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Getting Weird: A List of Great Sci-Fi and Fantasy
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Getting Weird: A List of Great Sci-Fi and Fantasy

By kileyturner
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All the books on this list have been award finalists, received stellar reviews, or have been recommended by sci-fi experts in the know. Special thanks to Kristene Perron, Kristi Charish, and Steve Stanton for their help over the years in letting us know what's hot in sci-fi/fantasy.
Company Town

Company Town

edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover Paperback
tagged : high tech

They call it Company Town – a Family-owned city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes.

Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she’s an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she’s been charged with training the Family’s youngest, who has been receiving death threats – seemingly from another timeline.

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s sta …

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Three Years with the Rat

Three Years with the Rat

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

Shortlisted for the 2017 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, Speculative Fiction Category
A young man's quest to find his missing sister will catapult him into a dangerous labyrinth of secrets in this provocative, genre-bending, and page-turning debut.

After several years of drifting between school and go-nowhere jobs, a young man is drawn back into the big city of his youth. The magnet is his beloved older sister, Grace: always smart and charismatic even when she was rebelling, and always his hero. Now …

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Excerpt

The drapes are closed and only a little pale light filters in around their edges. I can see down the front hallway into part of the kitchen and living room. A blanket is neatly folded over the edge of the couch. Everything is tidy and unused, but it smells stale and musty and dead.
     I take a few more steps. Grace’s Bachelor of Science degree, framed on the wall. The standing coat rack, still buried under Grace’s jackets and shawls and scarves. The homemade shelf lined with their indecipherable textbooks. The only photograph John kept, its kitschy frame taken off the wall and now resting on the coffee table. And a flashlight sitting next to the photo.
     It quickly becomes clear that the apartment hasn’t been occupied in months. The refrigerator is a dank shock of rotten, twisted shapes and jars greening with mould. The garbage can is still full of John’s bloodied bandages. Though the apartment has been tidied one last time, the front closet remains jammed with newspapers. Bedding for the rats.
     It takes me a couple of minutes before I realize what’s wrong with the space. My attention is narrowed, grasping for strangeness in the tiny details, and the obviousness of it only comes to me when I sit on the arm of the couch for a moment. I breathe in sharply.
     The door to the second bedroom is open by a few inches.
     I stand and walk to the door, press my fingertips against the wood. The oversized key is in the deadbolt. John installed the lock and I strongly doubt he would have provided the landlord with a key. Why am I still holding my breath, trying not to make a sound? I push my arm out and the door swings open, bumping into something soft before the knob hits the wall. The toes of my shoes are on the threshold of the doorway. There is a faint division in the carpet, with the pile in the living room lighter than the bedroom. I step inside.
     The room is very dark and the light switch next to the door doesn’t do anything, so I flip open my cell phone for light. My eyes can’t understand the shapes inside. Some large piece of furniture dominates the centre of the room, all right angles and hardwood. I make my way around it to the covered window, peel the duct tape from the wall, and pull away the cardboard. Daylight floods in and for a moment I cannot see.
     In the centre of the room is a wooden box that is large enough to house a person, perhaps five feet in every direction. I circle it. The box is made from six identical, sanded pieces that seem to fit together without nails or hinges. The only noticeable feature is a handle at the bottom of the panel that faces me. Otherwise it is a perfect, symmetrical cube without any knots or imperfections in the wood. I have seen the materials of this box but never imagined what it might be when put together. It is a marvel.
     The rest of the room is no more comprehensible. A smaller version of the box, another perfectly sanded cube of wood, sits atop a TV-dinner table in one corner of the room. Instead of a handle, one of its sides has a hole lined with black rubber, and an additional slat leans against the table. Piled on the floor are little cloth pouches, their openings drawn tight with strings. They look like bags of marbles. Between the door and the wall is a large burlap sack with something dark spilled on the carpet around it, and next to it are some discarded tools.
     And last, I see the small table near the door. On it is a hardbound, sky-blue notebook, and resting on the book is a handwritten note. It is John’s writing.

I’m sorry to put this on you. It was my fault, all of it, and it was supposed to be mine to deal with. Don’t stay in there too long. Take the photo, the light, and one of those pouches with you. If you don’t see anything right  away, it can always be taken apart and put together somewhere else. This is the only way back for us. Thank you.
     Some vague story begins to thread its way through the last two years of my life.
     I put down the note and look at the large wooden box next to me. I reach down for its handle, first pulling outward without luck, then upward. The side of the box slides up a little and creates a crack of darkness at the bottom. I look down into that space, see movement, and jump back. A moment later I realize that it’s reflected light. The floor inside the box is a mirror. I tug on the handle again and the slat slides up by a few feet. The interior of the box is empty but completely covered in mirror, without frames or borders, the edges of the glass connecting seamlessly with one another. The entire inside of the box is reflective surface.
     I leave the second bedroom, pace the living room, open and close the fridge, sit down, stand up. I look into the master bedroom, then the washroom, but my thoughts are only of the box and John’s written request. I curse at myself and wring my hands. On the coffee table is the framed photo, John and Grace on the day they moved into the apartment. They are smiling without re- serve and I can see myself among the friends in the background of the picture. I grab the photo and flashlight and walk back into the second bedroom.
     I work swiftly. The picture frame comes apart without difficulty and I pocket the photograph in my hoodie. I pick up one of the small pouches and it is full of some malleable material. A quick inspection of the large sack on the floor reveals that it’s full of soft dirt. The pouch goes in my other pocket. I glance into the box, and after brief consideration I go back to the pile of tools. There I find the hammer, silver and shiny, and feel calm with its weight in my hand. I take one last breath, a pause to consider whether I am doing the right thing.
     Then I crouch and step inside the box, using my fingertips to gently lower the open face until I am enveloped by an overwhelming, total darkness.

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Certain Dark Things

Certain Dark Things

A Novel
edition:Hardcover
tagged : paranormal

Certain Dark Things combines elements of Latin American mythology with a literary voice that leads readers on an exhilarating and fast-paced journey.

Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Here in the city, heavily policed to keep the creatures of the night at bay, Domingo is another trash-picking street kid, just hoping to make enough to survive. Then he meets Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers. Domingo is smitten. He clings to her like a barnacle until Atl relents and d …

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Julia Vanishes

Julia Vanishes

edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover

"An exciting novel with magic and serial killers.... One of the hottest books coming out."—Hypable.com
Fans of Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, and Kristin Cashore will be captivated by this stunning first book in a must-have new fantasy trilogy about a spy who can vanish at will and who discovers that monsters, mystery, and magic are also lurking—just out of sight.
Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses. 

It's a dangerous trait in a …

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The Road to Ever After

The Road to Ever After

edition:Hardcover
also available: Hardcover Paperback Paperback

Davy David, an orphan, lives by his wits in the dead-end town of Brownvale. When a stray dog named George turns Davy’s life upside down just days before Christmas, Davy sets in motion a chain of events that forces them to flee.

A mischievous wind blows the two of them to a boarded-up museum on the outskirts of town where they meet the elderly recluse, Miss Flint. She has planned one last adventure before her time is up and hires the reluctant Davy and George to escort her. As they travel, the m …

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The Hill

The Hill

edition:Paperback

Jared’s plane has crashed in the Alberta wilderness, and Kyle is first on the scene. When Jared insists on hiking up the highest hill in search of cell phone reception, Kyle hesitates; his Cree grandmother has always forbidden him to go near it. There’s no stopping Jared, though, so Kyle reluctantly follows. After a night spent on the hilltop—with no cell service—the teens discover something odd: the plane has disappeared. Nothing in the forest surrounding them seems right. In fact, thin …

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Maleficium

Maleficium

edition:Paperback
tagged : literary

Martine Desjardins delivers to readers of Maleficium the unexpurgated revelations of Vicar Jerome Savoie, a heretic priest in nineteenth-century Montreal. Braving threats from the Catholic Church, Savoie violates the sanctity of the confessional in a confession-within-a-confession, in which seven penitents, each a?icted with a debilitating malady or struck with a crippling deformity, relates his encounter with an enigmatic young woman whose lips bear a striking scar.

As these men penetrate deep i …

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Transferral

Transferral

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

London, England, present day. This is the world as we know it, but with one key difference: medical science has found a way to remove diseases from the sick. The catch? They can only transfer the diseases into other living humans. The government now uses the technology to cure the innocent by infecting criminals.

 

It is into this world that Talia Hale is born. Now sixteen and the daughter of a prime ministerial candidate, she discovers that the effort to ensure that bad things happen only to bad …

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