David's Diamonds


      David is our Store Manager. He is an old-time bookseller, with a career spent working only at independents, starting with A Change of Hobbit, The Midnight Special Bookstore, Books Inc., Bay Books, and now for many years with Mysterious Galaxy. He loves hard science fiction, space opera, literary sf, classic science fiction, fantasy fiction, manga and anime, and the occasional young adult novel. He especially likes to find good authors he hasn't already read, so please let him know your favorites!




The Tethered Mage Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316466875
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - October 24th, 2017

Melissa Caruson’s The Tethered Mage is a historical fantasy, set in an alternative 17th-century Venice where the doge uses the powers of his magical subjects to rule a Mediterranean empire. The novel is also a charming romance, as heroine Princess Amalia fights tradition to realize her love for the commoner soldier Marcello. Above all, the novel is an intelligent and sophisticated exploration of the political dimension of magic, how the power intrinsic to magic draws people inexorably into relationships based on domination and terror, and subsumes magical individuals into the state’s calculus of advantage and control. At once exciting, romantic, and sophisticated, The Tethered Mage is a fresh take on historical fantasy. Highly recommended!

Blackwing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399587795
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ace Books - October 3rd, 2017

If you like your fantasy dark, with gritty, ruined characters fighting hopeless odds, in a world of endless war, with vast landscapes blighted by destruction, and the characters’ inner landscapes blackened to match, why, then, Ed McDonald’s Blackwing is just the novel for you. Captain Ryhalt Galharrow and his band of bounty hunters are caught in a war between staggering, incomprehensible powers: the Deep Kings for the dark side, the Nameless for the light. Forced to mount a desperate defense of their city against the Deep Kings’ innumerable and imaginatively evil hordes, Ryan & Co. fight on, grimly, for each other, for brief remembered love, and if to die, then at least to die fighting. What a book. Not for the faint-hearted. Highly recommended!

Sorcery for Beginners: A Simple Help Guide to a Challenging & Arcane Art Cover Image
By Matt Harry, Juliane Crump (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781942645689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Inkshares Inc. - October 10th, 2017

Matt Harry’s Sorcery for Beginners is a fun, fast, and furious story of teenagers discovering that magic is actually real. Fleeing from bullies, Owen Macready ducks into a strange bookstore called Codex Arcanum. Its proprietor insists he take a book of magical instruction called Sorcery for Beginners. Just like that, Owen and his pals become soldiers in a secret war against the terrible Euclideans, people who hate magic and wish to drive it from the world. The book impressively gets the life and tenor of contemporary teens perfectly. And the design of the book — the illustrations, the footnotes, the arrangement of paragraphs on the page — is striking and vivid. Reading the book you know at once that the author is brilliant, the book special, and the pleasure of reading it, wonderful.

An Enchantment of Ravens Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481497589
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 26th, 2017

Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Ravens is a lovely, remarkable exploration of the heart of magic. Isobel paints the Fair Folk’s portraits, in exchange for useful spells and cantrips. When her portrait of Rook, the Autumn Prince, violates all taboos and discloses his secret human feelings of sorrow, Isobel is seized and taken to Fairie to answer for her crime. The novel artfully balances human qualities against fay ones: mortality and immortality, human craft and fairy magic, peasant life and fairy aristocracy. And though separated by all these aspects, Isobel and Rook are still drawn to each other, in an impossible love. This extraordinary book, on the level of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell or Lud-in-the-Mist, is the author’s debut novel. True magic.

An Unkindness of Magicians Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481451192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - September 26th, 2017

In An Unkindness of Magicians, Kat Howard imagines a war among the magical families of New York City, conducted by duels brilliant, gorgeous, and fatal, to decide which of the Houses will rule the rest. Breaking into this circle of genteel violence is Sydney, the novel’s heroine, an outsider of extraordinary magical ability--and rage. For Sydney knows, bitterly and personally, the dreadful secret of the magical aristocrats’ power. Follow Sydney as she pursues her vengeance and fights to free the magical world of corruption, in a tale that is exciting, imaginative, and dark. Magic has its price. Even Sydney must pay it. Highly recommended!

At the Table of Wolves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481487788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - July 11th, 2017

Kay Kenyon’s At the Table of Wolves is everything you like in WWII spy thrillers – louche British aristocrats of dubious loyalty, charming but diabolical Nazis hiding dreadful plots against England, a wonderfully strong, intelligent heroine pressed to her limit to save the day – but with psychic powers thrown into the mix. Kim Tavistock has the power to get people to confess their deepest secrets without intending or realizing it. She is up against a Nazi spy with hidden talents of his own, working in league with a mole at the heart of British intelligence. Will Kim discover their deadly secrets before the Nazi plots bring England to her knees? Read At the Table of Wolves to find out! A fun, fast read. Highly recommended!

Void Star Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374285067
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 11th, 2017

Zachary Mason’s Void Star dazzles with its intricate tale of mentally-boosted people fighting a clandestine war with secret AIs across the battle-space of memory, perception, and cyberspace, in a world gone noir with political collapse, climate change, corporate warlords, and universal surveillance. Giving the story an almost hallucinatory intensity is Mason’s marvelous, superb language, at once endlessly allusive, lush, and incantatory. Reading the book, you suddenly realize he is writing science fiction of the heart, where science and technology make possible new sensations, new feelings, new dreams. During reading you feel awe; afterwards, gratefulness. The best book I’ve read in six years of bookselling at MG. Void Star is one of the great science fiction novels of our time.

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765391414
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martins Press-3pl - August 16th, 2016

How wonderful to find that one of your favorite authors (Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of BeesThe Fox Woman) loves H P Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath as much as you do! Johnson's pastiche brings back Lovecraft's zugs and ghouls and moon-cats, now imagined inside-out, where dream Kadath is the real world, and the human waking world a far-away, legendary place. The quest Vellitt Boe undertakes to find the human world redeems the original work of its misogyny and racism, and reminds us of just how strange our own ordinary reality can be. Highly recommended.

The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316029186
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - May 1st, 2008

I loved the narrative underlying the smash game Witcher 3, so I wasn't surprised to find out the game is based on a series of books by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. What took me by surprise was just how good these books are! The benighted love between Geralt and Yennefer, their affection for their foster child Ciri, the complex melange of altruism, racism, love, and hatred between humans, dragons, dwarves, and elves, the sheer humor of the author's storytelling, and the all-too-human history and mythic background that underlie the characters' individual stories--all of these elements combine to create a profound and classic work of fantasy. I am busy reading every word of Sapkowski's translated into English--you should too.

The Fortress at the End of Time Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765392817
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 17th, 2017

In The Fortress at the End of Time, Joe McDermott writes military science fiction of an almost unbearable psychological intensity. Ensign Ronaldo Aldo, a clone posted to the farthest outpost of human galactic civilization, is torn by the angst of clones, doubting his own humanity. He encounters in excruciating detail the mania and despair of military personnel isolated in the ultimate dead-end assignment. He suffers both the guilt of those who crack under the strain and the guilt of those who survive. And he finds himself obscurely sustained by the hope of transcendence that sustains people stressed continuously to their limit. A highly original, completely affecting work.

The Bear and the Nightingale Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101885932
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - January 10th, 2017

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.

Moonglow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062225559
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - November 22nd, 2016

Michael Chabon’s Moonglow is a wonderful memoir of his grandparents, which, in the telling of their lives, creates an extraordinary portrait of the world in which they lived. All our recent history, great and small, is inside this book: the space program, pythons in Florda’s retirement communities, Wild Bill Donovan and the OSS, you name it. Chabon tells his story with love: you become so much a part of his world, his grandparents become so much your own imaginary family, you hardly notice they are never named--just as your own parents are really Mom and Dad, their names being just by the way. If literary imagination can redeem the late twentieth century, Michael Chabon has done it. Moonglow is a fabulous literary achievement

The Tourist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316399425
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Redhook - October 18th, 2016

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

The Queen of Blood Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062413345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Voyager - September 20th, 2016

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! 

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This Savage Song Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062380852
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - July 5th, 2016

This Savage Song is a wonderful young adult novel set in a post-apocalyptic America, where the two main characters, August and Kate, must confront monsters, human and otherwise, their own fathers, who happen to be the enemy warlords of their divided city, and themselves, as they are drawn into irrevocable choices by the dark appeal of their own savage natures. But infusing this bleak world is an intense yearning for redemption, to bring good out of evil and beauty out of horror that lends this book a deeply-felt and wholly remarkable spiritual quality. The pacing is fast, the narrative enthralling, but it is the depths of the novel--its acuteness of moral imagination and perception--that will stay with you afterwards. My highest recommendation.

The Paper Magician Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477823835
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: 47 North - July 8th, 2014

A wonderful fantasy debut! Think magic in Victorian Britain, a Jane Eyre-like magician apprentice Ceony, who is falling in love with her mentor Magician Thorne, and must save him from a vengeful ex-lover. Features the most amazing, brilliant, and imaginative sequence, where Ceony is transported into her mentor's heart, a place of his memories and dreams--but also an actual heart, complete with blood and aortas!

New! Original! Different! And very highly recommended!!!

A Darker Shade of Magic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765376466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - January 19th, 2016

Schwab imagines four Londons, that differ by their distance from magic’s dark heart. Farthest away is Grey London, of our 18th-century. Next is Red London, where magic proliferates, followed by White London, where magic is power, and the strong prey upon the weak. Finally there is Black London, an unimaginable horror the other worlds have shut out for their own safety.

The story follows Kell, a magician who can travel between Londons. When he is tricked into smuggling a stone originally from Black London via White London into Red London, a terrifying cascade of events follows, as black magic begins to pour across worlds. Kell’s only help is Lila, a wonderfully brave and resourceful thief. Together, they must face down the dark magic that threatens to destroy everything.

Featuring appealing main characters, splendidly wicked villains, and a horrifying conception of magic, Schwab’s fantasy will shock you and thrill you. Highly recommended! 

Never Let Me Go Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 14th, 2006

A stunning, unforgettable novel. Ishiguro tells the story of three children living at an odd British boarding school, as they discover the school's peculiar purpose and their own destiny in the world outside the school. The novel uses science fiction elements, drawn from biomedical science, to explore the essence of humanity and the nature of human life. Told with a steady, metronomic tone, the narrative eschews sentiment and easy idealization, and invites the reader to understand and finally to accept the dark necessity that underlies human existence. Never Let Me Go is a great work of literature: profound, moving, and deeply illuminating.


Mistborn: The Final Empire Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765350381
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - July 31st, 2007

Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn is an utterly compelling fantasy novel. You start at the very bottom, with Vin, an orphan thief barely surviving on the city streets. By luck, she joins up with Kelsier, a gang leader and a revolutionary, whose dream is to take down the thousand-year rule of the Lord Ruler, the dark lord of the tale. Everything seems to be against them: the Lord Ruler's many magical agents and secret police, the dead weight of a class-riven society dedicated to perpetuating the privilege of the ruling elite, and not least, the Lord Ruler's own mysterious power, which has allowed him to overwhelm all resistance for a millennium. But Vin and Kelsier have magic of their own, lots of imagination and willingness to take impossible risks and do impossible things, and most powerful of all, the hope for a better future. Sanderson gives us a rousing tale as he details Vin and Kelsier's exciting fight for freedom.

-- David

The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death Cover Image
By H. P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780345384218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey Books - September 11th, 1995

Give the gift of Dreams! Follow Randolph Carter into the farthest reaches of dreamland, accompanied by Lovecraft's menagerie of ghouls, zugs, and moon cats, to a conclusion both surprising and sublime. 'The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,' included in Dreams of Terror and Death.


The Night Circus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307744432
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - July 3rd, 2012

Give the gift of Beauty! Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus is like a long luxurious dream, filled with striking imagery and suffused with passion, that simply heaps you with beauty. You awake from reading this forlorn. Doubleday.



The Night Circus is like no other book I have read. You may read it as a novel, with strong characters and enthralling story well and deftly handled, but these usual literary suspects are besides the point of explaining why this book is so strange and appealing. Really, the book is about a place, the night circus itself, with its impossible collection of acts, illusions, and wonders. The place in turn is a world of art, done up principally in silver and black, with other colors appearing as accents, to create for the reader a remarkable visual experience. And the art in turn expresses the interior life of dreams and passions. Everywhere there is beauty, more and more beauty. You read The Night Circus, finally, for the experience, for the intense experience of lapidary beauty and luminous imagination. What a wonderful, truly magical, book!


Little, Big Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061120053
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins Publishers - October 17th, 2006

A wonderful modern fairy tale, with love, loss, and magic: not the flashy kind, but the magic of the heart and soul. Real magic! This novel is the masterpiece you have never heard of, and my favorite book by an American writer.


The Way of Shadows Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316033671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - October 1st, 2008

Wow! This series is good! Weeks gets everything right: great appealing characters, surprising plot twists, evil villains so wicked young children should not read these books, and even moral reflection. But basically--a terrific read. I couldn't put it down.