Upright Women Wanted
"That girl's got more wrong notions than a barn owl's got mean looks."
Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her--a ...more
It's time for Esther to make an escape and she does so by hiding in a librarian's book wagon. She's spent her entire life pretending to be someone else in order to survive in a fascist society. Continuing the role as a librarian --- an upright ...more
Tor.com Publishing has developed quite a name for themselves when it comes to incredibly well-written, weird, and original science fiction and fantasy reads. And Sarah Gailey’s upcoming novella, Upright Women Wanted, is no exception!
Playing off the classic western genre, Gailey kicks up dust, sweeping the reader away to a world they won’t soon want to leave. A future, near-dystopian, world where the State controls everything from ...more
I was intrigued and entranced by this Western-inspired dystopian, which took the ...more
It’s kinda difficult to ...more
Esther was, she realized, nothing more than a hand of cards in a poker game between these three women. She was only a symbol. She wasn’t the thing they were playing for. And like a bad hand, she could be discarded at any moment.
Sarah Gailey ...more
Esther journey was a fantastic one to follow - it was so great to watch her come into her own. We see her go on a journey - not just one of finding her strength but also one of accepting who she is and that there's more than out there for people like her than a tragic ending. It ...more
This is exactly what's on the ticket: resistance Librarians in the futuristic State where a Wild West approach rules the land. When one girl escapes her good-for-nothing town to find a place where she can be free to love who she wants, she's taken on the desert adventure of a lifetime.
This is a short novel, so I'll make my review short and sweet.
Upright Women Wanted is great. It had a fantastic title, so I picked it up. I read the blurb "fight the State, be a ...more
Like the other Sarah Gailey books I’ve read, the premise of Upright Women Wanted might be a little hard to explain, but go in on trust and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
It took me a little while — probably longer than it should, I can be obtuse — to realise that the story is set in a near-future dystopian society rather than the historical ‘wild west’.
The sense of place is that well written. For most of the story we’re on the road, travelling in an unforgiving landscape with a few brief ...more
I loved Sarah Gailey’s American Hippo books, so I keep picking up her other work and expecting better than what I end up getting.
While this is a far better book than Magic for Liars in terms of narrative quality, it suffers from the same problem of being far, far better in concept than in execution.
Parts of this are cute and charming, but mostly the whole thing feels flat. Add in a protagonist who ...more
When I didn't see that my local library had this on order, I put in a request for it because, well, DUH. It should be everything I love: librarians, queer representation, badassery, an awkward-trying-to-find-herself MC, contraband rebels!!
But there was just something lacking in this presentation of it. Perhaps it's just because it's a novella, and it played out more like a side story in a longer novel. I wanted ...more
Upright Women Wanted continues Gailey's tradition of writing excellent stories threaded with incisive prose and extraordinary heart. This is a tale of identity, survival, and the importance of writing and telling stories about the lives and loves of queer people, especially during times like these when so many people live in hiding, afraid of living their truths. While I didn't feel like the novella format gave the main romance quite enough time to ...more
I'm not sure whether this book falls under the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre or alternate history. It's a western and the main characters travel around in horse-drawn wagons. Cars do exist but no one has gas or other modern technology. The government rules with an iron fist and has a large army. There were hints that the country has been divided up differently, or at least that there are states where you can't travel to anymore, but it wasn't ...more
"Everywhere." Esther whispered to herself, "There are people like us everywhere." Cye and Amity looked at each other and then back at Esther.
Yeah hop along.' Cye said carefully, "People like us."
This story absolutely fell into one of my favourite genre niches: quiet, character-driven, queer sff; following a found-family ensemble on a journey. And Upright Women Wanted had that and then some. (Yes this is a thing. Please hit me up if you need more recs.)
Antifascist librarians? In a ...more
I really enjoyed this. I mean, queer librarian spies on horseback? That is just the best premise. But for all the lovely writing and general goodness (OH HEY CYE), I wish this had been a touch longer. I wish certain things - important things like Esther's grief/trauma - were given space to breathe.
But wishing for longer length (ahem) aside, we do leave the Librarians in a good and hopeful place, and I'm crossing my fingers and toes that this isn't the last of their adventures we get.
The blurb is short and says it all much better than I can, so go read it.
I really enjoyed this. How could I not, what with Librarians as heroes! The physical action is straight out of Louis L'Amour--horses, gunfights, deserts, suspicious sheriffs. I loved our Head Librarian, Bet, and her loving assistant Leda. Young Esther, our focal character, is such a mess, but she means well; it is a delight to see her learn, grow, ...more
How to like the person who she was instead of fighting it.”