With the delightful THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES, R. B. Lemberg creates a complex, gentle story of homecoming

R. B. Lemberg’s debut THE FOUR PROFOUND WEAVES continues its ascension of the favorite reads of 2020.

Cover by Elizabeth Story based on initial concepts by Francesca Myman

STRANGE HORIZONS share 2020 in Review: Part One and Part Two. THE FOUR PROFOUND LEAVES receives mentions in both parts.

It has become a tradition to begin a new reviewing year by asking the Strange Horizons reviewers to tell us a little about the other things they’ve been reading, watching and playing during the previous year. Despite everything else that has happened, we’re continuing that tradition as we move into 2021.

However, R.B. Lemberg’s THE FOUR PROFOUND LEAVES just hit closer to home, by offering a nuanced unravelling of how gender is a lifelong discourse that we enact not only within ourselves and our changing communities, but also—if we’re very lucky—with the dear ones who become our family along the way.

M. L. Clark

I also very much enjoyed The Midnight Bargain, by C.L. Polk, for its smart, charming fantasy-regency romance; Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel by Julian K. Jarboe for its explorations of what it means to be queer under capitalism; THE FOUR PROFOUND LEAVES by R. B. Lemberg for its complex, gentle story of homecoming; and both instalments of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez for showing how silly, colourful middle grade comedy can also be full of love and respect.

Kelly Jennings

Gautam Bhatia on AN ENDURING ROMANTIC discusses their 2020 In Books in general and the debut in particular.

A delightful little novella with an atmospheric prose style, featuring trans elders and weaving.

On their BookTube, butch poetics includes the novella among favourite books of 2020 | the 10 weirdest & queerest books of the year.

Lawrence M. Schoen welcomes Lemberg to EATING AUTHORS.

LMS: Welcome, R.B. Is there a meal that stands out from all others for you?

RBL: Some of the most memorable meals in my life were the ones I made for Bogi, early in our courtship, in my first home in Lawrence, KS. The meals themselves I remember only vaguely. I was still on a green card, and rising from the ashes of my disastrous first marriage, which ended a year or so prior; Bogi was visiting from Hungary to investigate graduate schools, and to meet US friends.

A few months later Bogi was back, again to visit graduate schools – but also to visit me; and finally, they were back to begin graduate school in Iowa City, about a six hour drive away (longer on Greyhound). We were a couple by then, but because of the mess that visas and the US immigration system made of our lives, we could not live in the same town, so visits were what we had.

Photo by Bogi Takács

REDDIT r/Fantasy continues their fascination with THE FOUR PROFOUND LEAVES.

The /r/Fantasy Monthly Book Discussion Thread:

an interesting novella that I enjoyed. Magic system is cool and the characters are well done.


Has fantasy changed at all that much in the last 20 years?

Did you say… More queer representation? Hello friend, and welcome to the glories of SFF in the modern day! There’s a ton of awesome queer stuff out there! I’ve found bi rep is a bit less common, but here’s a bunch of queer stuff to take a look at.


THE FOUR PROFOUND LEAVES by RB Lemberg (middle eastern fairytale-esque novella. Two elderly trans protagonists go on a journey of self discovery)


Hopefully these will help you dip your toes into the wonderful books modern SFF has to offer you!

EDIT: and if this list didn’t answer it explicitly, yes. The answer is yes. SFF has changed a lot, and it’s getting better and better in my opinion.