October 2019 Book Highlights

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for October.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned. FYI we tend to be a little more concise but October is a big month as publishers roll out their big titles ready for that time of year, so rather more to shout about this time round.Selections are by Tim Bayley and are drawn from publisher submissions, The Bookseller magazine’s own monthly highlights, Buyer’s Guides and more.

NB. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar stores whether online or in person and a tiny snippet of any purchase comes our way to go towards site upkeep so any and all support very much appreciated! Hyperlinks lead on to Waterstone’s.

So relax and browse on and check out the great reads in print coming your way in October.


Tim Bayley

Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction



Ninth House * Leigh Bardugo * 9781473227965 * HB * £16.99 * Gollancz

The mesmerizing adult debut from bestselling author Leigh Bardugo. Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern dropped out of school and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By twenty she is the sole survivor of a horrific multiple homicide. But Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities, tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies – the future rich and powerful. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than she ever imagined… MORE / BUY

The Winter of the Witch * Katherine Arden * 9781785039737 * PB * £8.99 * Del Rey * Winternight Trilogy * 3

One girl can make a difference… Moscow is in flames. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic. Then a vengeful demon returns, stronger than ever. Determined to engulf the world in chaos, he finds allies among men and spirits. Mankind and magical creatures alike find their fates resting on Vasya’s shoulders. But she may not be able to save them all. MORE / BUY

The Future of Another Timeline * Annalee Newitz * 9780356511238 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit

“Do you remember when we had the vote?” In a world just a step away from our own, time travel is possible. But a secret group is trying to destroy women’s rights and their access to the timeline. If they succeed, only a small elite will have the power to shape the past, present, and future. Our only hope lies with an unlikely group of allies, from riot grrls to suffragettes, their lives separated by centuries, battling for a world where anyone can change the future. A breathtakingly original novel from Annalee Newitz, founding editor of io9. MORE / BUY

The Grace Year * Kim Liggett * 9781529100587 * HB * £14.99 * Del Rey

We’re told we have the power to lure grown men from their beds, make boys lose their minds, and drive the wives mad with jealousy. That’s why we’re banished for our sixteenth year, to release our magic into the wild before we’re allowed to return to civilization. Tierney James lives in an isolated village where girls are banished at sixteen to brave the wilderness – and each other – for a year. They must rid themselves of their dangerous magic before returning purified and ready to marry – if they’re lucky. The Grace Year is The Handmaid’s Tale meets Lord of the Flies… MORE / BUY

Angel Mage * Garth Nix * 9781473227712 * HB * £18.99 * Gollancz

More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. She emerges still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara. Four young Sarancians are the key to her quest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else. MORE / BUY

Gideon the Ninth * Tamsyn Muir * 9781250313195 * HB * £19.99 * Tor.com

“Unlike anything I’ve ever read.” – V.E. Schwab. “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!” – Charles Stross. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark Nonagesimus, bone witch extraordinaire, succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die. Of course, some things are better left dead. MORE / BUY

The Crying Machine * Greg Chivers * 9780008308810 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager

A sharp, lyrical thriller of power, religion, and artificial intelligence. The world has changed, but Jerusalem endures. Overlooked by new superpowers, the Holy City of the future is a haven of spies and smugglers, exiles and extremists. A refugee with strange technological abilities searches for a place to disappear. An ambitious young criminal plots the heist that could make or destroy him. A corrupt minister harnesses the power of the past in a ruthless play for complete control. And the wheels of another plan – as old and intricate as the city itself – begin to turn… MORE / BUY

The Raven Tower * Ann Leckie * 9780356507026 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit

For centuries the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by a god known as the Raven. But in their hour of need, the Raven speaks nothing to its people. In seeking to help his master reclaim his city, the warrior Eolo discovers that the Raven’s Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself… and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever. The first fantasy novel by Ann Leckie, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this breathtaking fantasy masterpiece. MORE / BUY

Cage of Souls * Adrian Tchaikovsky * 9781788547383 * PB * £8.99 * Head of Zeus

The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Shadrapar is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity. This is the testament of Stefan Advani, an account of his journey into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; east down the river into the verdant hell of the jungle’s darkest heart; into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters, madman, mutants: but which one of them will inherit this Earth? MORE / BUY

The Supernova Era * Cixin Liu (Author), Joel Martinsen (Translator) * 9781788542388 * HB * £18.99 * Head of Zeus

Eight years ago a supermassive star died: tonight its supernova shockwave will finally reach Earth, and within a year everyone over the age of thirteen will be dead, their chromosomes irreversibly damaged. Parents apprentice their children and try to pass on the knowledge they’ll need to keep the world running. But the last generation may not want to carry the legacy of their parents’ world. And though they imagine a better, brighter future, they may not be able to escape humanity’s darker instincts… ‘Wildly imaginative – The scope of it was immense.’ BARACK OBAMA. MORE / BUY

Full Throttle – Short Fiction: Contains IN THE TALL GRASS, now filmed for Netflix! * Joe Hill * 9781473219892 * HB * £18.99 * Gollancz

Joe Hill dissects timeless human struggles in thirteen relentless tales of supernatural suspense, including “In The Tall Grass,” one of two stories co-written with Stephen King, basis for the terrifying feature film from Netflix. And tension shimmers in the sweltering heat of the Nevada desert as a faceless trucker finds himself caught in a sinister dance with a tribe of motorcycle outlaws in “Throttle,” co-written with Stephen King. Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears. MORE / BUY

Warrior of the Altaii * Robert Jordan * 9781250247650 * HB * £21.99 * Tor

Draw near and listen, or else time is at an end. The watering holes of the Plain are drying up, the fearsome fanghorn grow more numerous, and bad omens abound. Wulfgar, a leader of the Altaii people, must contend with twin queens, warlords, prophets and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future. Elspeth, a visitor from another world, holds the answers, but first Wulfgar must learn to ask the right questions. But what if the knowledge that saves the Altaii will also destroy them? MORE / BUY

Rejoice * Steven Erikson * 9781473223820 * PB * £9.99 * Gollancz

From the bestselling author of the epic Malazan Book of the Fallen. An AI has been sent as representative of three advanced species to save the Earth’s ecosystem – and the biggest threat to that is humanity. But we are also part of the system. The AI is all-powerful and sets up some conditions. Violence is now impossible. Large-scale destruction of natural resources is impossible. Food and water will be provided for those who really, truly need them. Can we adapt? Can we prove ourselves worthy? And are we prepared to give up free will for a world without violence? Above it all, on a hidden spaceship, one woman watches. A science fiction writer and the only person the AI will talk to. And she must make a decision. MORE / BUY

Doing Time * Jodi Taylor * 9781472267474 * HB * £18.99 * Headline * The Time Police * 1

The brand-new series by Jodi Taylor, an irresistible spinoff from the much-loved Chronicles of St Mary’s series, perfect for fans of Doctor Who, Ben Aaronovitch and Jasper Fforde. A long time ago in the future the secret of time travel became known to all and the world nearly ended. The Time Wars are over but now the Time Police must fight to save a very different future – their own. This is the story of Jane, Luke and Matthew – arguably the worst recruits in Time Police history. Or, very possibly, three young people who might just change everything. MORE / BUY

Salvation Lost * Peter F. Hamilton * 9781447281351 * HB * £20.00 * Pan MacMillan * The Salvation Sequence * 2

The second stunning novel in the Salvation Sequence. Feriton Kane’s investigative team has discovered the worst threat ever to face mankind. The supposedly benign Olyix plan to harvest humanity, in order to carry us to their god at the end of the universe. And as their agents conclude schemes down on earth, vast warships converge above to gather this cargo. Some factions push for humanity to flee, to live in hiding amongst the stars – although only a chosen few would make it. But others refuse to break before the storm. As disaster looms, animosities must be set aside to focus on just one goal: wiping this enemy from the face of creation.  MORE / BUY

The Quantum Garden * Derek Kunsken * 9781781085714 * PB * £8.99 * Solaris * Quantum Evolution Series * 2

The critically-acclaimed follow-up to The Quantum Magician. Belisarius pulled off the most audacious con job in history. He’s rich, he’s back with the love of his life, and he has the Time Gates, arguably the most valuable things in existence. Nothing could spoil this… except the destruction of his people and their world. To save them, he has to make a new deal with the boss he just double-crossed, to travel back in time and work his quantum magic once again. If he can avoid detection, dodge paradox and stay ahead of the eerie, relentless Scarecrow, he might just get back to his own time alive. MORE / BUY

A Time of Blood * John Gwynne * 9781509812974 * PB * £8.99 * Pan MacMillan * Of Blood and Bone * 2

Drem and his friends witnessed horrors they’ll never forget, magic warping men into beasts and a demon rise from the dead, creating something new and terrifying. So they flee to warn the Order of the Bright Star. But the demons’ high priestess, Fritha, is determined to hunt them down. Riv struggles to understand her half-breed lineage which represents the warrior angels’ most dangerous secret… Meanwhile, demonic forces are gathering a war-host to crush their enemies and rule the world of man. And the angels are already fractured and facing betrayal… MORE / BUY

The Rosewater Redemption * Tade Thompson * 9780356511399 * PB * £18.99 * Orbit * The Wormwood Trilogy * 3

Life in the newly independent city state of Rosewater isn’t everything its citizens were expecting… Debts incurred during the insurrection are coming back to haunt Mayor Jacques. And among the city’s alien inhabitants, a group is murdering humans to provide bodies for their takeover. Operating across spacetime, the xenosphere and international borders, it’s up to a small group of hackers and criminals to prevent the extraterrestrial advance. The fugitive known as Bicycle Girl, Kaaro and his old handler Femi, may be humanity’s last line of defence… MORE / BUY

Fallen * Benedict Jacka * 9780356511122 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit * Alex Verus * 10

Alex Verus was a diviner trying to live quietly under the radar. Now he’s a member of the Light Council who’s found success, friends… and love. But the Council is investigating him and if they find out the truth he’ll lose everything. Meanwhile, Alex’s old master, Richard Drakh, is waging a war against the Council, and he’s preparing a move that will bring Alex and the life mage, Anne, under his control. Caught between Richard and the Council, to protect those he cares for, Alex will have to become something different. Something darker… MORE / BUY


GHOSTER * Jason Arnopp * 9780356506883 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit Books

Kate Collins has been ghosted. She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty flat. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.
Except for his mobile phone. Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his texts, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself. That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognise. Scratch marks on the door that she can’t explain. And the growing feeling that she’s being watched… Prepare to never look at your phone the same way again. From the author of The Last Days of Jack Sparks. MORE / BUY

ENGLAND’S FINEST * Christopher Fowler * 9780857503114 * PB * £8.99 * Transworld * Bryant & May * Short Stories

The Peculiar Crimes Unit has solved many extraordinary cases over the years, but some were hushed up and hidden away. Here, then, is the truth about the Covent Garden opera diva and the seventh reindeer, the body that falls from the Tate Gallery, the ordinary London street corner where strange accidents keep occurring, the consul’s son discovered buried in the unit’s basement, the corpse pulled from a swamp of Chinese dinners, a Hallowe’en crime in the Post Office Tower, and the impossible death that’s the fault of a forgotten London legend. MORE / BUY




I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story * Anthony Daniels (Author), J.J. Abrams (Foreword) * 9780241357606 * HB * £18.99 * DK

For the very first time Anthony Daniels will tell C-3PO’s story in its entirety, from seeing the first concept images to the early stages of the final film in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, and in the process, will also tell his own. This includes his encounters with movie legends such as Sir Alec Guinness, what it was like working closely with George Lucas, and the friendships he formed with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and others. Daniels candidly relays his humorous, unvarnished, and extraordinary story as the man inside the machine. MORE / BUY

The Flame * Leonard Cohen * 9781786893147 * PB * £14.99 * Canongate

The Flame is the final work from Leonard Cohen, the revered poet and musician whose fans span generations and whose work is celebrated throughout the world. Featuring poems, excerpts from his private notebooks, lyrics, and hand-drawn self-portraits, The Flame offers an intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist. A reckoning with a life lived deeply and passionately, with wit and panache, this collection is a valedictory work. MORE / BUY

Bring It On Home: Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin and Beyond: The Story of Rock’s Greatest Manager * Mark Blake * 9781472126900 * PB * £10.99 * Constable

A SUNDAY TIMES POP BOOK OF THE YEAR. A DAILY TELEGRAPH MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR. A TIMES MUSIC BOOK OF THE YEAR. OBSERVER BEST BOOKS OF 2018. The late Peter Grant managed Led Zeppelin to global stardom. But his life story was every bit as extraordinary and dramatic as the musicians he looked after. For the first time ever, the Grant family have allowed an author access to previously unseen correspondence and photographs to help build the most complete and revealing story yet. It is the first biography to reveal the truth behind Led Zeppelin’s demise, Grant’s subsequent fall from grace amid death threats and the shadow of organised crime, and his final days as a man who shunned the excesses of the music industry in favour of his friends and family. MORE / BUY

Not Afraid: The Evolution of Eminem * Anthony Bozza * 9781788701198 * HB * £20.00 * Blink Publishing

In 1999, a former dishwasher from Detroit became the most influential music artist in the world. He was a fish out of water, a white artist creating powerful art in a black medium, telling stories with verbal dexterity, nimble wit and an honesty that shocked the world. Then in 2006 Eminem, beset by non-stop controversies, a debilitating drug problem and personal tragedies, became a virtual recluse. Over the next five years, he got sober, relapsed and finally got clean, before triumphantly returning to the top. Picking up where Bozza’s Whatever You Say I Am left off, this is an intimate portrait of an incredibly private man known by many to be the greatest rapper alive. MORE / BUY

Face It * Debbie Harry * 9780008229429 * HB * £20.00 * Harpercollins

Acclaimed as one of the most beautiful women in the world, prized by a galaxy of leading photographers and fashion designers, selling 50 million albums and being painted by Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry has infused her perennial Blondie persona with a heady mix of raw sexuality and sophisticated punk cool. Now Debbie Harry invites us into the complexity of who she is and how her life and career have played out. Face It features everyone from bands Blondie came up with to artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and H.R. Giger of Alien fame. It explores her successful acting career (she has starred in over 30 film roles, including David Cronenberg’s Videodrome) and her weekends with William S. Burroughs… MORE / BUY

Children’s and Young Adult


The Glass of Lead and Gold * Cornelia Funke * 9781782692096 * PB * £6.99 * Pushkin Children’s

In a land of elves, mermaids and trolls, true magic is where you least expect it… In the snow-covered city of Londra, young Tabetha survives by finding treasures in the mudbanks of the river Themse. On Christmas Eve, a sinister stranger asks her to keep her eyes open for a priceless, long-lost magical object: the Glass of Lead and Gold. Tabetha finds herself with some unlikely companions, not least a one-armed girl and a rather impressive soup chef. But will she discover that there are even greater fortunes to be found than the magical Glass? MORE / BUY

The Secret Commowealth – The Book of Dust Book 2 * Philip Pullman * 9780241373330 * HB * £20.00 * Penguin / David Fickling? * His Dark Materials

‘It used to be you who was impulsive,’ said Pan, ‘and me who kept holding you back. We’re different now.’ It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey. It is seven years since readers left Lyra and the love of her young life, Will Parry, on a park bench in Oxford’s Botanic Gardens. Now Lyra Silvertongue and her dæmon Pantalaimon are forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions a world that they had no idea existed. They must travel across Europe and into Asia in a search for what is lost – a city haunted by dæmons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust. MORE / BUY

A Map of Days: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children * Ransom Riggs * 9780141385921 * PB * £8.99 * Penguin

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back in Florida. Joined by Miss Peregrine, Emma and their peculiar friends, life has become carefree. But Jacob begins to learn more about the dangerous legacy he’s inherited, and the truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop. Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom. New wonders, and dangers, await in this darkly brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. MORE / BUY

Graphic Novels

The Wicked + The Divine Volume 9: Okay * Kieron Gillen (Author), Jamie Mckelvie (Artist), Matt Wilson (Artist), Cowles * 9781534312494 * PB * £14.99 * Image

After five years, we reach the final volume. We go not gentle into that good night, but go driving a converted tank, covered in glitter and spangles, with a soundsystem audible from Mars blaring nothing but bangers. Gods, pop stars, an ending. We’ll miss you. MORE / BUY

Rain * Bryan and Mary Talbot * 9781787330481 * HB * £16.99 * Vintage

A stunning new graphic novel and rallying cry to protect the planet, from the Costa-award-winning authors of Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes Set against the backdrop of disastrous flooding in the North of England, Rain dramatically chronicles the developing relationship between two young women, one of whom is a committed environmental campaigner. The story follows the everyday experiences of ordinary people, while engaging with pollution, climate change, moorland mismanagement and the disruption, misery and loss that these things bring. The characters are fictitious; what’s happening around them is shockingly real. MORE / BUY

Cursed * Tom Wheeler (Author), Frank Miller (Illustrator) * 9780241376614 * HB * £16.99 * Penguin

A bold retelling of the Arthurian legend by award-winning artist Frank Miller and acclaimed screenwriter Tom Wheeler. An original Netflix series is set for release in Spring 2020. Touched by darkness, Nimue is an outcast, forced to repress her magic. But when her village is slaughtered, the darkness begins to resurface. Tasked by her dying mother to reunite the Sword of Power with the sorcerer Merlin, she must save a terrorised Kingdom. Nimue’s mission leaves no room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else. With the help of the rogue mercenary Arthur, Nimue must battle the armies of a corrupt king and, be it in victory or on the edge of a blade, discover the truth about her destiny once and for all. MORE / BUY


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