A boisterous romp through a present-day London that looks an awful lot like the vividly imagined worlds of William Gibson’s early work, ZERO HISTORY (Putnam, $26.95) retains the polysyllabic exoticism in description that is Gibson’s own, but feels lighter, even amusing. It seems that techno-dystopia isn’t so bad, really, when you live there every day. This book completes (presumably) the informal so-called Hubertus Bigend trilogy, although each book also works as a stand-alone novel. A perfect holiday read, enjoyable, approachable, and yet not without substance. Finding profundity and insight that doesn’t take itself too seriously? This guy gets it, and so should you.

Zero History (Blue Ant #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425240779
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Berkley - August 2nd, 2011

Kelly Link’s collection of short stories is quirky and strange, spooky and funny. Her characters inhabit worlds that would seem familiar if it wasn’t for the zombies, magical handbags, and creepy bunny rabbits. Link creates believable scenarios out of outrageous material. “The Great Divorce” features a different sort of marriage counselor: Sarah Parminter is a medium who delivers the news to Alan Robley (living) that his wife Lavvie (dead when he met her, dead when he married her) wants a divorce. My favorite story is the first in the volume, “The Faery Handbag,” in which an entire village escapes destruction by relocating to a large handbag.

Magic for Beginners Cover Image
By Kelly Link, Shelley Jackson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780156031875
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Harvest Books - September 5th, 2006

In The Gap Series, Stephen R. Donaldson combines hi-tech space travel, interplanetary war and economic brinksmanship between civilizations that span entire galaxies. Like Frank Herbert’s Dune, The Gap is a rich, complicated and tightly woven story told through the eyes of a small cast of characters. Unlike Dune, The Gap is harsh, gritty and violent. Enjoy the ride as you follow the exploits of the deeply scarred yet sexy Cpt. Nick Succorso, his nemesis, the warped Angus Thermopylae and the glorious but broken Lt. Morn Hyland. The “Real Story” emerges in the precarious balance between huge corporations, high-stakes politics, alien invasion and the fate of man’s very humanity.

The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict (The Gap Cycle #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553295092
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Spectra - June 1st, 1992