Diverse Worlds: LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi and Fantasy

By Brittney Reed-Saltz.

This is the second installment of a series highlighting genre fiction that centers marginalized peoples and perspectives. You can view the first post here.

In my post about people of color in science fiction and fantasy, I pointed out the value of representation for all kinds of people in imaginative and speculative fiction. After all, if we can have a story about dragons and space travel and arcane magic, there is no reason why that story and others can’t feature the same diversity that exists in our world.

That counts just as much for members of the LGBTQ+ community. We still have a long way to go when it comes to representation in sci-fi and fantasy, but more and more books are being published that center characters who are not straight and/or cis.

Here are some SFF novels available through RCLS with LGBTQ+ characters. If you’re looking for more, I highly recommend this post on The Illustrated Page. I consulted it frequently while compiling my list, and I found so many books that sound wonderful. If you see something that we don’t have, be sure to request that we purchase it or get it as an Interlibrary Loan!


Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Quicksilver by R. J. Anderson


False Hearts by Laura Lam

Planetfall by Emma Newman

false hearts

An Unkindness of Ghosts by River Solomon

an unkindness of ghosts

Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

river of teeth

Huntress by Malinda Lo

The Steel Seraglio by Mike Carey

Black Wolves by Kate Elliott

The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan


Borderline by Mishell Baker

Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley


Dreadnought by April Daniels

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden





One thought on “Diverse Worlds: LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi and Fantasy

  1. […] August 20, 2018August 7, 2018 rclsreadsLeave a comment by Jude Romines In the first installment of Diverse Worlds, a series highlighting genre fiction that centers marginalized peoples and perspectives, Brittney made several fabulous recommendations for books with protagonists of color. Of the authors mentioned, she wrote “these writers are keeping the genre relevant and vibrant by ensuring that more and more people can see themselves in the pages of the novels that they read.” This sentiment is vital, and it’s one I’d like to address today—albeit from a different angle. Just as readers benefit from seeing themselves represented in books, I would suggest writers benefit from seeing themselves represented within a diverse publishing industry. So today, I’ll be going over several inspiring authors of color whose contributions to science fiction and fantasy have helped carve a space for marginalized creators in genre fiction! Below each mini-bio will be some recommendations from our shelves for you to check out! J.Y. Yang J.Y. Yang is a non-binary Chinese-Singaporean writer of science fiction and fantasy. Their pronouns are they/them, and they have a background in molecular biology and journalism. A self-described “postcolonial intersectional feminist,” Yang takes a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural approach to writing fiction. The Black Tides of Heaven, part of their Tensorate series, was nominated for Best Novella in the 2017 Nebula Awards. Recommended from our shelves: The Black Tides of Heaven The Black Tides of Heaven follows two siblings, Mokoya and Akeha, as they grow up in a “silkpunk” society (silkpunk is a sister to steampunk; it’s a genre which incorporates retro-futuristic machines and inventions with East Asian cultures from antiquity). With a mesh of ancestral magic and future-facing biotechnology, The Black Tides of Heaven offers a world of fascinating contrast and possibility. Bonus representation points for characters with transgender and non-binary identities! (For more LGBT book recommendations, see our last post!) […]


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