Episode 92
Our Picks for Holiday Gifting!

Sharifah and Jenn answer some listener book questions and recommend their sci-fi and fantasy picks for holiday gift-giving this year.

This episode is sponsored by TBR, Book Riot’s subscription service offering reading recommendations personalized to your reading life, Tor Books and Kalipso by Marie Blanchet.

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Questions

1. Hi!

I have the stereotypical hard to buy for husband. He’s a big epic Sci-fi/fantasy fan. He loves the Expanse series, Game of Thrones, Peter F. Hamilton, Jeff Vandermeer, and Neal Stephenson. He’s also likes NK Jemison’s series and Octavia Butler. Any ideas for some new author or series? Thanks so much!

-Melanie

2. I would love some great winter fantasy books to curl up with over this holiday season. Living in Florida I don’t really experience a winter unless I travel, which is obviously not happening this year, so I get all of my snow feels from books. I loved Katherine Arden’s series and I already have Sisters of the Winter Wood on my TBR. I lean towards fantasy, but if you have a great sci-fi rec then that would be awesome too! Thanks so much, y’all are amazing!

-Liza

3. Hi,
This year for Christmas, my sister and I are buying each other books so she’s writing in to When in Romance to request a recommendation and I’m writing into y’all.

I’m looking for something in the vein of Orphan Black, Ex Machina, Dollhouse and the Villains duology by V.E. Schwab. The best way I can think of to describe is: amoral people doing kind of terrible things in the name of science that brings up questions of humanity (but isn’t that just all sci-fi?)

Anyway, I’ll put a link to my goodreads at the bottom but it’s kind of a mess so here’s a quick(ish) rundown:
I think the only ones already on my radar are Gemsigns and Jurassic Park (even though it’s dinosaurs and not humans, I’m gonna give it a go.)
Books I’ve read that seem like they would fit here include:
-Never Let Me Go – tbh I probably would have liked this better if it had followed the people that ran the school instead of the kids.
-Island of Dr. Moreau – obvious OB connection and it’s been years but I remember loving it.
-Frankenstein and Brave New World – putting these together because both of them just weren’t what I was expecting, if that makes sense.
-Mila 2.0 – again it’s been years and I remember it being fine but it was the same situation as Never Let Me Go.

-Crystal

Books Recommended

The Poppy War trilogy by RF Kuang (trigger warnings: basically all of them, it’s really brutal)

The Green Bone saga by Fonda Lee (Trigger warnings: mentions of sexual assault, suicide and self-harm)

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas (tw: self-harm, disordered eating, hazing)

Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, translated by Julia Meitov Hersey

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (tw: child abuse)

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (tw: harm to children, graphic violence)

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (tw: transphobia)

Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang, translated by Ken Liu (tw: reference to suicide)

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

The Down Days by Ilze Hugo (TW: child abuse/death; CW: drug addiction, fatphobic language)

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi (all the trigger warnings)

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