By Greg Egan
As a young boy, Prabir Suresh lives with his parents and sister on an otherwise uninhabited island in a remote part of the Indonesian peninsula. Prabir names it Teranesia, populating it with imaginary creatures even stranger than the evolutionarily puzzling butterflies that his parents are studying. Civil war strikes, orphaning Prabir and his sister. Eighteen years later, rumours of bizarre new species of plants and animals being discovered in the peninsula that was their childhood home draw Prabir's sister back to the island - Prabir cannot bear for her to have gone out alone and he follows, persuading a pharmaceutical researcher to take him along as a guide.
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
By Charlaine Harris
Aurora Teagarden - Roe to her friends - has always worked for a living, until an unexpected legacy gave her enough money that she could quit her job as a librarian. Now, with time on her hands, she decides to try selling real estate - after all, her mother is Lawrenceton's premiere real estate agent, and she's happy to give Roe a head-start in her new career. But at her first house showing, Roe discovers a body - a rival estate broker - and to make matters worse, one of her mother's colleagues is looking decidedly guilty. When a second body is found, in another house for sale, it becomes obvious that the killer who's at large in Lawrenceton knows a great deal about real estate - and maybe a little too much about Roe. She is going to have to find out who is responsible, before she herself becomes the next bedroom corpse.
By George R.R. Martin
A classic novel from George R.R. Martin, author of the hit HBO TV series A GAME OF THRONESHaviland Tuf is an honest space-trader (one of the few), and he likes cats. So how is it that, despite being up against the worst villains in the universe, he has become the proud owner of the last working seedship, pride of Earth's Ecological Engineering Corps?We'll leave that aside for now - just be thankful that the most powerful weapon in space is in good hands, hands which now control cellular material for thousands of outlandish creatures.With his unique equipment and powerful spacecraft, Tuf is set to tackle the myriad problems that human settlers have created during their colonisation of far flung worlds. Hosts of hostile monsters, a population addicted to procreation, a dictator who is willing to unleash plagues to get his own way - and all that stands between the colonists and disaster is Tuf's ingenuity, and his reputation as an honest dealer in a universe of rogues ...