It’s that time of the year again, a new bingo will go up on the fantasy subreddit! After last year’s success, I want to take part in it again. There are 25 squares again and I’ll add my own limitations to the books I’m going to read. I want to prioritise the books I already own and haven’t read yet. If possible, pick a book by a marginalised author. And read indie as much as possible. I still don’t think I’ll go for a full hard mode card. With all the blog tours, BBNYA reading, and planned eye surgery, I’m going to focus on reading joy first for this bingo. I’ll count any books read for tours too if they fit the prompt but I definitely want to read some fun books just for me, too.
What about you? Are you taking part in any reading challenge? Will you take part in this one?
A Book from r/Fantasy’s Top LGBTQIA List Any book on this list, including sequels. HARD MODE: A book or series that received ten votes or less.
My pick (for now) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I recently bought this and since it has disability rep too, I’m really curious if the books are better than the Shadow and Bone series.
Weird Ecology Story takes place in a world that is wildly different from our own and includes such things as unique environments, strange flora and fauna, unusual ecosystems, etc. The difference in environment, flora and fauna, and ecosystems cannot simply be “it’s a fantasy world,” but something that is fundamentally different about the world itself. HARD MODE: Not written by Jeff VanderMeer or China Miéville.
My pick (for now) I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to pick for this one. I might have to go through the recommendations for a good fit.
Two or More Authors Any book written by two or more authors such as This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. Anthologies count! HARD MODE: Three or more authors.
My pick (for now) The Wand-Maker’s Debate by Jack D. Albrecht Jr. & Ashley Delay
Historical SFF Any book within the historical fantasy subgenre. HARD MODE: Not based in Britain or Ireland.
My pick (for now) Bloodlaced by Courtney Maguire. It seems like it’s Japanese but from the blurb it’s hard to make out if it’s historical or not, but reviews on Goodreads have marked it as one.
Set in Space A book that takes place primarily (at least 50%) off planet. HARD MODE: Characters are not originally from Earth. It is acceptable for the characters to be descendants of Earthlings as long as they are not themselves from Earth.
My pick (for now) I don’t read much science fiction so I might have to buy something new for this.
Standalone A book that is not part of a series or a larger world. No connected novellas or short stories. HARD MODE: Not on r/Fantasy’s Favorite Standalones List.
My pick (for now) The Part About the Dragon Was (Mostly) True by Sean Gibson.
Anti-Hero Wikipedia describes an antihero as “a character in a story who lacks conventional heroic qualities and attributes, such as idealism, courage, and morality. Although antiheroes may sometimes perform actions that are morally correct, it is not always for the right reasons, often acting primarily out of self-interest or in ways that defy conventional ethical codes.” HARD MODE: A YA book with an anti-hero.
My pick (for now) The Jealousy of Jalice by Jesse Nolan Bailey. The blurb suggests that Jalice is an anti-heroine.
Book Club OR Readalong Book Any past or active r/Fantasy book clubs count (HEA, Mod, Classics, Resident Author, Feminism in Fantasy, etc.), as well as past or active r/Fantasy readalongs. HARD MODE: Must read a current selection of either a book club or readalong and participate in the discussion.
My pick (for now) Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. Yep, I still haven’t read it.
Cool Weapon At least one main character uses a weapon with magical properties. HARD MODE: Weapon has a unique name.
My pick (for now) It’s hard to pick a book for this prompt when a cool weapon is often a minor element so not worthy to mention in the blurb. I might have to pick up a recommendation from someone else.
Revolutions and Rebellions A book featuring a revolution. Any overthrowing of governments, monarchs, and systems will do. HARD MODE: Revolution/Rebellion is the main focus of the plot.
My pick (for now) Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan. After having read the first book for the bingo last year, I’m excited to read the sequel.
Name in the Title A character’s first name appears in the title. Example: Gideon the Ninth. HARD MODE: The title has the character’s first and last name.
My pick (for now) Will I finally read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel?
Author Uses Initials Read a book by an author who goes by their initials like N. K. Jemisin or uses initials somewhere in their name like George R. R. Martin. HARD MODE: Initials are a pseudonym and not from the author’s actual name.
My pick (for now) The Witches of the Wytewoods by M. J. Thompson. This is another recent purchase but it’s not clear to me if it’s a pseudonym or not. The author doesn’t specify it on their site.
Published in 2022 A book published for the first time in 2022. HARD MODE: It’s also a debut novel–as in it’s the author’s first published novel.
My pick (for now) Why Odin Drinks by Bjorn Larssen. Released today, and I could use more funny books in my life.
Urban Fantasy A subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative uses supernatural elements in a 19th-century to 21st-century urban society. Often overlaps with other subgenres like paranormal romance and superhero stories. HARD MODE: Book has an LGBTQ+ POV character.
My pick (for now) Witch’s Bell by Odette C. Bell
Set in Africa Book must either be set in Africa like Rosewater by Tade Thompson or in an analogous setting that is based on a real-world African setting like Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. HARD MODE: Author is of African heritage.
My pick (for now) A Master of Djin by P. Djèlí Clark. A book that’s been on my TBR longer than it should have.
Non-Human Protagonist Main character must not be human or partially human. Humanoid aliens or anthropomorphic animals do count. HARD MODE: Non-humanoid protagonist. No elves, angels, dwarves, hobbits, or humanoid aliens.
My pick (for now) A Lonely World Where The People Are Blue by Rey S Morfin
Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Any book that deals with time not behaving as it should. Time travel, time slips, time loops, time stopping, multiple timelines, etc., all work for this square. HARD MODE: No time travel. Book involves something off about time that’s not necessarily time travel.
My pick (for now) Trudie Skies’ next novel, the sequel to The Thirteenth Hour. There was plenty of messing with time in the first book and I’m counting on it that it’ll happen even more in the sequel.
Five SFF Short Stories Any short story as long as there are five of them. HARD MODE: Read an entire SFF anthology or collection.
My pick (for now) Winter Wonders edited by Chris Durston and C. D. Storitz. Disclaimer: I have a story in there but there are at least five I haven’t written.
Features Mental Health Story takes a strong interest in or explores themes like mental wellness and illness, self-care, and so on. HARD MODE: Not The Stormlight Archive or any books in the linked list.
My pick (for now) Without having read them, I know I’ll pick a Luke Tarzian book. He’s a phenomenal writer who integrates mental illness in all of his stories. I’m always looking forward to reading more from him.
Self-Published OR Indie Publisher Self-published or published through a small, indie publisher. HARD MODE: Self-published and has fewer than 100 ratings on Goodreads, OR an indie publisher that has done an AMA with r/Fantasy.
My pick (for now) Since I’ll be on the panel for BBNYA again, I know I’ll have plenty of indies to read. I’m not going to lock myself down for this one yet.
Award Finalist, But Not Won Any book that was short-listed for an award (or multiple awards) but never received an award. HARD MODE: Neither Hugo-nominated nor Nebula-nominated.
My pick (for now) I’ll have to do more research for this one. Lots of cross-checking.
BIPOC Author Author must be Black, Indigenous or a Person of Color. HARD MODE: A book written by an Indigenous author.
My pick (for now) The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in the Water by Zen Cho. This was last year’s birthday gift and haven’t read it yet.
Shapeshifters At least one character has the ability to change their physical form. HARD MODE: Most prominent shifter is not a wolf/dog shifter. For instance, werewolves can exist but can’t be the most notable shifter characters/main characters.
My pick (for now) Other by Karen Kincy. The main character transforms into an owl.
No Ifs, Ands, or Buts Title does not include the following words: the, a/an, and, or, if, of, but. HARD MODE: Title is three words or more.
My pick (for now) Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust. A recent purchase.
Family Matters A book that features biological family ties. Sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and children – as long as the relationship plays a part, it’s welcome for this square. HARD MODE: Features at least three generations in a single family.
My pick (for now) The Heir by Keira Cass. The story follow’s America Singer’s daughter and I’m sure the rest of the family will show up too.