The SFF Countries Project is a challenge to read a science fiction or fantasy book from every country of the world. Read more about it on this page. It’s an ongoing project, but I try to give an update at least once a year. So far I managed to read a book for 19 countries. It’s quite easy to find books from Europe, while books from other continents are a bit harder to find. But I’ll just keep looking. I like how many great books I already read because of this challenge. In 2022 I read 5 new books for SFF Countries Project:
Malaysia: Black Water Sister by Zen Cho This amazing book was one of my favourites of 2022. It’s about a lesbian woman who is haunted by her sassy, dead grandmother. The story is both humoristic and a bit creepy. I’ve never been to Malaysia, but while reading this book it was easy to imagine what it’s like to live there.
Spain: The Swimmers by Marian Womack I like the fact that I actually read this book in Spain when I was there for a short vacation. However, the setting is nothing like our world. The story is set in a dystopian future when Andalusia has become a jungle with carnivorous plants and mutated animals. It’s a quirky and dreamlike book that intrigued me.
Estonia: The Man Who Spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirähk When I heard that this book is a bestseller in Estonia, it seemed perfect for this project. The story could be described as a dark fairy tale for adults mixed with Estonian folklore and some real history.
Republic of the Congo: Everfair by Nisi Shawl I meant to read this book since I first published about the SFF Countries Project. I finally did. It has the most fascinating premise: What would have happened if the native population of the Congo had adopted steam technology during its colonization? Although I did have some demerits, the story was definitively worth reading.
Finland: Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta This is another favourite of last year. It’s a beautiful book set in a post-apocalyptic world where parts of the Earth are flooded and drink water is scarce. The story made me feel a bit melancholic and hopeful at the same time.
On my TBR for 2023
Click on the book cover to go to the Goodreads page to read more about it
In December 2020 Annemieke @ A Dance With Books started The SFF Countries Project. She wanted to make a list with a fantasy or science-fiction book for every country in the world. I love seeing the world through my books. So I joined her and made my own list, which you can find here. I added all the books I ever read that meet the requirements. I regularly add new books. Here are the ones I read last year for The SFF Countries Project:
Malaysia: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo I already wrote quite a lot about this book on my blog. It was one of my favourite reads of 2021 and I used the book in some tags. It’s an amazing historical fantasy set during the 19th century. The story has a lot of Chinese folklore and details about life in Malaysia at that time. Want to know more? Read my mini-review for The Ghost Bride here.
Australia: Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks This is an easy to read book about a girl with a steam-powered heart. It’s a fun story, but also deals with some serious themes. I loved that the story is partly based on colonial Australian history. Read all my thoughts about Heart of Brass here.
New Zealand: The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry A character from this book has an ability I can only dream of! Charley is able to bring a character from a book into our world. According to his brother Rob, it causes mostly problems. Rob reluctantly helps his little brother to keep the ability secret and to put some unwilling characters back in their book. However, real trouble starts when book characters appear in Wellington that were not summoned by Charley… Read my mini-review about The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep here.
India: The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana This story actually is set in Shalingar, an imaginary kingdom inspired by Indian mythology. So it may be disputable if this book counts for the SFF Countries Project. But the magical world in the story is well-written and intrigued me. Since it’s hard enough to find books for some countries, I decided to keep it on the list. Read all my thoughts about The Library of Fates here.
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!
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!
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.