1. Prince of Fools (Red Queen's War #1) by Mark Lawrence Prince of Fools is essentially a tale of two opposites: Jalan, a self-professed coward highly skilled at avoiding responsibility, 10th in line for the throne; and Snorri, a mighty warrior and survivor of countless battles from the frozen north. Bound together by an act of magic, they must travel together through the frozen wilderness of Snorri's homeland. If you've read Lawrence's Broken Empire trilogy, this is set in the same world but has a much different tone. It's funnier and less violent, but still action-packed. 2. Fool's Assassin (Fitz and the Fool #1) by Robin Hobb Via img2.wikia.nocookie.net All the things I loved about the earlier Fitz books are here again: Hobb's ability to take you deep inside the characters' inner workings, the reappearance of many old friends from the previous books. The opening finds Fitz living in relative peace at Withywoods with his beloved wife, Molly, but naturally that doesn't last long, and the book ends with a good, solid cliffhanger. Hobb is in fine form here. 3. The Martian by Andy Weir Via paulsemel.com Nail-biting suspense. An astronaut is separated from his group and inadvertently stranded on Mars. Will he be rescued? Forced to battle the elements, temperamental machinery, and an uncertain supply of food and water, his survival is tenuous at best. Told in the form of a logbook, The Martian is certain to keep you up way past your bedtime. This is a good choice for fans of hard sci-fi. 4. The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer Via i1.wp.com In between these beautifully designed covers are some of Vandermeer's most inventive and creepy adventures. All three volumes of the Southern Reach Trilogy were released in 2014, so you won't have to wait years to find out how the story ends. They're available in a single-volume edition complete with brilliant cover art. 5. The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft edited by Leslie S. Klinger Via wordpress.com With its gorgeous production, from the waving tentacles on the cover to the meticulous annotations, this one gets it just right. It would definitely make a stunning holiday gift. Not everything that Lovecraft wrote is here, but at 928 pages, there's plenty to enjoy. Want more exciting science fiction and fantasy ideas? We've got 'em!