Gay Sci-Fi/ Fantasy
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Does anyone know of any good sci-fi/ fantasy books featuring gay characters. The only ones I have come across are Mercedes Lackey's Last Herald Mage series (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise, Magic's Price) which I absolutely loved. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
In addition to the Delaney books, many of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels have gay characters. Some other sci fi novels with gay protagonists are Songmaster by Orson Scott Card, A Different Light by Elizabeth Lynn, Chrome by George Nader & Status Quotient: The Carrier by Ralph A. Sperry. One curiosity from the 70's would be The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold (better known as the author of the Trouble With Tribbles episode from Startrek). It's a novel of man who travels in time and ends up having a romantic relationship with himself.
Finally, the Lambda Literary Awards has had a Sci Fi/Fantasy category for close to 20 years. If you visit their website at http://www.lambdaliterary.org you can find all the winners and finalists for previous years. I believe Mercedes Lackey was one of the prize recipients.
Someone just recommended Wraethru to me. I'm afraid I don't know the author, but it's a pretty popular book and I get the impression (from the frequency with which it turns up on GLBT discussion communities) that it's very well thought of.
I second China Mountain Zhang for SF; just finished reading a good epic fantasy with a gay hero named Seregil, Luck in the Shadows & Stalking Darkness by Lynn Flewelling; maybe not necessarily gay in subject but makes one think a lot about gender identity and its construction is Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin; and, if you are into cyberpunk read Pat Cadigan's Synners and Mindplayers.
Personally, I would veer away from anything written by Lawrence Schimel...he simply cannot write well.
Wow! Thanks for the great response everyone! I have a lot of reading to catch up on now. The Lambda list was where I originally found the Mercedes Lackey books but evidently I need to get back there and check that out.
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Some recent fantasy novels with gay characters I read: Shadowdance by Robin Wayne Bailey, Mordred, Bastard Son by Douglas Clegg and A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W. Day, though I cannot really recommend the last one.
But I think everybody should read the steampunk/weird fiction novel Iron Council by China Mieville:
"China Miéville's novel Iron Council is the tumultuous story of the "Perpetual Train." Born from monopolists' greed and dispatched to tame the western lands beyond New Crobuzon, the train is itself the beginnings of an Iron Council formed in the fire of frontier revolt against the railroad's masters. From the wilderness, the legend of Iron Council becomes the spark uniting the oppressed and brings barricades to the streets of faraway New Crobuzon. The sprawling tale is told through the past-and-present eyes of three characters. The first is Cutter, a heartsick subversive who follows his lover, the messianic Judah Low, on a quest to return to the Iron Council hidden in the western wilds. The second is Judah himself, an erstwhile railroad scout who has become the iconic golem-wielding hero of Iron Council's uprising at the end of the tracks. And the third is Ori, a young revolutionary on the streets of New Crobuzon, whose anger leads him into a militant wing of the underground, plotting anarchy and mayhem." (from amazon)
-In one of her essays Ursula LeGuin has since appologized for ruling homosexuality out of her book The Left Hand of Darkness. (That said, the narrator of the book seems freaked out enough when one of the mutable-gender characters becomes _feminine_ and attractive....) However, you may like "Unchosen Love" and "Old Mountain Ways" in her collection Birthday of the World.
-It depends on how you read them, but the book (and movie) Enemy Mine by Barry Longyear could perhaps be read in that light, as could its sequel The Tomorrow Testament. (Again, gender-neutral aliens...)
-Susan Matthews An Exchange of Hostages (a rather ooky book about a doctor-turned-torturer)
-Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay (although in a homophobic society)
-Some of Anne McCaffrey's Pern books (ditto, although I would not read them for just that aspect). Also, her short story "The Changeling" from her collection Get Off the Unicorn (again, hasn't aged well.)
-There is a brief mention of homosexuality (in a negative light) in one the early Camber of Culdi trilogies by Katherine Kurtz, and a close friendship (intimate in a way that can only happen in Fantasy) between two men in the Camber of Culdi trilogy, itself -- but everyone is properly married off and heir-producing.
-Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright has the classic wow-I-*really*-like-my-male-friend-gosh-I'll-become-enamoured-of-his-sister (fellow fans may throw tomatoes at me ... but this always bangs me between the eyes while reading the first quarter of this book -- there is no patent homosexuality in the entire book, however.)
-Some readers of Tolkien also pause over the vivid heroic friendships in his Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings; it depends on your understanding of love, however -- and there are violent arguments over just what Tolkien was getting at.
SF/F has been less imaginative than it could be on this score, and LeGuin is the only author I can think of who has caught themselves -- and mended their ways.
Has any one read the Thorn Boy by Storm Constantine. It is a collection of short stories that are quite good.
Does anyone know anything about the revised editions of Wraeththu by Storm Constantine?
They're harder (e.g. more expensive) to get a hold of in the United States, so I was hoping to gain some insight before shelling out the big bucks. Is it worth the effort/money to find the revised editions, or are the originals just fine?
edit: fixed touchstones
The new Wraeththu Chronicles has been revised and there's more in it than the first omnibus or the paperbacks. I spoke to the author about it and then read it and found it well worth investigating. I have the first omnibus and found the new revision added to the Wraeththu world. You can get it from Immanion Press.
Jessica Amanda Salmonson's Tomoe Gozen shouldn't go unremarked...the medieval Japanese warrior woman who likes girls. I found it wonderful to read many long years ago.
Tanya Huff has at least some homosexual content in her compilation Of Darkness, Light, and Fire.
I don't often read sci-fi/fantasy but I really enjoyed Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner.
I can't believe I haven't mentioned Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold yet.
It's set in her Miles Vorkosigan universe, and features a character from that series, Elli Quinn, as a woman whose assigned task is to chase after some very bad baddies who are searching for a genetic experiment gone wrong.
Ethan, the title character, is from a planet whose founders believed women are the Sink of Sin, and that man must be separated from woman to follow God chastely. They isolated themselves from the Galactic culture and reproduce themselves via "uterine replicators" and cultured ovarian tissue from donations made when the colony was founded.
Needless to say, a planet chock-full of sweaty mens ain't gonna stay chaste forever. So a whole system is set up to build and maintain families, which works fine; then inevitably, the price comes due...the ovarian material finally begins to die. Ethan, a neonatologist, is sent out into the Galactic culture to get some fresh ovarian material, meets his first woman in the form of spying Elli, and then is drawn into the awful world of military espionage.
It's a great thrill ride, and a fun book, and worth the $7.99 for a new mass-market copy.
There is a whole group dedicated to slashy fantasy here: http://www.librarything.com/groups/slashyfantasy and generel slash fiction here: http://www.librarything.com/groups/slashthing
As someone else mentioned, the first three books in Lynn Flewellings Nightrunner is very worth reading, but in my opinion the fourth is not very good.
Someone mentioned Tanya Huff; The Fire's Stone has a threesome with two males and a female, where the main action is between the two males.
Mercedes Lackey has a series with a two male and one female threesome as well - the Bedlam Bard series.
If you like Swordspoint or The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner I would recommend The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek - action fantasy set in an industrial world with incarnating gods. Selfpublished, so I don't know where it is available other than lulu.com, but it can de read at the authors website: http://chartreuse.studiowhippingboy.com/g_e_index.html
Ginn Hale Wicked Gentlemen - victorian fantasy
Manna Francis The Administration series starting with Mind fuck - near future dystopian, most of the material can be found on the authors website: http://www.mannazone.org
Tangle: edition xy - anthology of both fantasy and science fiction
Perry Moore Hero - YA superhero story
Nicole Kimberling Turnskin - unconventional shapeshifter fantasy
Diana Gabaldon Lord John books starting with Lord John and the private matter - historical fiction, only remotely fantasy because they are set in the same universe as her Outlander books
Elizabeth Bear Carnival - science fiction
The fourth book in Wen Spencers Ukiah Oregon series - Dog Warrior, but I don't know if it makes sense to read it without the rest of the series.
Richard Morgan tried his hand at fantasy with The Steel Remains and I think he did quite well. The main character is a gay warrior. There are some fairly explicit sex scenes (well, to me at least). There's also lots of gore though. As with his sci fi, Morgan never shies away from brutality.
Not quite the same genre, but there's a magical realism novel called Lust by Geoff Ryman that seems worth checking out. I haven't read it yet, but Air by the same author is excellent.
If you were a fruit(and Im assuming you all are) What kind of fruit would you be?
Have you gals read Stranger in a Strange Man or The Starfish My Destination or Something Dick It This Way Comes or The Scrote in Todds Eye or Journey to the Center of Earl?
Richard Morgan is himself str8, but was graciously flattered that his gay sex scenes (and yes, they're reasonably explicit without extending into pornography)--along with also having a lesbian protagonist in The Steel Remains--had led me to think otherwise! Said he'd really worked on those. Of course they were more important to the plot than the str8 scenes, which may indicate why those were less successful.
If I could ever find a copy of Kirith Kirin for less than 30 bucks I would love to read this book! I have heard such great things about it.
I have read all of Lynn Flewelling's Luck in the Shadows series and I must say I am a major fan an they are a must read in this category. I read Storm Constantines Wraethu books some time ago but I enjoyed them greatly. Sarah Monettes Melusine was great but the others were not as good in my opinion (and yet I bought them all lol). Tanya Huff The Fire's Stone is fantastic and I enjoyed Of Darkness, Light a great deal but the gay parts are minimal in that one if I remember correctly.
I am so glad someone mentioned Ellen Kushner....the Swordpoint novels are great!
Some of these others I have read and others I have not...I am glad to have some new names to look for! :)
There's a short story by Poul Anderson, perhaps anthologized most recently in The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century, ed. Turtledove & Greenberg. It will be easy for you to find the title out (e.g., in the ToC on the Amazon.com display); nevertheless, I'm not going to give it here just in case that, before you track it down, you run across the story in another anthology and are temporarily fooled by the misdirection. But frankly, anybody who's reading this list would likely guess the secret anyway before the story reveals it in the last word of its last sentence.
re prabon004 on kirith kirin: do you have an ebook reader, or mind reading on the screen?
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