The Bakka-Phoenix Books 2017 Staff Picks, Part 1: Adult Fiction

December 21st, 2017

We’re running out of 2017, which means it’s time for the Bakka-Phoenix annual staff picks: a shoutout to some of the books we loved this year. Between the award-winners, bestsellers, and marquee series, we found a double handful of reads that made us laugh, think, and go what if…

We’ll be posting our staff’s favourite 2017 reads over the next few days, starting with Part 1: Our adult fiction faves.

 

Our fiction picks of the year!

 

Ben’s pick: Valiant Dust, Richard Baker

Like most modern military SF, Valiant Dust owes a debt to David Weber, but quickly establishes its own identity. Featuring a diverse cast living in a truly multicultural galaxy—Sikh officers serving in a Roman republic, on a moderate Muslim planet!–this is military SF that grasps the nuances of living in a truly cosmopolitan culture, plus intrigue, investigations, ground support, and the obligatory space battle. Also: space Montreal. Space Montreal!

Chris’s pick: Winter of Ice and Iron, Rachel Neumeier

The gods may be unknowable but the Immanent spirits interact with provincial rulers, influencing and being influenced by the families they bond with. Kehera’s family’s Immanent is known for its patience and fecundity. The Immanent that suffuses Innisth, the infamous Wolf Duke of Eanete is cold, ambitious, and even cruel. But when the dragons of midwinter force Kehera and Innisth to work together, they both discover truths about themselves they could never have imagined. This is not the book you’re thinking it will be from that description… It’s so much more. The magic is dense and complicated, and unwinds slowly: so do the characters. As always, Neumeier delivers an original and compelling story, full of gorgeous language and complex emotions.

Leah’s pick: All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault, James Alan Gardner

With that title, it was basically impossible for All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault to be anything but slyly, goofily, exuberantly fun. Gardner writes a diverse group of undergrads who find themselves superpowered after a very Canadian sort of lab accident with humour, humanity, and flair, and provides real stakes–both in Kim’s relationships and the fate of the world–without ever losing that sense of buoyancy.

Michelle’s pick: The Stone in the Skull, Elizabeth Bear

Set in the universe of Range of Ghosts, this features new characters; knowledge of previous books not required. Put a man who swore an oath to protect a ruler who no longer exists beside a man who agreed to become a beating heart in a brass body in order to live long enough to take his revenge—which he’s done. Set adrift by the absence of purpose, they take the usual odd jobs as guards or messengers, and one of those jobs sends them into kingdoms almost at war. There, caught up in the hostilities, they might find the purpose that their lives have lacked: a lord to serve until death; a person to possibly love.

Rebecca’s pick: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Sci-fi meets fantasy in this story of time travel and witches. Told through a series of reports, letters, interoffice communications, and memos, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. tells of a secret government entity working to restore magic that starts out as two individuals in a cramped office translating shreds of old documents that rises to a fully functional time traveling bureaucratic entity. Perhaps due to Galland’s influence, this novel isn’t as sciency, info-dumpy and technical as you might expect from a Neil Stephenson novel. Don’t go into this expecting a hard sci-fi novel. A lot of the science works with a bit of hand-waving Schrodinger’s cat explanations and the occasional deeper foray into many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. D.O.D.O. is a funny and ludicrous novel involving everything from the fall of Constantinople, Elizabethan England, and Viking epic poems about raiding Walmart.

Kristen’s pick: River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey

The Unforgiven. With hippos, not horses. Wait–hear me out.

In the early twentieth century, some bright spark had the idea of farming hippos for meat in the Louisiana bayous. Saner heads prevailed, but Sarah Gailey has taken this idea, pushed it back 50 years, and given us a story of hippo-riding cowboys, questionable loyalties, revenge, riverboats, and a vast lake full of what is, pound for pound, the most terrifying of invasive species–feral, man-eating hippos. Short, punchy, and adrenaline-charged.

Bonus multi-staff favourite: Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee

Although this was a 2016 title, we’re loving Lee’s Machineries of Empire novels. Sharply written, absolutely involving, and deeply innovative in its exploration of consensus reality, history, culture, war, and regret, they’re readable, moving, and brilliant at the same time. Start with Ninefox Gambit.

Changes Upcoming

November 29th, 2017

We’ve got exciting new changes coming to our website, but until they’re ready the site will be under maintenance and not updating. In the meantime, check our Twitter @bakkaphoenix or our Facebook page for new releases, events, and other news.

BEYOND NEW… BEYOND USED… THERE IS ONLY… CLEARANCE!!!

September 13th, 2017

So, as a bookstore we tend to gather.. stuff. Old books that we can’t return, new books shipped to us in error, used books that aren’t in the best condition, etc. Books that don’t sell and can’t be returned will just sit around mouldering unless we recycle them, and that’s too terrible for all but the worst books. That’s where you come in: we want all of these unloved books to find a forever home, and we’re willing to do it cheap. We’ve put together a cart with a bunch of these outcasts and left it out on our front step. Prices are $2.00 for hardcovers, $1.00 for trade paperbacks, and $0.50 for mass market paperbacks. So come on down and find a deal! Bring a friend, bring two friends, bring a date (don’t bring two dates, unless they’re both okay with that)! These deals will be around as long as stock lasts and the weather isn’t terrible.

Tower Of New Books

September 5th, 2017

Back to the books! We have lots of new titles to choose from.

Hardcover
GLASS TOWN GAME, Catherynne M. Valente
IRON ANGELS, Eric Flint
ASSASSIN’S CURSE, Kevin Sands
AMBER ARROW, Tony Daniel
DINOSAUR THAT POOPED A PLANET, Tom Fletcher
STEPHEN COLBERT’S MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS, Stephen Colbert
SECRET HISTORY OF WITCHES, Louisa Morgan
GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS, Melissa Bashardoust
GODSGRAVE, Jay Kristoff
TOWER OF DAWN, Sarah J. Maas
BRIGHTEST FELL, Seanan McGuire
SALT LINE, Holly Goddard Jones

Trade Paperback
BEFORELIFE, Randal Graham
THE WINNOWING, Vikki Vansickle
BRONZE SKIES, Catherine Asaro
LAIR OF DREAMS, Libba Bray
ELITE, Mercedes Lackey
WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER, Grace Lin
DEATH’S END, Cixin Liu
EMPIRE OF STORMS, Sarah J. Maas
FAMILY PLOT, Cherie Priest
FRANKENSTEIN DREAMS, Michael Sims
MIGHTY JACK AND THE GOBLIN KING, Ben Hatke
NEVER KING, James Abbott
RUIN OF ANGELS, Max Gladstone
SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING, Jessica Cluess
HOW TO MAKE A SPACESHIP, Julian Guthrie
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SHADWELL SHADOWS, James Lovegrove
TALES OF FALLING AND FLYING, Ben Loory
CLADE, James Bradley
TIME TRAVEL: A HISTORY, James Gleick

Mass Market
GATE TO FUTURES PAST, Julie E. Czerneda
IMMORTAL ARCHITECTS, Paige Orwin
SKYFARER, Joseph Brassey
THE UPLOADED, Ferrett Steinmetz

Fan Expo — and Labour Day!

August 31st, 2017

We’re headed off to Fan Expo Canada this weekend!

We’ll be slinging books for signing authors Lesley Livingston, Ed Greenwood, and Sam Maggs all weekend, as well as author and actor Bruce Campbell on Saturday and Sunday!

We’ll also be open regular hours all weekend at the store, for your non-convention reading needs.

After that, we’ll be closed (as usual!) on Monday for Labour Day.

Have a great long weekend, and hope to see you there!

We’re Back! And We Have New Books!

August 30th, 2017

Sorry for the delay — our website went down while we were on holiday, and it took a while to sort out the problem. But apparently we’re all good now. And we have lots and lots (AND LOTS) of new books for you.

Hardcover
WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER, Leigh Bardugo
EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO, F.C. Lee
ALCHEMY OF MASQUES AND MIRRORS, Curtis Craddock
PLAYING TO THE GODS, Melanie Rawn
SIP, Brian Allen Carr
MASSACRE OF MANKIND, Stephen Baxter
REINCARNATION BLUES, Michael Poore
PLAGUE DIARIES, Ronlyn Domingue
JIM HENSON’S STORYTELLER: GIANTS, Jim Henson
ZERO REPEAT FOREVER, G.S. Prendergast
ABCs FROM SPACE, Adam Voiland
EYE OF THE NORTH, Sinéad O’Hart

Trade Paperback
IRON HOUND, Tim Akers
COURT OF BROKEN KNIVES, Anna Smith Spark
HISTORY OF BEES, Maja Lunde
ECHO OF THINGS TO COME, James Islington
END OF THE DAY, Claire North
FALSE IDOLS, Jon Hollins
RAISING FIRE, James Bennett
HUNTER’S KIND, Rebecca Levene
MASK OF SHADOWS, Linsey Miller
TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, Sabaa Tahir
FORGETTING MOON, Brian Lee Durfee
NOTES FROM THE UPSIDE DOWN, Guy Adams
THE DIABOLIC, S.J. Kincaid

Mass Market
STRANDED, Bracken Macleod
NAVIGATORS OF DUNE, Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
SOCIETY OF BLOOD, Mark Morris
SW: EMPIRE’S END, Chuck Wendig
BLOODY RED BARON, Kim Newman
INVASION, Luke Rhinehart
ALLIANCE OF EQUALS, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
ON TO THE ASTEROID, Travis S. Taylor

The Annual Summer Closure

August 18th, 2017

It’s coming up to the end of August, and that means we’re heading out for our annual summer closure!

Bakka-Phoenix will be closed from Monday, August 21st to Sunday, August 27th, reopening on Monday, August 28th. Drop by this weekend if you need to stock up on Labour Day reading, and otherwise: Have a great end of summer, play safe, pet every dog, and we’ll see you in a week!

Venera Dreams

August 11th, 2017

Join us on Saturday August 12th for the launch of Venera Dreams by Claude Lalumière. 3pm — all are welcome.

 

Dates To Remember In August

August 2nd, 2017

Since we’ve got a lot going on in August — and probably so do you — here’s a list of dates to remember.

Monday August 7th: Closed for Simcoe Day

Saturday August 12th: Join us at the store at 3pm to celebrate the launch of Claude Lalumiere‘s Venera Dreams.

Wednesday August 16th: ChiSeries Reading Series featuring Costi Gurgu; Robert Priest; Noah Wareness. 8pm at The Round (152A Augusta)

Monday August 21st – Sunday August 27th: Bakka Phoenix will be closed all week. We’ll open again as usual Monday morning August 28th.

Tuesday August 29th: we’ll be at Supermarket (268 Augusta) at 6:30pm to help Vikki Van Sickle launch her new book The Winnowing.

Hot Books

August 1st, 2017

… to go with the summer weather.

Hardcover
HALLS OF LAW, V.M. Escalada
THIS BEAUTIFUL DAY, Richard Jackson
HALF-DROWNED KING, Linnea Hartkuyker
AFTER ON, Rob Reid
CLOCKWORK DYNASTY, Daniel H. Wilson
BEDLAM STACKS, Natasha Pulley
DARK NET, Benjamin Percy
THE WOOD, Chelsea Bobulski
REAPING THE AURORA, Joshua Palmatier

Trade Paperback
VENERA DREAMS, Claude Lalumiere (Claude will be here to launch this one Sat. Aug 12th at 3pm. Please join us!)
FAITHFUL, Alice Hoffman
GATES OF TAGMETH, P.C. Hodgell
MAN OF SHADOWS, Jeff Noon
CROSSTALK, Connie Willis
GODS OF DAWN, Steve White
UNQUIET SPIRITS, Bonnie MacBird
URBAN ENEMIES, Joseph Nassie, editor
NOUMENON, Marina J. Lostetter
BEAUTY OF DARKNESS, Mary E. Pearson
BEAST, Paul Kingsnorth
GRIP OF IT, Jac Jemc
RED RIGHT HAND, Levi Black
ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES, Wade Albert White
AGE OF ASSASSINS, R.J. Baker
FROSTBLOOD, Elly Blake

Mass Market
WILDFIRE, Ilona Andrews
NIGHT WITHOUT STARS, Peter F. Hamilton
DYING GAME, Asa Avdic
SW: ROGUE ONE, Alexander Freed
CHILDREN OF THE DIVIDE, Patrick S. Tomlinson
UNITED STATES OF JAPAN, Peter Tieryas
DREAMING HUNT, Cindy Dees & Bill Flippin
ECHOES IN DEATH, J.D. Robb
ETERNITY’S MIND, Kevin J. Anderson
THE EXILE, C.T. Adams