Sarah Guan


Works in the book trade (edits scifi & fantasy for @orbitbooks ). @Stanford alum, New Yorker, Earth citizen. I 💜 history, theater, and SCIENCE! #WNDB (she/her)

New York

Orbit Books

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Oct 12

A type of primary relationship I’d love to see more in #SFF: comrades-in-arms—not only warrior/soldier siblings-in-battle, but also people fighting for common causes in politics, in the workplace, in civil society, &c. who believe viscerally in their purpose & in each other #MSWL

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Oct 2

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan

All this chatter about a vampire (and werewolf) comeback. I have thoughts...

I like my supernatural, human-but-not characters. But I’d love some new takes—not the resurrecting of classics that worked the last time around. Let’s see new perspectives get a bite at that apple.

After a fantastic chat with @hroot, @tayhaggerty, and the Orbit editorial team this afternoon, I’ve realized that one of my evergreen #MSWL items is “sprawling, deeply messed up, magical families who both love and hate each other, and maybe change the world sometimes.”

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Sep 30

After Trump’s bizarre statement about exchanging love letters w/ Kim Jong Un, I can’t help thinking it‘d be an interesting SFF novel idea: 2 unstable dictators w/ huge egos inherit world-ending arsenals & a fraught standoff, begin a diplomatic correspondence, & fall in love

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Sep 19

#MSWL: secondary world SFF political systems based on historical governments that weren’t quasi-absolute monarchies—e.g. the Japanese shogunate, the Iroquois Confederacy, the Ancient Greek polis, the elected Khans of the Mongol Empire, the city-states of the Aztec Triple Alliance

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Sep 12

#MSWL: anti-colonialist adult #SFF that’s not just about throwing off the hegemon’s rule, but also the complexities of economic independence, recovering lost cultural heritage, & constituting a government that doesn’t replicate oppressive structures put in place by the colonizer.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Sep 12

#MSWL: adult #SFF where the real enemy isn’t one malicious individual or group—it’s a system, but the toppling of said system would inflict massive collateral damage on unsuspecting innocents. And then, if the revolution succeeds—what happens next?

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Sep 12

#MSWL: fairytale and mythology retellings, especially in unusual or unexpected settings, and especially if reimagined to give agency to the marginalized. No damsels, no white knights, all underdogs.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Sep 12

#MSWL: feminist #SFF

I don’t mean “strong heroine succeeds in a sexist society.” That exists, and much of it isn’t feminist in a way that reflects the intellectual underpinnings of the concept.

I want “strong heroines work together—intersectionally—to dismantle the patriarchy.”

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Sep 12

Is it still #MSWL day?

Someone send me an adult SFF novel centering a messy, diverse found family who have to overthrow the empire, or uncover a plot, or fight off invaders—but at the end of the day, you know they’re doing it to save each other as much as to “save the world.”

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Sep 7

#MSWL: thorny, political space opera that revels in the nuts and bolts of science and engineering. Tech that not only facilitates the action, but also precipitates it.

R&D doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it’s intensely political and intimately tied to military & economic realities.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Aug 8

Lindsey Hall @LindseyHall17

#MSWL fantasy w/ a translator protag. There's so much power in language-- how they translate for a ruler effects a whole kingdom, eg. I want to see the nuances & consequences of deciding how & what to translate, word play between languages, times when translation falls short


I’m a multilingual person who often translates for loved ones whose first language isn’t English. It’s a whole set of social interactions and levels of access to systemic power that shape communities and conflicts.

I’d love to see this examined in #SFF.

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Aug 6

Philip Boyes @PhilipJBoyes

Just a reminder: there's an Old Babylonian tablet that mentions a family of exorcists who live together in a house. Which is, I think you'll agree, one of the great sitcom ideas of the ancient world.


I’m imagining one of these exorcists getting caught up in some epic political struggle, and the others admonishing, “Don’t be such a drama queen! Our family sticks to lesser demons and dead commoners for a reason! Stop meddling with dead emperors!”

Sarah Guan @Sarah_Guan · Aug 2

steph @eaumohtz

celebrating Asia 🎆

Someone please write me an epic, thorny, political science fiction or fantasy novel with these protagonists, thanks. #MSWL forever!