Sarah Gailey burst onto the scene, at least for me, with her American Hippo novellas, River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow. Intriguing world building in an alternate history Louisiana where hippos have been imported and now run feral, and rugged hippo wranglers ride their hippo steeds into danger and adventure. Gailey writes complex, believable genderqueer characters that you’ll find yourself rooting for.

She continued to impress with Magic for Liars, a fast-paced murder mystery set in a school for young mages.

Now comes Upright Women Wanted. This isn’t actually being released until February, but I was able to snag an ARC at NY Comic Con, to my surprise and delight. Another novella, this slim book packs a ton of world building, doled out in hints and whispers.

Upright Women Wanted is set in a future American southwest, as we follow a wagon train of queer librarian revolutionaries, and their teenage stowaway, on a dangerous journey across a desert teeming with bandits and fascists, with war a constant rumble in the background.

By turns thrilling and heartbreaking, with characters I truly cared about, I loved this book. My only complaint is that is was over too quickly, and I want to know more about this world Gailey has so deftly created. I hope she returns soon to Esther and her comrades.

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