and goddesses have faded from existence, but some still remain. In the city of New York, the current identity of Artemis is Selene DiSilva -- a private investigator who protects those women who seek her out.
Selene comes upon the body of a woman brutally murdered in a ritualistic manner in Central Park. Unfortunately, she will not be the last. Her name was Helen, and in her final moments had called out to the goddess but Selene had heard her not. Enter Helen’s colleague and former lover, Timothy Schultz, a Professor of ancient Greece and its mythology. Selene and Timothy are forced by happenstance to work together to solve the mystery of several murders and how they are connected to the theft of ancient artifacts from several prominent museums. A very dangerous someone has resurrected an ancient sacrificial rite. That someone is attempting to amass power, the end game being to restore themselves to their former glory. The rituals are affecting Selene as well, placing her in a very mortal dilemma. The list of suspects is not lacking – Apollo, Hades, Dionysus, Hermes…
I was caught up in the mystery and mythology from the start. The location was also a plus, exploring some of the nearly forgotten places of New York City reimagined as ancient world locales.
This is the first in the Olympus Bound series, but can also be read as a stand alone. - Christine
This month's SF pick features a re-imagining of classic mythology. Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself. The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog alone along the banks of the Hudson, alone, just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to family. Most are simply too dangerous.In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns, along with the memory of a promise she made long ago, when her name was still Artemis.
This month's SF pick features an historian who speaks with the dead ensnared by the past. A child who feels no pain and should not exist who sees the future. Between them are truths that will shake worlds. In a distant future, no remnants of human beings remain, but their successors thrive throughout the galaxy. These are the offspring of humanity's genius-animals uplifted into walking, talking, sentient beings. Barsk, the tale of one such species, The Fant -- anthropomorphic elephants ostracized by other races, and long ago exiled to the rainy ghetto world of Barsk -- received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.