The best sci-fi books with queer representation

The Books I Picked & Why

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

By Becky Chambers

Book cover of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Why this book?

Like all Becky Chambers’ books, this one is touching and honest, and all the characters feel so alive and real. The cast consists of several species and characters of various sexualities and genders, all thrown together on a dingy spaceship. It’s not an epic tale, but a deeply personal one with a strong feeling of connection. The Long Way makes you cry and laugh and deeply care and really warms your heart. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys quirky stories of found families.

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All Systems Red

By Martha Wells

Book cover of All Systems Red

Why this book?

The first volume of the Murderbot Diaries is a quick and fast-paced read with lots of well-written action scenes about a part human/part machine construct trying to keep a bunch of humans safe. But more than that, the novella manages to tackle social anxiety and depression in a realistic way. It also asks questions about ethics, and it has a wonderfully diverse cast, ethnically as well as in terms of LGBTQ+ representation. And on top of that, it is hilarious. The unreliable narrator, who sarcastically calls itself Murderbot, is full of wit and dry humor, and I’m not sure it’s at all possible not to love it. I recommend this book if you want more ace protagonists, parodies of soap operas, and extremely human non-humans.

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Ninefox Gambit

By Yoon Ha Lee

Book cover of Ninefox Gambit

Why this book?

Take a deep dive into a universe where calendars and math are key to power. Does it feel surreal and confusing at first? Yes, but that is all part of the new and innovative charm that does away with traditional military sci-fi and reinvents the genre. While the worldbuilding is amazing and mind-boggling, this is a novel driven by its characters. The cast is big and diverse, sporting main characters who are gay, bi and ace, transgender and nonbinary. If you long for a new take on sci-fi, morally ambiguous characters, and kick-ass queers, I recommend this book to you.

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This Is How You Lose the Time War

By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

Book cover of This Is How You Lose the Time War

Why this book?

In one word, this book is beautiful. In several more words, it is an enemies-to-lovers story about two time-traveling agents on a backdrop of history and future, yo-yo-ing up and down the timeline. It is a challenging, intricate read that alternates between the two narrators as their relationship unfolds in secrecy. I recommend this book to you if you like breathtakingly poetic prose, high stakes, and a whole new kind of romance.

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Gideon the Ninth

By Tamsin Muir

Book cover of Gideon the Ninth

Why this book?

Sci-fi is cool. So is necromancy. This is a combination of the two, with a good portion of comedy and horror tossed into the blend. And it works superbly. It has murder mysteries and macabre scenes and fighting that reads as super realistic. And everything is delivered in the snarky, charismatic voice of badass cavalier Gideon who has a love/hate relationship with her necromancer boss. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys tough female protagonists, subtle love stories, and skeletons. 

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