Upright Women Wanted

Upright Women Wanted

eBook - 2020
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A 2020 ALA Booklist Top 10 SF/F Pick!
A Booklist Editor's Choice Pick!

Book Riot's Best Books of 2020 So Far!
Named a Best of 2020 Pick for NPR | NYPL | Booklist | Bustle | Den of Geek
In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.

"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 marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.
The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.
Praise for Upright Women Wanted

"A good old-fashioned horse opera for the 22nd century. Gunslinger librarians of the apocalypse are on a mission to spread public health, decency, and the revolution."—Charles Stross
"A dazzling neo-western adventure. . . . Gailey's gorgeous writing and authentic characters make this slim volume a pure delight."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates


From the critics

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Feb 24, 2021

the book was ok. much more like a ya novel. the plot was vague. I think adolescents would like the book.

AnnabelleLee27 Oct 08, 2020

A tightly-written dystopian western featuring a highly diverse cast of fascinating characters set in the near future. This is a quick, satisfying, entertaining, and delightfully subversive read.

Gina_Vee Aug 08, 2020

It's a very interesting and quick read. I vaguely remember the reviews I'd listened to before reading it, but I do remember hearing it's like the wild west with librarians. I'd add that it's also a little like The Book of Eli in a way.

LPL_LeahN Jul 10, 2020

I LOVED Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey so I was immediately intrigued by this. It was the cryptic challenge on the cover that really sold it: "Are you a coward or are you a librarian?" It was a quick read, both short and engrossing. Esther is a young woman on the run from her overbearing, vindictive, and violent father. She stows away in a cart belonging to Bet and Leda, two tough as nails Librarians who seem uniquely suited to the job of espionage under the guise of delivering Accepted Materials to towns in a strange and bleak dystopian America. Will they accept her and train her to be a Librarian or will they dump her the first chance they get?

Esther has many adventures with the Librarians, not all of them expected or pleasant. But she also meets Cye, a smooth talking Librarian apprentice and new feelings plus ones from her past she hasn't yet dealt with charge to the forefront. I love the Queer representation in this book and my only complaint is that it wasn't longer! I feel a lot more could have been done with the world they built and also the plot. To not spoil anything, I'll just say simply that the ending was a perfect set up for a sequel. Fingers crossed!

RandomLibrarian May 06, 2020

This book was on my wishlist for months. I got a copy and read it immediately. It's a novella in length, so it can be read in one sitting. The premise is fabulous - librarians who are part of a secret spy network, but as speculative Western fiction - but I found the book too short to really do justice to the plot. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions and felt rather frustrated by the lack of world building - what is there is great, but there's just not enough to give me a full picture of the world these characters live in. I really hope the author writes another (full-length) book with these characters.


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Mar 31, 2020

Violence: Scenes of shootouts, descriptions of wounds.

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