From Octavia Butler, author of multiple Nebula- and Hugo-award-winning novels, to longtime Star Trek scriptwriter David Gerrold, LGBT+ creators have long played a major part in steering the direction of speculative fiction. And the canon has never been more diverse and fascinating than now, with authors from a wonderfully wide range of backgrounds and experiences.
In this post we want to particularly spotlight all the contemporary LGBT+ writers of speculative fiction who are bringing their own perspective to science fiction and fantasy. Whether it’s semi-autobiographical surrealism or a unique, intricately imagined other world, you’re sure to find something on this list that piques your interest. Perhaps you’ll even discover a new favorite author, or one who motivates you to write your own book!
So without further ado, here they are, for your enjoyment and inspiration: 11 LGBTQIA authors of contemporary spec fic that you should know.
1. Michelle Ruiz Keil (author of All of Us with Wings)
Keil just exploded onto the scene with the June release of her YA fantasy debut, All of Us with Wings. This elegantly crafted novel follows seventeen-year-old governess Xochi — who, like Keil, is bisexual and Latinx — after she and her young charge accidentally summon a pair of vengeful demons to attack people from Xochi’s past. If you’re looking for an own voice LGBT author whose stories involve fantastical elements, yet still feel incredibly down-to-earth and authentic, Keil is definitely one to add to your list. “My favorite books make me feel seen and known and accompanied… less alone,” she noted in a recent interview with mitú. “My deepest hope is that is that All of Us with Wings will be that kind of company for its readers.”
2. Malinda Lo (author of Adaptation)
Like your reads dark, dystopian, and with a distinctly sophisticated voice? Lo and behold (no pun intended), you’ve found your literary champion. Malinda Lo, a Chinese-American author with several speculative fiction books under her belt, has also written for LGBT culture site AfterEllen and helped co-found Diversity in YA. (Talk about a woman of many talents!) After the success of her first novel, a queer retelling of Cinderella, Lo went on to write the sci-fi/thriller series Adaptation, which centers on a young woman named Reese as she attempts to make sense of the world in the wake of an unprecedented natural disaster — discovering herself in the process.