Books·Holiday Gift Guide

10 books for the science fiction and fantasy fan on your list

Here are 10 books that are out of this world.

Seeking something for the fantasy and sci-fi fans in your life? Here are 10 books that are out of this world. 

You can see the complete CBC Books gift guide here.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Author Author N.K. Jemisin won the sci-fi Hugo Prize for the second year running for her novel The Obelisk. (Laura Hanifin)

What it's about: N.K. Jemisin is a bestselling author and a sci-fi and fantasy reviewer for the New York Times. Her latest book, The Stone Sky, is the final novel in her award-winning The Broken Earth trilogy about Earth's wrath and the chosen few who can change the fate of this post-apocalyptic scenario. 

Sputnik's Children by Terri Favro

Terri Favro is the author of the sci-fi novel Sputnik's Children. (Ayelet Tsabari, ECW Press)

What it's about: This science fiction story by Terri Favro injects inventive humour within its premise, a cult comic book creator who confronts alternate timelines, nuclear war and her own fictional superheroes — just not necessarily in that order.

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Elan Mastai is the author of the sci-fi novel All Our Wrong Todays. (David Leyes)

What it's about: Screenwriter and author Elan Mastai has a knack for humourous storytelling and witty prose, skills he puts to good use with debut novel All Our Wrong Todays. It's 2016 and in Tom Barren's world, technology has solved all of humanity's problems — there's no war, no poverty, no under-ripe avocados. Unfortunately, Tom isn't happy. He's lost the girl of his dreams. And what do you do when you're heartbroken and have a time machine? Something stupid. What happens next is a funny and bittersweet adventure. 

Artemis by Andy Weir

Andy Weir built a career as a software engineer until the runaway success of his debut novel, The Martian, allowed him to pursue writing full-time. (Crown)

What it's about: Jasmine "Jazz" Bashara never signed up to be a hero. Living on a lunar colony on Earth's moon, Jazz just wants to be rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavoured algae. Thus begins Artemis, Andy Weir's follow-up to The Martian, that sets up a heist story on the moon. Weir builds his science fiction novels with scientific facts, something that not all sci-fi literature does. 

The Bone Motherby David Demchuk

David Demchuk's horror novel was on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. (David Demchuk)

What it's about: David Demchuk (who works at CBC as a communications officer) made the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist for his debut novel The Bone Mother, a fantastical collection of horror fairy tales from a group of Eastern European mythical creatures who are sharing their stories before possibly being destroyed by war. 

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline is the author of The Marrow Thieves. (Cormorant Books / Dancing Cat Books Publishers (DCB))

What it's about: In the dystopian world of Cherie Dimaline's award-winning The Marrow Thieves, climate change has ravaged the Earth and a continent-wide hunt and slaughter of Indigenous people is underway. Wanted for their bone marrow, which contains the lost ability to dream, a group of Indigenous people seek refuge in the old lands.

The Wind in His Heart by Charles de Lint

Charles de Lint is a prolific Canadian fantasy writer. (MaryAnn Harris/Triskell Press)

What it's about: De Lint's first adult fantasy novel in 8 years weaves a rich tapestry of story with a creative elegance. Young Thomas Corn Eyes sees into the otherworld, but all he wants to do is get off the rez. Steve Cole escaped from his rock star life to disappear into the desert and mountains. 

Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey

Spells of Blood and Kin is Claire Humphrey's first novel. ( Dunne Books)

What it's about: Claire Humphrey's debut Spells of Blood and Kin won the 2017 Sunburst Award for Adult Fiction. The novel, set in contemporary Toronto, follows a woman named Lissa Nevsky who has inherited a house full of old world magic from her deceased grandmother. As Lissa soon learns, her family's magical legacy comes with a set of dangerous obligations.

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer is a American author, editor and literary critic. ( HarperCollins/Kyle Cassidy)

What it's about: In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel, who makes her living as a scavenger, finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic, despotic bear. Intrigued? American author, editor and literary critic Jeff VanderMeer's Borne, is a surreal work that explores questions around biotechnology and non-human sentience.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Sylvain Neuvel is a writer, linguist, translator and science fiction superfan based in Montreal. (Del Rey)

What it's about: Montreal author Sylvain Neuvel is a linguist, translator and science fiction superfan. Novel Sleeping Giants, which was longlisted for Canada Reads 2017, features a girl named Rose, who's riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.