Note: This post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record…
Since June is ‘Pride Month’ I thought it was a good time to look at recent (and fairly recent) new releases in LGBTQ+ science fiction, with varying degrees of romance. Some of the stories are more about love for found family than romantic love but those make for fine reading too.
First up is the inimitable Gail Carriger, with Divinity 36, the first book in the new Tinkered Starsong trilogy, which explores themes ranging from the power (and downsides) of celebrity and found family in the far future. As the book’s blurb explains: Phex is a barista on a forgotten moon. Which is fine – he likes being ignored and he’s good at making drinks. Until one day an alien hears him singing and recruits him to become a god. Now Phex is thrust headfirst into the galaxy’s most cutthroat entertainment industry, where music is visible, the price of fame can kill, and the only friends he has want to be worshiped.
As a reader, I anticipate many exciting developments to come.
Next is Glacialis by Pelaam, which offers a mix of steampunk, good old science fiction adventure and romance. The story takes place on a mining planet, to which two friends have been sent as a medic and a nurse respectively. The men find quite a frosty reception from everyone on the mining planet and of course there are unsavory things happening which the two main characters can’t help learning about. Along the way one of them meets an undercover Ranger investigating the mine and love ensues. There are also alien threats involved.
Annalise Clark’s Annihilate, billed as a sapphic space opera and the first in a space apocalypse series, is about two bounty hunters. As the blurb states: …we came highly recommended and high on the hit list of every thief, pirate, and vagabond up to no good on this side of the galaxy.
But now an alien threat is attempting to take over the planet they call home and it’s time to change priorities and fight back. More adventures to come!
Kayelle Allen revisits her Thieves Guild Academy for the third book in this well received series, A Divided Heart. The plot revolves around two master thieves and a young alien child who turns out to be a precocious hacker, better than many at the Academy. Her efforts reveal an even deeper plot going on and the two men have to decide whether to give their broken relationship a second chance, as well as saving the Academy itself. Readers rate this a fun, fast read and a good addition to the series.
Eryn Ivers is well on the way with the Interspecies Alliances Series and the fourth book is Alien Medic. As the blurb states about the series: …a series best read in order about a galaxy torn apart by conflict and the men fighting to keep it together.
The two main characters in Alien Medic are on a devastated planet with a lot of politics and problems external to themselves but also Maxwell, a doctor, is hiding major secrets about himself and has been burned in love before. Garrett is a protector by nature but the mutual trust issues create problems which the unstable planetary situation aggravates. Readers have rated this book as “emotionally compelling” and “enthralling” and praise the ongoing worldbuilding in the series to date.
Sabrina Kane offers From Rescue to Love: An Andromedan Galaxy Lesbian Romance where the hottest pilot in the galaxy Major Tai Chang rescues Dr. Lia Ketterman in the nick of time from a space station under alien attack. Then the two women are assigned to a new spaceship using technology Lia has developed which will travel to a new galaxy. The book gets quite steamy as the romance heats up. Many readers are hoping for a sequel soon.
Bang Bang Bodhisattva by Aubrey Wood is a complete change of pace, set in 2032 and following trans girl hacker-for-hire Kiera Umehara as she tries to solve various murders for which she’s been framed (of course). She has the help of an old school private investigator and as the author says in the blurb: …both an odd-couple buddy comedy that never knows when to shut up, and an exploration of finding yourself and your people in an ever-mutable world. Reviewers cited the fast pace as well as the snarky one liners and the mystery at the heart of the story as reasons for their high ratings.
Confessions of a Former Teen Superhero: Gay Coming-of-Age Novel (Kid Quasar Saga Book 1) by Keith Hartmann tells the story of Kid Quasar, a superhero who’s washed up after high school. As the blurb states: So now Josh is living in his mom’s basement, struggling to get his first real job after nearly failing out of college. Because it’s hard to be an A-student when alien arms dealers decide to attack Cleveland in the middle of your sociology final. And as his mom keeps pointing out, being a superhero doesn’t actually pay anything.
There are other superheroes who’ve caught the public’s fickle attention now, including Comet Boy. There are supervillains, sidekicks, ‘B’ list superheroes and complications galore as Josh finds romance with a new guy. But wait, there’s a complication…and a cliffhanger ending as this is the beginning of a series.
In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune takes the Pinocchio story, turns it upside down, inside out, and tells the tale through the adventures of three robots, a human and an android. This is a slow burn romance, a found family story and more. Here’s a portion of the book’s description, because it’s too good not to share rather than summarize: In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots—fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe. The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio–a past spent hunting humans. When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.
There are so many more LGBTQ+ scifi books I don’t have room for today but I’ve tried to provide a good cross section. I publish a new releases list for scifi, fantasy and paranormal romance on my blog every Wednesday and I always include books in the LGBTQ+ categories so you can check that out as well. Happy reading!