SPACE CRAFT: Fans of Pierce Brown’s swashbuckling sci-fi adventure series won’t be surprised to learn that he loved world-building from an early age. “When I was a kid, we moved around, and I was forced to grow up in lots of places. I spent a lot of time alone. I’d go into the woods and build forts and create these huge imaginary scenes.” When he wrote the first volume in his best-selling “Red Rising” series, “I started with the main character and shaped my world around him,” he says. “I was inspired by the plight of Irish immigrants in the 19th century and by the disenfranchisement of working classes.” He’s still dissecting social hierarchies in the fourth book in the series, “Iron Gold,” which debuts on this week’s hardcover fiction list at No. 3: “I’m exploring the lives of people who become casualties despite the best intentions of the story’s heroes.”

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