- Expected Feb 4, 2020
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.
Gailey (Magic for Liars) pits librarian spies against the oppressive government of a future Southwestern America in this dazzling neo-western adventure. After Esther Augustus's best friend and crush Beatriz is executed for possessing unapproved reading materials, Esther's father, the superintendent of the Lower Southwest Territory, arranges for a political marriage between Esther and Beatriz's fianc . Esther flees by stowing away in the caravan of the Librarians, state employees who distribute approved literature to isolated towns. Once discovered, Esther is shocked to learn that the Librarians are actually a hotbed of queer subversion: stern Bet and motherly Leda are a long-term lesbian couple, and their cranky apprentice, Cye, is nonbinary. The Librarians agree to take Esther to Utah, an insurrectionist camp, after picking up a "package" of other refugees. Along the way, Esther grows disillusioned with the homophobic government propaganda she's read all her life and develops feelings for Cye. During a brazen attempt to prove herself useful to the Librarians, Esther stumbles upon frightening information about one of the refugees they're escorting, plunging them all into danger. Gailey's gorgeous writing and authentic characters make this slim volume a pure delight. Readers will relish this showcase of Gailey's striking talents.