For Pride month, how about a big queer fantasy trilogy featuring multiple ace characters, multiple trans characters, and a sapphic romance I bet you won't see coming?… ImageImageImage
If you prefer a nice m/m pretend spy marriage with the twist that the pretendy spies are ex-lovers with a history of betrayal, have I got a science fiction novel for you.

(If you liked @ArkadyMartine's A Memory Called Empire, you might like this one.) Image
Tragic gay Vikings? Sure, I can get you tragic gay Vikings. ImageImageImage
Slightly less tragic gay Vikings, with the occasional bloodbath and some matriarchal Dwarves? Got those too! Name your poison! ImageImageImage
Teenage lesbian werewolves? Sure! Bisexual vampires? BY THE CARTLOAD, BABY. ImageImageImageImage
STEM lesbians in SPACE? We have those! ImageImageImageImage
How about a big sapphic Gothic... in SPAAAACE? ImageImageImage
How about a little vintage gay? Diane Duane's THE DOOR INTO FIRE is the delightful tale of a young man who sets off to rescue his lover, a prince held captive in a tower. Featuring the other best fire elemental in fiction....…
Samuel R. Delany's Babel-17 is a genre classic and Queer As Fuck, as the kids probably don't say anymore:…
How about Suzy McKee Charnas's incomparable MOTHERLINES, one of the brilliant early imaginative works of feminist SF?…
Heading to more modern times, looking for some disaster lesbian horror?

Caitlín R. Kiernan's THE DROWNING GIRL is a stone masterpiece.…
Octavia Butler's THE FLEDGELING does as much to reinvent queer vampires as anybody since Sheridan Le Fanu.…
Onward with Queer Books For Pride!

Moving into a very recent book, may I acquaint you with Aliette de Bodard's FIREHEART TIGER, which has sapphic romance and dodgy politics for all your fraught emotional needs:…
Queer books for Pride! If you haven't encountered Max Gladstone's fast-paced, grimly whimsical, action-packed EMPRESS OF FOREVER, well, now you have:…
Tasha Suri's THE JASMINE THRONE has power politics and wlw so that should set you right up.…
C.L. Polk's WITCHMARK and sequels don't need my plug--this has been declared one of the best SFF novels of all time. But it's getting it anyway!

Before @pennyvixen was Katherine Addison, she wrote the Doctrine of Labyrinths as Sarah Monette:…

These might be a little hard to find, and they're a lot grimmer than THE GOBLIN EMPEROR, but if you like OG disaster queers Felix is the one for you.
Phyllis Eisenstein's The Sorcerer's Son includes a bisexual, shapeshifting demon who just wants to be a good daddy.…
One more #queerbooksforPride before I get to work on a Sunday:…

AR Capetta's The Brilliant Death is a sapphic YA story about two young shapeshifters trying to (what else) save their world!
#queerbooksforPride takes on Monday! Clearing my throat, putting myself forward, because it's what Karen would do, here's my little book I pitched as "Leverage, but make it heroic sex workers.":……

Let's talk about Sam J. Miller's Blackfish City, full of post-cyberpunk post-biopunk goodness and you know, nanotech-bonded hyperpredators. Also, queer people. Like you do.
THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone is a sharp, satirical little sapphic love story about endless war, personal loyalty, and trying to change corrupt systems.…

#queerbooks #queerbooksforPride
Arkady Martine's A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE is not just a Hugo winner for best novel: it's also a story about two women on opposite sides of an existential struggle who discover that they need each other very, very much.…

#queerbooks #queerbooksforPride
SEVEN DEVILS by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May (Hello, fellow Elizabeth Noun!) follows a group of women as they work to bring down a corrupt empire. The second book in the series comes out this year!…

#queerbooks #queerbooksforPride
While I'm on the Elizabeth Nouns, the very first Ace character I ever encountered in fiction was the titular heroine of Elizabeth Moon's THE DEED OF PAKSENARRION, about a young woman who becomes a warrior and eventually a paladin.…

(CW, sexual assault.)
And the very first NB character I ever encountered was in Vonda McIntyre's absolutely stunning short novel DREAMSNAKE, which also features unexceptionalized queerness and poly throughout.

I love this book so much, y'all.

#queerbooks #queerbooksforPride
I write a lot of queer books, so here's another of mine:

THE STRATFORD MAN, a duology that concerns Christopher Marlowe, Bisexual Atheist Spy, and the court of Faerie. (Also, William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.)…


CW: sexual violence ImageImageImageImage
If you somehow don't already know, let me introduce you to SWORDSPOINT by Ellen Kushner, a book that still blows my socks off every time I read it.…
If you're one of the many people who liked SPINNING SILVER but were sad it wasn't gayer, may I commend unto your attention ASH, by Malinda Lo.…

#queerbook #queerbooksforPride
To my shame, this one is still buried in my TBR pile, but you can't beat the premise:


#queerbook #queerbooksforPride
Amanda Downum's THE POISON COURT has a little of everything: intrigue, loyalty, betrayal, necromancy, pretty dresses, queer poly relationships. It's part of the Necromancer Chronicles but can be read on its own.

#queerbook #queerbooksforPride…
On a related note to "fairytale retelling but make it gayer" may I recommend T. Kingfisher's THE RAVEN AND THE REINDEER, which does that for The Snow Queen.

I assume anybody who follows me already knows this brilliant author, but you might not?…
Another queer fairytale: THE WILD SWANS by Peg Kerr, one of my favorite sad books.

Content warning: it's sure fucking sad. But so beautiful.…
Here's a delightful #queerbook: Laurie Marks's FIRE LOGIC, and @leemandelo's excellent review of same.…
Gael Baudino's GOSSAMER AXE is a classic work of lesbian urban fantasy (the old skool kind) that also fits into the rock-and-roll fantasy school that populated a lot of my 90s reading.

There are sentences from this book still stuck in my head today.…
If you're looking for a little more Kit Marlowe, Bisexual Atheist Spy, I really enjoyed THE ARMOR OF LIGHT by Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett.

Elizabethan ritual magic and really solid alternate history.…
Nalo Hopkinson's THE SALT ROADS is one of my favorite books of all time, a dizzying, time-jumping, multi-threaded historical fantasy tour de force with sapphic and bisexual protagonists:…
We just listened to the audiobook of Babel-17 in the car driving across Wisconsin, and I realized I forgot to tell y'all that it's incredibly funny in addition to being elegant and action packed and tightly written. The food fight scene alone!
Onwards with some more #queerbooks for #PrideMonth that personally influenced me.

(This is gonna take a couple of posts, bear* with please.)

*ha ha
There's been some Discourse around the "All the men died in a plague" subgenre of SFF lately, and I haven't followed it deeply because *waves hands*. I have however been around for a few iterations of this particular discourse and feel I have at least a grasp of the outline.
I think it's important to place books in context and realize that when we read in genre, we're reading a discussion, and that books react against and deconstruct other books, literary movements, and even society: they do not exist in a vacuum.
I’m about to recommend and comment on a couple of those books: older ones that were important to me as a gender-nonconforming person who nevertheless insists on inhabiting the space labelled “woman.” (And maybe expanding it a little as it tries to contract?)
One of these books has elements that are problematic by today's standards: the author also later changed her views, but I would recommend that people who identify as trans and who are not in a headspace to get a little pissed off avoid it.
This book is also brilliant and challenging and changed the SFF world.

The other one is a response to the first book (among many other things) and both of them influenced my own novel CARNIVAL.
I don't think I can do a better job of introducing and discussing Joanna Russ's THE FEMALE MAN than leading queer SF critic Lee Mandelo did in this essay.…

So I give you over to him.
(There is a difference between reviews and criticism (in the technical sense) that is not widely understood: what Lee is doing here is literary criticism, not consumer criticism. I was trained in it many years ago but I am not anywhere near as good as Lee.)
Second book, less problematic, still hugely influential on me and includes and epic wintry wastelands road trip that I am pretty sure is a comment on THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, is Nicola Griffith's AMMONITE:…
And with that we'll be back tomorrow!
Today's book is a novella by James Tiptree, Jr. that blew my tiny little mind at the age of like 8 or 9 when I read it. (I did not get a lot of monitoring of my reading as a kid. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS, FOLKS.)…
THE GIRL WHO WAS PLUGGED IN does its queerness and genderfuck and identity questioning under the surface, and with a kind of sleight of hand that still leaves me in awe.
It’s a difficult read, like so much Tiptree, and can be read as fatphobic and gender-non-conforming phobic, so be braced for feels when reading--but I think what it ACTUALLY is, is a critique of internalized misogyny, fatphobia, and transphobia--
and the cultural forces that shove us into narrow gender boxes. I think it’s a spiritual ancestor to BITCH PLANET, and I love it.

(Also, read BITCH PLANET.)…
Today's #queerbooksforPride comes highly recommended and is by an author of underrecognized skill:…

Craig Lawrence Gidney's A SPECTRAL HUE is a slipstreamy, dreamy ghost story of an artist's community with a special gift.
Actually, while we're on haunting queer ghost stories, let me throw in another one: Christopher Barzak's ethereal, clarion ONE FOR SORROW, about a boy and a ghost and small town that doesn't get it at all:…
Today for Pride let me offer you a zippy, bantery, found-family narrative by Zen Cho, THE ORDER OF THE PURE MOON REFLECTED IN WATER.

Becky Chambers but make it Wuxia!…
Happy Monday, everybody! It's still June!

Here we go with some Big Queer Books for Pride!

Fat, mean epic fantasy but make it gay? Jenn Lyons has you covered with THE RUIN OF KINGS.…
Found-family monsters and healthcare?

The Dr. Greta Van Helsing series by Vivian Shaw!…
Dystopian hellholes and people who just will not let go of each other no matter what?

Tochi Onyebuchi, WAR GIRLS.…
It's the longest day of the year and the longest day of Pride! To celebrate, a jolting, jarring novel by Andrea Hairston, WILL DO MAGIC FOR SMALL CHANGE, in which people and relationships navigate not fitting the expected mold--even in a counterculture.…
Murderbot doesn't need my support, but here it is anyway.

If you're still sleeping on Murderbot, well, stop sleeping on Murderbot, because Murderbot doesn't like it.

Ace/agender protag, polycules, etc. Also the most fun you can have while reading.…
Today in #QueerbooksforPride, an interesting pair of novels.

1) The mother of them all (not quite but close), Ursula K. Le Guin's THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS.

A thing happens with classic works of literature where we hear about them a lot, we think we understand them by rep--
--but what we really understand, not having read them, is a kind of version filtered through hearsay and other people's perceptions. We assume that Literature Is Going To Hurt and that reading it is a chore we OUGHT to do.
I had that experience with TLHOD, and put it off until I read it for an anthropology class in college.

Boy was I wrong; this book is amazing; I've read it two or three more times since and I am not a big re-reader.
Friends, I urge you to give this book and BABEL-17 in particular more of a chance than that.

TLHOD is *delightful.*

Adventury, bantery, just fun.

And psst, if you are into "THERE WAS ONLY ONE BED" that's the entire middle of the damn novel. In a blizzard. On a glacier.
Is the trans rep and queer rep in it a product of its time? Yes they are.

But they are an advanced and even revolutionary product of that time, and we're nice and know better now, so we can see what this book sparked.…
If you read and enjoy THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS (or if you read it and one particular thing about it annoys you the way it has annoyed generations of queer readers) then let me tell you something about Mary Gentle:
1) I'm pretty sure Mary Gentle likes THERE WAS ONLY ONE BED as much as the rest of us, and

2) I'm pretty sure she was just as annoyed about [SPOILER].

Because she wrote an entire eleventy-thousand page novel to correct that oversight.
It's called THE GOLDEN WITCHBREED, and this one is also for fans of Arkady Martine.

Here's a review by Niall Harrison that's 12 years old but talks about some of the aspects of the book that are most intriguing:
I'm not going to talk about all the cool literary things it does: I'm just going to say that GOLDEN WITCHBREED manages to be: a spy novel, a planetary romance, and interpersonal romance, a first contact novel, an adventure novel, a murder mystery, and probably two other genres...
...while still being fix-it-fic for THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS.

(If anybody tells you fix-it-fic can't be literature, give them this book.)

Oh did I mention THERE WAS ONLY ONE BED????
Last night in a writer chatroom I made a joke about AO3 tags and classic works of science fiction, related to the above, and suggested that if I were looking for the author for DEAD DOVE DO NOT EAT, it might be Theodore Sturgeon.
Sturgeon's work is brilliant, lyrical, rigorous, pellucid, and weird. This is some fucked up shit, my people, couched in lapidary prose.

So today I am going to recommend to you the oldest, I think, work in this thread: THE DREAMING JEWELS, from 1950. Image
This is not a novel about an evil clown doll, though you could be forgiven for thinking that. It is a novel about a little boy named Horty who is abused, escapes, and finds himself a new home in a carnival among the misfits and castoffs of society.
There he faces continued exploitation (there are content warnings on this book for attempted sexual assault, self-harm, animal harm, etc. But not ableism, I think, despite the fact that most of the characters are in some way disabled) and eventually--
--learns who he is and where he came from.

There's also a thing with a meat cleaver that still gives me chills to contemplate.
This book is inventive and weird and unlike anything else I've ever read.

It's full of queerness and genderfuck and sideways talk about being different and finding people who accept you, pushing back against exploitation, closets and being in them and coming out.
Some of this queerness is patent, some subtext, some elided and metaphorical because 1950, but the lines are there to read between.

Here's Jo Walton's review.…
Sturgeon was criticized in his time for being "sentimental" but I think most modern readers will find that that is code for "humane" and "the queer made critics uncomfortable so they talked smack."
I actually have one more thing to say about this book, because it's so relevant to the everything.

The story opens with the protagonist getting caught doing "something disgusting" at school, and as punishment he is literally shoved into a closet and maimed in the process.
Theodore Sturgeon, you magnificent bastard.

Concretize that fucking metaphor louder, for the people in the back.
Since yesterday I linked a review by Jo Walton, today it seems only fitting that I recommend a book by Jo Walton!

My favorite of hers is MY REAL CHILDREN, which is a devastating and delicate meditation on chaos and decisionmaking, and how we can never know--
--what the consequences of even our most well-intentioned actions can be. It also focuses on an elderly protagonist with dementia.
(Who also happens to be bisexual.)

Having cared for my grandmother while she went through the course of this disease, I found this portrayal moving and healing, as it returns so much agency to the protagonist.
What if you could see the different paths you could have taken in life?

Here's a beautiful review (by Amal El-Mohtar) of a beautiful book.…
Good morning everybody! We're in the homestretch now! Today I bring you a book from 1982 by Jo Clayton, MOONGATHER.…
If you are a fan of modern swashbuckling gritty fantasy but make it feminism, Jo Clayton is the vintage author for you. Her works is violent, aesthetic, and savage (you have been warned) and does not pull punches.
She also writes physically small female protagonists kicking ass in believable ways as well as anybody. The swordfights in this book are a model for how I write physical combat to this day.

CW: basically if it's awful it's probably in here.
Good morning! Welcome to #queerbooksforPride boy it sure gets light early this time of year in the northern tier edition. Today's novel is Nisi Shawl's chiaroscuro, kaleidoscopic alternate history EVERFAIR.…
Like Brunner's STAND ON ZANZIBAR, this is a book that sacrifices focused point of view and transitions for scope and sweep. In conjunction with the Andrea Hairston cited above and recent work by Cadwell Turnbull, it makes me wonder if this is a storytelling mode--
-- becoming more prominent now in SFF because of the size of the historical ideas we're grappling with and the need to both take them apart and place them in context.
Something something subversion of expectations, paradigm shift, deconstruction.

But you can ignore all that, because Fwendi and Lisette are awesome.

If you can't get enough Wakanda, try this.
One more review, just so I'm not leaning on Amal all the time:…
Here's another big gay book for Pride! Sarah Pinsker's brilliant, prophetic, uncomfortable SONG FOR A NEW DAY is about queer women musicians in a locked down society.

Sarah is one of the best SF writers currently working. Bar none.…
Another deep cut this morning: Phyllis Ann Karr's FROSTFLOWER AND THORN, about a sorceress and a swordswoman who become an unlikely family for even more unlikely reasons.

This book is pro-choice, dammit.…
This is a great odd-couple story in the mold of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, and Karr really excels at writing characters that feel like they come from another culture but who also question that culture.

CW: sexual assault, trauma recovery, torture. For me, it was handled well.
Darcie Little Badger's ELATSOE is a lovely YA novel with an Ace main character and the world's most charming ghost dog.

Seriously just read this, it's cool.…
Oh, I forgot to tell you about the trilobite!
Good morning! It's still Pride! Here's another great #queerbook!

Valerie Valdez's CHILLING EFFECT is so much fun that even the legendary grumps at Kirkus couldn't find much mean to say about it!

"A tremendous good time and an impressive debut."…
Today in #queerbooksforPride I bring you Seth Dickinson's THE TRAITOR BARU CORMORANT, which manages to be both competence porn and Disaster Queer before Disaster Queer was cool.

Here's a reader response by none other than Arkady Martine:…
We've only got one day left in June, so let me sneak in another book: Foz Meadows' beautiful AN ACCIDENT OF STARS, which features bisexual and ace rep in a portal fantasy featuring female friendships and coming-of-age:…
It's the last day of Pride, so here's a big finish to the queer books thread!

Three books today!
The first one is Kiran Millwood Hargrave's THE MERCIES, which walks a line between historical fiction & slipstream to tell about queer women in a 14th century Norwegian fishing village where something mysterious in the ocean has killed nearly all the men.…
This book is exactly as sad and violent as you would expect from a novel called THE MERCIES. It's also incredibly beautiful, as it examines prejudice, the way people turn against each other when under the sway of a narcissist, and women's loyalty to each other no matter what.
CW: sexual assault, forced marriage, torture, marginalization, death of gender-nonconforming characters.

But oh my gosh, this is a lovely, humane book about tragedy if you're feeling strong.
As an antidote to this bleakness, I offer the romp of Sarah Gailey's UPRIGHT WOMEN WANTED, in which badass lesbian librarians badass all over a bleak apocalyptic land.…
A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ, but make it feminist and gay.

Again, CW for death of a nonconforming character. But really, does anybody expect to get out of a Sarah Gailey book alive and with all their limbs intact?
Last book, definitely not least: Raphael Carter's incredible, haunting THE FORTUNATE FALL.…
Carter, to the best of my knowledge, has only published this novel.

That's okay, because if you're only going to do one thing, do it perfectly. Here's my response to it from 12 years ago.…
Here's Bogi Takács, from 2018.…
Here's Jo Walton:…

Please note that I have barely scratched the surface of this topic, and if I missed a book you love, feel free to mention it in comments or heck, start your own thread of queer fiction. PRIDE ALL YEAR.
My criteria was basically, the more famous a book is currently, the more I myself have to love it for it to make the list. :D

I didn't want to do a thread of the Same Five Queer Books, so this is a list of only some of my favorite books and authors.
(And I keep thinking of more. Now I'm regretting not including John M. Ford's THE LAST HOT TIME, for example, which includes a sympathetic portrayal of kink.)

Go forth and read! And if you love a book, please tell your friends!

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More from @matociquala

Jun 28
Tryna launch a book on Al Gore's internet on this fucking day in this fucking year and my publisher got hacked and all their social media presence is locked down like
Anyway I think it's a pretty good book and there's a blog post and links to where you can buy it over here:…
"What, and give up showbusiness?"
Read 4 tweets
Jun 28
I bet you could use a kitty right now.

Here's a kitty.
In case you need another kitty, here's another kitty.
I'm traveling and miss my kitties a lot right now, so have another kitty.
Read 10 tweets
Jun 28
I'm not gonna signal boost that person with the clickbaity question about publishing but yes, do it every chance I get, it's how I make my living, I get paid pretty well for it.
Also if a professional editor thinks I need to cut ten thousand words then there's probably a really boring spot in there that needs to go to improve the reader experience.

There's no place for my ego about how perfect my work is when it comes to making that work better.
There's almost always something that needs to be cut, and something that needs to be clarified or added.

And a year to write a book and a year to complete the editorial, book design, and printing process is... normal?
Read 6 tweets
May 29
How retail markup works:

If the bookstore charges you $24, they paid $12 to the distributor, who paid $6 to the publisher, who pays $3 to me. (Actually, it's more like $2.50, but whatever.)

Everybody along that process has costs and adds some kind of value.
What Jack says deeper in the thread about what publishers etc provide is absolutely true. My editor and copy editor and book designer and production manager and cover artist and cover designer and printer all get paid out of that $6.
Truck drivers and warehouse employees get paid out of the distributor's markup. Book sellers get paid out of the bookstore markup.

And let's not forget things like equipment, electricity, and roofs to put this stuff under. (Books hate getting wet.)
Read 11 tweets
May 27
You would think that if the gun lobby were arguing in good faith, the fact that recent mass shootings have resulted in the murder of one armed security guard and the injury of two officers in Texas, the "good man with a gun" talking point would be put to rest.

But they're not arguing in good faith. They're just willing to accept the deaths of children as the cost of doing business, and gaslight us about it.
Arming teachers to the teeth and sending our kids to school in body armor with bulletproof backpacks won't change things.
Read 12 tweets
Jun 26, 2020
Hi folks. I see a post dropped overnight.

Frankly, it's a tissue of lies, from somebody who tried very hard to break up my marriage while pretending to be my friend.

I've tried very hard to avoid Alex Rowland in professional settings since.
They live fifteen miles from my house, indeed, because THEY decided to move there from Florida. They used my house as a base of operations while house-shopping, stayed here rent-free while we were away moving Scott and leaving me a fridge full of rotting food.
They had told me they were looking for a house closer to an hour away, and I believed them, because I did not want them that close. I provided them with moving help, free furniture and household fittings, and introductions to many industry friends.
Read 15 tweets

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