My top sci-fi and fantasy series to read when I’m not performing Harry Potter improv

By Andie Wells

Maybe it’s no surprise since I perform Harry Potter improv, but I love sci-fi and fantasy series. I recently got back into reading after a long period of only reading one or two books a year. While I didn’t complete a wild amount of books, I did manage to read fifteen books this year. I plan on upping that number next year and aiming for two books a month. One of the ways that I got back into reading is by returning to my first love – sci-fi and fantasy books. Here are some books that I have read recently that I recommend for anyone looking for a great sci-fi or fantasy read.

Four sci-fi and fantasy series that keep magic alive for me when I’m not doing Harry Potter improv

Shades of Magic Series by VE Schwab

The Shades of Magic series includes three books: Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light. The series centers around two main characters from different Londons. In this universe, there are several Londons that exist in various dimensions but they can communicate with each other through Antari, rare magicians that can travel through the worlds. The books are about one of these Antari, Kell, and his unlikely companion, Delilah Bard, who is a thief.

What is so awesome about this series is that Delilah is an absolutely amazing protagonist. Just like my Harry Potter improv character, Harmony Grinder, Delilah defies gender roles in her London and defies the very rules of magic in all dimensions. Delilah doesn’t care about rules at all. I won’t say much more so as to leave you with lots of surprises.

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

The Murderbot Diaries are a series of books by Martha Wells. The books in the series so far include: All Systems Red, Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy. I’ve read the first two books so far and just find the series so much fun. The novels are quick reads with lots of action. At the center of the series is a cyborg who refers to themself as Murderbot. Murderbot has no gender or sexual genitals and they are produced strictly to aid in the protection of humans, killing whatever is in their way. Most other cyborgs of that types have “governor units” that prevent them from turning on their humans and killing them. But Murderbot’s unit was disabled by themself. Other than having a gender neutral protagonist, the series also has such humour to it. Murderbot’s perspective on everything is so good. I found myself identifying with Murderbot so much!

Wayfarer Series by Becky Chambers

This series has three books: The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, and Record of a Spaceborn Few. I’ve read the first book in the series. It has everything: action, interspecies romance, same-sex romance, and artificial intelligence and human romance. Lots of romances, but all so good. The book series is about a ship that tunnels wormholes between two areas of the universe to make it easier for other ships to travel. The ship has a crew of super intriguing humanoids and an AI that controls the ship. It’s a great book and I’m excited to read the rest of the series.

The Salvagers Series by Alex White

This series includes two books so far: Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe and A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy. This series is where sci-fi and fantasy mix. Humanoids in this series can both cast magical spells and drive ships through the universe. The whole story centers around Boots Elsworth, a rare non-magical person, and Nilah Brio, a racecar driver. Both get mixed in a universe-wide conspiracy that leads to a treasure hunt. That’s all I am going to say about the story since anything else will give too much away. The story does include a heck of a lot of action, adventure and a pretty awesome LGBTQ romance that literally made me squeal with glee.

With so many great sci-fi and fantasy series, there’s a ton of material to keep me – and you – busy between The Dandies’ Harry Potter improv shows!

I’m excited to read more great series like these four. Sci-fi and fantasy series are the best places for diversity to exist. It’s an imaginary world that can have any possibility (just like Harry Potter improv)! If the writers try to tell you anything different, then maybe read another author.

Looking for more sci-fi and fantasy content while you’re waiting for the next Harry Potter improv show? Check out The Dandies at Holodeck Follies this weekend!