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Cargo: in space, everyone can hear you dream

The Earth is dying. Humanity is living in slum-like orbital stations, tantalised by the promise of Rhea, a paradise only the wealthy can afford to emigrate to. Laura takes an 8-year mission aboard a cargo ship to earn her passage – but her duty shift is disturbed by strange noises and a glimpse of another person where none should be. Just what cargo are they carrying? And where are they really taking it?

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The Collapsing Empire: if only it were tv

Book cover: The Collapsing Empire - John Scalzi a spaceship against a lurid green backdrop)When humanity left Earth, they did so via the Flow – a little-understood force that handily connects disparate places in the universe. The Flow makes faster-than-light travel unnecessary. The Flow, consequently, holds the far-flung Empire together. And as one emperox dies and an unsuited heir is crowned, the Flow is collapsing…

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Shadowblack: the growing pains of a spellslinger

Book cover: Shadowblack - Sebastien de Castell (styled like a blue playing card with a young man top half and a blindfolded young woman bottom side)Kellen of the House of Ke isn’t just a disappointment to his parents and an outcast to his people: he’s a spellslinger on the run with a price on his head. You’d think he’d keep a low profile. Maybe it’s his nature. Maybe it’s the company he keeps. But he just can’t keep himself out of trouble…

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Hannah Green and her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence

Hannah’s world is turned upside down when her parents split up. But when the Devil wakens from a long nap to discover someone is stealing the evil deeds of humanity, Hannah and her family will be central to putting this right. For various shades of right. He is the Devil, after all.

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Bitesize Books: Acadie

Book cover: Acadie - Dave Hutchsinon (spaceships against green spacescape)The Colony have hidden from Earth for 500 years, screened behind their dewline, protected by their superior technology and their augmented intelligence. But as humanity colonises the stars, they have never stopped hunting their wayward children. Who will inherit the stars?

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New Pompeii: what did the Romans ever do to us?

Book cover: New Pompeii - Daniel Godfrey (a city slipping through an hourglass into a volcano)Nick Houghton is running out of time. His father’s disgrace and a straitened economy look set to ruin his academic career. When a shadowy corporation make him an offer too good to refuse, he doesn’t. What classicist could say no to the chance to go to Pompeii?

Yes of course the misquote is on purpose

Throwback Thursday: The Collector of Lost Things

Book cover: The Collector of Lost Things - Jeremy Page - a ship under sail on the horizon, shades of blueHaunted Eliot Saxby is employed by men with more means than sense to search for traces of the recently-extinct Great Auk. He is not the only unusual passenger aboard the Amethyst. Edward Bletchley, bright and brittle, has brought his engraved guns and his mysterious cousin Clara. Will these troubled southern souls find any peace in the blood-soaked travels of an Arctic trader?

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Throwback Thursday: Whispers Underground

Book cover: Whispers Underground - Ben Aaronovitch (an artistic take on a London streetmap, dripping blood)When the son of a US senator is found dead in a tunnel just before Christmas, the heat is on to find his killer and get the trains running (London priorities). Given the scarcity of leads, it’s just as well Lesley May is back to lend Peter a hand with some Proper Policing…

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Bite-size Books: Extracurricular Activities

Book cover: Extracurricular Activities - Yoon Ha Lee (A manform with their back to you ascends some stairs, staring off at an angle against a background of pink carp painting or wallpaper)A Shuos graduate is rare in Kel command, but Shuos Jedao has earned his stripes. Still, his latest assignment is a mission better suited to his former career: go undercover in a rival empire to rescue a captured ‘trade’ vessel captained by a former classmate.
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League of Dragons: it’s alright, so it must be the end

Book cover: League of Dragons - Naomi Novik (a shield boss or metal heraldic device of entwined dragons)As Napoleon retreats from Russia, hopes rally that the Emperor can finally be defeated. But he and his crafty adviser Lien have a few more tricks up their sleeve. Can Temeraire (and the other dragons of the world) resist the promise of a world where dragons are treated as equals?

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Blood of Tyrants: are we nearly there yet?

Book cover: Blood of Tyrants - Naomi Novik (black dragon entwined around a glass bauble picturing the Moscow skyline)Shipwrecked en route back to China, Will loses not only Temeraire but his memory. Stranded in a land where foreigners are forbidden by law, how can he find a crew he can’t remember – or be the credible ambassador to China his country needs him to be?

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Bite-size Books: Proof of Concept

Book cover: Proof of Concept - Gwyneth Jones (a silhouette stands in a shaft of blue light)Climate change has herded humanity into Hives, the 99% pacified by a diet of mass media while the super-rich look out for themselves. Orphan Kir is part of a project – the Needle – trying to make mass migration into space feasible. But her on-board AI has uncovered secrets it wants to share with her – if it can find a way around the code that controls it.

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