SciFiMonth: Science Fiction From Around the World

I love to see the world through my books! So much, that I have the ambitious goal to read a fantasy or science fiction book for every country in the world. Ideally, these books are written by authors from the same country as the setting of the book. This challenge is named the SFF Countries Project. The idea originally came from Annemieke @ A Dance With Books. Read more about it on this page on my blog.

Today I made a list with sci-fi books I read for The SFF Countries Project, and some books that are still on my TBR. Let’s start our futuristic journey!

The Netherlands: On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
Our first destination is the country where I live. This book starts a few days before a comet is scheduled to hit the earth. Denise, her mother and sister Iris have to go to a temporary shelter. But Denise’s drug-addicted mother isn’t in any hurry and they don’t know where Iris is. In this way they won’t reach the shelter in time. This is an exciting and realistic story with a diverse set of characters. Denise herself is a biracial girl who has autism (just like the writer).

Taiwan: Want by Cindy Pon
Next we travel to Asia. In this story the air is highly polluted. The rich are able to buy special suits that protect them from getting ill. Everyone else just has a big chance to die. Jason Zhou and his friends are determined to change things. This book has a great setting and plot. It’s about a future that actually is quite likely to happen…

Australia: Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks
Our short trip ends in Australia. I am currently reading this steampunk book about a girl with a metal heart. So far the story is enjoyable and the main character is easy to like.

The list of books I read is still short. It’s not easy to find science fiction books set outside the United States and the United Kingdom. On my TBR-list are:
– Spain: The Swimmers by Marian Womack (dystopia)
– Finland: Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (post apocalyptic)

If you have book recommendations for the SFF Countries Project, let me know in the comments!

Wyrd & Wonder: Fantasy from Around The World

With today’s Wyrd & Wonder prompt we will travel around the world in fantasy books.

This is a recurring theme on my blog. I love the idea to see the world through books! My ambitious goal is to read a fantasy or science-fiction book for every country in the world. To make it even more challenging, I try to find books written by authors of the same cultural heritage as the setting. The idea originally came from Annemieke @ A Dance With Books. She has named it the SFF Countries project. Read more about it on this page on my blog.

Now let’s start our journey!

Russia: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
The first country we visit is still partly in Europe. Here we find a YA historical fantasy set in a small Russian village in medieval times. The story has an amazing, enchanting atmosphere. I also loved that the writer used Rusian folklore elements in the story.

Malaysia: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
The newest addition to my SFF Countries Project; I read this book last month. It has the perfect balance between historical fiction and fantasy. The story is set in 1893 in Malaya (the historic name of Malaysia before independence). Many historical details are interwoven in the story. It also gives an interesting insight in the Chinese afterlife.

Nigeria: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Our next destination is in Africa. This YA book is set in contemporary Nigeria. When the main character learns that she is a Leopard, she discovers a secret magical society. The magic system is inspired by Nigerian folklore. I also loved the idea that someone’s weakness becomes their greatest magical power.

Mexico: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
We move on to Latin America. This historical fantasy book is inspired by Maya mythology, but set in the 1920s. So we get an interesting mix of ancient gods and demons in automobiles and fancy hotels. The book combines amazing world-building with a couple of well-written characters.

Bolivia: Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
This book is actually set in the imaginative country Inkasisa. However, Inkasisa as well as the plot are based on Bolivian history and politics. That’s why this book deserves a place on this list. The story has an amazing magic system. Some characters are gifted with a kind of magic that comes from the night sky.

My list isn’t very long yet. A couple of books are still on my TBR:
– Congo: Everfair by Nisi Shawl
– Nigeria: David Mogo Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
– Pakistan: Fire Boy by Sami Shah

I would also love recommendations. Do you know another good fantasy book from around the world? Tell me in the comments! And if want to know more about Wyrd & Wonder, click here!

The SFF Countries Project

From today the Netherlands will again be in a lockdown. I totally understand that this is necessary to prevent more people getting COVID-19. But it makes me a sad that everything has to close again. On the positive side (because I try to stay optimistic) there is a vaccine now. And the lockdown will also give me more time to read books. So this seems a good moment to start a new reading project.

Last week Annemieke from A Dance With Books came up with the amazing idea to make a list with fantasy and science-fiction books from all the countries in the world. She encourages people to join her and I decided to make my own list with books I read. You can find my list here. I already could add some books, but it’s a project that will take years to complete. I will try to regularly give an update. Here are some books on my TBR I hope to add to the list when I have read them:

Everfair by Nisi Shawl
According to Goodreads this story explores the question of what might have come of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. This steampunk alternative history of Congo sounds amazing!

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
A girl from a poor family receives an unusual proposal. She is asked to become a ghost bride for a family’s only son who died recently. Especially fascinating: this girl is drawn into the world of the Chinese afterlife. The story is set in late 19th century Malaysia.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
This is a Chinese-inspired fantasy by a second generation Chinese American writer. According to the reviews it’s a slower paced story about a girl who suddenly has to become queen when her father is murdered.

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
Especially the fact that the main characters have to find some kind of library makes me looking forward to this book. It’s a standalone fantasy book based on Indian mythology.