Fantasy · Sci-fi · Weekly

T5W: Auto-Buy SF and Fantasy Authors

Top 5 Wednesday is a goodreads group created by Lainey (gingerreadslainey) and now hosted by Sam (thoughtsontomes). This post will be about Auto-Buy Scifi and Fantasy Authors.

This month’s crossover topic is your auto-buy authors that write SFF.

Auto-buying isn’t a thing I do unless I’ve already read at least two or three books by that author and loved all of them. There are some authors I want to read more from because I loved what they did (Kameron Hurely because of The Stars Are Legion, Sarah Porter because of Vassa in the Night, JY Yang because of the Tensorate novellas, Aliette de Bodard because of The Tea Master and the Detective) but I don’t consider them “auto-buy” yet – I haven’t read enough.


Leigh Bardugo

My first auto-buy author ever! I have never rated one of her Grishaverse books less than five stars (her first trilogy too. …Shadow and Bone > Six of Crows). Of course I will read more by her in the future! I can’t wait for King of Scars and even that Alex Stern/Ninth House series I know nothing about.

I haven’t found another author in YA fantasy who writes exactly what I want from the genre – her combination of gray morality, murder, main characters who make the wrong choices, atmosphere and actually interesting romance works for me.


Yoon Ha Lee

I mean, he’s my favorite author. (Did I buy an anthology just because he wrote one of the stories? Yes.) If Bardugo’s books are everything I find appealing in YA fantasy, Ninefox Gambit is everything I want from space opera: politics, a weird sense of humor, really weird technology, war, gray morality to an extreme but with characters I actually love, all-queer casts and no romance.


Anna-Marie McLemore

My third and last “true” auto-buy author is Anna-Marie McLemore. I don’t know if “SFF authors” is the right place for her because she writes magical realism (ownvoices magical realism about latinx characters, usually queer!), but I wouldn’t know who to put on this list otherwise. When the Moon Was Ours and Wild Beauty convinced me I need to read everything she writes. Her stories are a bit too romantic for me, but her writing is so beautiful and I love the themes so much that I don’t care.


Laini Taylor

Now the term “auto-buy” should be taken more loosely because I’m not actually interested in the pre-Daughter of Smoke and Bone books Laini Taylor wrote, but I love her writing style and her two high fantasy series; I can’t wait for The Muse of Nightmares and everything she’ll decide to write after that.


Catherynne M. Valente

Again: loosely auto-buy because I’m not that interested in her middle grade books and  many things she wrote in the past, but her new(er) novels? Yes. I loved Deathless and Radiance, I really want to get to The Orphan’s Tales and I’m going to read Space Opera as soon as I have time (which probably isn’t going to be anytime soon because real life and my ARCs disagree).


Who are your auto-buy SFF authors?

21 thoughts on “T5W: Auto-Buy SF and Fantasy Authors

  1. I really wanted to put Anna-Marie McLemore on my list as well, I’ll read anything she writes. I’ll read anything Laini Taylor, Leigh Bardugo and Catherynne M. Valente writes too, so I should probably read some Yoon Ha Lee soon! Not that I’m expecting his books to be similar to theirs, but our tastes seem to overlap more often than not 🙂

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    1. We do have similar tastes in fantasy, so… maybe? The only similarity I can think of is that there’s a Shadow and Bone theme also in Ninefox Gambit (with different angle and outcome). The only book I’ve ever seen compared to NG is Ancillary Justice, but I haven’t read it (yet), so I don’t know how much they have in common.
      …I just really like space and devastation written in pretty words. I hope it works for you too, if you decide to try it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually have read Ancillary Justice and I really liked it, so that’s another promising sign. And who doesn’t like space and pretty words? I’ll definitley try it, I’ve already bought a copy – I just have so many books to read…

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        1. I’m currently doing the same thing with Ancillary Justice – I own it and I’m probably not getting to it anytime soon; TBRs are made to make us suffer.

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  2. Leighhhhh!! Same tbh. I didn’t realize you liked the Grisha trilogy so much! I feel like I should also say Laini Taylor because I loved DOSAB, but the fact is that I auto-bought Strange the Dreamer but I haven’t read that yet…? So I’m not sure that counts lol.
    Sort of random but I found Ninefox Gambit at the local international library where I want to volunteer and I immediately thought of you – maybe I’ll even borrow it when I’m in the mood for the genre!

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    1. Shadow and Bone was my favorite book before NG – I also started reviewing because of it.
      About Strange the Unread: I currently own two unread books by my favorite author, so… you’re not alone, we all have odd priorities? ARCs do not help.
      And!! I get emotional when people tell me they associate me with the mass murder math book now. The screaming has reached its goal! (And thank you for telling me!)

      [if you want to try NG you may want to read the trigger warnings first because this series really needs them; they’re in my reviews]

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  3. So many people have Bardugo!! I’ve only read Six of Crows, which I liked. I need to start the Grisha trilogy but I’ve seen so many mixed reviews! I have all of Laini Taylor books on my TBR! I should also get on that! lol. I didn’t have any of these on my lists but I’m interested in McLemore now! 🙂

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    1. I like Shadow and Bone more than Six of Crows, but that’s an unpopular opinion (and they’re both really good anyway!) Shadow and Bone is a more traditional fantasy than SoC and it was Bardugo’s debut, so the writing isn’t quite as good, but it has a far more interesting villain.
      If you like magical realism, you should try McLemore! She’s my favorite author in the genre at the moment.

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        1. I started with When the Moon Was Ours, which is also my favorite; it’s a romance and a story about self-acceptance. I haven’t read The Weight of Feathers yet, but Wild Beauty was also stunning and another book you could start with (especially if you like stories about families and plant magic).

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    1. The two series have some themes in common (no one is ever right in a war/people from different sides falling in love) but DoSaB is set during a war, not after. Also, the world of Strange the Dreamer is one of the worlds in the DoSaB multiverse (DoSaB is portal/urban fantasy), I think the author herself said that in an interview. The two series are not that similar otherwise but the writing is just as stunning. I hope you like DoSaB too!

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      1. Omg that’s so cool! I didn’t know that it was in a another universe or whatever! And one of the aspects that I really loved about Strange the Dreamer was the fact that people were both good and bad, so I’m glad I’ll be seeing that in DOSAB!

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  4. Leigh Bardugo is awesome! She is my first auto-buy author ever! Love your post. By the way, what do you do in order not to post a featured image in your post? I don’t know why I’m obliged to post a featured imaged each time I add an image and I don’t want that…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your list! 🙂 I have only read one book by Leigh Bardugo, but she definitely has the potential to become an auto-buy author for me as well 😍 Same with Laini Taylor, while I haven’t read anything by her yet, so many people love her books 🙂

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    1. Thanks! Leigh Bardugo writes the best YA fantasy – her two series are very different but I love them both, and she’s just as good at short fiction. Laini Taylor is perfect for everyone who does not mind a pacing slower than average, loves atmosphere and really likes pretty prose – I’m one of those people.

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