From the list on fantasy that reimagines society.
Who am I?
Science fiction is rightly famous for experimenting with new and strange social worlds, but fantasy tends to fall back on the usual feudal tropes: the whims of kings, the valor of knights, the always-temporary powerlessness of farm boys, the technicalities of succession. Which is a shame, because fantasy provides just as much opportunity to reimagine what society could look like. That’s what I try to do in my books, and at my job, where I’m working to bring 21st-century data literacy and quantitative reasoning to a state government stuck resolutely in the ’90s. When I think of books that have done what I’m trying to do, these five are at the front of my mind.
Matt's book list on fantasy that reimagines society
Why did Matt love this book?
In Dragaera, the fortunes of the seventeen Great Houses are determined by the Cycle, which elevates royalty, merchants, artisans, wizards, the mob, and even peasants as it turns.
The Cycle takes thousands of years to turn… but Dragaerans live thousands of years. Easterners, like Vlad Taltos, are lucky to see a hundred, and they can’t be members of the Great Houses. Except the House of the Jhereg, which sells titles.
They’re the mob; and Vlad, Baronet of Taltos, is an assassin. JHEREG and its many sequels are constantly exploring the social dynamics underlying this situation; as an Easterner with a bought title, Vlad doesn’t fit in with either Easterners or Dragaeran nobles, and choosing sides can mean destroying relationships or putting his life on the line.