ACTION-PACKED SPACE OPERA draws on astrophysics and the mythology of Ancient Egypt to create a memorable tale. Fresh, original, well crafted science fiction! B PLUS
FUNNY, SAD, SILLY, wise novel about the end of a long relationship and what comes after that. Strong characterizations and a distinctive voice take this a level or two above the ordinary. B PLUS
BLEAK, STUNNING ALTERNATE HISTORY, set in a US where white male supremacy is de jure as well as de facto the norm, intertwines the stories of a brilliant young Black woman seeking freedom and her 19th century ancestor. A MINUS
INVESTIGATING A SHADY CONGRESSWOMAN leads two journalists into an investigation with life-or-death stakes. Romantic thriller captures both suspense and love within Houston’s Black elite. B PLUS
Looking for stuff to read, especially to nominate for awards this year? Consider these books, short stories, & other works published in 2023 by creators whose works have previously won the Otherwise Award, & past Fellows.
The Otherwise (formerly the Tiptree) Award celebrates science fiction, fantasy, & other forms of speculative narrative that expand and explore our understanding of gender.
SISTERS, CLINGING TOGETHER after a family tragedy leaves one with profound brain injuries and the other with responsibilities she can barely handle, find separate ways through crises. Lovely mix of Trinidadian legends and European fairy tales.
LINKED BY FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIP, generations of Black women hold tightly to the things that bind them against forces that threaten to overwhelm them—heartbreak, mortality, racism, misogyny, literal and figurative ghosts. Lovely, stirring writing. B PLUS
SMART, SIZZLING VAMPIRE novel is a sexy, erudite, witty retelling of the Dracula story with a young Black woman at its center. Contemporary and queer and funny as hell. A MINUS
BRIGHT, VIVID TALE of two Nigerian girls touched by the spirit world, driven toward each other by different destinies. Gorgeously written, with a brilliant kaleidoscope of detail. B PLUS
A BARISTA TURNS PODCASTER to re-examine the decades-old cold case of her grandfather’s murder, then finds herself at the center of a modern-day homicide investigation. Charming cozy mystery has a lot of heart. B PLUS
THREE WOMEN’S LIVES COLLIDE in unexpected ways in a Southern university town. Hilariously satirical, meticulously observed, and full of compassion, this novel has a lot to say about modern life, love, family, sex, race, class, and money. A MINUS
A HIGH-POWERED BLACK EXECUTIVE quits her Fortune 500 corporate job and takes on the challenge of turning a struggling hair salon back into the neighborhood icon it once was. Entertaining urban fiction with a positive spin. SOLID B
DISTINCTIVE, COMPULSIVELY READABLE novel combines its glossy setting among the Hollywood elite with a story of hidden resistance to anti-Black oppression. Unforgettable, larger than life characters mix with a fast-paced plot. B PLUS
DELICIOUSLY TWISTY 21st CENTURY GOTHIC has a thrill a minute, a house to die for, and a wealth of sharply drawn characters. Shades of Daphne du Maurier (which I mean as a high compliment)! B PLUS
AS INTERSTELLAR PLAGUE RAGES, a small spaceship and its tightly knit crew find an infected stowaway—and that’s the least of their problems. Fast paced, elegantly crafted far-future science fiction adventure with great characters, world building. A MINUS
Book 9, 2024: Split Tooth - Tanya Tagaq
The story of a young girl growing up in Nunavut in the 70s. This incorporates poetry, text, and illustrations. Her writing is beautiful and visceral, incorporating survival from abuse, the Northern Lights, and supernatural children. An amazing novel. @bookstadon #reading #novels
A DAZZLING, POWERFUL FANTASY of a world where ancient magic and high technology coexist, where prisons are the size of nations and messiahs raise armies against their rivals. Unforgettable, beautiful, horrifying. SOLID A
A HILARIOUS, PROVOCATIVE, INCENDIARY satire of the most commodified things in modern life, from contrarianism to cancel culture to online “micro-content” to luxury ashrams, and ultimately to satire itself. B PLUS
On Wednesday January 24, #JaneAusten & Co proudly present award-winning novelist and playwright, #UzmaJallaludin to talk about her Austen-Adjacent novels and plays. Event is from 7 pm - 8:30 pm EST and is on YouTube. The event is free.
Book 6, 2024: Dark Lustre, part 1 - Roy Wilkinson
This is interesting. A six-part novel, each instalment arriving on a monthly basis via post. Wilkinson is the author of amazing British Sea Power biography Do It For Your Mum. This novel takes in a female rock band called The Countess Marie-José de la Barre d’Erquelinnes Hextet, the search for Nazi gold in Devon, Snow White’s coffin, and God knows what else. Recommended. @bookstadon #novels #fiction #reading