Literary Festival: Fran Wilde’s Reading List – and her request to the Faire Folk!

Fran Wilde was the special guest at this year’s Fantasy Faire, and was interviewed about her work (it was a wonderful interview!) and then gave a reading of some of her work, including the beautiful story A Catalog of Storms which is nominated for a Hugo this year, and can be read in Uncanny Magazine.

She also talked about writers whose works she has been enjoying – and for those of us who were slow to scribble down all the names, she agreed to give us a reading list – as long as we told her what we are reading too!

So here is the list that Fran has sent (and three lists from Fairelanders too!):

Dear Fantasy Faire Friends,

Thank you so much for being such a wonderful audience last week! It was amazing to talk with you, and your questions were wonderful.

As a thank you, I’ve pulled together ten of my favorite fantasy (and a few science fiction, horror, and slipstream) reads from the past year or two. (I keep regular lists on my blog and patreon as well.) I hope you find among them something that you enjoy reading!

* Cuckoo Song – Frances Hardinge. YA Fantasy (like all of her books, astounding worldbuilding. A Face Like Glass and The Lie Tree are also favorites.) Orange World and Other Stories

* Karen Russell. Slipstream & cosmic horror short stories.

* Infomacracy (part of a trilogy)- Malka Older

* The Tea Master and the Detective – Aliette de Bodard

* Trail of Lightning – Rebecca Roanhorse

* Murderbot – ALL the novellas plus the new novel Network Effect. Also Martha’s Cloud Roads is outstanding.

* Karen Memory – Elizabeth Bear

* The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison

* An Unkindness of Magicians – Kat Howard

* The Peripheral – William Gibson

* The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter – Theodora Goss

Also — I’ve been recently working on two serial shows — Machina (AI & the race to terraform Mars) and Ninth Step Station, seasons 1&2!

I hope you find these interesting!
All my very best,
Fran Wilde


We have already have a few responses to Fran – and please add yours in the comments so we can build up a full list!

From Mary Layton (elizabeth.burleigh)
Just a few things I’ve recently read and enjoyed, and some things I re-read because they’re that bloody good.

Wanderers – Chuck Wendig
An utterly unbelievable tale about a sentient AI predicting a pandemic disease that jumped to humans from a *bat*. HAHAHAHAHAHA…..oh.

The Winter Sisters – Tim Westover
Science meets folk medicine in the Georgia mountains of 1822. A lot historical fiction, a bit paranormal romance.

The Broken Earth Series – NK Jemisin
Technically, that’s three books, but this series about the end of the world and the woman who may either cause it, or stop it is SO GOOD.

The Other Mrs Miller – Allison Dickson
A deliciously scandal-filled murder mystery.

The Murmur of Bees – Sofia Segovia (translated by Simon Bruni)
The tale of a mysterious child, disfigured and unable to speak, protected by a swarm of bees, and how he changes the people of a small farming region in early 20th-century Mexico.

The Fireman – Joe Hill
Another pandemic-related read, this time a condition of combustion known as Dragonscale. Sort of a horror/sci-fi hybrid.

Binti, Home, The Night Masquerade – Nnedi Okorafor
Africanfuturistic sci-fi series about the journey of an extraordinary woman coming into her power.

Sin du Jour Series – Matt Wallace
Rollicking good devilish capers for each of the 7 deadlies.

Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
First Gaiman book I ever read, it made me an instant fan and is one of my most favourite books EVER.


From Ceejay Writer
Ceejay Writer’s Recent (Winter 2019-Spring 2020) Reading List: Her Favorite Books

Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
The Calculating Stars – Mary Robinette Kowal
The Fated Sky – Mary Robinette Kowal
The Words Between Us – Erin Bartels
A Dretchen’s Tale – J.B. Garner
Nation – Terry Pratchett
Marine Biology – Gail Carriger
To Be Taught, If Fortunate – Becky Chambers
How Drea Got An (Almost New) Arm: A Hopepunk Story About Thrifting, Body Image, and First Love – Vera Brook
Insane City – Dave Barry
The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency Series (KidLit) – Jordan Stratford
Keeper Academy: The Legend of the Witch’s Woods – M.E. Garrett
Free-Wrench – Joseph Lallo
Entire Aces High, Joker’s Wild trilogy and now awaiting #4 – O.E. Tearmann
My Beloved World – Sonia Sotomayor
The Dancer Wore Opera Rose – Shelley Adina
The Matchmaker Wore Mars Yellow – Shelley Adina
Thistle Inferno – Aaron Michael Ritchey
Armageddon Girls – Aaron Michael Ritchey
The 5th Gender – G.L. Carriger
Absinthe, Alewives and Alchemy – Kate Henriott Jauw
The Wee Free Men – Terry Pratchett
A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett
Entire Dear Maude trilogy – Denise Liebig


From Saffia Widdershins
My list is rather short – I’ve had a busy six months, and not all my ready have been fantasy! But here goes …

I’ve discovered Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library series- Volume 1 is called The Invisible Library to make life easier. Dragons of Order encounter Elves of Chaos in a struggle for power across a multiverse where Librarians struggle to keep balance. There’s steampunk, there’s decadent Venice, there’s dark history, renegades and a plucky heroine and her companions. What’s not to love?

Chalice by Robin McKinley
A re-read, this one. A wonderfully constructed world, rich in natural forces, by one of my favourite writers. Not everything is told – I’d love to revisit this world again and learn more.

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
The second volume of his new series The Book of Dust, a successor (and in volume 1, La Belle Sauvage, a prequel) to the wonderful His Dark Materials trilogy.  Have you seen the TV series yet? I loved it. More daemons though, please, BBC!

False Values by Ben Aaronovitch
The latest in his Rivers of London series. I have a real weakness for police procedurals crossed with Fantasy – I’ve loved this series, and I’m also a fan of the very dark Shadow Police series by Paul Cornell. Aaronovitch’s stories are best read in order, so new readers should start with Rivers of London.

The Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell
And while we’re on the subject of Paul Cornell – I adore this beautiful series of novellas set in an English village in, I believe, the Cotswolds. Dark things lurking under picturesque cottages and old stone walls.

The Erth Dragons (The Wearle: Book 1) by Chris d’Lacey
Boudicca Amat read this at Fantasy Faire last year, and I enjoyed it so much that I ordered the book immediately afterwards. It was definitely worth it.


Please add your favourites in the comments or send them to and I’ll pass them on to Fran!

2 thoughts on “Literary Festival: Fran Wilde’s Reading List – and her request to the Faire Folk!”

  1. Let’s see… first of all, after Saffia’s recommendation earlier this spring, I started on The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman and straight up devoured through them, now eagerly waiting for the next one.

    I’ve also been catching up on my Seanan McGuire series, just finished the last one of InCryptid, ‘n caught up with Wayward Children earlier this year. October Daye series was the first I zoomed through and now I wait for the new one every autumn like it’d be yule.

    Also read through all the Witcher books in the winter. I’m a huge fan of the games, and after watching the series I wanted to be able to see the source material to compare the two, so enjoyed my time with Andrzej Sapkowski.

    I also catch up with any works of Lois McMaster Bujold whenever she writes anything new, there was a new Penric and Desdemona novel in January as well. (Yes, I’m browsing through my Good Reads list of Read Books.)

    Essential gaming readings: Hard in Hightown by Varric Tethras, my favorite dwarf author ever.

    Next up: Fran Wilde’s The Bone Universe, of course! I always try to read our special guest authors before the Faire, but learned of Fran too late in the middle of already-too-busy-times, so going to indulge in her works now.

    As for all-time favorites: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, whose works I often consider to be the two sides of the same coin, or the same world viewed through different coloured glasses. The shared base views always feel the same, whether the approach is light or dark, humor or thoughtful depths.

  2. I’ve been reading a lot during lockdown and here are my 3 most recent ones, all fantastic. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe.

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