THE PHOENIX EMPRESS by K. Arsenault Rivera

A new review over at Tor.com:

I’ve used the phrase “queer as fuck and fucking amazing” to describe at least one book already this year. But it’s also appropriate for K. Arsenault Rivera’s second novel, The Phoenix Empress, sequel to last year’s The Tiger’s Daughter. This is the kind of Dramatic Gay content that I never knew I wanted—but now that I know it exists, damn you give me more RIGHT THIS INSTANT!

Sleeps With Monsters: Disgraced Witches and Norse Mermaids

A new post over at Tor.com:

Thanks to my own peculiar interests, this is another queer-lady heavy column. Perhaps eventually it’ll get boring to keep coming across work that features women who love women—perhaps one day, we’ll reach the kind of excess that produces tedium, or at the very least complacency—but that day is not today.

Sleeps With Monsters: New and Upcoming Books Featuring Ladies Who Love Ladies

A new post over at Tor.com:

You may have noticed that I’m very interested in books with queer female protagonists. Everything, as a friend of mine said once, is better with lesbians—though I’d just say women who love women, myself.

I suspect some of you reading here have a degree of overlap with this interest of mine. So let me share with you some of the new and forthcoming science fiction and fantasy novels where I’m reliably informed there are queer female protagonists, and where I’m reliably informed that their queerness doesn’t end in tragedy.

Sleeps With Monsters: A Pair of Delightfully Queer Novellas

A new post over at Tor.com:

This week, I want to bring to your attention two novellas from Book Smugglers Publishing, Lena Wilson’s Accelerants and Juliet Kemp’s A Glimmer of Silver. These books are mere morsels in length—114 pages for Accelerants, 136 pages for A Glimmer of Silver—but in their different ways, they’re both very good. As well as being delightfully queer, and enjoyably compact!

Interesting links and a book to look forward to

Aliette de Bodard has a short novel in a new continuity forthcoming in October: clocking in at a little under fifty thousand words, In the Vanishers’ Palace (Kobo; Amazon; print not yet available for preorder) is a closely-observed and darkly compelling Beauty-and-the Beast retelling between a scholar and a dragon. (Both main characters are women.) I intend to review it at length in another venue, because this is a story that deserves attention: you should all keep an eye out and read it.

Melissa Caruso has a Twitter thread on chapter breaks and tension.

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Ann Leckie talks about taste and enjoying things.

Autostraddle, an excellent website for queer lady culture, needs more members to support its continued existence into 2019.

An older thread from Dr. Mary McAuliffe, on queer Irish women of the early 20th century. (Queer Irish female revolutionaries included.)

A Twitter thread I have been holding close to my heart:

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A tumblr post, likewise.

Sleeps With Monsters: Spec-Fic Romances With Ladies Who Love Ladies

A new column over at Tor.com:

I’m glad that queer protagonists are becoming easier to find in the offerings of traditional SFF publishers (Angry Robot has done quite an interesting lot this year, and I can count volumes from Tor, Saga, Harper Voyager, Orbit, Ace, and Solaris/Rebellion without having to strain my memory), because in general, one has to grade fiction from the lesbian romance small presses on a curve. And sometimes you don’t want to be locked in to a romantic arc. But when you do want an SFF romance between ladies? There are three solid and fun books out from Bold Strokes Books this September and October.

MOTHER OF INVENTION edited by Rivqa Rafael and Tansy Rayner Roberts

A new review over at Tor.com:

Above all else, the word that might characterise this anthology is diverse. It collects a diverse range of authorial voices, and presents a diverse set of stories and storytelling approaches. In places it’s queer and post-colonial (and sometimes anti-colonial), but a commitment to inclusion is visible in its arrangement—as is a commitment to showcasing really good fiction. For the most part, even the stories that didn’t wow me are still very good.

Sleeps With Monsters: Inclusive SF We All Deserve

A new column over at Tor.com:

I finished reading T.J. Berry’s debut novel, Space Unicorn Blues, and said to myself (and several other people): “Maybe Angry Robot Books is becoming the publisher of queer, feminist, sometimes-angry, sometimes-funny, anti-imperialist novels that we didn’t know we deserved.” Because Berry’s Space Unicorn Blues can join a list that includes (in the UK, at least) Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion, Tim Pratt’s The Wrong Stars, Foz Meadows’ An Accident of Stars and A Tyranny of Queens, and Jeannette Ng’s Under the Pendulum Sun, and it stands up very well in this company.

DEEP ROOTS by Ruthanna Emrys

A new review over at Tor.com:

Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys’s accomplished and astonishing debut novel, was an intense and intimate subversion of the Lovecraftian mythos, told from the point of view of Aphra Marsh, the eldest of two survivors of the United States’ genocide of Innsmouth. In Winter Tide, Aphra made reluctant common cause with FBI agent Ron Spector (though not with his suspicious colleagues) and accidentally accreted a family around her. Winter Tide is a novel about the importance of kindness in the face of an indifferent universe, and I love it beyond reason.

I may love Deep Roots even more.

Sleeps With Monsters: Melissa Scott’s Shadow Man

A new column over at Tor.com:

This is a compelling novel with fascinating worldbuilding. In some ways, it shows its age—the Concord doesn’t really seem to have a place for people whose gender identities don’t fit their bodies, even if it allows a wider range of bodies to be recognised as distinct in gender from each other—but in other ways, it remains fresh and new. Particularly in its approach to social revolution: Warreven fights for change on Hara, but ultimately fails to achieve tangible change in for himself. But he opens up a symbolic space, a naming—as it were—of things and of people, even though the authorities ultimately drive him off-planet. (The end of the novel leaves space open for him to return.)

Sleeps With Monsters: Storybundle Pride Month Reading

A new column over at Tor.com:

Melissa Scott’s Mighty Good Road (first published in 1990) employs a world-building conceit that other authors have used since: a railway among the stars, stations linked by permanent wormhole gates. From these stations, less reliable FTL ships head off to planets outside the “Loop,” but in the stations of the Loop, interstellar corporations have their offices, and people live and work and transship cargo.

STARLESS by Jacqueline Carey

A new review over at Tor.com:

Khai’s complicated negotiation of his self-image and his feelings about Zariya also make Starless feel fresh. It’s not often that you come across an epic fantasy where the main character can be described as nonbinary—even if Khai keeps using masculine pronouns. Even less often does one read a novel where a main character—Zariya, in this case—must deal with physical disability and concomitant issues with both self-image and other people’s prejudices. The hope of a magical cure is held out to Zariya several times in the course of the novel, but while some of her symptoms are alleviated, she never stops needing crutches to walk.

Carey’s characters feel real and alive, and her world is lush and well-realised. This is an excellent novel. I recommend it.

Sleeps With Monsters: Fun in Imaginary Countries

A new column over at Tor.com:

Stories about imaginary countries are, I feel, sufficiently science fictional (or fantastical) to count as SFF. And Anthony Hope’s 1894 adventure novel The Prisoner of Zenda with its imaginary country of Ruritania has inspired a number of science fiction and fantasy writers, not to mention writers of romance. Now K.J. Charles, whose works frequently combine fantasy and queer romance, has written a response to The Prisoner of Zenda: The Henchman of Zenda.

 

ARMED IN HER FASHION by Kate Heartfield

A new review over at Tor.com:

Armed in Her Fashion is Kate Heartfield’s debut novel, and what a strange, compelling, genre-bending debut it is. Part horror, part fantasy, part history, and part epic, it combines all of its elements into a commentary on gender, power, and patriarchy. It centres around several women (and one man) who want in their own ways to have their due.

That makes it sound deeply serious. Actually, it’s enormously fun.