Last year I boosted the book blog Bogi Reads the World, run by Bogi Takács. This year, on the same day of the month, I am back to boost Bogi some more but this time I would like to recommend:
Iwunen Insterstellar Investigations by Bogi Takács
Iwunen Interstellar Investigations is a web serial that centers around queer, non-binary trans characters solving crimes in space! Yay! There’s a fair lot of content out already. There’s a prologue season which tells the story of how Ranai and Mirun, the two main characters, meet and Season 1 has recently premiered with 4 episodes available so far and a new one coming out weekly. The story has a really cheerful tone with a lot of adorableness going on while at the same time doing a lot of excellent in-depth worldbuilding with very fleshed-out characters. I enjoyed every single episode of it and it really is a great example of that tonally light absolutely does not have to equal shallowness in terms of theme, characterization or plot.
There’s also a buuunch of extra materials. There’s a gorgeous (but much darker than the main series) short story that takes place before the prologue, and there’s also a bunch of other content taking place in the same universe, all of which you can see in the Episode guide here. A lot of those related works also have related story notes on Bogi’s main blog (links also available on the Episode guide). Some of the Iwunen episodes also have author’s notes at the end which may mention something interesting about the worldbuilding or the languages used by the characters, or other random things and those really shouldn’t be skipped!
One of my favorite things about the series is how it handles language and the acknowledgement of that the language the characters are speaking is not the same as the language the reader is reading. It’s obvious throughout the story that English is not the language of the characters and as the story goes we learn some interesting things about the language (or, if I recall, languages?) they do speak but it’s all done without any big info-dumps and without having any large swaths of in-conlang text and awkward translations. I found Iwunen incredibly educational from that perspective! It really provided me a great example of how to deal with those kinds of issues in a non-clunky way, which was something that had been on my mind a lot around the time when I first encountered the series. The things I learned from it will no doubt be really useful for me for some future stories of mine.
Basically, this series is amazing and you should all read it!
Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish agender trans person who writes amazing speculative fiction and very useful book reviews and Twitter threads. You can follow em on Twitter @bogiperson. You can also patron em on Patreon, which I am currently doing, and get patron-exclusive content as well as exclusive previews of other content. I haven’t had time to look through nearly enough of eir Patreon content yet because of my current busy schedule but soon… soon!
Go check out Iwunen, and have a great day!