Books·Holiday Gift Guide

10 books for the sci-fi and fantasy fan on your holiday gift list

These 10 books would make great gifts for the sci-fi and fantasy fans on your holiday shopping list.

These 10 sci-fi and fantasy books would make great gifts for the readers on your holiday shopping list. 

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is a novel by Tomi Adeyemi. (Raincoast Books)

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the sequel to Tomi Adeyemi's New York Times bestselling debut Children of Blood and BoneThe second book in the Legacy of Orisha trilogy, Children of Virtue and Vengeancereturns to the maji Zelie and princess Amari, who have brought magic back to their land. But the ritual also brought magic back to their enemies — the nobles — and the two struggle to unite the maji before civil war breaks out and threatens the very existence of maji. 

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House is a novel by Leigh Bardugo. (Taili Song Roth, Flatiron Books)

In Ninth House, Galaxy "Alex" Stern experiences a culture shock as she travels to New Haven to begin as a freshman at the prestigious Yale University. Having dropped out of high school, and spent her adolescence in dead-end jobs and in dead-end relationships, Stern is not the typical Ivy League attendee — and by the time she's 20, she is the sole survivor of a horrific multiple homicide. While recuperating in hospital, she is offered a free ride through college, with no knowledge of her mysterious benefactor.

Ninth House is the first adult novel from acclaimed YA fantasy author Leigh Bardugo. With novels such as The Language of Thorns and Six of Crows, she is the creator of the Grishaverse fantasy universe. 

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow

Radicalized is a book by Cory Doctorow. (Raincoast, Jonathan Worth)

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow is a collection of four novellas that explore the quandaries — social, economic and technological — of contemporary America. Doctorow's characters deal with issues around immigration, corrupt police forces, dark web uprisings and more.

Doctorow is a bestselling sci-fi novelist whose past books include Little Brother and Walkaway.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow. (Del Rey, Martin Dee)

In Gods of Jade and Shadow, Casiopea Tun keeps busy by cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather's house while dreaming of a life beyond her dusty town in southern Mexico. One day, she discovers a strange wooden box in her grandfather's room. Upon opening it, she accidentally releases the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in retrieving his throne from his evil brother. 

Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the writer behind several works of fantasy. She is also a critic and has edited science fiction anthologies. 

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Amal El-Mohtar (right) and Max Gladstone (left) are the authors of This Is How You Lose the Time War. (@maxgladstone/, Gallery/Saga Press, @tithenai/

This Is How You Lose the Time War is a debut fantasy novel co-written by Canadian Amal El-Mohtar and American Max Gladstone. When two time-travelling agents from warring factions begin a clandestine correspondence, they're each determined to make sure their side has the best hope for the future. But when they fall in love, their secret may have deadly consequences.

El-Mohtar's short story Seasons of Glass and Iron won Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. Gladstone is the author of the Hugo-nominated series Craft Sequence.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a novel by Marlon James. (Bond Street Books, Jeffrey Skemp)

In Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon JamesTracker, a well-respected hunter who always works alone, is hired to find a boy who has been missing for three years. He ends up joining a band of unusual characters, including a "shape-shifting man-animal" called Leopard, all engaged in the hunt. As they traverse ancient cities and forests and face deadly beasts, Tracker wonders why this boy is so special and finds himself caught in a web of lies. 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf is James's fourth book and was a finalist for the National Book Award. James previously won the Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings.

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay

A Brightness Long Ago is a novel by Guy Gavriel Kay. (CBC)

In A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay, the son of a humble tailor Danio Cerra rises through the ranks of society with his incredible intelligence. He's unhappily employed at the court of a count whose nickname is "the Beast," but fate throws him a bone in the form of Adria Ripoli, an assassin who traded her family's wealth for freedom. Kay was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014. His Fionavar Tapestry fantasy series has sold over a million copies worldwide since being published in the 1980s. Some of Kay's other titles include Children of Earth and SkyTigana and River of Stars.

Plum Rains by Andromeda Romano-Lax

Plum Rains is a novel by Andromeda Romano-Lax. (Soho Press)

Plum Rains is set in 2029 Tokyo, where people are living longer and birth rates are staggeringly low. Angelica Navarro works as a nurse for Sayoko Itou — a secretive woman, who is about to turn 100 years-old. One day Sayoko is sent a gift — a sentient AI that will anticipate her every need. As the robot begins to shape Sayoko's life, Angelica begins to wonder whether she is needed at all. 

Andromeda Romano-Lax is a teacher, advocate and author of several books. Plum Rains won the 2019 Sunburst Award for Canadian speculative writing.  

Lent by Jo Walton

Jo Walton is the author of Lent. (Tor Books, Eric Jentile)

In Lent, Jo Walton reimagines the life of Girolamo Savonarola — the man who remade 15th century Florence — and this time around, there's magic involved. And when Savonarola discovers the truth about himself, it's only just the beginning. 

Walton has published several novels, including The Just City and won a Hugo Award in 2012 for her novel Among Others.

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

Evan Winter is the author of The Rage of Dragons. (Orbit Books, @evanwinter/

In Evan Winter's fantasy debut The Rage of Dragons, a world is caught in an eternal war and Tau is his people's only hope for survival. Described as a mix of Game of Thrones and GladiatorThe Rage of Dragons follows Tau as he attempts to get revenge and become the greatest swordsman to ever live. 

The Rage of Dragons was originally self-published before it was acquired by Orbit Books. It is the first book in a planned series.


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