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Fantastic Firsts Speculative Fiction

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.

  • Subscribers receive 20% off cover price of selected titles which can be picked up in store or scheduled to arrive in a special FFBC box shipped by the 20th of each month.
  • You may pick up your new book at either Mysterious Galaxy San Diego or at the Redondo Beach satellite office.
  • Customers have the option of purchasing a FF subscription as a gift in a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription.
  • Many, but not all selections will be signed.
  • And don't forget: FFBC memberships make great gifts!

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!


Black Star Renegades By Michael Moreci Cover Image
Unavailable to Order
ISBN: 9781250117847
Availability: Out of Print
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 2nd, 2018

January 2018


In the tradition of Star Wars, a galaxy-hopping space adventure about a galactic kingdom bent on control and the young misfit who must find the power within before it's too late.

Cade Sura holds the future of the galaxy in his hands: the ultimate weapon that will bring total peace. He didn't ask for it, he doesn't want it, and there's no worse choice to wield it in all of space, but if he doesn't, everyone's totally screwed. The evil Praxis kingdom is on the cusp of having every star system under its control, and if that happens, there'll be no contesting their cruel reign. Especially if its fanatical overlord, Ga Halle, manages to capture Cade and snag the all-powerful weapon for herself.

Cade can't hide from Praxis, and he can't run from the destiny that's been shoved into his hands. So he only has one option:

He has to fight.

Cade's not going to let destiny send him on a suicide run, though. With some help from his friends--rebels and scoundrels alike--Cade's going to use this weapon to chart a new destiny for the galaxy, and for himself.

He just has to do so before everyone around him discovers that he's a complete and total fraud.

Blending the space operatics of Star Wars and the swagger of Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Star Renegades is a galaxy-hopping adventure that blasts its way from seedy spacer bars to sacred temples guarded by deadly creatures--all with a cast of misfit characters who have nowhere to go and nothing to lose.

Staff Pick Badge
The City of Brass: A Novel (The Daevabad Trilogy) By S. A. Chakraborty Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062678102
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper Voyager - November 14th, 2017

November 2017


Staff Reviews

Nahri uses her quick wits and small magics to eke out a living in 18th Century Cairo; when her actions in soothing a possessed young woman have unexpected results, Nahri releases both the djinn, Dara, and a number of ghouls, neither of which she is prepared to encounter. Nahri, Dara, and their companions embark on adventures that will lead them beyond Daevabad, the titular city, from Qart Sahar to Tukharistan, engaging with extraordinary and magical beings associated with the four elements, and discovering the significance of Nahri’s mysterious heritage. Lush and rich with the power of storytelling, The City of Brass is a tale to savor over several pots of cardamom tea.

— From Nifty Novels and More from Maryelizabeth



"An extravagant feast of a book--spicy and bloody, dizzyingly magical, and still, somehow, utterly believable." -Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of Strange the Dreamer

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty, an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she's a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by--palm readings, zars, and a mysterious gift for healing--are all tricks, both the means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, to her side during one of her cons, she's forced to reconsider her beliefs. For Dara tells Nahri an extraordinary tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire and rivers where the mythical marid sleep, past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises and mountains where the circling birds of prey are more than what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass--a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments and behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments run deep. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, her arrival threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.

Spurning Dara's warning of the treachery surrounding her, she embarks on a hesitant friendship with Alizayd, an idealistic prince who dreams of revolutionizing his father's corrupt regime. All too soon, Nahri learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say to be careful what you wish for . . .

Advance praise for The City of Brass

"Highly impressive and exceptionally promising." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Chakraborty's grasp of Middle Eastern history, folklore, and culture inspires a swiftly moving plot, richly drawn characters, and a beautifully constructed world that will entrance fantasy aficionados." -Library Journal (starred review)

"Vivid descriptions percolate the lush prose, and a final twist leaves room for a sequel. Recommend this scintillating, Middle Eastern fantasy to fans of thoughtful, mystical adventures." -Booklist

"The City of Brass is the best adult fantasy I've read since The Name of the Wind. It's stunning and complex and consuming and fantastic." -Sabaa Tahir

"An opulent masterpiece...The City of Brass is a must-read." -Roshani Chokshi

An Unkindness of Magicians (Unseen World, The #1) By Kat Howard Cover Image
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9781481451192
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - September 26th, 2017

October 2017


There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city's magicians' power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney--a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn't want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.


At the Table of Wolves (A Dark Talents Novel) By Kay Kenyon Cover Image
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9781481487788
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - July 11th, 2017

July 2017 

Staff Reviews


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!

— From David's Diamonds




Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy meets X-Men in a classic British espionage story. A young woman must go undercover and use her superpowers to discover a secret Nazi plot and stop an invasion of England.


In 1936, there are paranormal abilities that have slowly seeped into the world, brought to the surface by the suffering of the Great War. The research to weaponize these abilities in England has lagged behind Germany, but now it's underway at an ultra-secret site called Monkton Hall.


Kim Tavistock, a woman with the talent of the spill--drawing out truths that people most wish to hide--is among the test subjects at the facility. When she wins the confidence of caseworker Owen Cherwell, she is recruited to a mission to expose the head of Monkton Hall--who is believed to be a German spy.


As she infiltrates the upper-crust circles of some of England's fascist sympathizers, she encounters dangerous opponents, including the charismatic Nazi officer Erich von Ritter, and discovers a plan to invade England. No one believes an invasion of the island nation is possible, not Whitehall, not even England's Secret Intelligence Service. Unfortunately, they are wrong, and only one woman, without connections or training, wielding her talent of the spill and her gift for espionage, can stop it.


Staff Pick Badge
Carnivalesque By Neil Jordan Cover Image
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9781632868145
Published: Bloomsbury USA - June 6th, 2017

June 2017 

Staff Reviews

"Carnivalesque is Neil Jordan's take on the old Irish folklore about children kidnapped by fairies, refracted through the curious prism of a Bradbury-esque dark carnival. Andy falls into Burleigh's Hall of Mirrors and becomes Dany, a carnie in a ghostly circus of immortals, children become fey and estranged from ordinary humanity. Caught between worlds, remembering his mother but growing into a strange new life, Dany illustrates the painful progress of growing up, the way the modern world builds itself on the ruins of the past, and how a life in art displaces mundane reality. Jordan's novel is vast, complex, endlessly allusive. Once you lose yourself in it, it is already too late: kidnapped, you can never come back. 

— From David



Magical storyteller Neil Jordan steps into the realm of fantasy—for fans of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

It looked like any other carnival, but of course it wasn’t. The boy saw it from the car window, the tops of the large trailer rides over the parked trains by the railway tracks. His parents were driving towards the new mall and he was looking forward to that too, but the tracery of lights above the gloomy trains caught his imagination . . . 

Andy walks into Burleigh’s Amazing Hall of Mirrors, and then he walks right into the mirror, becomes a reflection. Another boy, a boy who is not Andy, goes home with Andy’s parents. And the boy who was once Andy is pulled—literally pulled, by the hands, by a girl named Mona—into another world, a carnival world where anything might happen.

Master storyteller Neil Jordan creates his most commercial novel in years in this crackling, filmic fantasy—which is also a parable of adolescence, how children become changelings, and how they find their own way.


The Guns Above: A Signal Airship Novel By Robyn Bennis Cover Image
Unavailable to Order
ISBN: 9780765388766
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Tor Books - May 2nd, 2017

May 2017 

Staff Reviews


I would advise that you buckle in before picking up The Guns Above. Quoting Josette Dupre, first female airship captain, “They say it’s not the fall that kills you.” So true when you are in the middle of a war and on the new and untested Mistral airship, dodging bullets and bombs. Josette is also dodging Lord Bernat, whose secret assignment is to watch her closely and report back to command any time she shows weaknesses or indecision. After all, what does a woman know about war and battle strategy? The Guns Above is a military tale with airship battles, spicy and snarky dialogue, and the added bonus of a bit of a steampunk feel into the mix. Josette’s goal is to stay alive long enough to prove herself worthy of the role of captain. Bernat starts out as a fop who is clueless about naval warfare, and a bit (well, more than a bit) scared of the gunfire and bombs, who soon discovers the bravery hidden within his narcissistic demeanor. This debut will please those who enjoy military fantasy adventures such as those with Honor Harrington, as well as steampunk fans who enjoy a riveting description of airship manipulation and battle strategy. 


All Our Wrong Todays: A Novel By Elan Mastai Cover Image
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9781101985137
Published: Dutton - February 7th, 2017

February 2017 



"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: A Novel (Winternight Trilogy #1) By Katherine Arden Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101885932
Availability: Not in Stock, Available for Special Order
Published: Del Rey - January 10th, 2017

January 2017 

Staff Reviews


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


Staff Pick Badge
The Tourist By Robert Dickinson Cover Image
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9780316399425
Published: Redhook - October 18th, 2016

November 2016

Staff Reviews


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)

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.


The Queen of Blood: Book One of The Queens of Renthia By Sarah Beth Durst Cover Image
Currently unavailable, email or call for more information.
ISBN: 9780062413345
Published: Harper Voyager - September 20th, 2016

October 2016  

Staff Reviews


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.