So, Trump… I can’t even…
This isn’t a political blog per se, except in so far as writing, writing about sexuality, and writing LGBTQ characters are inherently political acts. Sadly, they may become even more so if the current administration has its way.
Which makes this as good a time as any to announce that I’ll have a story in the Circlet Press anthology A Beastly Affair (erotic retellings of Beauty and the Beast). I just found out so I don’t have a publication date yet, but this might be my favorite of all my stories. I’ll let you know the details when I have them.
Last month was my annual attendance at local science fiction convention, Arisia. Friday night included a panel on the genius and creativity of gay erotica author and satirist Chuck Tingle. While he started with gay dinosaur porn and erotica featuring animated inanimate objects, Tingle has branched out into erotic political satire (for example, Pounded by the Pound: Turned Gay by the Socioeconomic Implications of Britain Leaving the European Union.) U.S. politics are also subjected to his unique style as well. In online forums, Tingle spreads a message of love and inclusion to his internet followers. This entertaining panel discussion included the reading of an email from “Dr. Chuck” himself, and I was left feeling the love and appreciating this unique talent even more.
Saturday, I had a wonderful afternoon hanging out with other Circlet Press authors and then attended an amazing panel on “LGBTQ SF/F/H Authors You Should be Reading.” Read on for the extensive list of publishers, authors and other resources that will keep your reading list full.
Resources from the “LGBTQ SF/F/H Authors You Should be Reading” panel
It can be very difficult for minorities of any type to find representation and I hope these listings will help. I’ve tried to note if the author(s) are also people of color if I’ve found that information out while typing up this list, but I haven’t done extensive research, just made sure the links were valid. Any mistakes are mine.
Magazine/anthology, publisher and other group recommendations:
Glittership, a LGBTQ Science Fiction & Fantasy podcast, is available for your listening pleasure and also accepting submissions.
Beyond: the queer sci fi/fantasy comics anthology. This book won a Lambda Literary Award and looks fantastic. One of the editors is trans and one is a lesbian of color. More at Beyond Press including a comics anthology by people of color. There will be an upcoming Kickstarter campaign to publish the next in the Beyond series this year. Their past Kickstarter page has additional information about the contributors to the Beyond anthology.
Pink Narcissus Press got a shout out during the panel, especially for the upcoming Brave Boy World, A Transman Anthology.
Lethe Press publishes “speculative fiction and books of queer interest” including gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans/genderqueer categories.
The Asexual Artists tumblr has a section on writers. This looks like a very cool site with all types of ace creative people.
Both Image Comics and Boom Studios were noted for having some queer graphic novels among their catalog. The comic Bitch Planet was recommended by one of the panelists (it’s described somewhere as “women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation riff. Think Margaret Atwood meets Inglourious Basterds”.)
The Queer Asian SFF Illuminati has links, reviews and other information by and about a group of writer and artist friends. One of the Arisia panelists mentioned a non-binary member.
For young adult books, there is a LGBTQIA+ YA Masterlist and website that includes breakdowns for each orientation or gender, resources and lots of other great information.
Specific Author/book recommendations:
Note I’m going to link to Amazon for convenience in many cases, but please support your local independent bookstore as much as possible (they can usually special order just about any book for you, just ask them).
Jo Knowles is a bi woman who writes Young Adult fiction with a variety of characters.
Catherynne Valente is a personal favorite of mine. Valente is also a poet and it shows in her wondeful writing. She writes primarily fantasy, which sometimes gets very dark so check out each work to see if it’s to your taste. Palimpsest was mentioned specifically at the panel – it’s a very bisexual book but definitely has some dark moments.
Seanan Mcguire is on my to-read list, but I haven’t read any of her work, so I can’t recommend anything in particular. She writes a couple of urban fantasy series that look interesting, I don’t know know which books in particular are noted for their GLBTQ content.
D. E. Atwood’s If We Shadows is about a young trans man in his senior year of high school who receives some magic potions that complicate his life and relationships.
Amy Lane – A Solid Core of Alpha. Lane writes a lot of m/m romance, but this book got mentioned because there is a human/A.I. relationship as part of the complications and backstory. One review mentioned that this was a somewhat dark story.
Mariko Tamaki‘s graphic novel This One Summer was mentioned.
Beldan Sezen is a Muslim lesbian graphic novelist.
YA fantasy author Audrey Coulthurst has lesbian characters in her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars.
Craig Laurance Gidney has published primarily short story collections.
Foz Meadows. I really liked An Accident of Stars and the sequel is coming out in May. Meadows is genderqueer.
Kameron Hurley’s upcoming novel, The Stars are Legion, has lesbian characters.
Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz was given a shout out as a YA dystopian novel with a genderqueer/non-binary protagonist. Schmatz is also non-binary.
Taneka Stotts is a queer woman of color working in comics . In addition to being one of the editors of the Beyond comics anthology listed above, she is working on a comic called “Love and Sprockets” that was mentioned by one of the panelists at Arisia. (My brief research couldn’t find a link for it; the original publisher seems to have gone under but some(?) of their titles are going forward with Emet comics. Emet comics itself is a small comics press with a mission to add more diversity to comics so they’re probably worth checking out as well.)
Melissa Scott is a Lambda-award winning writer many of whose works have diverse and queer characters. I own a few of her older books and they’re very good; Dreamships is my favorite. (I can’t speak for her Stargate: Atlantis tie-novels, but fans of that show may want to check them out as well. 🙂
Horror and urban fantasy author Hillary Monahan is openly bisexual and writes some queer characters (check out details on each individual book to see if it’s for you).
Tanya Huff identifies as queer and some of her work includes queer characters as well.
Where to find other books:
Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is a “bookclub dedicated to reading all things Queer and LGBTQA.” Run out of Annie’s Book Stop in Worchester, Massachusetts, they also have a Facebook group so everyone can see what they are reading:
Check out the Tiptree awards, including their long lists and nomination lists.
If you do use Amazon, their recommendations as well as the “people who bought this also bought” listings provide resources.
Follow the controversy – one panelist commented that if conservative or censorious forces are all over a book, chances are it’s one you want to read. Authors N.K. Jemisin and Daniel Jose Older were noted as advocates who speak out about these issues a lot — and both are authors definitely worth reading (I don’t know their sexual orientations; I’ve heard there are bisexual characters in some of Jemisin work. Both are people of color).
Googling best “GLBT books” or “best GLBT science fiction books” will bring up not only last year’s list but many previous years’ lists.
Goodreads has lists and other ways to get recommendations. If one book you already like is on a list, changes are good you’ll find others on that you’ll like.
There were employees of both Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, Mass, and Pandemonium in Cambridge, Mass, on the panel, so it never hurts to ask the employees where you shop. If they’re not familiar with queer sf/f writers, they will at least see that there’s a demand and you can order books and encourage your friends to do so and to ask for them to be stocked on the shelves.