Sunday, June 13, 2021

Five of the best squads in sci-fi & fantasy

Alexis Nedd is a Brooklyn-based pop culture "fanthropologist" who has only ever loved things in a big, obsessive way. As the Senior Entertainment Reporter at, she covers television, movies, and video games with a focus on sci-fi and fantasy universes like Game of Thrones and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Don't Hate the Player is her first novel.

At Nedd tagged five favorite "SFF books where loners band together to kick butt, steal stuff, support each other, or simply survive," including:
The Physical Kids — The Magicians series by Lev Grossman

In Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, Quentin Coldwater is a fantasy-obsessed high school senior who longs to be a part of something special and interesting. He thinks he’s found that something when he’s accepted to Brakebills, a school for real-life magic users, but being a Magician doesn’t fulfill him for long. Quentin eventually finds his place with the Physical Kids, a group of students who use their power to go absolutely bonkers on magical hedonism. If I was going to party with one fantasy squad, they’re the ones I’d pick. No question. Magic isn’t the answer to anyone’s problems in The Magicians. The Physical Kids feel broken in ways all the power in the world couldn’t fix, and it’s only through their parallel journeys at Brakebills and beyond that help them grow together over the course of the trilogy.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Magicians is among Nicole Hill's twenty top fantasies to introduce beginners to the genre, Soman Chainani's five top SFF novels with perfect opening lines, Christian McKay Heidicker's six top read-aloud books for grown-ups, Diana Biller's five creepiest rabbits in fiction, Jenny Kawecki's seven fictional schools that couldn't pass a safety inspection, Entertainment Weekly's top ten wickedly great books about witches, Jason Diamond's top fifty books that define the past five years in literature, and Joel Cunningham's eight great books for fans of Donna Tartt's The Secret History.

The Page 69 Test: The Magicians.

--Marshal Zeringue