What should read next?
September 30, 2017 1:21 PM   Subscribe

I've been in a nothing-hits-the-spot fiction rut for a WHILE. Last thing I read that I liked was Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country, though I never read horror, otherwise. I think I am looking for well-paced tales of triumphant ass-kickery,* which is not, unfortunately, an Amazon category.

Difficulty level: I have very little patience these days for misogyny or racism in books etc, *unless* it's set up for misogynists or racists getting their asses handed to them and it's not exploitively gratuitous, so like...no snuff / torture porn that tries to redeem itself with a revenge sequence in the last 10%, I guess? Lovecraft Country works because it's from the POV of a black family and they kick racist ass at every turn, which was great.

I'm hoping this matches a bunch of other people's entertainment preferences given our world...situation. Whatchya got, fellow nerds?

*this was very nearly an unfortunate typo
posted by schadenfrau to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (...ok, the title of this post contains my now favorite typo ever. The other thing was small potatoes.)
posted by schadenfrau at 1:28 PM on September 30, 2017 [6 favorites]

I've been really enjoying Ben Aaronovitch's Fantasy-Police Procedural seriesRivers of London (American Title - Midnight Riot). The protagonist, Peter, is mixed race himself, and the books really reflect the multicultualism of modern London in a matter of fact way. They're fast paced, good mysteries with lots of action and good humor.

I also really enjoyed Libba Bray's satire of Lord of the Flies 'Beauty Queens' about a bunch of beauty pageant girls stranded on a desert island. It's very silly and funny, and the girls all kick ass and figure out who they really want to be, not just what's expected of them.
posted by Caravantea at 1:37 PM on September 30, 2017 [6 favorites]

The Ancillary books by Ann Leckie! Protagonist: badass humanoid AI with a grudge. Antagonist: space colonialism.
posted by zeptoweasel at 1:46 PM on September 30, 2017 [8 favorites]

If it's light-hearted action-packed ass kickery you want, Michael Anderle's The Kurtherian Gambit series is very satisfying. It has a female protagonist, vampires, werewolves, stranded space aliens, civilian purchases of a Blackhawk helicopter, the FBI, the military, weapons of every description lovingly described, repurposed yachts, a base behind the moon, anti-grav transport.

The bad guys and bad and the good guys are badder. And plenty of nonstop creative cursing. There's 22 books in the series (I'm not sure if they're all written yet) and I'm up to the 10th one. They are fast paced and fun!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:55 PM on September 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seanan McGuire's Velveteen Vs. series. The comments in that thread address at least two of your interests with examples, and I'll add that the minor triumphs do add up to a super-triumphant resolution in one of the linked episodes.
posted by Wobbuffet at 2:16 PM on September 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

I keep recommending The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. It's about a woman who wakes up surrounded by the dead bodies of her attackers but has no idea who they are or who she is. It turns out she's an agent in Her Majesty's Very Secret Service, fighting against supernatural menaces to England. She spends the rest of the book trying to do her job and figure out what's going on without letting her enemies know she's got amnesia.

It's clever, funny, and features a kick ass female protagonist with--and this is the really important part!--kick ass female friends. Personally I'm tired of the trope of the lone kickass woman whose posse always seems to be made up of...men, so this book was a welcome antidote.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:23 PM on September 30, 2017 [9 favorites]

Seconding The Rook - great fun.

If you like Matt Ruff, you might try Fool on the Hill (his first book) which is set at Cornell U and is light, insane and kinda wacky - it's a really fun book.
posted by parki at 2:26 PM on September 30, 2017

I was coming in here to rec the Ben Aaronovitch books but was beat to it.

Also, anything by A. Lee Martinez is awesome.
posted by teleri025 at 2:53 PM on September 30, 2017

Code Name Verity made me cry in the best way when I read it. Resistance. The book is just so full of resistance and I might listen to it on audiobook while I knit more pink pussyhats, if my library has it.
posted by bilabial at 4:20 PM on September 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

I really like the Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadry.

Thanks for asking this question, as it made me consider why I like the series.

Richard Stark (Sandman Slim) is the "Monster that kills monsters." He suffers - a lot - but he kicks a lot of ass. It starts out as a revenge story, but quickly segues into "justice" and questioning what justice really is.

Punk/metal inspired, drips with snark, and is a light breezy read on rather gruesome subjects.

Seconding teleri025 on A. Lee Martinez. Easy reads, interesting ideas, genre subverting, generally progressive, and the protagonists generally kick a lot of righteous ass.
posted by porpoise at 11:02 AM on October 1, 2017 [3 favorites]

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor does start with a lot of misogyny and exploitation followed immediately by poetic weirdness of aliens and some epic kick-assery as I recall. She is well worth reading. Her YA Binti series as well.
posted by Gotanda at 1:40 PM on October 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

How about Uprooted?
posted by gakiko at 3:12 AM on October 2, 2017

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