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Indexing

by Seanan McGuire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Indexing (1)

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5864435,669 (3.93)37
For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results. That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. In the real world, no one gets a happily ever after.… (more)
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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
I have liked fairy tales and folklore since I was in grade school. I knew there were cultural variations of fairy tales because I had read so many. My first year of college, in an introduction to the library course, I was excited to learn about the index to fairy tales - and thus remembered about it. Oddly, the small folklore department was unaware of the index, but they were delighted when a visiting professor told them the library should have a copy. I knew there were cultural variations of fairy tales. I think I must be part folklorist. Well, I couldn’t resist a story about fairy tales, so I read it via Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited during every free bit of time I had in a period of about 48 hours.

I was disappointed in the first few chapters, expecting more or something different. But, then, I started becoming interested. The characters live in a world where a force tries to make fairy tales repeat. Would you want to be forced into becoming Sleeping Beauty and sleep for 100 years, or one of Cinderella’s wicked sisters, or even one of Snow White’s seven dwarves. The fairy tale force tries to force people that could be transformed into a character in the fairy tale into a character from a fairy tale. The members of the ATI team try to stop fairy tales before they take over. Because of variations in fairy tales, the team needs to identify who is being transformed into which part of the fairy tale.

I enjoyed reading it and borrowed the sequel immediately afterward. I am not sure it deserved quite 4 stars, but it got a boost because it is in a topic I am a fan of. ( )
  MyFathersDragon | Jan 18, 2023 |
Pretty dope, but I am a fan of the Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey, which has a similar sort of plot, although that's a little more straight fantasy. I did notice a copy error, namely that Henry's brother Gerry was referred to as Jerry in the first few episodes.

I am one hundred percent behind the inclusivity of this story. Henry(ietta), the main protagonist, is a literal white girl, but her team mates are a gay black dude, a queer(?) white chick, a (presumably straight, but never actually mentioned) hispanic chick, and a straight white dude. Her brother is a trans*dude(that is not quite spoilerish, but not knowing this detail adds an interesting element to the previous episodes). What makes this remarkable though, is how natural these details felt to the story. It never seemed like "Look at all this diversity, there was a list and it was all checked off" but just examples of people living their lives, being whatever it is they happened to be. No erasure, no stereotypes. That's how it's done.

Super glad that I bought this serial while it was being published, but that I waited to read the whole thing in one go. Many of the earlier episodes are fairly self-contained, but the latter ones end cliff-hangerish. ( )
  wonderlande | Jan 1, 2023 |
Fairy tales are my crack. I love them. I will read/watch/listen to anything based off of them. So of course, Indexing spoke to me.

This is a pretty cool world Seanan's created here. Fairy tales are infecting the world, and it's up to the people in the ATI Management Bureau to stop them before they reach their inevitable bad and tragic ending.

I wish this had not been serialized though. The way the publication schedule worked out, Seanan was writing the story as she went, and it does show. The plot needs a bit more tightening, and the overarching story arc needed more fleshing out at the beginning. The first few installments feel a bit disjointed and more episodic than part of a continuous story.

Still, pretty good, and very enjoyable. Once I got into the larger story, though, it got better and was much less episodic. I'd be interested to revisit this world at a later date and see how things are going. ( )
  wisemetis | Dec 26, 2022 |
This one is pretty much Feed, without the zombies and the blog-like format.

Female, hard ass protagonist, head of her group, reasonable and severe, has weird intimidating eyes/face: check

People being constantly afraid of catching something that will forever alter their lives and take away their bodily autonomy and ability to live their lives: check

Constantly changing locations: check

A team balanced with different kind of weirdos: check

A playful, somewhat friendship with a lot of banter: check

Everyone being on edge the entire time: check

Traitor in our midst: check

Self-sacrifice: check

Deathwish: check

Romance that's way in the background: check


I enjoyed the fairytale aspect -fairytales are my weak-spot and I loved every minute of it. Glad to see bisexual and trans characters. Needs a lot of work on NOT deadnaming trans characters and using their "transness" as their main narrative drive.

I kinda love Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant lately. ( )
  Silenostar | Dec 7, 2022 |
I read it as a Kindle book 4 years ago. Decided to give it a listen and it's still entertaining. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Nov 2, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Seanan McGuireprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kowal, Mary RobinetteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This book is dedicated to my fairy tale girls:
Catherynne Valente, Michelle Dockrey, and Amy Mebberson.
Good things can come from once upon a time.
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Alicia didn’t feel well.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results. That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. In the real world, no one gets a happily ever after.

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