Friday, July 13, 2012

Lesbians in Space: A Reading List

Lesbians in Space (Blue Galaxy Version) Posters

See more lesbian posters here
There are lots of lesbian science fiction books, ranging from obscure colonies on distant planets to futuristic societies to modern day paranormals and psychics. This list does not bother with those books. No, instead, it cuts right to the heart of 'hard' science fiction - space travel. Only stories that feature lesbians flying around in actual spaceships, floating in null gravity, bounding around in space suits, and drifting in the void will be considered for this list.

We even painted a new painting just for this list. Isn't it just full of lesbians and space?

So. Ready for lift off?




Recent finds:

Full Space-faring Novels

Ascension: A Tangled Axon Novel by Jacqueline Koyanagi
A spacefaring adventure novel that tries a little too hard to fill some much needed holes (most awkwardly with the mostly female cast) but is a decent read regardless,  this book follows Alana, a 'sky surgeon' (ship's mechanic), as she stows away on a passing ship in order to get off her planet. Romance with the captain ensues, along with various futuristic twists and turns. Notably, our main character is disabled (a progressive muscle disease), of colour, and of course, gay, along with other characters, which adds a nice twist of diversity to the often bland 'future' people.

Dust by Elizabeth Bear (The Jacob's Ladder trilogy)
A last remnant of a once great society, a broken ship full of genetically engineered beings and competing AIs, replete with mythological imagery, religious allegory and feudalism; when a high class Angel is captured by an opposing house in a bid to start a way, she must escape with the half sister she discovers there. But of course, things only become more complicated from there. An epic science fiction mediaeval romance with lesbian and genderqueer characters (asexual, gendershifting, and hermaphrodite)
Shortlisted for the 2008 Best Novel Gaylactic Spectrum Award  

The Epsilon Queen by Paul Kidd (The Traveler's Series)
The first book in the Traveler's series, swordfighter and pilot Patrica and researcher Jemima head off into space to uncover the mystery of the vanished space liner, the Epsilon Queen. Along the way they discover romance and swashbuckling adventure!
The rest of the series continues the theme of high seas adventures and romance, and mysteries of the dep (of space), with the same characters.

The Flight of the Silver Vixen: An all-girl action adventure in deep space by Annalinde Matichei
A swashbuckling space opera in which a bunch of teenagers from an all female planet steal a spaceship and end up adventuring across the galaxy, barely escaping from space pirates. A coming of age story and an interesting twist on the 'all female' society, this alien species has two feminine sexes.

Friends in High Places by Andi Marquette (the Far Seek Chronicles)
Two women on different sides of the law clash in space, connected by a shared past and
romantic tension, as they come into conflict and try and work together. Space opera, adventure, smuggling, 'evil' empires and romance.
It's Always Spring Break Somewhere in the Galaxy by Raven C.S. McCracken [review]
A genius teenager invents a fabricating device, turns a minibus into a spaceship and tears off across the galaxy with his rock band, kidnapped groupie in tow, for alien rock concerts and gratuitous sex.

Night Sky Mine by Melissa Scott
A young adultish novel about a girl who survives a raid on her home asteroid, gets rescued, grows up on a space station and finally gets caught up in figuring out who's attacking asteroids.
More YA lesbian science fiction & fantasy books

Sisterhood of Suns: Pallas Athena by Martin Schiller
A thousand years after men have died out, a galactic empire of space faring women thrives, in uneasy balance with its alien neighbours. Meanwhile a cult of 'NeoMen' rises, stirring the pot of intrigue and politics. An occasionally brutal but fascinating story.

Spin State by Chris Moriarty
Major Catherine Li is a clone and a peacekeeper with a long galactic career behind her, when she ends up on a mining colony caught up in the centre of politics and complicated plots, including a dead clone twin and a genderbending AI lover.
Shortlisted for the 2004 Best Novel Gaylactic Spectrum Award  

The Supreme Constellations series by Gun Brooke
A war torn planet, intergalactic fighting, space stations and women keeping deadly secrets from everyone around them - and each other - while romance slowly grows between them. An ongoing space romance series full of action, politics and space battles.

Parting Shots by Caron Cro (Tierra del Feugo, Colony Ship series) [review]
Earth a century or so into the future, with most of the same players but in slightly different configurations due to resources and changing cultures. A socio-political sort of novel with a religious-terrorist twist, following the first colony ship out into space. While half the story is in space, we don't see a lot of 'we're in space!' science fiction, with the focus being more on the social colonisation aspects.

Also See: Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Moon [review]
While it is a space based story with space battles and aliens and planets, the bisexualism of the main character is entirely an informed ability so it doesn't get to be officially part of this list. But it's worth mentioning why it isn't on this list! 

Space-based Short Stories & Anthologies

There are actually some very good short stories out there set in space. I guess the combination of a specific travel period and the possibility of null-gee sex was just too inspiring to resist?

Astral Liaisons: Lesbians in Space! by Cassandra Duffy
On my to read list, based purely on the author's amazing writing in The Gunfighter and The Gearhead [review], this is an anthology of eight lesbian sex stories ranging from astral wanderings, aliens, space travel and time travel, inspired by classic pulp fiction.

Aurora Awakening by Thalia Fand [review]
A fantastic scifi romance/erotica short story following a spaceship engineer's attraction to her subordinate and finally, null grav sex. Lots of actual scifi and story, takes place entirely in space and beautifully written.

Flicker by Chie Asakura
A bounty hunter tracks down her bounty through space and gets more than she bargained for.

"Oh Captain, My Captain" by Katherine V. Forrest [review]

 Another well written and original erotica, this one follows the seduction of a cadet travelling on a survey ship by its immortal vampire captain. You haven't read proper vampire erotica until you've read about someone randomly turning into a bat on a space ship corridor. 
Sadly, this story isn't available separately. It's found in two anthologies:

Pisces by Adrianne Brennan
A woman signs up on a spaceship in order to escape her current job, and gets caught up in mysteries, alien technology and an increasing attraction to the Captain.

Other Media

Lesbian Pirates in Outer Space (webcomic)
Lesbians! Flying around in a spaceship! In space!
This is a fun and fairly long running webcomic in a deliberate pulp fiction/retro comic style, following the adventures of closeted and confused lesbian Susie after she is kidnapped by lesbian space pirates!
The first part was released in a series of six comics, which you can usually still find on Amazon

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Rejoined [watch episode online; Season 4] (Paramount Television)
An episode of Star Trek featuring two alien symbiotes who were once mates, both currently inhabiting female bodies, who meet and engage in forbidden attraction, including onscreen k.i.s.s.i.n.g.
Shortlisted for the 2000 Best Other Work Gaylactic Spectrum Award

You may also be interested in:


  1. May I also suggest War Games by K. S. Augustin.

    1. Thanks! We did look at that one, but couldn't figure out how much actual space time it had, as it looked like it was set on a planet. Does it have much in the way of spaceships? (it's on our stalk-the-reviews-and-read-if-we-get-time list anyway).