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Recommended Reading List

Please note, the icons () and Lambda Rising icons () found with books for our lists lead to the least expensive standard editions available. All proceeds from books and items bought through our and Lambda Rising links support the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards!

Listings Are Alphabetical by Author.

The complete Lambda Sci-Fi Recommended Reading List is also available in a downloadable/printable PDF file!

Don't have the Adobe Acrobat reader? Please download one for free here, at the Adobe web site.


Atwood, Margaret:
A Handmaid's Tale.

Set in a near future of religious repression and plunging birthrates, this novel explores the repercussions of such a society through the experiences of one woman trapped within its confines.

Bailey, Robin Wayne:

A disabled young man pays a high price for the opportunity to walk and slowly unravels his past and comes to grips with his future. Along the way he develops a relationship with another young man in this dark fantasy.

Barker, Clive:

Will Rabjohns is a gay, internationally acclaimed photographer who records the continuing destruction of the biosphere. After he is seriously injured in an attack by a polar bear, he has a series of mystical and/or shamanic adventures which reveal to him the numinous reality of Nature and also force him to explore his own inner nature.

Baudino, Gael:
Gossamer Axe.

If music is magic to you, then this book will be too. The main character is a Celtic harpist whose lover is held captive by fairies. She has been unsuccessfully searching for centuries for a way to get her lover back. Finally, she finds heavy metal rock - a power that just might work. (Lesbian. Some bisexuality.)

Strands of Starlight.

This novel is set in a past where the line between history and fantasy is vague. The main character is an extremely determined woman out to avenge herself; she is complex, contradictory, and compelling. (This is not a lesbian book; but it has a lesbian tone to it.)

Beers, Jinx (ed.):
Lesbian Short Fiction #1.

21 pieces of excellent short fiction about lesbians. Includes 4 short stories from the fantasy/science fiction genre, as well as a couple of mystery stories and other fictional explorations of lesbian life.

Block, Francesca Lia:
Weetzie Bat.
Witch Baby.
Cherokee Bat and The Goat Guys.
Missing Angel Juan.
Baby Be-Bop.

A series of related "young adult" novels - contemporary urban "punk/Gothic" fantasies set in and around a place variously called Shangri-L.A. or Hell-A (modern Los Angeles). Positive gay and lesbian characters (both major and supporting) appear throughout each novel. (Collected as Dangerous Angels.)

Bowen, Gary:
Winter of the Soul.

Three short stories about gay vampires, set in the United States and Hungary. Fun, light reading.

Bradley, Marion Zimmer:
The Firebrand.

A retelling of the story of the Trojan War through the eyes of Cassandra. Homosexual relationships portrayed as accepted part of society.

The Heritage of Hastur.

One of Ms. Bradley's "Darkover" novels, set on a lost Earth-settled planet, where humans have interbred with an indigenous, telepathic race and where the dominant culture is feudal, yet psychically advanced. This is the story of Regis Hastur, a member of Darkover's telepathic aristocracy who is awakening to his psychic powers and his gayness, and his youthful love affair with one of his subjects. (This novel also includes a gay villain.)

The Shattered Chain.
Thendara House.
City of Sorcery.

Three independent "Darkover" novels that all deal with the same three characters: Camilla (a voluntarily neutered Darkover woman), Jaelle (a Free Amazon), and Magda Lorne (an Earthwoman). Together, these three novels deal with various aspects of lesbian, bisexual, and woman-to-woman relationships in a male-dominated, feudal society.

Brownworth, Victoria A. (ed.):
Night Bites.

Anthology of 16 vampire stories ("tales of blood and lust") by and about women. Includes stories with lesbian themes.

Bujold, Lois McMaster:
Ethan of Athos.

Set in the same universe as the Vorkosigan stories. What would happen if a man from a closed all male planet needed to venture out to secure more diverse genetic material and the first woman he met was a no-nonsense soldier who needed to rescue him? A fun adventure.

Card, Orson Scott:

When Galactic Emporer Mikal wants a "songbird," the Songhouse sends him a beautiful young boy who comes to love Mikal and lashes out with his emotion-control powers when Mikal is killed. He eventually becomes Emporer himself, along the way falling in love with an openly gay man.

Charnas, Suzy McKee:
Walk to the End of the World.
The Furies.
The Conqueror's Child.

A four novel feminist epic which explores the concepts of slavery, safety, history, legends, humanity, and revenge. After the Wasting (a cataclysm of pollution and war), the Riding Women, the Free Fems, and the Newly-Freed each strive to construct new women's societies from the ruins and to destroy the remains of the oppressive male-dominated world.

Christian, Deborah:

Reva is an assassin with a psi talent for moving through alternate timelines. She's a loner by choice, and lonely by consequence, until a young female crime boss enters her life. Reva lets herself be drawn into the young woman's world and both chaos and love ensue.

Clarke, Arthur C.:
Imperial Earth.

Interplanetary intrigue between Earth and Titan in the year 2276, centering on a bisexual Titanian still haunted by memories of his estranged male lover.

Cooke, John Peyton:
Out for Blood.

A gay leukemia victim is on the verge of death when he gets an offer he can't refuse: become a vampire and enjoy perpetual youth, health, and sexual encounters! Only gradually does he learn just how dangerous the life of a vampire can be! (The sex scenes in this book get pretty racy at times.)


A thrilling story about the search for a gruesome serial killer in 1935 Cleveland - based on an actual unsolved case investigated by Eliot Ness (of "Untouchables" fame). A closeted gay homocide detective is also a member of the investigation and finds clues leading him to Cleveland's homosexual underworld - and even falls in love with one of the killer's potential victims.

Coville, Bruce:
The Skull of Truth.

This is the latest in the Magic Shop series of young adult novels. A young boy, who has trouble telling the truth, picks up a skull that compels those near it to speak the truth, regardless of their intentions. At a family gathering the honest opinions of each is revealed and the boy's older brother is "outed," which he must now deal with honestly.


This page maintained by Rob Gates. Last updated March 10, 2001.

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