Book List

8 Sci-Fi Books with LGBTQ Characters

February 17, 2017
Jess Harold
Riveted Editorial Board
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I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong, even when it comes to books. For most of my life I have avoided sci-fi like the plague; I’m a fantasy girl, through and through. But it turns out the imagination it takes to tell stories about alien races or artificial intelligence is just as vast and exciting as those that focus on dragons and wizards.

I owe this newfound love of science fiction to Shaun David Hutchinson’s At the Edge of the Universe. While much of it is based in our contemporary world, the mystery and fear surrounding a shrinking universe that only one person can remember had me awake until the wee hours of the morning trying to find out what happened to the protagonist’s boyfriend! (If I’m not selling it, check out Diego’s 9 reasons to read it, which is what got me to check it out in the first place!) While I think this book is a one-of-a-kind, I know there are other authors with amazing stories featuring LGBTQ characters. So once you’ve finished reading At the Edge of the Universe and are eager for more LGBTQ characters in sci-fi, here are a few to try.

If your favorites are missing, let me know in the comments, I’m always looking for more recommendations!

At The Edge of the Universeby Shaun David Hutchinson

One of the best parts about At the Edge was the inclusive cast of characters. I was excited to read a book that not only explored the multiverse theory alongside shifting family dynamics, but also followed LGBTQ characters without resorting to harmful stereotypes or centering the story solely on their queerness—instead, Hutchinson treats all his characters with respect and care, giving the reader a chance to relate to their story, regardless of their background.

Labyrinth Lostby Zoraida Córdova

Alex has been trying to deny the strength of her magic for years, wanting nothing else but to be normal. In a last-ditch attempt to banish her powers for good, she mistakenly traps her entire family in Los Lagos, the spirit world, and must enlist the help of a suspicious brujo to get them back. The romance is a subplot in this coming-of-age tale, but Alex still has the chance to understand and act on her true feelings by the end of the story.

The Impostor Queenby Sarah Fine

I loved the powerful opening, the exploration of this fantasy world, and especially the way Elli comes to terms with her forbidden feelings for her handmaiden, Mim. The sequel, The Cursed Queen, also features a bisexual protagonist, but I haven’t read it yet, so no spoilers!

Willful Machinesby Tim Floreen

The US president’s son has enough to worry about before Charlotte, an artificial humanoid, escapes her creators’ lab and wrecks havoc on the public via the Internet. I’ve heard this book described as “Gothic, gadget-y, and gay,” so it’s quickly shot to the top of my To-Read List.

We Are the Antsby Shaun David Hutchinson

I can only assume this book is amazing if it’s coming from At the Edge’s author.

The Scorpion Rulesby Erin Bow

Like Labyrinth Lost, this fantasy follows a girl who finds love along the way of a much bigger adventure.

Love In The Time Of Global Warmingby Francesca Lia Block

In this post-apocalyptic retelling of The Odyssey, Pen is searching for her family after Los Angeles has been destroyed by an earthquake and tidal wave. Her life before and after the Earth Shaker converge in her developing feelings for a fellow traveler and what she still feels for her best friend. Block is well known in the fantasy world, but this book showcases her ability to mix genres.

The Left Hand of Darknessby Ursula K. LeGuin

It’s not technically YA, but you have to break the rules for Ursula. This book explores gender expression in a way that only sci-fi can. Keep the tissues handy for the ending!

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