Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lesbian Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction Books

While the vast majority of young adult lesbian fiction is contemporary high school fare, there are an increasing number of fantasy and science fiction titles being published. And paranormal books, though these can usually be filed under fantasy.

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of fairytale retellings - but there are also some good original fantasy, and futuristic science fiction. So if you're tired of the same old 'I fell in love with my best friend and I've still got to finish my homework' stories, well... these are different.

Fantasy & Fairy Tales
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Wolfcry (Kiesha'ra) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
The fourth book in an intergenerational series, it follows the princess of a court of shapeshifters and her quest to reconcile the avian and serpentine races, ultimately falling for a woman. The couple also appears in Wyvernhail (book 5) but not as the protagonists.

Comtemporary fairytale retellings for older teens (includes rape, murder, drug use). "Charm", based on Sleeping Beauty, involves the female protagonist being rescued by a lesbian kiss, but that's the only 'lesbian' story. Plenty of female characters and powerful storytelling, though.

Morning Rising (Guardian Of Morning) by Samantha Boyette
A fantasy set in a darker version of our world, Morning Rising follows a desperate quest of one girl to rescue another before it's too late, and bring back their memories of each other. A story of intrigue, double meanings, fighting evil and alternate worlds. Read the full review here.

Visions and Warnings by Kathryn Bundy 

16 year old Tracey lives in a quiet and friendly mountain town in Virginia, with normal people, and normal friends. And visions and poltergeists and a mysterious visitor from the future. A paranormal/ magical realism time travel novel.

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
A lesbian retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone, where Persephone escapes to the Underworld, finds her soul mate in Hades, and helps defeat Zeus and save the dead and her beloved. Read the full review here

Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donaghue
A collection of short stories retelling fairy tales from the perspective of a female character Several obvious and potential lesbians. Read the full Review here

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman (2013)
In which a lesbian queen and her warrior friend roam the kingdom on dragonback, looking for love for the Queen. Until, of course, they run into a bigger adventure than they expected.

The Shattering by Karen Healey
Set in contemporary New Zealand, this is starts out as a suicide story that turns into a murder mystery, that becomes a tale of the supernatural. Of the three protagonists, one girl is gay and comes out during the story.

Ash by Malinda Lo
A retelling of Cinderella, based around a young girl who gets caught between a fairy and the king's Huntress. Read the full Review here

Huntress by Malinda Lo
Set centuries before Ash, Huntress follows two girls on a quest to save the kingdom, who fall in love along the way. Technically a prequel, it stands perfectly well on its own.  Read the full Review here

A Hole In The World by Sophie Robbins 
A UK schoolgirl rescues a fairytale princess, falls in love with her, and follows her back to her fairytale kingdom to rescue her from the prince of the story. Read the full Review here

Sword Masters by Selina Rosen
Tarius is a great warrior in a sword-and-sorcery kingdom, who has led several victories over the King's enemies and caught the eye of Jena, the daughter of the head of the Swordmaster academy. Unfortunately, Tarius is a woman, and in this rigid and archaic society, that's punishable by death.

Cursebusters! by Julie Smith
Teen burglar, lesbian and psychic Reeno slips and ends up in Bad Girl School. There, she teams up with other psycics, and travels back to an ancient Mayan city to save the world and lift a curse on her sister, all on the advice of the mysterious and snarky feline, A.B. A somewhat nonserious romp of a book, featuring a kick ass protagonist.

Science Fiction
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Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
An outsider in a paranoid, guarded town in futuristic America, young Loup is the daughter of a genetically modified and wolflike 'supersoldier'. A story about military rule, boxing and standing up for what's right. In the sequel, Saints Astray, Loup is still with her lover Pilar.

Big Big Sky by Kristyn Dunnion
A tight-knit unit of five young women are raised and trained together for aggression and obedience. And then the group starts falling apart, and they make a run for the outside world before they're discarded.

Scrivener's Moon by Philip Reeve
In futuristic Britain, nomad tribes face off against the first mobile city, and young engineer Fever Crumb returns with her family to London to help complete it. But she's still seeing visions... as is another girl, who warns her people of the terrible mobile London to come. Amidst the clash of peoples, and turmoil events, the two meet and fall in love.
Scrivener's Moon is the last book in a prequel trilogy to the Hungry Cities quartet. The first two books are Fever Crumb and Web of Air. While it's worth reading the first books first, they don't have any girl-girl content (Fever is confirmedly bisexual).

Night Sky Mine by Melissa Scott
Young Ista is the only survivor of a pirate raid on her asteroid mine, and grows up an illegal citizen, learning to breed programs and code. She's drawn into solving the mystery of a similarly abandoned asteroid, with a gay couple, and discovers herself along the way.


  1. Hi Anon. Jane Fletcher's great, just wasn't sure if she was YA - the couple of books we've read of hers are more adult fantasy. At some point we'll have a list of adult lesbian fantasy books up, and she'll definitely be on that!

  2. Jayce Grayson's XIANNE: A COMEDY OF CULTURES: VOLUME ONE is really good, and I think it fits your guidelines. I'm bi, and I thought it did a great job of exploring society's evolving feelings about sexuality, while telling a very funny story too.

  3. Sarah Rees Brennan's "Unspoken" trilogy features a lesbian main supporting character and
    *spoiler alert*
    ...romantic tension that grows into a relationship between her and another main supporting character who's bi! It's fantastic, gothic YA fantasy set in contemporary Britain.