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Tor Books’ Startlingly Specific Holiday Gift Guide

Do you hear that??

It’s the sweet, sweet sound of gifts and the necessity of buying them for all of the humans, animals, and unidentified entities in your life. That’s a lot of pressure, but don’t sweat, because we’ve got your back, and more importantly, we’ve got a ton of increasingly niche book recommendations to get you through the holiday season! Check them out here and let us know which ones you’re grabbing in the comments. 

by Rachel Taylor and a cat


Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree is for the treasured party member who’s saved your character’s life many times on TTRPG night

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We all have That One Amazing Player who has pulled our butts out of the fictional fire on D&D night, and what better way to show your endless appreciation than with the gift of LITERATURE?! High fantasy, secondhand books, and first love–what more could you ask for?


Masters of Death by Olivie Blake is for the angsty goth who still wishes it was Halloween

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So they’re in denial that it’s not Halloween anymore, but guess what?! In the unbroken face of eternity, time has no meaning! Every day is Halloween!


In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune is for the plucky traveler who’s got the whole world to see

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There are many ways to see new and exciting worlds, and TJ Klune always provides queer and cozy adventures that you only need to pick up a book to explore. Consider picking up his latest venture for that friend who’s been bit by the travel bug!


Ebony Gate by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle is for the action movie fanatic who owns a cardboard cutout of John Wick

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Assassins, dragon magic, and Chinese diaspora urban fantasy set in contemporary San Francisco.


Book of Night by Holly Black is for the insatiable reader who has way more books to read than hands to hold them

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And if you order and submit your receipt before 12/15, you can receive a Book of Night tote bag! Even Charlie Hall needs a safe sling to carry her contraband. Who’s Charlie Hall? A professional thief / bartender who pilfers shadow magic secrets! Read the book!


T. L. Huchu’s Edinburgh Nights series is for the Supernatural fan who’s looking to expand their fandom across the pond

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Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker, but she’s not just carrying messages anymore. You talk to one ghost and suddenly you’re spending late nights in the occult library, solving murders, and following trails of huskified children to their sinister spectral source.


The Terraformers by Annalee Newitz is for the science-enjoyer in your life who’s looking for environmentally-conscious fiction

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This sweeping, uplifting, and illuminating exploration of the future from a science fiction visionary is the perfect gift to give your non-fiction loving, environmentally aware bestie who wants to dip their toe into a more fictional space.


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson is for fans looking for The Princess Bride vibes but just haven’t quite found them yet

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Do you have a Princess Bride superfan in your life? They don’t need another fandom-y Etsy gift this year–they need a book that gives them the same emotional rush they got the first time they laid eyes on the fairytale-inspired glory that is their favorite 1987 classic.


Everfair by Nisi Shawl is for the history buff in your life who can’t stop thinking about other paths the world might have taken

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After being purchased back from the Congo Free State’s colonizer, Everfair becomes a land of fantastic technologies—of spying cats and gulls, nuclear dirigibles buoyed by barkcloth balloons, and silent pistols that shoot poison knives. What happens when these technological advances are brought to bear against Belgian tyrant Leopold II?

That’s Everfair, and then you can read Kinning (on sale 1/23/24) for the continuation of this expansive alternate history.


Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini is for the hardcore Trekkie who’s looking for major blockbuster movie vibes in their books

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Don’t let the bright and spiffy gif fool you—in this book they boldly go where no human has gone before, equally bold in how they look past the question: Might there have been a reason?


The Fragile Threads of Power by V. E. Schwab is for people looking to put a different kind of magic into their holidays

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Let’s put the magic into the holidays, shall we? V. E. Schwab returns to The Shades of Magic universe with a whole new series, perfect for readers who loved the original and new fans who want to explore magical alternate universes from in front of a cozy fireplace.


Shelley Parker-Chan’s Radiant Emperor Duology is for the unhinged danmei consumer who’s looking for their next great read

 

Do you have someone in your life that consumes danmei like candy? Are they tired of waiting for their new favorite series to be translated so they can add it to their shelves? Do we have the series for you. She Who Became the Sun and He Who Drowned the World explore a stunning reinvention of the Ming Dynasty’s founding emperor. It’s queer, it’s fantastical, and it’s complete! Snag both books in the duology for them now.


Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher is for the friend with an ill-advised yet much-beloved Shrek 2 tattoo

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“Better out than in” on the inside of the wrist, Thornhedge open in hand.


Starling House by Alix E. Harrow is for anyone who has never been disappointed by the combo of Mike Flanagan and a Scary House

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Home is where the heart is, and really puts you in a vulnerable position when your house HATES you.


Starter Villain by John Scalzi is for Megamind

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If you’re not Megamind, keep scrolling. Just kidding—this book is also for cat lovers and fans of Despicable Me and The Venture Brothers.


The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan is for people who loved Season 2 of The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime

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If you have someone in your life that got sucked into the masterpiece that was The Wheel of Time Season 2, don’t worry, you can help them relive the fun with The Great Hunt, the inspiration for the show and the second book in The Wheel of Time series!

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Happy PAWlidays!: 5 of the Best Gifts to Get Your Pet

By Ariana Carpentieri:

Are you someone who has a ruff time of figuring out what presents to get your furry best friend? Or perhaps you’ve got the dogs of your friends’ and family that you need to give gifts to this holiday season? If so, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at our gift guide to see some ideas that all the canine companions in your life will pawsitively go mutts for! 


A Rudolph-Themed BarkBox 

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Looking to really wow your pet pals? Your dog doesn’t need a red nose to still be the leader of the pack when it comes to having the best gifts under the tree, and giving them a BarkBox will definitely do the trick! The box includes 4 toys, 4 treats & 2 chews!

A Yeti Dog Bowl

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Yeti products have been all over Instagram lately, so a fancy bowl for the pooch would definitely up their IG status! And the Yeti Rambler would be a great gift to pair with it for the pet parent. 

Merry & Bright Deck the Howls Dog Treat Advent Calendar

Placeholder of  -71In need of a gift to give a little earlier in the season? Your doggy will love getting a yummy treat everyday from the start of December through Christmas Day with an advent calendar!

A Fa La La Llama Plush Toy

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Your dog will be the coolest on the block with this llama-wearing-sunglasses toy hanging out of their mouth. If only we could all be this chill.

Warm Fleece Blankets Good for Both You and Your Dog–For Every Blanket Sold, One is Donated to Shelters!

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Are you looking for a way to give back this holiday season? Then this would be the perfect gift because every blanket purchase provides a cozy, warm, durable blanket to a shelter dog in need!

And as a bonus, for the dog-loving folks in your life, you can gift them a copy of A Dog’s Perfect Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron–now out in paperback!

A Dog's Perfect Christmas

#1 New York Times bestselling author W. Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Perfect Christmas is a beautiful, poignant, delightful tale of what can happen when family members open their hearts to new possibilities. You’ll find love and tears and laughter—the ideal holiday read.

Click below to grab your copy today!

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Tor Books EPIC Holiday Gift Guide For Your Oddball Family

Hello hello, and welcome back to our annual TOR BOOKS HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, where we give you what we think are the best gifts for the hyper specific, super chaotic individuals in your life. From your childhood BFF to your mildly traumatized game master, we have a whole slew of bookish picks for you this holiday season. Enjoy, and Happy Holidays, y’all!

By Rachel Taylor and a cat


For your long suffering GM (Game Master) who just wants a break from your party

Stranger Things' Eddie Munson hosting a session of DnD

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Anyone who acts as game master for Dungeons & Dragons (or any other TTRPG, to be frank) deserves an award for powering through all the shenanigans their party puts them through. From attempting to fight a dragon with a fork to accidentally leading your party off a cliff, your deeply stressed out GM deserves a cozy novel to help them decompress. Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree is out now and, for an extra little something, you can submit your receipt to get an adorable acrylic charm, a perfect addition to your gift!


For your cousin who remained loyal and never left Tumblr 

Books whimsically flying off a shelf to a concerned-looking guy

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You remember the Tumblr exodus of 2019, and for shame—you were part of it, you fragile soul. But not your cousin. Resolute, they stood by their blog and posted through the long, long night. Three years later, Tumblr is resurging and you need a gift for the one who never lost faith. What’s more Tumblr than magic danger-nerds alternatively hooking up with and hating each other as they conduct research and mainline caffeine and/or alcohol? Redeem your past mistakes with the perfect bookly gifts for your cousin: Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Six and thrilling sequel, The Atlas Paradox.


For the enthusiastic players who got their GM Legends & Lattes

Cartoon Doge Rogue—a 'Dogue'

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You love the players at your table, but even after years of collaborative TTRPG storytelling, you’ve never once anticipated the many ways they have conspired to unravel every plot thread you’ve ever written. How then could you ever predict what they might like as a gift? Easy. Just listen to us: Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald is a fantastic epic fantasy about a girl who can A) see ghosts, and B) turn people into them with an expertly placed arrow, if she takes the mind. Of course, if anyone finds out about her power, she’s dead, and circumstances have led her to become a ward in the monastery of the very warrior-magi that would execute her. Oops! What gamesplayer can resist a quick-paced and twisting tale of magic, adventure, and deceit?


For your ex-boyfriend who’s still blowing up your phone with House of the Dragon TikTok’s

Daemon Targaryen very sexily receiving troubling news that his brother Viserys loves him with the GIF ending frames before he does something evil. I'm so sorry whoever's reading this I'm not perfect

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So your ex-boyfriend (who you’re still friends with, DESPITE THE ADVICE OF OTHERS) just finished House of the Dragon and he won’t stop texting you about how much it sucks to have to wait 2 years for season 2. He’s right, but you can still give him a new epic fantasy to obsess over with The First Binding by R.R. Virdi. At over 800 pages, it’ll keep him busy for quite a while AND it also doubles as a premium bludgeoning weapon for you if he doesn’t appreciate your gift. Win win!


For your chronically-online uncle who needs to stop doomscrolling for his own health

very cool neon void road this artist is so good (@dualvoidanima)

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He’s mister doom-and-gloom. If there’s an upsetting tweet, you’ve seen it because he’s retweeted it. You don’t quite know him well enough to be comfortable with direct intervention. You need to gift him Last Exit by Max Gladstone. It’s a book about the death of idealism and the rot that creeps through the cracks of reality like so many corrosively fecund vines. It’s about a generation who thought they would transform the world and failure’s fallout. He’ll still be very DOOM-ful, but in an artistically fun, yet still scary way.


For your brother who is OBSESSED with The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime

Rosamund Pike casting some overpowered magic. Queen

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So your brother watched The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime and has fallen down the 14+ book-deep rabbithole that is Robert Jordan’s timeless epic fantasy series. Help him delve even further into the lore with Origins of the Wheel of Time by Michael Livingston! He’ll be able to learn even more about all the mythology and legends that inspired Robert Jordan’s universe and you’ll get some peace and quiet while he’s absorbed in his new book.


For your sister who is always has at least 5 open browser tabs of Ao3 fics

dancing, logging in to ur laptop for fanfiction time!

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Who among us hasn’t spent some time reading fix-it fics on Ao3? Well, no one compares to your sister, who currently has 30 tabs open on her iPhone filled with her favorite OTP falling in love 30 different ways (IF THE SHOW WON’T GIVE THEM A HAPPILY EVER AFTER, THE INTERNET WILL). You can’t buy her the perfect 100 chapter slow burn coffee shop fix-it fic of her OTP, but you CAN buy her Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell! It features all the choicest tropes like mutual pining, slowburn, and fake dating and will be sure to put a smile on her face for the holidays.


For your estranged mother, to subtly let her know that your relationship still requires some Conversations

Lucille Bluth: "If you're saying I play favorites, you're wrong. I love all my children equally."

*Earlier that day* Lucille Bluth: "I don't care for Gob."

via GIPHY & tenor

Do you want to give your mother a gift that’s also a hint about how you feel about your tumultuous parental relationship? Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey is the gift for her! It’s got great thriller vibes, with a daughter coming back to her family home for the first time after her father was arrested for being a serial killer…which she kind of caused. And mom’s still holding a grudge over a DECADE later. It’s got drama, monsters, and enough parallels to make your mom go ‘Wait, is this f*cking play about US?!’


For the loved one in your life who waited 2.5 years to finally see My Chemical Romance live in Fall 2022

dark spell book with eye on the cover it's VERY cool

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A million years ago (Or two and a half. Whatever. Time is meaningless mush) your loved one planned to attend the My Chemical Romance reunion. A show that would eventually be put off and off and off due to ongoing events until earlier this year. It was epic, but you know what else is? Book of Night by Holly Black. Your loved one won’t have to wait 900~ days for this literary event, and just like an MCR show, they’ll want to acquire (more) goth clothes and tattoos after.


For the childhood BFF everyone called a ‘voracious reader’ growing up / anyone who was ‘a delight to have in class’

Matilda reading. "She devoured one book after another"

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Did your childhood BFF simply devour every book in front of her? Is she still That Person whose TBR pile is precariously stacked in the corner of her living room, a threat to anyone who brushes too close? Give her a book to really whet her appetite for reading in The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean, where a very special family literally sustains themselves entirely by eating books. Did we bite a book while reading this to see if we were book eaters? Who’s to say.


For your college best friend with at least one historical quote tattoo

Joan of Arc look at the MET Gala

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Does your college best friend have an encyclopedic knowledge of historical retellings? Do they have, at minimum, one historically linked tattoo that prompts a 20 minute lecture whenever someone asks what it means? Do they have five different editions of The Song of Achilles on their shelf? And most importantly, do they crave a new, queer retelling to sink their teeth into? Look no further! Neon Yang has a Joan of Arc inspired, post-apocalyptic sci-fi story for you. Check out The Genesis of Misery, ​​starring a queer and diverse array of pilots, princesses, and prophetic heirs.


For the ambiguously LGBTQ+ niece whose fashion sense you try to understand, but ultimately makes you feel insecure about how fast you’re aging

wildly cool psychedelic snake meets girl shadow

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You love them, but no one makes you feel old like your nebulously but definitely queer niece. They’re so cool, and are very helpful in keeping you up to date on the hippest trends, but every time you talk to them, you feel the pent-up years in your joints. Get your niece A. K. Larkwood’s The Serpent Gates series, including The Unspoken Name and The Thousand Eyes. It’s about a gay orc death priestess who rebrands herself as a garbage wizard’s personal assassin and picks up a gods-cursed, magi-baddie mid-adventure. There are cosmic gods, ancient ruins, devious machinations, and a lot of awesome gay stuff.


For the sibling on their third+ rewatch of The Expanse

The Expanse's incredible Naomi Nagata: "I'm using my last remaining brain cells to try and kill my last remaining brain cells."

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We get it. Your sibling buddy is bummed that The Expanse has finished its TV run and is still hopelessly in love with its marriage of adrenaline-flooding action and introspective parsing of human expansion / empire. Again, we do get it, and what you need to get is Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus.


For the nephew who you gifted The Way of Kings to last year

Old book leafing through pages

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Your nephew reads through books at speeds generally known only to muscle cars and lightning, and he needs long fantasy books now! The time required to produce the next installment in an epic series is often as long as the books themselves, which is unfortunate since it’s time for you to gift your nephew another book. Here’s the good news: Brandon Sanderson writes as fast as your nephew reads, and his long-awaited continuation of the Mistborn series, The Lost Metal, is the perfect gift. And then next year you can get him the next Brando Sando, and the book cycle of giving goes on and on and on.

We hope you and your loves ones have a happy and safe holiday season! Did we miss a super niche friend/family member that you want to see a gift for? Let us know in the comments! 

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Forge’s Father’s Day Gift Guide

Still shopping for that perfect Father’s Day gift? We’ve got you! We’ve put together a list of book recommendations based on the type of Dad in your life to make sure he’ll get a book he genuinely loves, and doesn’t give away at the next family white elephant.

Since we know dads are picky, we’ve given you two options for each dad-type.

For the Mystery-Loving Dad:

Has your dad watched Castle six times? Does he live and die by Law and Order? Here are a couple of options for you!

Carolina MoonsetCarolina Moonset by Matt Goldman:

A son returns to his South Carolina hometown to take care of his father suffering from dementia, but some of his father’s resurfacing memories point to revelations that could shatter lives. Which is already a lot, especially when a fresh murder happens.

 

 

The ChaseThe Chase by Candice Fox:

An inmate at Pronghorn Correctional Facility falsely convicted of killing his wife and son orchestrates the biggest jailbreak in history so he can discover what really happened that fateful night. Because you know your dad would totally do something like this for you (or at least try to).

 

For the History Dad:

If your dad has more World War II facts than the History Channel, he’s going to love one or both of these books!

December '41December ’41 by William Martin:

This WWII thriller is as intense as Day of the Jackal, with the ultimate manhunt to stop a German agent from assassinating FDR as he lights the National Christmas Tree in the first weeks of World War II.

 

 

 

A Thousand StepsA Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker:

Laguna Beach, 1968, the summer of love, but sixteen-year-old Matt isn’t reveling in the Age of Aquarius; he has to find what happened to his missing sister before it’s too late. Perfect for dads who remember 1968, and are shocked to be reminded how long ago that really was…

 

For the Spy Dad:

For the dad who always seemed to know where you were, or for the dad who dreams of being James Bond, these books are sure to delight any Spy Dad!

Omega RulesOmega Rules by Eric Van Lustbader:

Lustbader continued the Jason Borne series after Robert Ludlum passed away, and his own books have that same white-knuckle spy thriller action that will keep your dad turning the pages faster than he changes the TV channel.

 

 

Assassin's EdgeAssassin’s Edge by Ward Larsen:

A U.S. spy plane crashes off the northern coast of Russia at the same time that a Mossad operative is abducted from a street in Kazakhstan. The two events seem unrelated, but as suspicions rise, the CIA calls in its premier operative, David Slaton.

 

 

For the Dad-Joke Dad

You love him, even if your eyes are permanently rolled to the back of your head from all the times you’ve heard “Hi Bored, I’m Dad.” So, treat him to some new material.

A Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an EscapeA Bathroom Book for People Not Pooping or Peeing but Using the Bathroom as an Escape by Joe Pera, illustrated by Joe Bennett:

If your dad spends a lot of time in the bathroom, he definitely needs this book. And yes, this is Joe Pera of Adult Swim’s hit series Joe Pera Talks With You.

 

I Will Not Die AloneI Will Not Die Alone by Dera White, illustrated by Joe Bennett:

A hilarious, feel-good story about the end of the world. Full of affirmations that are sure to make your dad smile.

 

 

 

For the Dog Dad:

Dog dads deserve to be celebrated too, with some books about dad’s best friend!

A Dog's CourageA Dog’s Courage by W. Bruce Cameron:

Any Dog Dad who hasn’t read a W. Bruce Cameron book needs to start ASAP. A Dog’s Courage in particular is the perfect gift, as it tells the story of a very good dog who must find her way home to her family.

Tender Is the BiteTender Is the Bite by Spencer Quinn:

Chet the dog helps his human, PI Bernie Little, solve crimes that require a little more than human intelligence to unravel. The Boston Globe called Chet, “the most lovable narrator in crime fiction,” which will obviously appeal to your most lovable Dog Dad.

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The 2021 Gift Guide for Your Fun (and Sometimes Funny) Family

It’s the (theoretically) most wonderful time of the year and we are BACK once more to help you win over your fun (and sometimes funny) family and friends with the timeless gift of books. From your nosey great aunt to the ghost cat haunting your house, we have recommendations for every important person in your life. Check out the full gift guide below!

By Rachel Taylor and a bunch of raccoons in a trench coat


The great aunt who keeps asking if you’re dating anyone yet

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Don’t we all hate the ‘but why aren’t you seeing anyone’ question from nosey family members? The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey will put a stop to that! Just tell her you’d rather hangout with the clone that your crappy ex made of you. You are much better company. 

The music buff in your life

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You’ve gotten your favorite music lover everything they could possibly want—CDs, posters, and tickets to their favorite concert, but now you’re starting to run out of ideas. Let’s go in a bit of a different direction and gift them the soulful new book Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki, filled with musicians, demonic deals, and donuts. What more could a person want?

To the person you’ve been ‘talking’ to but haven’t defined the relationship with yet

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Win their heart with a copy of Winter’s Orbit, a sweet love story among the stars that’s also a murder mystery! Nothing says love like solving a murder and figuring out the pesky problem of there only being one bed. If they don’t sweep you off your feet after reading this tale of two space princes going from husbands to friends to lovers, they don’t deserve you.

Your nephew who thinks you’re the cool aunt

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You’ll need to live up to your rep and get them something with explosions, battles for the galaxy, and sentient space suits. You’re in luck because Christopher Paolini’s epic space adventure To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is in paperback and features ALL OF THOSE THINGS plus pirates and a ship pig named Runcible.

Your niece who thinks you’re the cool uncle

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Want your niece to think you’re Super Cool™? Give her The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman. It’s got goblin wars, assassins, giant ravens—all the things the kids love nowadays.  

Or, it will arrive late, but lean into the weird and get them James Rollins’ new fantasy book, where the moon threatens. That swiss cheese-faced bastard has had it out for us since day one, and in The Starless Crown, the moon threatens to destroy all life on earth. It’s up to a godling, a disgraced prince, a pack of misfits, and a bunch of giant bats to save us. 

The sibling who’s always gotta read the book before the adaptation comes out

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The Wheel of Time from Amazon Prime is officially out in the world and your sibling is refusing to watch it with you until they’ve read the source material. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with the brand new The Eye of the World official tie-in edition from Robert Jordan! 

To the ghost cat that lives in your wall

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Want to appease the angry ghost cat currently lurking in your wall? Give them the offering of The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward, complete with its own sentient, deeply enraged feline. But make sure your haunted feline doesn’t get too many ideas from it….

To the friend who needs to disconnect from work once and awhile

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We all have that friend that works too hard and needs some inspiration on better work/life balance. Give them a nudge with Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune and maybe they too will see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

Your kid sister in college who has the attention span of a goldfish

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Set her up for success and give her some novellas to read! They’re travel sized for her convenience, and snackable so she can get into the story before she gets too squirrely. We recommend starting with A Spindle Splintered or The Chosen and the Beautiful, for a bit of action adventure with a lot of heart.

Your ride or die BFF

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Your BFF deserves only the best and what is the best but the SUPER FANCY, EXTRA SPECIAL edition of New York Times bestseller The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab! Complete with ribbon bookmark, extra art, and a special note from the author, your BFF will have this one displayed on the shelf that only the fanciest of books go. 

That guy who is a probably a distant cousin but you’re not even sure how you’re related

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If you have to pour through your family tree to figure out who the heck this guy is, he should do something useful, like catch up with the latest Sanderson (Rhythm of War, now available in paperback) so you can talk shop and debate who the best Knight Radiant is.

Your sibling that wishes it was still Halloween

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Don’t we all have that one person in our lives who is sulking over the fact that the holiday decorations went up in October, COMPLETELY overriding the precious holiday of Halloween? Give them the scares they crave with Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw, to remind them the Halloween spirit never dies. 

Which books are you gifting to your loved ones this year? Let us know in the comments! 

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SFF Books to Gift Every Member of Your Weird and Cranky Family

‘Tis the season for yearly awkward family holiday interactions! And what’s more stressful than trying to find that perfect gift for blood relatives? Is your mom forbidding you from giving your terrible aunt a bottle of $15 Chardonnay for the fourth year in a row? We’ve got you covered—check out our extremely helpful and entirely appropriate holiday gift guide to help *inspire* you!

By Rachel Taylor and a bunch of raccoons in a trench coat


For your wine aunt

book-9780765387561

Oh, the wine aunts. We love them so much because a) they know how to have a good time and b) they are super easy to shop for because, wine! But your mom is complaining that no, you cannot get your aunt a bottle of Chardonnay for the sixth year in a row. So why not get them a great book they can enjoy while sipping a glass of the good stuff? Gift them The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab! It’s fun, sexy, and a little bit fantastical and makes for a great wordy wine pairing.

For you gay cousin

book-9781250197245

On the off chance you aren’t the gay cousin yourself, boy, have we got recommendations for you! Because as everyone except NASA knows, space is gay.

You should get them this year’s Hugo Award winner A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine or Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott. Come for the epic space empire politics, stay for the powerful queer ladies.

For grandma’s ghost

book-9781250302045

So, grandma’s a ghost. This is fine. You can still get ghost grandma a gift. She’ll appreciate anything you give her! We suggest You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce. Horror/thrillers might not have been grandma’s jam when she was chilling in the world of the living, but now that she’s shuffled off this mortal coil, she needs IDEAS on how to conduct her hauntings! This book will give her some great spooky ideas, and maybe she’ll be inspired to rejoin this sphere as one of the fae. And look, now you’re her favorite grandchild for showing her how to come back, and you’ll probably be spared from some malicious fairy tricks! We’re calling that a win. 

For your goth nephew

book-9781250313225

We get it Cameron, Aunt Dierdre sucks for not letting you get a lip ring. We’ve got just the thing to distract you from all these squares. Necromancers in a haunted space castle! The first two books of The Locked Tomb Trilogy, Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, are just what your goth nephew needs. 

For your evil twin

book-9780765397133

If you’re unlucky lucky enough to have a twin, you are either besties or worsties. Get them The Murders of Molly Southborne by Tade Thompson, featuring a girl who grows murderous identical clones every time she bleeds and has to fight them all to the death. It works as both a thoughtful gift and a threat depending on your existing twin relationship.

For your mom, to distract her from the fact that no one is having a good time

book-9781250217288

Mom spent so many hours on the latkes but everyone is yelling and now she is sad. But you are her favorite child and you anticipated smoothing this situation with a sweet and fantastical gift: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. 

Is your sister still breaking her heart? Is your stepfather still hiding in the basement because he never learned to process negative emotions? Sure. But now she’s distracted by a book that is basically the literary equivalent of a warm hug! In The House in the Cerulean Sea, she will find children that are not disappointments to her, and of course a heartwarming tale of magic and found family.

For your younger sibling that’s venturing out for the first time

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It’s your baby sibling’s first time going out into the big, wide world on their own :’) As the sibling you secretly love most, of course you want to provide them with something that will keep them entertained AND safe. May we suggest To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini? It has aliens, spaceships, AND it’s over 900 PAGES LONG. You know what that’s great for? Smacking someone foolish enough to try and jump your favorite sibling. BOOM, SELF-DEFENSE. Plus it’s full of first contact, space battles, and sentient space suits, so it’s sure to keep them entertained while they skip freshman orientation or make that first subway commute.

For your brother-in-law who simply MUST HAVE all the latest tech

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He wanted a smart microwave that he can control with his phone so he can have nachos the moment he walks in the door. You just want him to understand that anything ‘smart’ can be hacked and tech is well and good until your iFridge starts surveilling you. Get him Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow instead, a whip-smart cyber thriller that explores just how hard it is to stay hidden and private in a digital world, particularly when you cannot trust your government. By this time next year, he will be a security advocate and you can get him a Faraday bag.

For your grumpy grandpa

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Back in the day, kids used to have more RESPECT. This is what’s wrong with this country, all these hooligans doing whatever they want. Let’s give grandpa a break this year, shall we?

Hahahaha just kidding, give your grandpa Old Man’s War by John Scalzi and watch the fireworks. And when he flings it at your head, you will now own a great book! We’re all doing so well this holiday season. 

For your bored teen stepsister

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Wow, this family gathering really sucks and your little sis has NO CHILL letting everyone know how insanely bored she is. Which, can you blame her? Give her a mental escape from this excruciating party with mermaids, magic, and mystery. A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow will definitely give her the mental out she needs before your parents yell at her for playing with her phone all night. 

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