Sometime around late summer 2020, I suddenly lost all interest in reading anything that was not queer in some way. I can only rely on Tor Books and Tor.com Publishing to provide me the queer speculative content that I require for so long. This is nothing against them—I love a lot of the things that Tor Books and Tor.com Publishing releases. But there is more to reading than queer speculative fiction, and as I disclosed in a previous column, sometimes I want to read a contemporary romance. So I set out to find more queer fiction.
In my search, I managed to compile a small list of reliable resources that could be shared with others. The magic of the internet* brings me to a lot of organically-found recommendations that suit my own tastes. The lists presented here are meant to be for queer literature in general; you may wade through the piles at your own leisure.
Go forth, fellow seeker of queer literature, and be gay (do crime)!
*you know how if you sing a song to your phone and then put your music on shuffle, the song you were singing somehow gets played first? Yeah, the data collection of your
tracking device smartphone or tablet definitely has your best interest at heart. This isn’t my anti-capitalism showing.
Lambda Literary is an organization that seeks to boost the voices of queer individuals. Lambda uses the term LGBTQ, I use the term queer. To me, they mean the same thing. The Lambda Awards are given to the best queer books released in a given year, and it’s been going since 1989!
For Adult Queer Speculative Fiction:
Since 2019, author K. A. Doore has kept a running tally of new fiction in a given year that is a) queer b) adult and c) speculative. The important bit for me is that the list is for adult fiction.
I see a lot of queer books popping up on my Storygraph recommendations, but they almost always have a Young Adult tag on them. I have nothing against young adult fiction—I used to read it almost exclusively when I was in college—and I can only handle the stories of teenagers figuring out their lives for so long. Honestly, sometimes I want to know what an adult would do in a given situation. How does an adult handle parenting a teenager during an alien invasion? This could be my age showing, but I have moved on from relating to teenagers.
Which is why I love this list. The books here are written for an adult audience in mind. I can relate to that.
For The Aro/Ace Niche:
The Aro/Ace Database is something I stumbled upon once upon a Twitter browse. And then I spent at least three days just perusing the archive for anything that features an asexual main character. I made a small list, and then I set out to hunt down these books for my pleasure.
This niche is near and dear to my heart because I am an asexual woman seeking more mainstream representation than Murderbot. I love Murderbot with all my heart, and I also love seeing books and short stories that use the word asexual on the page. Seeing that word in a story to a character that I can otherwise relate to makes me feel seen in a way I haven’t been before.
I am sharing this database to you in the hopes that you will also feel seen.
Now I am opening the floor to you. Where are places you go to find queer literature recommendations? Share them in the comments below!