This Is How You Lose the Time War

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Name: This Is How You Lose the Time War
Creator: Amal El-Mohtar (author), Max Gladstone (author)
Date(s): 2019
Medium: Novella, epistolary
Country of Origin:
External Links: Simon & Schuster Page
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This Is How You Lose the Time War is a 2019 science fiction novella featuring a canon f/f relationship. In 2020, it won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards for Best Novella.


The novella focuses on a burgeoning relationship between two time traveling spies, named Red and Blue. Red comes from a highly technological society and Blue from a garden that forms one merged consciousness. They are opponents, trying to edit the other society out of the timeline; however, they start sharing a series of competitive letters out of boredom, which eventually blossoms into something more.

Notably, the novella is mostly epistolary and features very poetic language.


So far, the fandom is very small, with only a handful of fanworks on AO3 or elsewhere. The fandom overwhelmingly focuses on the canon relationship between Red and Blue.

Quotes from the book are sometimes included in edits for other fandoms or juxtaposed against quotes from other works - for example, an edit linking quotes from The Song of Achilles, Harrow the Ninth, and This is How You Lose the Time War [1] or superimposing quotes from the book on images or gifs related to other pairings such as Clexa[2] or Catradora[3].

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.




Archives & Fannish Links


  1. ^ post by scorpia on Tumblr, Aug 25 2020 (accessed Feb 26 2021)
  2. ^ untitled gifset, Archived version by thatsway-haught, Oct 15 2020 (accessed Feb 26 2021)
  3. ^ untitled gifset, Archived version by adoorgayskull, Aug 14 2020 (accessed Feb 26 2021)