50 Must-Read Fantasy Books by Women
July 25, 2019 4:08 PM   Subscribe

 
I have read seven of those books, and they are all would-happily-recommends (okay, maaaybe not the Rowling, but only because there are so many others I would recommend today). I recognize several more that have been recommended to me that I haven't gotten around to reading but am looking forward to.

So: Good list. Even if they're stretching the "fantasy" genre quite a bit.

This looks like "Great SF books by women," using the old definition of SF before it was common to split fantasy into a separate subgenre. While it does look like a good list of books, it also looks a bit like "if a woman wrote it, it must be categorized as fantasy and not science fiction." Maybe they all have "magical"-ish elements?
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 4:21 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


This certainly has a lot of good authors on it, but it feels like it was generated by an algorithm trying to sell books for Amazon.

Anyway, here's some authors that I don't see here but who you should check out.

Candas Jane Dorsay: Only wrote a few books, but Black Wine is in my opinion the best non-Le Guin take on Le Guin.

Kage Baker: The three traditional fantasies she left us with are playful and full of interesting myth.

Katherine Addison:. The Goblin Emperor is incredibly entertaining and a rare humane fantasy.

Patricia McKillip: One of the greatest careers of any fantasist. I particularly like Ombria in Shadow.

Also Catherynne Valente, Angelica Gorodischer, and on...
posted by selfnoise at 4:25 PM on July 25 [19 favorites]


ErisLordFreedom---yeah, it's a little strange. On the other hand, the "fantasy" thing is the only possible excuse for not putting Too Like the Lightning on the list.
posted by golwengaud at 4:26 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Patricia McKillip

I still kind of want to do a McKillip critical-analysis FanFare book club. She's got some recurring themes in her work. I've found a few theses out there written by aspiring masters/PhD students but I think there's more to mine there.

Posted this because I saw it passed around by a number of women authors I follow on Twitter/Instagram, hoping it generates some conversation and more recommendations!
posted by curious nu at 4:33 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


Interesting list. Here are my thoughts on the ones I'm familiar with --

Among my favorites of all time:
The Fifth Season
Graceling
Kindred
The Left Hand of Darkness -- but it's not fantasy.
Uprooted
The Winged Histories

Liked quite a bit, would recommend:
All the Birds in the Sky
The Bear and the Nightingale -- this series gets even better as it goes on, and the third book would be in the category above this one for me.
Carry On
The City of Brass
Every Heart a Doorway -- this series gets worse as it goes on, and the subsequent books are in lower categories for me.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- this series has its ups and downs, but at least one (book three) would be up in the category above this one for me.
Huntress
Jade City
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Kushiel's Dart
Nimona
The Poppy War
An Unkindness of Magicians

Thought was OK:
Among Others
Circe
A Darker Shade of Magic -- While this is probably Schwab's most popular series, she has other books I like much, much better; both the Archived series and the Villains series would be in higher categories for me.
The Golem and the Jinni
The Priory of the Orange Tree
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter

Meh:
Shatter Me
Throne of Glass
Wintersong

Hated:
Children of Blood and Bone -- Everyone else seems to love this one, though.
Queen of the Tearling

Hated with a burning passion:
A Discovery of Witches

On my To-Be-Read pile right now:
Assassin's Apprentice
Empire of Sand

Haven't read the rest.
posted by kyrademon at 4:43 PM on July 25 [11 favorites]


I really struggled with the Tearling books. I thought they were interesting efforts but very uneven, and the world-building didn't hold up very well.

As for the rest, well, there's a lot there I haven't read yet, and it's nice to see a list full of WOC.
posted by suelac at 4:51 PM on July 25


I'm wary of Rainbow Rowell's work after Eleanor and Park, so I'll probably give Carry On a pass, but otherwise a lot of the titles on the list intrigue me - I haven't read a whole lot of SF/F by women, and I'm already seeing a ton of titles in this list I want to check out.

Of the books I am familiar with:

* The Fifth Season - repeatedly hear great things about Jemisin's work, looking forward to starting this soon!

* Harry Potter - read them as they came out, probably would find more faults with them now as an adult (I certainly find plenty of fault with JKR's post-canon attempts to constantly retcon her work), but can't deny they're a landmark series, regardless of personal opinion. imo though, Scorpius is the best HP character - the published script of HP & the Cursed Child is a must.

* Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - terrific tv show, okay book. I thought it tried a little too hard to emulate the dryness of a history booke of olde, but the tv adaptation really knocked it out of the park. Marsan: chef kiss good at portraying Norrell, a character I found largely uninteresting in his original book incarnation. Childermass is great in both his book and tv forms.

* Kindred - oh this one will LINGER in your mind, at least it did in mine when I read it as a teen, and then again in a college literature class. Exceptionally memorable, grim take on time travel to the antebellum South.

* The Left Hand of Darkness - phenomenal, iconic, classic. Still one of the few older fiction books I've read to address gender fluidity and how to get along with differences in a really neat way.
posted by rather be jorting at 4:54 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Would love a list like this for hard SF. My favorite science fiction is Butlers Lilith's Brood trilogy (well other than cough lensman cough) which does aliens species more realistic than really any SF author ever. It presents an utterly alien people(well totally not people) without breaking physics, making them superduper, or just a standin for commies.
posted by sammyo at 5:06 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I will absolutely second The Fifth season (and the rest of the series) as being one of the best books I've read in a decade.
posted by Reyturner at 5:07 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


I have to provide anti-recommendations for two of them.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter is very unevenly penned, with extremely anachronistic dialogue, and try as I might I simply could not care about any of the characters as they were written. I did not finish it, despite desperately loving the concept.

Children of Blood and Bone is written to so brutally yank its characters around through one deus-ex-machina after another, that it just becomes infuriating as yet another extremely unlikely thing somehow comes to pass to cause another 10-20 page digression into problem solving or whatever. I also didn't finish it, despite loving tho worldbuilding and general concept.

The other books on the list that I have read I liked quite a lot. And there's a shitload more that are easily as good. For example, do, do, do read the Fire Logic, Earth Logic, Water Logic and Air Logic books by Laurie J Marks. Fabulous world building, deeply humane characterizations, extreme queer content, and some of the most genuinely sympathetic antagonists you'll ever read.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:10 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Would love a list like this for hard SF. My favorite science fiction is Butlers Lilith's Brood trilogy (well other than cough lensman cough) which does aliens species more realistic than really any SF author ever. It presents an utterly alien people(well totally not people) without breaking physics, making them superduper, or just a standin for commies.

For SF Ursula Le Guin would be first of course. She tends towards "what would these humans be like in this circumstance" more than aliens, but tremendous depth and humanity in characters, often in not that many words even.

I also really like Phylis Gotlieb but she's perhaps a bit of an acquired taste: pulpy SF but with a poet's eye.

And of course James Tiptree is delightful.
posted by selfnoise at 5:11 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Hey! It's a quiet night at the library! Here's what I thought about some of the books on this list. In general, I give the list an approving nod.

I thought that Among Others was phenomenal. I listened to the audiobook, which was read by a narrator who had an extremely lilty Welsh accent. I thought her voice would drive me nuts at first, but I quickly came to enjoy its liltiness. I also realized early on that I would need to have a notebook handy - the protagonist, Morwenna, is a voracious reader and talks about sci-fi and fantasy novels constantly. I read Among Others and came away with a list of about 15 more books to check out.

Herr Duck loved Assassin's Apprentice when he was a kid. I tried reading it a few years ago and kind of wished that I'd read it as a kid, too. I totally would have dug it back then but it didn't really wow me now.

Gods, I wanted to like a Discovery of Witches so fucking bad. It started out really cool (secret libraries! magic books! The protagonist is a woman who is brilliant and self-sufficient!) but it all that fell to the wayside when she met a brooding, handsome vampire. Cue the fawning romance, the really neat plot of the book left sitting on the back burner as we got to read about their forbidden love. Some folks want romance, some want to learn more about the secret library and magic. In this book, the romance won out and I was left pissed off.

The Fifth Season (and its sequels) is so unbelievably good that I hate to even talk about it. I just want to shove a copy into everyone's hands without saying anything. It's a brilliant, solid story with excellent world-building and character-building. I had to take a break between each book because I was so overwhelmed by how good it was.

I loved Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Every single person I know who read the book HATED it. It's a slow burn but I found it delightful. It's like a powerful machine grinding into motion, with the magicians at the wheel as it creaks to life and then begins to move in ways they did not expect. SO good.

Kushiel's Dart is - in my opinion - almost hilariously over-the-top high fantasy. When I first started reading it I honestly thought it was written as tongue-in-cheek riffing off of high fantasy tropes. Then I realized, "Oh...they're serious. Well, okay then." and was able to relax and enjoy it. Fantastical France with its masquerades and courts and courtesans and Phedre, who feels pleasure and pain together. She becomes a sexy sexy spy. It's fun.

I read the first half of Uprooted and had to put it down. It's sort of a Beauty-and-the-Beast story, where the protagonist is sent to live with a man known as the Dragon. He's not very kind to her, and there was far too much "fighting off her attacker" for me. I understand (from the reviews) that their relationship simmered down after a while, but it was just too much for me at that point in time.
posted by Gray Duck at 5:12 PM on July 25 [11 favorites]


Also, I went through and added each book I haven't read to my Toronto Public Library list and was amused to see that every one of them has at least one hold. I suspect other people are also going through the list and putting them on hold.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:15 PM on July 25


One of my issues with BookRiot is that their lists aren’t curated by people who have read the books that are being recommended. It’s simply copying blurbs from Amazon without giving any reason why these books are interesting.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:19 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


I was disappointed not to see Laurie J. Marks' Elemental Logic series listed.
posted by ursus_comiter at 5:27 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie 🌟
A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar 🌟🌟
The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia🌟
Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott
Thief's Magic by Trudi Canavan
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon
Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear 🌟
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
The Hidden City by Michelle West
Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht
Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen 🌟
Borderline by Mishell Baker
Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky
The Litany of Earth by Ruthanna Emrys 🌟

Only a few of these I'd defend as "must reads", some are UF and/or YA, and some are more just personal favorites. I've starred the ones I confidently recommend.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:32 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Unreasonably happy to see that I'm not the only one who had issues with the Tearling trilogy. The ending nearly made me throw the book against a wall in utter disgust of having suffered through all three books only to arrive at THAT.

I'd put Aliette De Bodard's Dominion of the Fallen series somewhere on this list (as well as her Xuya short stories) and take off the Tearling ones for sure.
posted by ninazer0 at 5:35 PM on July 25


> "Would love a list like this for hard SF."

Well, I don't know how you define "hard" SF, but my list for Science Fiction would be something like:

The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Rift by Nina Allen
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
Dawn by Octavia Butler
Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
Fool's Run by Patricia McKillip
War Birds by R. M. Meluch
Vast by Linda Nagata
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo
Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.
City of Pearl by Karen Traviss
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
The Maerlande Chronicles by Elisabeth Vonarburg
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm
Bellwether by Connie Willis
posted by kyrademon at 5:44 PM on July 25 [17 favorites]


I'm wary of Rainbow Rowell's work after Eleanor and Park, so I'll probably give Carry On a pass, but otherwise a lot of the titles on the list intrigue me

I didn’t finish Eleanor and Park for several reasons, so I’m not going to comment on it, but Carry On is basically early 2000s Harry/Draco fanfic, so it’s good for people who have nostalgia for that particular moment.

Anyway, I’m not going to anti-rec anything because everyone should discover vampire yoga for themselves.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:51 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


This is such a weird and random list! As others have said there's a bunch of good stuff on it but that seems almost accidental?
posted by Justinian at 5:56 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


I kinda want to add Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler but whether it is fantasy or SF or neither is entirely uncertain, but that's a good thing.

I've read about up three-quarters of the books on the post's list, BTW, so I excluded those from mine. It's a decent but odd list. Better would take it and what this thread produces and distill it down to the very best.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:58 PM on July 25


Are Kathryn Kurtz's Deryni books still considered worth reading? I loved them as a kid but I have no idea how they hold up or if they were filled with things that went over my head as a kid but were negatively of their time.
posted by kokaku at 6:01 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Every book that's on this list that I read, I liked. Even if I didn't like the whole series, I liked the book they listed.

Some notes:
Arrows of the Queen: man, this book was so important to me when I was young! I want to re-read it now to see if it holds up.

The Bear and the Nightingale: This was wonderful. It incorporates elements from Russian fairy tales and history and combines them to create a fascinating story. Every character is nuanced, even the antagonists. The sequel is even better.

The City of Brass: Another wow. This uses Middle Eastern myth, layers in complex political infighting and has smart main characters who read a lot of books (which I love!) I'm in the middle of the sequel right now, and it's equally good.

A Discovery of Witches: Now on Starz! I liked this a lot, was not a fan of the sequel. If you cannot stand something with a strong romantic component, this is not for you. I enjoyed the mystery, the history and the political complexities.

The Ghost Bride: I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS ENOUGH!!! Very underrated. Technically I think it's YA. The fantasy world is amazing, and so is the view into Malaysia over 100 years ago.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Yes, there are a lot of issues nowadays with J.K. Rowling. But it was a cracking first adventure.

Jade City: Great world-building, great political complexity. Modern urban fantasy set in Asia. I want to read the second one eventually, but I feel like I have to emotionally prepare myself first.

Kushiel's Dart: Yes, it's epic fantasy with kinky sex. I found her worldbuilding really interesting because of certain areas of history that I've studied; she clearly did some deep research and I like the way she extrapolated "what if this had gone differently?" from certain turning points. (Obviously it's fantasy, but it pulls from history more than most people realize, I think.)

The Poppy War: This was amazing and brutal and I'm glad there will be a sequel because oof, that ending. If you like Chinese history or wuxia films, it's especially worth a read.

Sorcerer to the Crown: This was a romp, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. If you like this I highly recommend the book Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer (and if you like Sorcery and Cecelia you should read this).

Uprooted: This book surprised me several times. It's very much fairy-tale style fantasy, but for adults. I enjoyed the worldbuilding and the central mystery, and found the ending entirely satisfying.

Side note: I tried reading N.K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season," and I found the beginning way too dark for me. I put it down because I don't want to read something that leaves me with the same feeling Perdido Street Station did. Does it get any less dark?
posted by rednikki at 6:04 PM on July 25 [4 favorites]


I had the Poppy War recommended to me as like, a drugged-out Wuxia X-Men thing, which... I mean, kinda sorta? I thought it would be fun but my friend did not tell me how hard that book goes. It goes hella hard.

I mean, it's very good but damn, Rin.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 6:10 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


The presence of a romantic element, per se, was not the reason I disliked A Discovery of Witches.

The reasons I disliked it are kind of a long rant.
posted by kyrademon at 6:13 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


Kokaku, the big flaw with the Deryni series is that there's hardly any female protagonists. Men make things happen; women get in the way (Jehana, who in the dream that Kurtz had that inspired the series was in the Kelson role), get fridged, accidentally betray the hero by marrying the man who plotted his death, etc. etc. I think Evainie is the only woman who actually gets to accomplish anything. It's really noticeable that of the 13 protagonists featured on Wikipedia, only one is female. And, unfortunately, it's not just "well, it was the 70s" because her contemporaries Anne McCaffrey and the problematic Marion Zimmer Bradley had plenty of female protagonists in their novels.
posted by rednikki at 6:15 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


The Bear and the Nightingale series is captivating. Just read it. The first book started slow, but by the end I couldn’t put it down.

The Fifth Season is a masterpiece too.

Kindred is excellent, but more time travel than fantasy.

I wanted more books like the Bear and the Nightingale, so read Uprooted and it did get very good by the end. It was definitely not as good in the beginning (I agree the beauty and the beast comparison is apt, but there’s much more to it by the end).

I have read a lot of the other books, but those are the ones I read most recently and would highly recommend.
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:21 PM on July 25


> Side note: I tried reading N.K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season," and I found the beginning way too dark for me ... Does it get any less dark?

Spoiler alert: No, it does not get any less dark. If you didn’t like the beginning then maybe it is not the book for you.

But it is not misery-porn where the character wallow in their situation, just a story of difficulties and attempted solutions. I can’t recommend it (and the sequels) enough.
posted by AndrewStephens at 6:22 PM on July 25 [7 favorites]


For what it's worth, I went through and got the Goodreads rating of each book on the list. Certainly Goodreads isn't the ultimate arbiter of taste but in a "must read" list I would expect a majority of mid & low 4s instead of this very mixed bag, broken out into quarter stars:

4.25 - 4.5
Circe - Madeline Miller
An Ember in the Ashes - Sabaa Tahir
The Fifth Season - NK Jemison
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J K Rowling

4.0 - 4.25
Arrows of the Queen - Mercedes Lackey
Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb
Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden
Carry On - Rainbow Rowell
Children of Bone and Blood - Tomi Adeyemi
City of Brass - SA Chakraborty
A Darker Shade of Magic - VE Schwab
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
Gods of Jade and Shadow - Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Kindred - Octavia Butler
Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K Le Guin
The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker
Nimona - Noelle Stevenson
The Poppy War - R F Kuang
The Priory of the Orange Tree - Samantha Shannon
Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas
Uprooted - Naomi Novik
The Winged Histories - Sofia Samatar

3.75 - 4.0
The Belles - Dhonielle Claton
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor
Empire of Sand - Tasha Suri
Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire
Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns - Julie C Dao
The Ghost Bride - Yangsze Choo
Huntress - Malinda Lo
The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
Jade City - Fonda Lee
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
Labyrinth Lost - Zoraida Cordova
The Serpent's Secret - Sayantani Dasgupta
Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi
Sorcerer to the Crown - Zen Cho
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter - Theodora Goss
An Unkindness of Magicians - Kat Howard
We Hunt the Flame - Hafsah Faizal
Witchmark - C L Polk
The Young Elites - Marie Lu

3.5 - 3.75
All the Birds in the Siy - Charlie Jane Anders
Among Others - Jo Walton
The Girl from Everywhere - Heidi Heilig
The Star-Touched Queen - Roshani Chokshi
Wintersong - S Jae-Jones
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:25 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Feel free to friend me on Goodreads if you like, it's always fun to keep in touch with books. I'm reading a lot lately.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:30 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


> "... in a 'must read' list I would expect a majority of mid & low 4s"

Hm. Don't think I agree. Books can get low (or high) ratings for a variety of reasons ... for example, a controversial love-it-or-hate-it classic will likely end up with a much lower rating than a workmanlike, derivative best-seller. The Goodreads averages don't track particularly well to what I thought of the books on the list, at least.

(Although that being said, yes, this list is an oddly mixed bag.)
posted by kyrademon at 6:35 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Forgot Circe! Amazing book. Another masterpiece.
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:51 PM on July 25


Kushiel's Dart is - in my opinion - almost hilariously over-the-top high fantasy

I read that as "...over-the-top thigh fantasy, which made total sense.

Based on the ones that I have read, I agree with the comments that this is a really mixed list.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:13 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


I find Goodreads ratings less than helpful for me, for exactly the same reasons as IMDB and RottenTomatoes. I trust the Metacritic weighted critic score to be quite reliable for film and television, but they don't cover books.

I don't want to be or seem to be a snob, but that All the Birds in the Sky and Among Others have relatively low Goodreads ratings while Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has a high rating is representative. I increasingly hear how essential it is that writers are received well on Goodreads and that worries me -- not because there's anything wrong with books being very popular and high-selling because the majority of the audience prefers such books, just that it, like RottenTomatoes, has become a de facto universally authoritave barometer.

Goodreads ratings, though, in particular are irksome to me. I rely on Goodreads to track my reading and monitor upcoming debuts and I've got something like 1,300 read books shelved there. I would absolutely be thrilled if the ratings and recommendations were helpful to me, but they're not and too frequently they are sort of anti-helpful. (Which I could make use of were this consistent, but it's not.)

BTW, I want to especially thank you, kyrademon, for your recommendations here over the years. Your library is vast and your judgment sound and your comments have been very helpful to me. I particularly recall discovering Kate Elliott from your recommendation here and she's one of my favorite fantasy writers and it's upsetting to me that I'd not already been familiar with her work.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:15 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Generally speaking if a Goodreads user thinks that a fantasy book is boring or slow-paced, I'm going to like it.
posted by selfnoise at 7:26 PM on July 25 [6 favorites]


IS THIS WHERE I CAN TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH I FUCKING LOVE THE BROKEN EARTH SERIES?!!!

Ahem. Sorry. I know I’m late to the party, but I’m so excited that y’all got here first because anyone into that series who talked about other favorites means I will soon be up to my ears in books to read. Thanks for all the recommendations! (Anyone have a recommendation for the next N.K. Jemisin book I should try? I’m afraid I will be let down after such an incredible story.)

I will say that inhaling all three books in as many days was pretty dark. But as said AndrewStephens says above, it definitely isn’t misery porn. It’s very, very atmospheric though. I tried to reread it immediately after finishing it — I’m a fast reader and comprehend pretty well but often like to re-read right after so I can relax into it and suss out foreshadowing and stuff like that. I couldn’t do it, got halfway through The Obelisk Gate and decided I needed a break. I’m excited for future re-reads though.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 7:27 PM on July 25 [5 favorites]


Generally speaking if a Goodreads user thinks that a fantasy book is boring or slow-paced, I'm going to like it. - selfnoise

Similar reasoning may have led me to Natasha Pulley's The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, a book I read in one sitting.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:54 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Come on, no love for Robin McKinley?!! The Blue Sword is top-tier fantasy for the younger set.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 8:36 PM on July 25 [8 favorites]


I'm surprised not to see Bujold or McKinley on the list. Curse of Challion and its even better sequel Paladin of Souls are two of the best fantasy books I've ever read. McKinley's Sunshine is the best modern vampire book around, avoiding the overplayed cliches.

I have The Fifth Season waiting to be read when I get back to the US. If it's a quarter as good as Jemison's short fiction, it's going to be one of the best ever written. High recommendation for Binti, at least the first book. To me it read as straightforward SF, but that's a cis white dude's reading.

Also, I don't think Charlie Jane Anders has written something I didn't immediately adore. I have her second novel and have put of reading it until I have a weekend to dedicate.

I tired Kushiel's Dart and just couldn't get into it. Does the tone change, or is it like the beginning the entire way through?
posted by Hactar at 9:03 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Seconding Ivan Fyodorovich's recommendation of the The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. A few features it shares with her acclaimed Imperial Radch series: societies that casually accept non-cis people; clever (and often underestimated) servants; justice and vengeance against abusers.

Plus I really like how she handles gods in the book, building from very simple principles and growing into complexity and conflict.
posted by JDHarper at 9:36 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty much not interested in reading fantasy that doesn't prominently feature queer women positively, in active roles, and I'm not gonna read anything by a known transphobe. I don't feel like these are ... difficult requirements to meet. Is there a list curated around that? I takes a lot of digging to sort through for that, sometimes.
posted by kafziel at 10:23 PM on July 25


kafziel, I am pretty sure Autostraddle has curated lists for just that — and that there have been precious Asks here too? Sorry I don’t have links, heading to bed but I can check tomorrow!

The Broken Earth series I was yelling about above does feature queer (particularly women) and trans characters in exactly how I’d like them to — as a natural part of the world without needing special reader handholding.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 10:36 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Just want to add my voice to praise for The Fifth Season; I'd heard good things for years, finally picked it up on a whim a few days ago, and then chewed through it in a few sittings. Really, really grabbed me; great writing, clever structure, very strong world-building, and fundamentally some really complicated and very human characterization.

There is (spoilers, obvs) a FanFare thread for The Fifth Season that I just dumped some thoughts into earlier and dang I'd love to hear more thoughts from other folks too if you feel like it. Going out of town for the weekend and thinking I should just contrive to pick up a copy of the second book on the way out the door.

I've also heard very good thing about The Raven Tower, in part from the hosts of Lingthusiasm who were excited about the use of evidentials as plot/character devices in the novel, though I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet and see what I think.
posted by cortex at 10:54 PM on July 25


> Certainly Goodreads isn't the ultimate arbiter of taste but in a "must read" list I would expect a majority of mid & low 4s instead of this very mixed bag, broken out into quarter stars:

I'd take such averages with a grain of salt, maybe multiple grains, since online ratings have a way of getting gamed or skewed based on the self-selecting percentage of people who do feel compelled to rate something, and there's a likely inconsistency amongst how different Goodreads users utilize the star rating system. I mostly use Goodreads to log the dates for books I've read, and then use the star ratings somewhat loosely:

For example, I generally start from a baseline of 3 for completed books, where 3 just means I thought it was good enough to complete, or pageturnery enough to finish turning the pages, or I "had" to read the book for a class/discussion and it was fine, but not great. I wish Goodreads had a .5 star system so I could rate more books as 3.5, because I don't objectively think most of the books I rate a 3 are mediocre, they just weren't notably good to the extent I'd tip the rating towards 4 stars instead of 3.

When I really like a book, but don't think it's unreservedly terrific or exemplary, I rate it as a 4: I like it more than other books, but still have some reservations about recommending it wholeheartedly or thinking of it as a top book of all time.

5's are very subjective - some of my 5-star Goodreads ratings are for books I consider masterpieces, some are for sentimental childhood faves, some are for books I thought were terrific to read but now can't say much of anything about them so I can't justify the 5 other than the fact that I wanted to give it a 5-star rating at the time of logging the book.

And then there's sometimes contingents of users who trash or praise a book before actually reading it (sometimes before it's actually published!), or maybe they read a book many years ago and are just basing ratings off their vague memories (Harry Potter nostalgia/sentiment), or any number of other reasons. I do find Goodreads 4+ average ratings somewhat helpful in signaling whether a book seems worth at least starting to read, but wouldn't put too much stock on something being a "low" 4/barely-4 average vs a higher 4 average.
posted by rather be jorting at 10:54 PM on July 25


I've read 12 of these. The first 2/3 of Uprooted was absolutely fantastic, though I thought the ending fell apart a bit. I have Spinning Silver on my nightstand, hopefully it will be as good or better.

As a long-term Neal Stephenson fan, I am amused to learn there is an author named Noelle Stevenson.
posted by nnethercote at 11:53 PM on July 25


No mentions of Spinning Silver, also by Naomi Novik? I liked it even more than Uprooted.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:00 AM on July 26 [7 favorites]


> I am amused to learn there is an author named Noelle Stevenson.
People who aren’t into comics may know her better as the creator of the She-Ra reboot on Netflix. She's amazing! (previously, previously, previously, previously, previously)
posted by Syllepsis at 12:07 AM on July 26 [8 favorites]


As a long-term Neal Stephenson fan, I am amused to learn there is an author named Noelle Stevenson.

She's a lot better than he is.
posted by kafziel at 12:13 AM on July 26 [9 favorites]


She's a lot better than he is.

I imagine some people prefer one, some prefer the other, some enjoy both, and some enjoy neither. All of which are valid.
posted by nnethercote at 1:08 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


>I still kind of want to do a McKillip critical-analysis FanFare book club. She's got some recurring themes in her work. I've found a few theses out there written by aspiring masters/PhD students but I think there's more to mine there.

do it!

>> Side note: I tried reading N.K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season," and I found the beginning way too dark for me ... Does it get any less dark?
>Spoiler alert: No, it does not get any less dark. If you didn’t like the beginning then maybe it is not the book for you.

Contrary opinion: IMO, the opening of the fifth season is absolutely the darkest point of the book and trilogy. the book remains dark throughout, but if it had stayed the level of dark as the opening I would have quit.

On the topic of darkness, I've heard Too Like The Lightning is very, very dark, and I want to know if that's true so I can gauge if I want to read it.
posted by Cozybee at 1:09 AM on July 26


I found Too Like The Lightning not as grim as The Fifth Season. It's also freakin' weird and fascinating. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but if you like things that are a bit left field I strongly recommend it.
posted by nnethercote at 1:12 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I'm going to use this list and share it with my girlfriend for some shared reading. We've read NK Jemisin's Broken Earth series and they're fantastic.
posted by Chaffinch at 1:56 AM on July 26


> "fantasy ... [that] prominently feature[s] queer women positively, in active roles ... Is there a list curated around that?"

I hesitate to spam this thread with another list, but I guess people can skip past it if they're not interested. So here's mine. I do not know for certain whether or not any of these authors are transphobes (I hope not!), but I do not recall any specific instances of transphobia within the books I am listing here.

Highest recommendation:
Broken Wings by L-J Baker
The Breath of the Sun by Isaac R. Fellman
The Seraphina duology by Rachel Hartman (queerness not textually evident until 2nd book)
The Alpennia series by Heather Rose Jones
The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher
The Elemental Logic series by Laurie J. Marks
The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar
The Shadow Campaigns series by Django Wexler

Other books that I liked:
Promises, Promises by L-J Baker
Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron
Starless by Jacqueilne Carey
The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb
The Nemesis series by April Daniels
Sub Rosa by Amber Dawn
The Traitor by Seth Dickinson
Twixt by Sarah Diemer
Black Wine by Candas Jane Dorsey
The Seafarer's Kiss duology by Julia Ember
The Lyremouth Chronicles series by Jane Fletcher
Lily by Michael Thomas Ford
Robbergirl by S. T. Gibson
The Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone
The Hopefuls series by Jenn Gott
The City of Woven Streets by Emmi Itäranta
The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Salt Fish Girl by Larissa Lai, When Fox is a Thousand by Larissa Lai
The Book of the Ancestor series by Mark Lawrence
Ash by Malinda Lo, Huntress by Malinda Lo
The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan
A Land Fit for Heroes series by Richard K. Morgan
Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack
Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
The Fever Crumb series by Philip Reeve (queerness not textually evident until 3rd book)
Minotaur by J. A. Rock
Creatures of Will and Temper by Molly Tanzer
Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
Roses and Thorns by Chris Anne Wolfe
posted by kyrademon at 2:16 AM on July 26 [10 favorites]


Thank you for all the books, but where is the best of them all - Finnikin of the Rock?
posted by greenhornet at 3:28 AM on July 26


Some good stuff. Sorry to see that two of the life-changing fantasy authors of my youth (and middle age), Diane Duane and Diana Wynne Jones, aren't to be found on the list.
posted by huimangm at 3:53 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


I would LOVE a McKillip book club! Forgotten Beasts of Eld is one of my favorite books of all time.
posted by 168 at 4:15 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Kage Baker: The three traditional fantasies she left us with are playful and full of interesting myth.

Wait. Three?

The Anvil of the World, The House of the Stag, and...

OH MY GOD

There's a third one! The Bird of the River!

Thank you, selfnoise!

(Re the list itself, like any such, it's a mixture of hit, miss and new-to-me, leaving me guessing whether any of the new-to-me ones will be to my taste. Authors I'm disappointed not to see include Barbara Hambly, Martha Wells, Lois McMaster Bujold, Rosemary Kirstein and Sheri S. Tepper.)
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 5:17 AM on July 26 [4 favorites]


Some notes:
Arrows of the Queen: man, this book was so important to me when I was young! I want to re-read it now to see if it holds up.


I loved that book when I was a kid, but like all things I loved when I was a kid, I've been nervous about re-reading it for exactly that reason. So if you do, would love to hear whether it does hold up or not!
posted by solotoro at 6:26 AM on July 26


First off, where is Tamora Pierce? Her fantasy fiction was my gateway into the genre way back when.

Still, though, as someone who hasn't read any fantasy in a very long time, I'm pleased with most of the names on it. The beau really enjoyed Uprooted, and Novik's more recent one, Spinning Silver.

There's a lot of stuff on there that I've missed entirely. Plenty of choices to consider to catch up to some of the more recent fantasy offerings that I've missed.
posted by PearlRose at 6:35 AM on July 26


There were enough books on there that I really liked - at least 15 - that I'm going to make my way through this list. I was just thinking I needed new books!

I always hate it when people do the 'what, no x? This list sucks!' thing - it's OK for lists like these to not be perfect - but I have to admit I was very disappointed not to see any Robin McKinley on there. She's one of my all-time favorite authors, whose books are almost all thought-provoking and excellent, and this list should have featured her.
posted by widdershins at 6:38 AM on July 26


I tired Kushiel's Dart and just couldn't get into it. Does the tone change, or is it like the beginning the entire way through?

The tone calms down after the first few chapters. I remember thinking that it had to have been some sort of test for readers. "Can you get through a few chapters of over-the-top flowery prose and the introduction of nine hundred characters and concepts - each with longer names and more accents than the last?" If so, read on. And once over that hurdle, it is much easier to read.
posted by Gray Duck at 6:52 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


LeGuin wrote the Earthsea books like they are timeless fables, which is a quality that I haven't seen in any other fantasy novel, ever.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:00 AM on July 26


(I'm popping into this thread for the first time today and I'm delighted to see the lists, please everyone keep up the list-spamming! Also, McKillip or McKinley book clubs would be a delight. Maybe just throw 'em together into the McKBook club.)
posted by Stacey at 7:03 AM on July 26


Some authors who come to mind immediately: Naomi Novik, Octavia Butler, Kage Baker, Ann Leckie, Becky Chambers

Kushiel's Dart and its never-ending sequels are all cut from the same cloth. You either like them or don't. I tried one of Jacqueline Carey's other series, Banewreaker, and found it significantly less fun, but tastes differ.
posted by blob at 7:15 AM on July 26


I'm pretty much not interested in reading fantasy that doesn't prominently feature queer women positively, in active roles, and I'm not gonna read anything by a known transphobe.

This, so much. I've encountered so many fantasy and SF novels where LGBT people just... don't even exist or are given a very negative treatment (Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy, I am looking at you) and it's just so tiring and disappointing. I read to escape, not to relive the horrors of daily life.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:43 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Huh!

Jo Walton is one of my favorite authors, but I thought Among Others was just ok. My Real Children, on the other hand, is one of the finest books I've read--it's literary fiction with a very light sci-fi/fantasy touch. Tooth and Claw was a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy novel (dragons!) and a fast read because I couldn't put it down. I also really liked her alternate history Small Change trilogy, but it wouldn't really be accurate to call that fantasy by any stretch.
posted by sugar and confetti at 7:52 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


My thing these days is to almost exclusively read books by woman/trans authors, which is why my Goodreads list has so much gender bias. I'll read a few books by men if they're topical, like the Christie Pits graphic novel. But for fiction, I just can't see reading men any longer, at all, ever. Sorry, Charlie.

I also troll through TPL's "most recent graphic novels" list and read almost all of the ones by women/trans authors. There's some that I just have no interest in, but if there's a chance I'll like it, I'll surely read it. I also wrote to the collections team about how there just didn't seem to be a representative cross-section of authors in GNs, and got a lovely reply that they had been working on it and know they need to try harder, but it does take time and but also they can't buy books that don't exist, which okay, but at least it was a sympathetic response from someone who listened and genuinely cares about the matter.

If you want ongoing reviews of women and PoC authored genre works, do read James Davis Nicoll's blog. He reviews more books by women than other reviewers (or even publications) review entirely. (He's also a Hugo finalist this year, so if you can vote, consider doing so.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:17 AM on July 26


I always thought my reading mix had a pretty good share of female authors (based on names, anyway--I didn't know anything else about authors except for the ones who actually had About the Author notes), but I haven't read very many on this list.

I guess this list has too much new stuff for me to be really familiar with it--I used to read pretty respectable quantities of F/SF, but as I've gotten older, that's withered away, along with much else that I enjoyed. One of the few on this list that I *have* read leaves me going "Really?" I've read and re-read the Valdemar books quite a number of times, but putting Arrows of the Queen as a must-read just feels odd, especially given the absence of folks like Bujold, Cherryh, Leguin, or for folks I think of in the same mental breath as Lackey, McCaffrey and Kurtz.
posted by Four Ds at 8:25 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I am thrilled to read through this thread in more detail, but I thought I'd take a second to mention an author I do not see mentioned, Catherine Wilson. I love her trilogy, When Women Were Warriors, and I go back to reread them when I'm feeling downtrodden.
posted by blurker at 8:46 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I tired Kushiel's Dart and just couldn't get into it. Does the tone change, or is it like the beginning the entire way through?

I got about halfway through it and just wasn't compelled to finish it. The writing itself is decent, but the whole notion of a fantasy universe where the entire social structure is built around kinky sex just failed to grab me. Maybe if I'd gone into it expecting that, I would have enjoyed it more. (Come to think of it, I did read and enjoy the extraordinarily trashy Captive Prince books.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:48 AM on July 26


Going to recommend Fire Logic for an amazing series full of queer found families.

Also going to recommend The Steerswoman because it's just awesome all around. It's more genre-bending, but it qualifies as some variety of SFF.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:52 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


Speaking of fantasy novels that weirded me out with their sexual content: I'm pleased to see that The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is not on this list. Five or ten years ago, it almost certainly would have been, but these days it looks like the abuse allegations against her are taken more seriously, and I'm grateful for that.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:53 AM on July 26 [11 favorites]


I'm assuming Emma Bull must've done something HORRIBLE that I haven't found out about, because no one has brought up War for the Oaks yet.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:10 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]


because no one has brought up War for the Oaks yet.

Well, she's married to someone horrible

But really I think it's because she hasn't published a lot in the last couple of decades, and people have kind of forgotten about War for the Oaks, even though it could be considered one of the founding texts of modern urban fantasy. Along with Charles de Lint's oeuvre.
posted by suelac at 9:15 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Rosemary Kirstein's pair of Steerswoman books are very good. If only there were more.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:21 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


Hey, above I replied to kafziel's comment that Autostraddle had some lists for queer/trans sci-fi & fantasy books, and though I couldn't find one huge roundup like I swear I've seen there, I thought this search for queer sci-fi books (imperfect as it is, some unrelated content came up) had some good lists for books of all genres and there are specific sci-fi/fantasy recommendations!

I also searched for trans fantasy books (and "trans sci-fi" but the previous search linked basically duplicated the results), while a lot of their recommendations aren't for a specific genre there are some great recommendations. In general I trust Autostraddle recs, and appreciate that they've gotten serious about hiring trans writers and editors.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 10:05 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


thank you so much for this post, it is exactly what I was trying to google yesterday. So much to read!
posted by Naib at 10:14 AM on July 26


As a long-term Neal Stephenson fan, I am amused to learn there is an author named Noelle Stevenson.
> She's a lot better than he is.

kafziel's comment reminded me that I'm reluctant to read more of Stephenson's work because of what I've already read from him. In Snow Crash, there's a scene near the end with an older man and a younger underage female character written in fairly graphic detail that significantly grossed me out because it felt like suddenly getting dropped into a male sex fantasy I didn't sign up for when I thought I was "only" reading a cyberpunk sci-fi classic (which, even before the sex scene, hadn't really gripped me that much).

It's not a judgment on Stephenson's writing as a whole, or fans of his writing - plenty of authors I've liked are imperfect and have written questionable or unpleasant things in the past, and I've only read Snow Crash and it's not like the entire book was about that one scene. But it felt particularly glaring and off-putting in a time where there are lots of irl stories about underage girls getting sexualized by the world around them, so now I'm even more motivated to check out books by different authors, away from the old-school straight white male SF/F canon, where the more I look back at stuff I liked (or at least tolerated) when I was younger, the more I see things I wouldn't enjoy with the awareness I now have as an adult.

Anyway! Seeing all the love for the Broken Earth series has me extra excited to get cracking on it, and I'm also digging the further recommendations coming up in the comments here. So much to read, indeed!
posted by rather be jorting at 11:44 AM on July 26 [2 favorites]


Not sure if kidding, but there aren't two Steerswoman books, there are four. And Kirstien is working on two more at the rate they get worked on.

Also, if teen-age trans superheroes are your jam, or you think they might be, please read April Daniels' books. She's an excellent writer who's pouring a lot of her heart into her work and, as many trans folks are, chronically underemployed, which, intersecting with how many writers are underemployed, really kind of sucks. Anyway, the books are good, full of representation and Real Issues and that's the point.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:00 PM on July 26


> (Anyone have a recommendation for the next N.K. Jemisin book I should try? I’m afraid I will be let down after such an incredible story.)

Tagging along onto your question, does anyone have thoughts on Jemisin's short story collection, How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?

(It's on my to-read list after seeing it in bookstores recently, but I figured I should wait until after I've finished the Broken Earth series.)
posted by rather be jorting at 1:27 PM on July 26


As far as SF goes I just burned my way through the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells and really enjoyed all 4 books.

If you're looking for more YA fantasy (and granted, they're written for younger audiences but I really liked them) The Witch's Boy and The Girl who Drank the Moon (Newbery award winner!) by Kelly Barnhill were fantastic. (And she lives on my street! Her son was in Cub Scouts with my son.)
posted by caution live frogs at 2:27 PM on July 26


I'm a HUGE fan of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. But I had to listen to it in audiobook format to really get it. The footnotes in the print edition distracted me too much. But somehow, in the audiobook, they get kinda interwoven into the whole story very well. And I actually found I really enjoyed those crazy little asides and stories.

It builds slowly, but the ending is fantastic. I was glad to see it on the list.

As for the rest, I've read 16, and have about 6 or 8 others already purchased on my Kindle or Kobo, just waiting for me to get there.
posted by Archer25 at 6:51 PM on July 26 [1 favorite]


I hesitate to spam this thread with another list, but I guess people can skip past it if they're not interested. So here's mine. I do not know for certain whether or not any of these authors are transphobes (I hope not!), but I do not recall any specific instances of transphobia within the books I am listing here.

Thank you very much for the list! There's a few familiar names here. I've loved everything I've read from Jane Fletcher, which is ... everything she's written, except the 2018 real-world pirate book, and I couldn't dig up any online trace of transphobia - and I looked, because I really wanted to recommend her to people, but given the total lack of trans characters in a long list of lesbian novels, I really wanted to make sure. Adored Max Gladstone's Craft Cycle, which has wonderful queer rep (including an explicitly trans protagonist) and a genuinely fascinating world. Fire Logic was good, but ... very grim, I kinda didn't want to follow up on the series.

Digging through my past reading, back when I was churning through whatever I could find, I remember quite enjoying the stuff I got from B R Sanders - Resistance, and Extraction both good reads. Merry Shannon had a good two-book series.

Personally, I actually really like fantasy/scifi romance? Like, if I had a library more just like Jane Fletcher's stuff, I'd be happy.

The Steerswoman series was never, as I recall, overtly queer, but it did sort of have a Tone to it. Which ain't enough. But it is fantastic, and if that's less of a Requirement for you than it is for me - I really just want to read about lesbians being together in fantastic settings - then repeat the recommendations.
posted by kafziel at 12:50 AM on July 27 [2 favorites]


> "Personally, I actually really like fantasy/scifi romance? Like, if I had a library more just like Jane Fletcher's stuff, I'd be happy."

A fellow Jane Fletcher fan! Sweet!

The most explicitly romance titles on my list are the ones by L-J Baker (Broken Wings and Promises, Promises, and you can throw Lady Knight on there as well), and Roses and Thorns by Chris Ann Wolfe. Nightshade by Shea Godfrey is another, which had a somewhat Jane Fletcher-y feel to me; it didn't go on my list mostly because I thought the later books in the series didn't live up to the promise of the first one. For sci-fi, Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey isn't really a romance but had enough romance-y elements to scratch that itch for me. But my queer women in sci-fi recommendations are a whole other list ...

I've read some Merry Shannon, but I haven't read any B R Sanders titles -- I'll check those out!
posted by kyrademon at 1:48 AM on July 27


Oh, and the first book especially of Heather Rose Jones' Alpennia series is pretty romance-y.
posted by kyrademon at 6:00 AM on July 27


N K Jemisin absolutely top of the game - there is the other trilogy - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and the short story collection is excellent.

And another Ursula - Ursula Vernon who writes the more adult stuff as T. Kingfisher. Her short story, "Toad Words", is just brilliant - it's on her website and I read it whenever I need an uplift.

Diana Wynne Jones - her plots are like origami pieces - only after following the instructions, do you get the result
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 4:40 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]


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