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The Ultimate Queer Scifi Book Rec List

Here it finally is, my ultimate recommendation list of queer (adult) science fiction books (and when I say books, that includes novellas, short stories and other shorter formats as well). This will be forever in progress, as I’ll always be adding to it.

As of right now (July 2020), the list may seem pretty short, but I will keep adding books in batches, hopefully 7 books/stories a week, so it should become quite a long list real fast, and only getting longer in the coming months and years.

Each book/series comes with a list of tags to provide more information about the specific (queer) rep, Some books *may* have a smaller amount of details / lack some of them, due to me only starting to take notes on all these things in 2019, meaning I have to rely on my memory on a lot of them, which…tends to fail me, BUT I’ll make sure to get that info added at some point too (I am a serial rereader after all).

I’ll frequently use “bi/pan” when it’s not clear which one the character identifies as/when I haven’t come across any specific details either in the book or mentioned by the author.
As I’m adding whole series instead of single books, some of the listed queer identities might not be known or the characters not even there yet/not an MC in the first book. Tags are usually about all books in the series.
I’ve also added tags for disabilities which are exclusively for queer characters, not just other characters also in the book. The same goes for the POC tags.
(if you have any questions about any of this, something seems wrong, or anything of the sort, please let me know!)

You can highlight books in the list by clicking the following tags (multiple selections possible):

  • BIPOC author
  • non-binary author
  • trans author
  • POC author
  • ace MC
  • bi MC
  • genderquestioning MC
  • lesbian MC
  • non-binary MC
  • pan MC
  • polyamory
  • sapphic MC
  • trans MC
  • transfem MC
  • transmasc MC
  • MC with mental illness
  • MC with physical disability
  • POC
  • BIPOC
  • free short fiction

 

Books/series are usually linked to get you to their Goodreads page, while stories that are available for free will be linked directly to where they can be read (marked with an asterix).

The Cas Russell series by S.L. Huang

  • crime/thriller
  • POC author
  • gray ace MC (f)
  • antisocial MC
Cas Russell is the ultimate badass: her super power is MATH. Yep, she fights the bad guys by just being a kickass genius. This is made all the more awesome by S.L. Huang being a stuntwoman, meaning her action scenes (of which there are a lot) are hella awesome because she knows what’s up. (also: it has a gay, black character who doesn’t have a POV himself but is always at the center of the plot as well)

The NeoG series by K.B. Wagers

  • space opera
  • crime
  • non-binary author
  • ace MC (f)
  • lesbian MC
  • pan MC (f)
This is the mother of all found-family stories and my absolute favorite. About the Near-Earth Orbital Guard, patrolling and protecting space WITH SWORDS. Also: sports competition. Pale Light is the feel-good book everyone needs, featuring one of my absolute favorite friendships.
The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin
  • science fantasy
  • apocalyptic
  • BIPOC author
  • polyamory
An awesome mix of scifi and fantasy, this series is about a world of just one continent where every few centuries a “Fifth Season” occurs, which comes with a catastrophic climate change. Some people have the ability to control energy and are able to cause earthquakes for example. It’s very queer and just overall awesome, and comes with an amazing plot twist (calling that one is still one of my proudest moments XD)

Across the Ice by Ada Hoffmann*

  • space opera
  • short fiction
  • sapphic
  • MC with autism
Being part of an alien research team, the MC learns that there are others, just like her.
Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne
  • space opera
  • disaster bi
  • terminally ill MC
  • f/f
A war with aliens, mysterious alien genocidal weapon, conspiracies galore, evil corps, and our disaster bi in the midst of it all. This series got it all and is one hell of a space adventure.

Join by Steve Toutonghi

  • crime
  • queer MCs
  • polyamory
I’m not saying “if you love Sense8, read this one!” BUT if you like the sharing headspace kind of thing from Sense8 and don’t mind characters who are more distanced, less touchable, while getting a thoroughly fucked up, very science-y story, THEN you should definitely read this. There is also a whole sub-plot about climate change.

The Nova Vita Protocol Series by Kristyn Merbeth

  • space opera
  • disaster bi MC (f)
  • demi MC (m)
This book/series is peak disaster and tragedy siblings, about a very fucked-up family of smugglers. Lots of family drama, epic space battles and peak “unlikeable” characters (seriously, these characters are not great people which makes reading this kind of a mind-fuck and uh, I think some might struggle with it but I loved it).

The Things I miss the Most by Nisi Shawl*

  • futuristic
  • bipoc author
  • sapphic MC
  • f/f
  • MC with physical disability
About a teen (of two mums) who suffers seizures and her imaginary friend/lover.

The Janet Watson Chronicles by Claire O’Dell

  • crime/thriller
  • queer MC (f)
  • black MC
  • MC with physical disability
A retelling of Sherlock Holmes, this is the story of Watson as a black, queer, disabled woman (she lost one of her arms), who is taken in by Holmes, also a black queer woman and they both quickly embark on an investigation together.

The Teixcalaan Series by Arkady Martine

  • space opera
  • sapphic MC (f)
  • f/f
Murder and mystery in space combined with a society dealing with political instability. This one has an interesting take on how humans preserve memories of important events and facts, that made one hell of a story by putting its main character into a critical situation but lacking those memories.

The Reason Series by T.J. Berry

  • space opera
  • ace MC (m)
  • lesbian MC
  • f/f
  • MC with leg impairment
  • transfem MC
Imagine a half-human/half-unicorn ace and B99’s Jake Peralta but as a lesbian (with a disability) being on a space ship together, trying to help prevent the genocide of all magical creatures while also kind-of hating each other. This is a super fun space opera with enemies-to-found-family and lots of queer rep.

A Stick of Clay, in the Hands of God, is Infinite Potential by JY Neon Yang*

  • non-binary author
  • gender-questioning MC
A moving story about a gender-questioning mecha pilot during a war.
Cover of Hunger Makes the Wolf

The Ghost Wolves by Alex Wells

  • trans, non-binary author
  • space western
  • sapphic MC
  • f/transfem
SOCIAL JUSTICE BIKER WITCHESSS! I feel like that’s all you need to know, no!? It’s also got lots of badass ladies and is just great in the friendships between ladies department. Have I mentioned SPACE WITCHES?!

The Salvagers Series by Alex White

  • non-binary author
  • space opera
  • bi MC (f)
  • f/f
Found family in space! A group of misfits (space pirates basically) teams up to look for a mysterious ship that, when getting into the hands of others, would be used as a weapon.

The Bel Dame Apocrypha Series by Kameron Hurley

  • space opera
  • bi MC (f)
A desert planet (think Mad Max Fury Road), magical bugs, a never-ending holy war, and THE anti-hero squad of all anti-hero squads. Nyx is my favorite “unlikeable” heroine ever, and she knows how to kick ass, literally.

Gender and Other Faulty Software by John Wiswell*

  • free short fiction
  • space opera
  • non-binary author
  • non-binary MC
About a space ship not happy at all about having been assigned male pronouns.

Repo Virtual by Corey J. White

  • Cyberpunk
  • gay MC
  • black MC (m)
  • sapphic MC
  • non-binary MC
Evil corps, virtual reality, poverty… a typical cyberpunk novel. Throw in our queer, black MC who is about to steal what turns out to be a sentient AI and chaos is guaranteed. Part of this exciting heist are his non-binary, Korean sibling and a sapphic woman (also: a transmasc side character). And let’s not forget that the AI gets some POV chapters too.

Finna by Nino Cipri

  • multiverse
  • novella
  • non-binary, trans author
Queer exes (f/non-binary) stuck in shitty jobs, jumping into a wormhole to save a grandma. Fighting monsters and just maybe becoming platonic friends again during the this fun reality-hopping adventure.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone

  • time travel
  • novella
  • f/f
Two time-traveling agents who alter the past to accomplish the best possible future for their warring agencies, start writing letters and *might* just turn from enemies to lovers. (Told exclusively through those letters)

The Whale Fall at the End of the Universe by Cameron Van Sant

  • space opera
  • free short story
  • transmasc author
  • non-binary MC
  • nb/nb
About a SPACE MERMAID, being all alone in space, on a whale carcass. Until they aren’t anymore.

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

  • space opera
  • genderqueer MC
  • bi MC
  • POC (biracial) MC
Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes, a one-time hit band, have been chosen to represent Earth in an intergalactic song contest รก la Eurovision, a contest that might or might not determine whether humans get to keep on living. This book is WEIRD and queer AF.

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

  • near future
  • pulp western
  • novella
  • non-binary author
  • sapphic MC
  • f/nb
Queer librarian spies on horseback. Nuff said.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

  • space opera
  • non-binary author
  • intersex (f) MC
  • MC with autism
  • transfem MC
  • f/f
Typical generation ship on its way to the promised land, but with its dark-skinned citizens considered less than human. Until one of them might just have the fight in her to escape the ship.
(Note: gender identities are very different from ours in this novel, so it can also be read as nb/f or nb/nb)

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