Planning 2024 Fantasy Bingo

It’s my favorite part of the reading year: r/Fantasy Bingo is back! For those who aren’t familiar, Bingo is an annual challenge that runs from April 1 until March 31 of the following year. Five in a row (or column, or diagonal) is the traditional bingo, but the most popular way to play r/Fantasy Bingo is to fill out an entire card. 25 books by 25 different authors fitting 25 different categories. It’s a blast.

I filled out my first card in the 2020 bingo year, and I finished so early that I was actually able to complete two: one regular card and one themed version. I’ve kept up that tradition ever since, and this year I’ve decided to work with the theme “Not So Hard.” Each square contains an optional “hard mode” version. This year, I want to fill out an entire card without a single book fulfilling its square’s hard mode. For all that it’s supposedly the easier option, avoiding hard mode can yield just as many oddly-specific prompts as filling out an all-hard mode card. So give me your straight romances, your pandemics, your Lovecrafts, your magic dreams and dark magic schools, your secondary world small towns, your disabled orc secondary characters. I’ll explain, I promise.

When I started four years ago, I would sit down and meticulously plan 25 books for 25 squares. Since then, I’ve started leading a Hugo Finalist Readalong, judging the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition (SPSFC), and reading more new releases than backlist titles. As such, attempting to plan a full card in advance is a fool’s errand. But a new Bingo board is a wonderful opportunity to check out some categories that don’t occur often in my regular reading, and both to share and solicit recommendations for books that fill new and perhaps odd niches. There’s always a book that Bingo sends from the vague periphery of my awareness to the top of the TBR–last year, it was the excellent Tigerman after I realized I needed to find Superheroes–and there are always squares that give me the chance to share my favorites with others.

So let’s take a look at this year’s board, square-by-square.

First in a Series

Read a book that’s the first in a series. Hard mode: the series is longer than three books.

My Recommendations

Where do I start? Almost all of my all-time fantasy favorites are series. You can start Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet, or N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy, or Carol Berg’s Lighthouse Duet. Excellent off the radar choices include Sherwood Smith’s Inda and Rosemary Kirstein’s The Steerswoman. And there’s always The Wheel of Time if you like slower-paced fantasy series with staggering scope. More recently, I was extremely excited about M.R. Carey’s Infinity Gate and Shannon Chakraborty’s The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi, and both have sequels either on the way or in the works.

Candidates from my TBR

Do I even need to plan this? SPSFC is always full of series, and the Hugo Readalong will at minimum offer Some Desperate Glory and The Mimicking of Known Successes, neither of which are hard mode. This is nearly a free space.

Alliterative Title

Read a book where multiple words in the title have the same letter (“and sound” is not in the rules but I’m going to throw that in anyways). Hard mode: at least three words have the same starting letter and sound.

My Recommendations

Well I just mentioned The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi, and if you don’t mind something creepy, there’s always The Haunting of Hill House, both hard mode. M.L. Wang’s Blood Over Bright Haven was fabulous, and if you’re reading The Lighthouse Duet, the second book is titled Breath and Bone. There are lots.

Candidates from my TBR

Again, this feels nearly free. Nghi Vo’s next Singing Hills novella is titled The Brides of High Hill. I don’t have my TBR planned for more than the next month or so, but I’d be shocked if I don’t find plenty of others.

Under the Surface

Read a book with a significant underground or undersea setting. Hard mode: this setting covers at least half the book.

My Recommendations

Theres’ a lot here. Ray Nayler’s The Mountain in the Sea includes a small-but-important underwater section. The Fifth Season has a significant underground section. And there’s still Watership Down. Hearkening back to children’s literature, there’s The Silver Chair. And Monica Furlong’s Wise Child has a cave segment. For those seeking hard mode, SPSFC titles Aestus and The Mimameid Solution both fit the bill.

Candidates from my TBR

Significant jaunts underground or undersea occur often enough that I’m not especially worried about finding a “less than 50% under the surface” book for my Not-So-Hard card, but for my other card, I’ve heard lots of praise for Deeplight by Frances Hardinge, Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield, and Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky.


Read a book where the main character is a criminal. Hard mode: the book involves a heist.

My Recommendations

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi strikes again, though I’m not totally sure whether I would count the quest for a McGuffin as a heist. Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is going to hit a lot of squares this year, but this one is a slam dunk for regular mode. The Lighthouse Duet is a fit again here, and the second entries in The Books of Babel and The Inda Quartet fit as well.

Candidates from my TBR

This would be a great excuse to read Tracy Townsend’s The Nine, which I’ve had on my TBR for ages (and there’s always The Lies of Locke Lamora), except that I expect I’ll find plenty of Criminals during the course of everyday reading. I’m not sure whether it counts for Not-So-Hard. I’ll have to keep an eye out for criminals who aren’t heisting.


Book involves characters dreaming. Hard mode: the dreams are purely mundane.

My Recommendations

I’m going to struggle to dig too deeply in my memory of books involving dreams, but The Wheel of Time is famously full of them, and The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin uses dream magic.

Candidates from my TBR

I suspect this square will be easier to find in the moment than it is to plan, but one book rocketing from the fringes of my TBR to somewhere near the top is the Not-So-Hard The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson, who I’ve been meaning to try for a while now. I’ve also heard a few really intriguing recommendations for Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford, though it’s not in my usual preferred subgenres.

Entitled Animals

Book has an animal in the title. Hard mode: the animal is a fantastical or sci-fi creature.

My Recommendations

I really enjoyed Starling House by Alix E. Harrow and The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar by Indra Das, and just like in Criminals, book two of the Inda quartet (The Fox) and the Books of Babel (The Arm of the Sphinx) reappear here. Also, you know how I said Tigerman by Nick Harkaway was one of the pleasant surprises of last year’s Bingo? Well, there’s an entitled animal right there.

Candidates from my TBR

I have an ARC of I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons by Peter S. Beagle and have had The Dragon Path by Daniel Abraham on my TBR for ages. Plus I have a book club friend trying to talk me into the epic set of poems The Sign of the Dragon by Mary Soon Lee. For not-so-hard mode, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell has been on my TBR for a long time, I have an ARC of Sky Full of Elephants by Cebo Campbell, and if I want to use a middle-grade readaloud, there’s always Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow.


The main character is a poet, musician, or storyteller. Hard mode: they are literally called a “bard.”

My Recommendations

Depending on how technical you want to be about the definition of the word “poet,” The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham is all about in-universe poets, though they are more like mages than artists. It’s also a tremendous series. Song of the Beast by Carol Berg works as well. And The Nothing Within by Andy Giesler is told by an itinerant storyteller.

Candidates from my TBR

I’ve had people telling me to read The Name of the Wind for ages. Is this the push I need? I also have been recommended Grievers by adrienne maree brown, and Sarah Zettel (whose The Quiet Invasion I adored) has a backlist title, Fool’s War, with an entertainer main character. I honestly don’t have a ton of ideas here off the top of my head, so I’m certainly open to recommendations.

Prologues and Epilogues

Has a prologue or epilogue. Hard mode: has both.

My Recommendations

I honestly don’t remember off the top of my head which of my favorite books have had prologues and which haven’t. This square seems to encourage epic fantasy, and The Wheel of Time is certainly full of prologues, and I do recall one in the first book of The Long Price Quartet as well.

Candidates from my TBR

As I write this, the last two books I’ve finished (I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons and The Mimicking of Known Successes) have had prologues. I don’t anticipate this square being difficult.

Self-Published or Indie Publisher

Self-explanatory. Hard mode: self-published with under 100 Goodreads ratings or indie published with a press who has done an r/Fantasy AMA.

My Recommendations

I’ve mentioned Andy Giesler a few times already, and I really enjoyed both The Nothing Within and Three Grams of Elsewhere. And while M.L. Wang’s Blood Over Bright Haven has been picked up by Del Rey, The Sword of Kaigen is still self-published. And there’s plenty of great indie work out there, like The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar. 

Candidates from my TBR

I literally judge a self-published science fiction competition. This won’t be hard. I should get two books for free when I read the new-to-me finalists, Dark Theory by Wick Welker, Children of the Black by W.J. Long III, and Memoirs of a Synth: Gold Record by Leigh Saunders. Incidentally, I also enjoyed the three finalists I’ve already read: Thrill Switch by Tim Hawken, Kenai by Dave Dobson, and Three Grams of Elsewhere.


Features romance as a main plot (note: does not have to be fantasy, just speculative). Hard mode: main character is LGBTQIA+

My Recommendations

I’m a big fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, and The Sharing Knife series was lots of fun. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is one of my favorite romantic comedies I’ve ever read, though I’m not sure how it’d hit for readers who haven’t gotten to know “Ivan, You Idiot” over the course of the whole series.

Candidates from my TBR

I often enjoy John Wiswell’s work, and Someone You Can Build a Nest In seems like it would work here. I could also finally pull This Is How You Lose the Time War off the shelves. There are also plenty of big trending romantasies that I could test out to see what all the fuss is about. Is this how I read A Court of Thorns and Roses? Stay tuned!

Dark Academia

Read a book with the dark academia aesthetic–school setting, secret societies, dark secrets, etc. Hard mode: the school itself is mundane.

My Recommendations

It’s a shame I just read Blood Over Bright Haven by M.L. Wang–to be re-released as a traditional publication in October 2024–because it would’ve been a wonderful pick for this square. Babel by R.F. Kuang might fit as well. Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko certainly would, as does Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn for the YA crowd.

Candidates from my TBR

Do I have any? I’m not sure. Taking a gander at recommendation threads, I see Bunny by Mona Awad mentioned a few times (notably also an entitled animal). Someone mentioned Seanan McGuire’s Middlegame, Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House, and James Islington’s The Will of the Many. But honestly, all of those are on the fringes of my TBR, not really on the TBR proper. This isn’t a brutally difficult square, but it’s not one I have a done of ideas for, and I’d be happy for quality recommendations.


Read a book with at least three POV characters. Hard mode: at least five POV characters.

My Recommendations

Like I said, there are a few squares that really hearken back to some of the epic fantasies that used to be my wheelhouse. The Wheel of Time is hard mode, and Inda probably is too. All of the books in The Long Price Quartet have at least three POVs. Not at all on the epic fantasy side, I’ve mentioned that Chain-Gang All-Stars is a Bingo all-star this year, and it fits for hard mode now. And the novella The Indomitable Captain Holli by Rich Larson fits for those who aren’t in it for the long haul.

Candidates from my TBR

I don’t expect this one to be hard. I’ve been told Translation State by Ann Leckie will fit not-so-hard mode, and that’ll be in the Hugo Readalong. M.R. Carey’s Echo of Worlds doubtless will too, since the three perspectives from Infinity Gate all promise to return.

Published in 2024

My Recommendations

I’ve mentioned The Indomitable Captain Holli, and I also quite enjoyed The Tusks of Extinction by Ray Nayler, The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett, and Navola by Paolo Bacigalupi, and I have plenty more on my list.

Candidate from my TBR

I already have ARCs of Echo of Worlds by M.R. Carey, Sky Full of Elephants by Cebo Campbell, and Brides of High Hill by Nghi Vo. I’ve seen excellent reviews of The Wings Upon Her Back by Samantha Mills, The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed, Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky, and Welcome to Forever by Nathan Tavares. There are lots of options.

Character with a Disability

Read a book in which a significant character has a physical or mental disability. Hard mode: it is the main protagonist.

My Recommendations

The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin is tremendous, as is The Broken Kingdoms, and most of The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold fits. The Nothing Within by Andy Giesler fits for hard mode as well. Piranesi probably does too, and almost anything by Mary Robinette Kowal or Carol Berg (I’d particularly recommend the Lady Astronaut series or Lighthouse Duet).

Candidates from my TBR

Not-so-hard recommendations are tricky here, as disabled side characters aren’t commonly central to reviews. I have heard Tress of the Emerald Sea would fit, if I manage to get around to that one, and I could always use one of my first reads of April: Small Gods of Calamity. I expect I’ll find some in the course of my reading–the number of recommendations I have indicates that disability isn’t exactly unusual in my reading–but I’d certainly be open to recommendations here.

Published in the 90s

The book was published in the 1990s. Hard mode: the author (or one co-author) has published again in the past five years.

My Recommendations

Again, The Wheel of Time fits, as does The Golden Key by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott. For anyone that I’ve talked into The Steerswoman, the second book of the series is a 90s publication. And a good chunk of The Vorkosigan Saga was published in the 90s.

Candidates from my TBR

Kate Elliott’s Jaran has been on my list for ages, as has Merro Tree by Kate Waitman and the second book in Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy. I’d also really like to dig into Sarah Zettel’s backlist after adoring The Quiet Invasion, and she has several published in the 90s. I could also read any number of Discworld titles or finally start C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series. And I’ve had a book club friend strongly recommend I Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman.

Orcs, Trolls, and Goblins–Oh My!

Features orcs, trolls, or goblins. Hard mode: as a main character.

My Recommendations

Well, The Lord of the Rings is a classic. And I quite enjoyed the satire Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike.

Candidates from my TBR

I honestly don’t have a whole lot! My reading has never hit the classic fantasy races especially hard. I have been told that my next unread book in the Discworld Watch sequence (Men at Arms) would fit not-so-hard mode, so that might be the obvious first option. I’m very open to recommendations here though.

Space Opera

Read a sci-fi book featuring a large cast and a focus on political or personal social dynamics. Should be set mostly in space or on spaceships. Hard mode: not written by a cisman.

My Recommendations

I’ve mentioned The Vorkosigan Saga a few times, but it’s perfect for this square. For those who have read A Memory Called Empire, the sequel (A Desolation Called Peace) is an excellent book and perfect fit. Warchild by Karin Lowachee is excellent, and I also really liked Far From the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson and Iron Truth by S.A. Tholin.

Candidates from my TBR

This square will be very easy. I’ve already hit it once with Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh, and Nophek Gloss by Essa Hansen has been on my TBR for a while. I’ll be reading an Imperial Radch book during my Hugo reading this summer. But I may have a harder time finding a not-so-hard book–it seems that most of my space opera is written by women! I think SPSFC judging may bail me out here, as Children of the Black by W.J. Long III appears to fit the bill. If I’m desperate, I could always read the second book of The Expanse, which I started four years ago before being distracted by Abraham’s fantasy.

Author of Color

Read a book by an author of color. Hard mode: it’s also a debut novel published in the last five years.

My Recommendations

Kindred by Octavia Butler. I’ve mentioned The Broken Earth Trilogy, and M.L. Wang’s Blood Over Bright Haven and R.F. Kuang’s Babel, but I’d recommend The Sword of Kaigen and The Poppy War as well. Nghi Vo’s Singing Hills Cycle is lovely, as is The Last Dragoners of Bowbazar by Indra Das. And Chain-Gang All-Stars is hard mode, as is She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan. This is a very easy square.

Candidates from my TBR

Sky Full of Elephants reappears, as does Brides of High HillChildren of the Black will actually work here as well. I don’t expect to struggle here.


Read a book where the primary goal of the protagonists is survival, whether of an apocalypse or a war or high school or anything in between. Hard mode: not a pandemic or supervirus.

My Recommendations

Have I mentioned Chain-Gang All-Stars? I also really love Lone Women by Victor LaValle. I’m also a big fan of survival games, and while The Hunger Games is the YA classic, The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín is another absolutely gripping example. Apocalypse Parenting fits, as does the Scholomance series.

Candidates from my TBR

Not-so-hard mode means I’ll need some pandemics, and I’ve actually had a number of recommendations: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu, and Grievers by adrienne maree brown. I’m not sure there’s a good fit on my short-term TBR, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hit one in the course of my reading, and I certainly have choices from the recommendations.

Judge a Book by Its Cover

Choose a book because you like its cover. Hard mode: only use information that’s actually on the cover–don’t read the blurb.

My Recommendations

Silvia Moreno-Garcia has had some wonderful covers, and The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is excellent. I also really liked the cover of Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky, and pretty much all of The Singing Hills Cycle. 

Candidates from my TBR

I’m on NetGalley and regularly scroll through new releases with only information about the title, author, and cover, so I think this should be easy enough. Nghi Vo’s announced novella The City in Glass certainly has an eye-catching cover. I don’t think it’s cheating to pick an author I’ve liked in the past.

Set in a Small Town

The primary setting is a small town. Hard mode: must take place in our world (even if the town itself is fictional).

My Recommendations

Have some sweet little nothings that would be wonderful fits: Nothing But the Rain by Naomi Salman and The Nothing Within by Andy Giesler. Starling House by Alix E. Harrow is also a nice choice, and I’ve already mentioned Lone Women for another square but it works here too. Same with Wise Child and The Sword of Kaigen.

Candidates from my TBR

This is one of the sneaky toughest for not-so-hard mode. I just don’t know many secondary world fantasies that take place in small towns–they usually involve leaving small towns, even if they start in one. Someone recommended Embassytown by China Mieville on Reddit, and. . . well, the title doesn’t make it sound like a small town, but it has been on my TBR fringes for a while. I could really use recommendations here, unless I just get lucky with an ARC or something.

Five Short Stories

Read five short stories. Hard mode: read an entire anthology or collection.

My Recommendations

How long do you have? Seriously, I review short fiction every month. Check out my recommended reading lists from 2022 or 2023 for plenty of options. For hard mode, I’m a big fan of The Best of R.A. LaffertyLost Places by Sarah Pinsker, and The Digital Aesthete, edited by Alex Shvartsman.

Candidates from my TBR

checks spreadsheet 

I’m one story short of having finished this square three times already this month.

Eldritch Creatures

Read a book featuring a being that is uncanny, unearthly, or weird, probably something beyond human comprehension, possibly from another plane. Hard mode: not related to the Cthulhu mythos.

My Recommendations

Not a big cosmic horror guy, but I loved The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer would fit for hard mode.

Candidate from my TBR

For not-so-hard mode, I need the Cthulhu mythos, which is why this year’s Bingo is probably going to talk me into The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, as I mentioned earlier. I also see recommendations for Blindsight by Peter Watts and Michael Moorcock’s books, both of which have been orbiting the fringes of my TBR for a while. Certainly open to other recommendations.

Reference Materials

Features additional material, such as a map, glossary, dramatis personae, translation guide, etc. Hard mode: more than one of these things.

My Recommendations

This year’s Bingo is very friendly to epic fantasy, and The Wheel of Time fits yet again. Navola and Starling House also work here. I’m a huge fan of Saint Death’s Daughter by C.S.E. Cooney. The Broken Earth Trilogy and The Steerswoman work again. There are a whole lot of choices in fantasy.

Candidates from my TBR

I don’t know that I’m really going to have to plan this square, because I often don’t know in advance whether a book will have reference materials, and it’s something I fully expect to hit in the course of my everyday reading.

Book Club or Readalong

Read a book that was selected for an r/Fantasy book club or readalong (past or present). Hard mode: actively participate.

My Recommendations

I co-lead two r/Fantasy book clubs: the Hugo Readalong and Short Fiction Book Club! Jump in! Also, a lot of the books I love have been past book club picks: The Broken Earth Trilogy, The Long Price Quartet, The Lighthouse Duet, Kindred, Inda, Saint Death’s Daughter, The Quiet Invasion–the list goes on.

Candidates from my TBR

Leading a book club makes this a gimme square, but it makes not-so-hard mode actually pretty difficult. There’s a reasonable possibility that I’ll pick up an ARC that later becomes a book club selection, and I’ll just have to. . . not jump into the chat. Otherwise, I’ll have to intentionally pull a book off the older shelves. There are options here–Jade CityThis Is How You Lose the Time WarDaggerspell, and Kings of Paradise have all been past selections that I’ve been meaning to pick up.

Final Notes

I love Bingo for the TBR churn and the opportunity to recommend books that I may not recommend every day. But as you can see, I’m not doing a lot of planning on most squares. Between SPSFC, the Hugo Readalong, and various eye-catching ARCs, a lot of my reading is spoken for, and I don’t have that much time to pull backlist TBR items off the shelves.

This year, there are a few squares that I don’t expect to hit in my ordinary reading (or at least not hit the not-so-hard version), which will provide opportunities to pull potentially niche recommendations off the list. I can usually be picky with these, which often leads to huge hits–like Tigerman and Wise Child last year. So if you have recommendations for Bards, Romantasy (including Romanta-sci-fi), Dark Academia, Goblins/Orcs/Trolls, Published in the 90s, Pandemic Survival, Secondary World Small Towns, or Eldritch Creatures (even if you’re just repeating a recommendation for something I’ve already mentioned here), opinions are welcome. Recommendations in other categories are also welcome, but I think these will be the toughest.

This is also a good chance to comb through books that various people have recommended to me that I haven’t had the chance to pull off the TBR yet. If anyone has read any of these and sees a square it fits perfectly (especially a difficult square!), let me know: Mechanique: a Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine, Version Control by Dexter Palmer, The Shipbuilder of Belfairie by M. Rickert, The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera, Root Magic by Eden Royce, The Black Coast by Mike Brooks, Master Assassins by Robert V.S. Redick, The Nine by Tracy Townsend, Covenants by Lorna Freeman, Tuyo by Rachel Neumeier, The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson, The Reformatory by Tananarive Due, or Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson. All of these are books that I’ve either found interesting enough to buy or that I’ve had a book friend push hard for me to try it. If one fits a tricky square, it’ll doubtless shoot way up the list.


4 thoughts on “Planning 2024 Fantasy Bingo

  1. Don’t forget that Bards includes “storytellers”, so The Last Cuentista seems tailormade for that square just from its title alone.

    Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell might count towards Small Town, secondary world, but I think it’s mostly set at a waystation vs. an actual town. The Shipbuilder of Bellfaire should also work for Small Town.

    1. Heroic. The Shipbuilders of Bellfairie is literally only on my TBR because CSE Cooney was doing an AMA on Reddit and shouted quite excitedly about it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it recommended another time, so I definitely did not expect that one to be singled out here. Thanks!

      1. M. Rickert’s been on my radar ever since published “The Mothers of Voorhisville” (one of their last free novellas before the shift to selling them in their imprint), and I’ve read a few other of her short stories. I only focused on that book on your list because the title seemed vaguely familiar, but I think I must be mixing it up since I haven’t read the original novelette that the novel you have is an expansion of (“The Shipbuilder” apparently only in her collection You Have Never Been Here)

        I got to meet C.S.E. Cooney briefly at the World Fantasy Convention in Kansas City last fall, she’s fantastic.

  2. “Tigana: is a good pick for bards. Devin (primary POV character) and Alessan (IMO protagonist in that his actions motivate most of the plot) are members of a traveling musical troupe. “Soul Music” is also one of my favorite Discworld books.

    “From All False Doctrine” is long and slow for what it is, and the characters are wrong-genre-savvy for a lot of it, but I think it would count for Dark Academia (one of the main characters is getting her masters’ degree researching an ancient Greek manuscript that may or may not be haunted, there’s a secret society of cultists who revere it too much).

    Robert Sawyer is very hit or miss, but he has a lot of 1990s books. I would recommend “The Terminal Experiment.”

    Romance, be more specific about what you’re looking for, there’s a lot that I’m sure would count but I’m not sure I would call it a *rec* per se. I’ll toss out “Babel-17” as a novella that has lots of weird and different relationships, a bit like “Arrival” with more threesomes.

    You’ve already heard my praise for “Doomsday Book.” 🙂 “Station Eleven” felt more litficcy than speculative to me. I tried “Name of the Wind” a while ago (before it became infamous as the unfinished series) and bounced off the first couple chapters, narrator felt too full of himself and even if it is supposed to be an unreliable narrator I couldn’t get into it, so anti-rec there. Again, that’s just me.

    There are several Redwall books with disabled secondary characters (Simeon in Mariel of Redwall, Cregga in her later appearances) They began as stories that Brian Jacques wrote for kids at a school for the blind!

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