Completed Queer Book Series to Distract You During The Big Wait

Are you one of the queers who is obsessed with the Locked Tomb series? Did you spend a weekend   f r e a k i n g   o u t   about the series’ big news? Are you simultaneously jumping for joy at a release date and bemoaning the wait of a whole ‘nother year (and change)? 

Join me, and together, we will distract ourselves! 

As a veteran of long waits between installments in a beloved series, I know what it’s like to wait a long time for the next season, the next the book, the next game, the next anything

One strategy to tide you over is to participate in the fandom and its various events—fic exchanges, big bangs, etc. But there’s a downfall to that. I speak only for myself, but I am sure other people can relate: you can only play around in the fandom for so long before you burn yourself out. 

The best, and I mean THE best way to manage the waiting period is to engage with other media, other fandoms. Since this is a literary journal all about the written word, and since this column is all about queer books of the speculative kind, here is a nice big list of recommendations. 

The majority of these recommendations are completed series that were pulled from my own bookshelf and reading log. If you have recommendations of completed series that are also queer (and maybe feature necromancers, space travel, and/or other cool stuff), hit me up on Twitter! I’d love to hear what you enjoyed! 

Series I’ve Read Entirely: 

  • Imperial Radch trilogy by Ann Leckie || The AI of a space station-sized ship is reduced to a single body, and now seeks revenge for this violent act. Along the way she will make friends, drink tea, and get confused by languages that have more than one gender identifier. 
  • The Indranan War trilogy by K.B. Wagers || Gunrunner Hail Bristol survived an assassination attempt. Unfortunately, her sisters weren’t so lucky. Now she is called back to the empire she left behind to hunt down the mastermind behind the attack on her family. 
  • Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers || Stories of compassion and wonder set in the Galactic Commons, a universe-spanning civilization where humans are the underdogs. Each novel focuses on a different set of characters, so these can totally be read out-of-order. 

Series I’ve Read at Least Two Books For:  

  • Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin || Essun searches for her husband and daughter during an apocalyptic event that spans the entire planet. But there’s more at play as she learns the cause of the event and the reasons why. 
  • Noumenon trilogy by Marina J. Lostetter || Vignettes from an interstellar convoy mission that was sent to investigate the irregular flickering of a distant star. You will fall in love with the ship’s AI.
  • Teixcalaan duology by Arkady Martine || The only thing standing between a galaxy expanding empire and an alien force is a lone space station with secret technology they want to keep from the empire at all costs. 
  • The Protectorate trilogy by Megan E. O’Keefe || Sanda Greeve wakes up alone on an enemy spaceship two hundred years in the future. It goes downhill from there, but not without some twists, some somersaults, and maybe a barrel roll or two. 

Series On my TBR pile: 

  • Machineries of Empire trilogy by Yoon Ha Lee || Look, I just know that there’s body sharing without romance and it’s kind of a transgender narrative? I recently got all three books from the library and will devour them sometime this month. 
  • The King Cycle series by C.L. Polk || This is a queer historical romance fantasy with gorgeous book covers. This is all I know about it. 
  • The Poppy War series by R.F. Kuang || A hella dark re-telling of a bloody war that defined modern day China. I think. I’ve seen the author re-Tweet fanfiction of her trilogy and I think that’s just the sweetest. 
  • Simon Snow trilogy by Rainbow Rowell || Rowell’s response and/or celebration of the Harry Potter fandom or franchise, featuring barely concealed Drarry. 

Honorable Mentions, Incomplete Series Too Good Not to Share: 

  • The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells || The most relatable security construct just wants to slack on the job and watch some TV. Those damn humans keep getting in danger. 
  • Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire || Set in a school for children who returned from a portal fantasy world, and all the shenanigans that entails. 
  • The Masquerade by Seth Dickinson || Baru Cormorant uses her intelligence and wits to rise to prominence within an empire she seeks to destroy. Check the content warnings as this book series plays with the dark effects of colonialism.