The best books with queer stories about time and space travel

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a queer writer whose early love of science fiction and fantasy gave me an outlet for my creativity and new ways of seeing myself in the world. It was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and Timeline by Michael Crichton that first introduced me to time and space travel in fiction, but it was the new Doctor Who and shows like Twelve Monkeys that made me realize how mad and wonderful stories about time and space travel could be. And once I came to terms with my own queer identities, I saw an obvious space for my own contribution to the time travel canon. 


I wrote...

The Infinite Miles

By Hannah Fergesen,

Book cover of The Infinite Miles

What is my book about?

Three years after her best friend Peggy went missing, Harper Starling is lost. All she has are regrets and reruns of her favorite science fiction show, Infinite Voyage. When Peggy miraculously returns, Harper is overjoyed – until she realizes that Peggy is…different. She doesn’t remember Harper, and demands to be taken to the Argonaut, the fictional main character of Infinite Voyage. When the TV hero himself appears and spirits Harper away, she almost can’t believe it.

Then he leaves Harper in 1971, shattering everything she thought she knew about her hero. Stranded in the past, Harper must find a way to understand what happened to Peggy… without the help of the Argonaut. Because if she doesn’t, the universe as she knows it could cease to be.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Light From Uncommon Stars

Hannah Fergesen Why did I love this book?

The Light From Uncommon Stars is, at its sci-fi core, a story about being human and all of the messiness that comes from that state of being.

Even the aliens share a sweet humanness – a desire to find home, to find love, to find family. Plus, you can never go wrong with a donut-shop setting. This book is queer and gender-expansive, with all the beauty and trauma that comes with each.

I wouldn’t call this book cozy – and it’s worth noting that not all of the queer characters are “good queers”, but it isn’t gritty or dark – it is what it is, and isn’t that the most beautifully human thing it could be?

By Ryka Aoki,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Light From Uncommon Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in Ryka Aoki's Light From Uncommon Stars, a defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.

When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate.

But in a donut shop…


Book cover of This Is How You Lose the Time War

Hannah Fergesen Why did I love this book?

What “Time Travel” book list would be complete without This is How You Lost the Time War?

This book is beautifully written, unique, romantic, and employs just enough time travel to be tricky but not confusing. Two agents on the opposite sides of the time war find comfort in their secret correspondences with one another, but of course, love, time travel, and war can never be so simple.

Queer, star-crossed, heart-wrenching, and, of course, oh-so-human. This one is great for anyone who likes short and sweet sci-fi with a big emotional impact. 

By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked This Is How You Lose the Time War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF The Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novella, the Reddit Stabby Award for Best Novella AND The British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novella

SHORTLISTED FOR
2020 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award
The Ray Bradbury Prize
Kitschies Red Tentacle Award
Kitschies Inky Tentacle
Brave New Words Award

'A fireworks display from two very talented storytellers' Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Co-written by two award-winning writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It…


Book cover of The Space Between Worlds

Hannah Fergesen Why did I love this book?

The Space Between Worlds is less time travel than it is parallel dimensional travel but I think it’s worth fibbing for.

Cara is a traverser – someone who can travel between different versions of her world. She retrieves data about those worlds – what went wrong and what went right – and brings it back to her own for study. She can do this because the Caras in these worlds are all dead. Except when one isn’t, royally mucking up her job.

This book is gritty and queer (though I’m not going to promise an ending wrapped up in a bow) and the method of travel the author created makes for a unique and thought-provoking read.

By Micaiah Johnson,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Space Between Worlds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times bestseller. Winner of the Kitschies Golden Tentacle award.

A stunning science fiction debut, The Space Between Worlds is both a cross-dimensional adventure and a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging.

'My mother used to say I was born reaching, which is true. She also used to say it would get me killed, which it hasn't. Not yet, anyway.'

Born in the dirt of the wasteland, Cara has fought her entire life just to survive. Now she has done the impossible, and landed herself a comfortable life on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley…


Book cover of Gideon the Ninth

Hannah Fergesen Why did I love this book?

Okay I’m fibbing a bit again with this one, but the books in this series are unabashedly queer and weird, and the method of space travel is like nothing you’ve ever seen.

These books fall much more clearly on the line of space fantasy than straight-up sci-fi, but they are wild and unforgettable reads. Gideon Nav is the titular character of Gideon the Ninth. She’s hilarious, goofy, loyal to an absolute fault, and utterly filthy. The other characters will break your heart and patch it up multiple times over the course of this book and the others.

Thankfully, most of them are necromancers and the scars will be seamlessly healed each time, even though the memory of them will be seared on your heart.

By Tamsyn Muir,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Gideon the Ninth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

15+ pages of new, original content, including a glossary of terms, in-universe writings, and more!

A USA Today Best-Selling Novel!

"Unlike anything I've ever read. " --V.E. Schwab

"Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!" --Charles Stross

"Brilliantly original, messy and weird straight through." --NPR

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense.

Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth, first in The Locked Tomb Trilogy, unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as…


Book cover of A Wrinkle in Time

Hannah Fergesen Why did I love this book?

I’ll admit, this book isn’t necessarily queer.

But I think it is still relevant, because love is the most important scientific quantity in A Wrinkle in Time, which follows Meg, her crush Calvin, and her misunderstood (but probably a genius) little brother, Charles Wallace, as they seek out the truth of what happened to their missing physicist father, who has seemingly uncovered the secret to traveling across the universe in an instant. In the end, love is the only thing that can guide them all back home.

Fun fact: astronaut Janice Voss took her copy of A Wrinkle in Time with her on her very first mission to space. 

By Madeleine L'Engle,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked A Wrinkle in Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Puffin Classics: the definitive collection of timeless stories, for every child.

We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts.

When Charles and Meg Murry go searching through a 'wrinkle in time' for their lost father, they find themselves on an evil planet where all life is enslaved by a huge pulsating brain known as 'It'.

Meg, Charles and their friend Calvin embark on a cosmic journey helped by the funny and mysterious trio of guardian angels, Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which. Together they must find the weapon that will defeat It.…


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Book cover of Beautiful and Terrible Things

S. M. Stevens

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Charley Byrne isn’t really living. She hunkers down in her apartment above the bookstore she manages, until quirky activist Xander Wallace lures her out of social exile with the prospect of friendship and romance. Charley joins Xander’s circle of diverse friends and thrives, even leaving her comfort zone to join protests in a city struggling with social justice ills.

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Beautiful and Terrible Things

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What is this book about?

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