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Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2012


Saladin Ahmed, Throne of the Crescent Moon.

Three superheroes bound together by a series of murders must work together in a race against time to prevent a sorcerer's plot from destroying the world.  Crescent Moon Kingdoms Series #1.


Julianna Baggott, Pure.

In a post-apocalyptic world, Pressia, a sixteen-year-old survivor with a doll's head fused onto her left hand, meets Partridge, a dome-dwelling “Pure"  who is searching for his mother. Pure Series #1.


Jim Butcher, Cold Days.

Harry Dresden is at the command of the Queen of Air and Darkness and is expected to kill an
immortal, as he begins to realize there is a serious threat to endanger countless innocent victims. Dresden Files Series #14.


Gail Carriger, Timeless.

Alexia Tarabotti heads off to Egypt in order to answer the summons of the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive. Parasol Protectorate #5.


James S.A. Corey, Caliban’s War.

An alien's attack on the outer-planet territory of Ganymede triggers instability throughout the solar system, prompting James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante to engage in peacekeeping efforts and search for a missing child. Expanse Series #2.


Justin Cronin, The Twelve.

Survivors of the apocalypse endure their violent world while protecting their loved ones; while a century into the future, members of a transformed society search for the original twelve virals. The Passage Trilogy #2.


Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, The Rapture of the Nerds.

A future Earth’s hominid population is subjected to the forces of a splintery metaconsciousness that inundates networks with plans for cataclysmic technologies.


Steven Erikson, The Forge of Darkness.

Kurald Galain’s fate is tied to the shaping of the Malazan Empire and a challenge between a consort and a commoner hero. Kharkanas Trilogy #1.


Mira Grant, Blackout.

Georgia Mason must find her way back to her brother, who is dealing with his own problems, such as zombie bears and rogue government agencies. Newsflesh Trilogy #3.


Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker.

Avoiding the lifestyle of his late gangster father by working as a clock repairman, Joe Spork fixes an unusual device that turns out to be a former secret agent's doomsday machine.


Robin Hood, City of Dragons.

Accompanied by humans, the dragons embark on a dangerous journey to their ancient, mythical homeland of Kelsingera. Rain Wild Chronicles #3.


Hugh Howey, Wool Omnibus.

In a hostile landscape, a community exists underground. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations. To live, you must follow the rules. Wool Series #1-5.


N.K. Jemisin, The Shadowed Sun.

After the citizens of Gujaareh suffer from plague and deadly nightmares, a dream priestess and an exiled prince join forces to save the city. Dreamblood Series #2.


Kij Johnson, At the Mouth of the River of Bees.

A breakout first short story collection from one of the hottest writers in science fiction—winner of both the Hugo and Nebula awards.


Suzanne Johnson, Royal Street.

Junior wizard Drusilla Jaco struggles to find her missing mentor when Hurricane Katrina crumbles the borders between the city and the Otherworld.  Sentinels of New Orleans Series #1.


Stephen King, The Wind Through The Keyhole.

Gunslinger Roland investigates a murderous shape-shifter and interviews a teen who has witnessed the creature's most recent killing. The Dark Tower Series #4.5.


Mark Lawrence, King of Thorns.

After finding ancient, magical artifacts, King Jorg plots to use them against the twenty thousand members of the enemy's approaching army. Broken Empire Series #2.


Seanan McGuire, Discount Armageddon.

Verity Price, trained from birth as a monster hunter, attempts to pursue a career in professional ballroom dance, but dangerous cryptids keep getting in the way of her passion. InCryptid Series #1.


Wil McIntosh, Hitchers.

After a terrorist attack in Atlanta kills 500,000 people and causes the dead to half-possess many of the survivors, Finn Darby must surmount his own ghostly "Hitcher"—his abusive, deceased grandfather.


China Mieville, Railsea.

Traveling aboard the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap finds something amidst the wreckage of another train—a treasure map showing a mythical place.


Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, Joe Golem and the Drowning City.

After a séance gone horribly wrong, strange men abduct the aging psychic Orlov the Conjuror, sending his young assistant Molly McHugh racing through the canals of a submerged Manhattan.


Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles.

A retelling of the legend of Achilles follows Patroclus and Achilles, as they lay siege to Troy after Helen of Sparta is kidnapped.


Naomi Novik, Crucible of Gold.

Continues the fantastical Napoleonic War experiences of Captain Will Laurence and his fighting dragon, who travel to South America to negotiate with the Incas. Temeraire Series #7.


Daniel O’Malley, The Rook.

A high-ranking member of a secret organization that battles the supernatural wakes up in a park with no memory and a mysterious letter. The Checquy Files #1.


Hannu Rajaniemi, The Fractal Prince.

A physicist receives mysterious information about how to enable immortality in a city torn by conflicting agendas. Quantum Thief Trilogy #2.


Rob Reid, Year Zero.

Entertainment lawyer Nick Carter has forty-eight hours to save the planet after the entire universe is fined for copyright violations by Earth’s music industry.


Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312.

Three hundred years in the future, world designer Swan stumbles on a plot to destroy everything she has helped to create.


John Scalzi, Redshirts.

Ensign Andrew Dahl worries about casualties suffered by low-ranking officers during away missions before making a shocking discovery about the starship's actual purpose. 


Robert Sheckley, Store of the Worlds.

A retrospective selection of short stories, chosen by Jonathan Lethem and Alex Abramovich, brings together the best of Sheckley’s deadpan farces.


Sandor Szathmari, Voyage to Kazohinia.

A surgeon becomes shipwrecked on an island where the inhabitants live in an advanced society without emotion or materialism, but, finding himself unhappy, he asks to live with the Behins,
beings with human traits.


Jeff and Ann Vandermeer, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories.

An anthology of dark and bizarre tales written throughout the past century featuring entries by international best-sellers and award-winners.


Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles.

The coming-of-age story of young Julia, whose world is thrown into upheaval when it is discovered that the Earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow.


G. Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen.

Forced underground when his ex-lover's new fiancée breaches his computer, young Arab-Indian hacker Alif discovers the secret book of the jinn and uses its insights to enable life-threatening developments in information technology.


David Wong, This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It.

David and John become embroiled in a new set of horrific but absurd challenges when movie-induced zombie phobia enables a nefarious shape-shifter race to take over the world. Sequel to John Dies at the End.


Charles Yu, Sorry Please Thank You.

A collection of stories that feature such protagonists as a retail employee who is confronted by a zombie, a computer warrior who leads his fighter band across a virtual landscape and a company that outsources grief.


Book Events You Won't Want to Miss:

Poetry Discussion

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 10:00am

Book Discussion: Sister Carrie

Monday, September 8, 2014 - 10:00am

Book Discussion: King Lear

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 10:00am

Illinois Poetry Society Meeting

Sunday, September 14, 2014 - 1:00pm

Great Books

Monday, September 15, 2014 - 10:00am

Book Discussion: Orphan Train

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 10:00am

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