Pride Doesn’t End With June: Queer Fantasy+SciFi Books for the rest of 2020

Posted 30th June 2020 by Siavahda in Uncategorised / 0 Comments

We Fight As One from Kristen Noell’s Orientation and Gender Armory Collection!

Pride Month’s coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the pride stops! I’ve talked a bit already about what books I’m looking forward to in the rest of 2020, but I thought I’d put together a list of the upcoming queer stories I’m most excited for – the books that’ll carry our little queer hearts through the rest of the year!

This is a mix of YA and Adult books, and I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch – I mostly focused on the ones I’m personally anticipating.

July

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Representation: Characters of Colour, F/F
on 7th July 2020

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

First up is Cinderella is Dead, out on 7th of July! Black girls kicking the patriarchy’s ass and loving each other? Hells to the yes!

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters
Representation: Bisexual MC, sapphic love interest
on 14th July 2020
Goodreads

Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead.

If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.

But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.

In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

Family secrets, a gorgeously resonant LGBTQ love triangle, and just the right amount of creepiness make this young adult debut a haunting and hopeful story about facing everything that haunts us in the dark.

Next is Ghost Wood Song on July 14th! A bisexual love triangle mixed with devils’ deals and fiddles at the crossroads, I’ve gotten progressively more excited for this one!

The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig
Representation: M/M
on 14th July 2020

The only thing August Pfeiffer hates more than algebra is living in a vampire town. Located at a nexus of mystical energy fields, Fulton Heights is practically an electromagnet for supernatural drama. And when a mysterious (and annoyingly hot) vampire boy arrives with a cryptic warning, Auggie suddenly finds himself at the center of it. An ancient and terrible power is returning to the earthly realm, and somehow Auggie seems to be the only one who can stop it.

I think it’s been a fair while since I read a vampire book; the last one might have been Parker Foye’s novella last year. To be honest I haven’t often been impressed by queer vampire stories, but I’m hopeful for this one!

The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries, #1) by T.J. Klune
Representation: M/M, nuerodivergent mc
on 14th July 2020

Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune's YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick's best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer's Renegades in TJ Klune's YA debut.

Extraordinaries is the second of TJ Klune’s releases this year, after The House in the Cerulean Sea a few months ago! Cerulean was an adult standalone; this one is the start of a YA trilogy. I can’t remember the last time I read about superheroes, but come on; it’s Klune. At this point I’d read the man’s shopping list!

The Worst of All Possible Worlds (The Salvagers, #3) by Alex White
Representation: F/F, disability, characters of colour
on 28th July 2020

The greatest dangers hide the brightest treasures in this bold, planet-hopping science fiction adventure series.
The crew of the legendary Capricious may have gone legitimate, but they're still on the run.

With devastatingly powerful enemies in pursuit and family and friends under attack planetside, Nilah and Boots struggle to piece together rumors of an ancient technology that could lead to victory.

Ensnared by the legend of Origin, humanity's birthplace, and a long-dead form of magic, the Capricious takes off on a journey to find the first colony ship...and magic that could bring down gods.

This is definitely one of the books I’ve been most looking forward to! I adore this series and can’t wait to find out how it all ends – even if I’m absolutely not ready for it to be all over!

August

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska
Representation: F/F
on 4th August 2020

A fast-paced, well-plotted fantasy retelling of an ancient Scottish fairy tale ballad, this exciting debut will appeal to fans of Stephanie Garber's CARAVAL, Shea Ernshaw's THE WICKED DEEP, and Kendare Blake's THREE DARK CROWNS.

Every year on Walpurgis Night, Caldella's Witch Queen lures a young boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.

Convinced her handsome brother is going to be taken, sixteen-year-old Lina Kirk enlists the help of the mysterious Tomas Lin, her secret crush, and the only boy to ever escape from the palace. Working together they protect her brother, but draw the Queen's attention. When the Queen spirits Tomas away instead, Lina blames herself and determines to go after him.

Caught breaking into the palace, the Queen offers Lina a deal: she will let Tomas go, if, of course, Lina agrees to take his place. Lina accepts, with a month before the full moon, surely she can find some way to escape. But the Queen is nothing like she envisioned, and Lina is not at all what the Queen expected. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella's streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

Thankfully for my poor hungry heart, Dark Tide was released in e-format a little while ago – I’m reading it right now, in fact, and it is just. !!! One of the best books I have ever read in my life. I can’t wait until its ‘full’ release date so more people can read it and I can shriek about it with other readers who love it as much as I do!

Court of Lions (Mirage, #2) by Somaiya Daud
Representation: Characters of Colour, Oppressed Minority, F/F
on 4th August 2020

Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?

After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess's body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani's connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity - and her betrayal - will be revealed to everyone in the court.

Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people's freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram's fiancé, Idris?

Court of Lions is the concluding book in the Mirage duet. I adored the first book, but I was surprised to hear there was going to be a f/f romance in this one. Pleasantly surprised, though! I can’t wait to get back to this world.

The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis
Representation: F/F, f/nb, non-binary secondary character, characters of colour
on 4th August 2020

Combining the social commentary of The Handmaid’s Tale with the white-knuckled thrills of Red Rising, this epic space opera follows a comfort woman as she claims her agency, a soldier questioning his allegiances, and a non-binary hero out to save the solar system.

First Sister has no name and no voice. As a priestess of the Sisterhood, she travels the stars alongside the soldiers of Earth and Mars—the same ones who own the rights to her body and soul. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed when she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no power, and a new captain—Saito Ren—whom she knows nothing about. She is commanded to spy on Captain Ren by the Sisterhood, but soon discovers that working for the war effort is so much harder to do when you’re falling in love.

Lito val Lucius climbed his way out of the slums to become an elite soldier of Venus, but was defeated in combat by none other than Saito Ren, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. When Lito learns that Hiro is both alive and now a traitor to the cause, he now has a shot at redemption: track down and kill his former partner. But when he discovers recordings that Hiro secretly made, Lito’s own allegiances are put to the test. Ultimately, he must decide between following orders and following his heart.

A stunning and sweeping debut novel that explores the power of technology, colonization, race, and gender, The First Sister is perfect for fans of James S.A. Corey, Chuck Wendig, and Margaret Atwood.

I actually finished reading an arc of this a few days ago, and it blew me away. The First Sister is about a handful of little people caught in the endless war between their two cultures – and it’s about the power even the smallest cogs in the machine can have if they refuse to perform as commanded. Really powerful; I’ll be reviewing it properly soon.

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir
Representation: Lesbian MC
on 4th August 2020

Harrow the Ninth, the sequel to the sensational, USA today best-selling novel Gideon the Ninth, turns a galaxy inside out as one necromancer struggles to survive the wreckage of herself aboard the Emperor's haunted space station.

She answered the Emperor's call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman's shoulders.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor's Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?

I think the entire world might be making grabby hands at this one. Harrow the Ninth is the sequel to Gideon the Ninth, last year’s supernova of a debut about lesbian necromancers in space. I didn’t love Gideon as much as some, but I’m still seriously excited to see where this trilogy goes next!

Seven Devils (Seven Devils, #1) by Laura Lam, Elizabeth May
Representation: Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Ace
on 4th August 2020

This first book in a feminist space opera duology follows seven resistance fighters who will free the galaxy from the ruthless Tholosian Empire -- or die trying.

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy's most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire's voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire's inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can't, millions may die.

Besides having a stunning cover, Seven Devils also, according to early readers, has a whole ton of queer rep – which doesn’t surprise me, because Laura Lam, at least, has written a great deal of queerness before this. (I haven’t read anything by Elizabeth May before, so I don’t know about her track record). But this sounds like it’s going to be a really awesome scifi novel, and I don’t usually get excited for scifi!

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #3) by Seth Dickinson
Representation: Lesbian MC, characters of colour
on 11th August 2020

Seth Dickinson's epic fantasy series which began with The Traitor Baru Cormorant, returns with the third book, The Tyrant Baru Cormorant.

The hunt is over. After fifteen years of lies and sacrifice, Baru Cormorant has the power to destroy the Imperial Republic of Falcrest that she pretends to serve. The secret society called the Cancrioth is real, and Baru is among them.

But the Cancrioth's weapon cannot distinguish the guilty from the innocent. If it escapes quarantine, the ancient hemorrhagic plague called the Kettling will kill hundreds of millions...not just in Falcrest, but all across the world. History will end in a black bloodstain.

Is that justice? Is this really what Tain Hu hoped for when she sacrificed herself?

Baru's enemies close in from all sides. Baru's own mind teeters on the edge of madness or shattering revelation. Now she must choose between genocidal revenge and a far more difficult path—a conspiracy of judges, kings, spies and immortals, puppeteering the world's riches and two great wars in a gambit for the ultimate prize.

If Baru had absolute power over the Imperial Republic, she could force Falcrest to abandon its colonies and make right its crimes.

I adored the first book of this series, even if it wasn’t exactly easy reading; the sequel…grabbed me much less. I’m hoping Tyrant brings us back to the awesomeness of book one; either way, I guess we’ll see!

Ironspark by C.M. McGuire
Representation: F/F
on 25th August 2020

A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires's kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark.

For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use.

Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae.

But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.

Lesbian love triangle, plus fae! I admit, I haven’t heard much about this one, but I’m cautiously optimistic. When did you last see a lesbian love triangle???

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, Rovina Cai
Representation: Asexual MC, characters of colour
on 25th August 2020

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

I was quite anxious that Elatsoe wasn’t going to get an e-book edition (as I’ve mentioned before, my disability means I can’t physically handle paper books), but turns out my fears were needless! Thankfully, because this sounds absolutely AMAZING, and I can’t wait to read it!

Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne
Representation: Bisexual MC, F/F, chronic illness
on 25th August 2020

Terminally Ill salvage pilot Ash Jackson lost everything in the war with the alien Vai, but she'll be damned if she loses her future. Her plan: to buy, beg, or lie her way out of corporate indenture and fine a cure.

When her crew salvages a genocidal weapon from a ravaged starship above a dead colony, Ash uncovers a conspiracy of corporate intrigue and betrayal that threatens to turn her into a living weapon.

Architects of Memory is a book I probably wouldn’t be looking forward to – because I really don’t read sci-fi all that often – if I hadn’t heard good things about it from so many voices I trust. And as a chronically ill person, it’s always interesting to see heroes with chronic illness in my spec fic.

The Memory of Souls (A Chorus of Dragons, #3) by Jenn Lyons
Representation: Bisexual MCs, Genderqueer MC
on 25th August 2020

WHAT IF YOU'RE THE ONE WHO HAS TO DIE?

Now that the city of Atrine has been destroyed and Relos Var's plan to free the dark god Vol Karoth has been revealed—the end of the world is closer than ever.

To buy time for humanity, Kihrin, Janel, and Thurvishar must convince the king of the Manol vané to perform an ancient ritual that will strip the vané of their immortality—a ritual that certain vané will do anything to prevent. Including assassinating the ones bringing the news.

Worse, Kihrin must come to terms with the horrifying possibility that his connection to Vol Karoth is steadily growing in strength. How can Kihrin hope to save anyone when he might turn out to be the greatest threat of them all?

The previous book in this series introduced a completely original gender system that was based on personality types rather than anything to do with chromosomes or presentation, thereby adding genderqueer to a cast of characters that already included at least two bisexuals. This is probably my favourite ongoing Epic Fantasy series; I absolutely adore what Lyons has been doing to subvert all the tropes and expectations, and I can’t wait for Memory!

September

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Representation: Trans MC, Latinx, M/M
on 1st September 2020

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Tired: magics that can only be performed by one gender in a binary system

Wired: magics that can only be performed by one gender used to affirm gender identity!

Like many others, I’ve been looking forward to this one for years. I can’t believe it’s finally almost here!!!

The Four Profound Weaves by R.B. Lemberg
on 4th September 2020

“Thoughtful and deeply moving, The Four Profound Weaves is the anti-authoritarian, queer-mystical fairy tale we need right now.”-Annalee Newitz, author of The Future of Another Timeline
[STARRED REVIEW] “A beautiful, heartfelt story of change, family, identity, and courage.”-Library Journal
Wind: To match one's body with one's heartSand: To take the bearer where they wishSong: In praise of the goddess BirdBone: To move unheard in the night
The Surun' do not speak of the master weaver, Benesret, who creates the cloth of bone for assassins in the Great Burri Desert. But Uiziya now seeks her aunt Benesret in order to learn the final weave, although the price for knowledge may be far too dear to pay.
Among the Khana, women travel in caravans to trade, while men remain in the inner quarter as scholars. A nameless man struggles to embody Khana masculinity, after many years of performing the life of a woman, trader, wife, and grandmother.
As the past catches up to the nameless man, he must choose between the life he dreamed of and Uiziya, and Uiziya must discover how to challenge a tyrant, and weave from deaths that matter.
Set in R. B. Lemberg's beloved Birdverse, The Four Profound Weaves hearkens to Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness. In this breathtaking debut, Lemberg offers a timeless chronicle of claiming one's identity in a hostile world.

I’ve been incredibly excited for this one ever since I first heard of it. Luckily for those who have trouble waiting, this is set in the author’s Birdverse, comprised of standalone short stories. You can find links to them on Goodreads!

Master of Poisons by Andrea Hairston
Representation: Normalised queerness, Nonbinary, Pansexual, F/NB, NB/NB
on 8th September 2020
Goodreads

“This is a prayer hymn, a battle cry, a lovesong, a legendary call and response bonfire talisman tale. This is medicine for a broken world." —Daniel José OlderAward-winning author Andrea Hairston weaves together African folktales and postcolonial literature into unforgettable fantasy in Master of Poisons

The world is changing. Poison desert eats good farmland. Once-sweet water turns foul. The wind blows sand and sadness across the Empire. To get caught in a storm is death. To live and do nothing is death. There is magic in the world, but good conjure is hard to find.

Djola, righthand man and spymaster of the lord of the Arkhysian Empire, is desperately trying to save his adopted homeland, even in exile.

Awa, a young woman training to be a powerful griot, tests the limits of her knowledge and comes into her own in a world of sorcery, floating cities, kindly beasts, and uncertain men.

Awash in the rhythms of folklore and storytelling and rich with Hairston's characteristic lush prose, Master of Poisons is epic fantasy that will bleed your mind with its turns of phrase and leave you aching for the world it burns into being.

Although I’ve not yet read any of Hairston’s other books, they’re on my tbr list, and I read and loved the excerpt of Master of Poisons in the Chaos and Cosmos Sampler, Part II (available for free on Amazon). And according to another reader, the society in this book has normalised queerness and a three-gender system, with nonbinary characters front and center and plenty of queer relationships!

Night Shine by Tessa Gratton
on 8th September 2020

An orphan girl must face untold danger and an ancient evil to save her kingdom’s prince in this lush, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Girls of Paper and Fire and Tess of the Road.
How can you live without your heart?
In the vast palace of the empress lives an orphan girl called Nothing. She slips within the shadows of the Court, unseen except by the Great Demon of the palace and her true friend, Prince Kirin, heir to the throne. When Kirin is kidnapped, only Nothing and the prince’s bodyguard suspect that Kirin may have been taken by the Sorceress Who Eats Girls, a powerful woman who has plagued the land for decades. The sorceress has never bothered with boys before, but Nothing has uncovered many secrets in her sixteen years in the palace, including a few about the prince.
As the empress’s army searches fruitlessly, Nothing and the bodyguard set out on a rescue mission, through demon-filled rain forests and past crossroads guarded by spirits. Their journey takes them to the gates of the Fifth Mountain, where the sorceress wields her power. There, Nothing will discover that all magic is a bargain, and she may be more powerful than she ever imagined. But the price the Sorceress demands for Kirin may very well cost Nothing her heart.

Listen, any book that’s pitched to me as ‘a queer Howl’s Moving Castle‘ is going straight to the top of my TBR, okay? Okay.

Night Shine by Tessa Gratton
on 8th September 2020

An orphan girl must face untold danger and an ancient evil to save her kingdom’s prince in this lush, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Girls of Paper and Fire and Tess of the Road.
How can you live without your heart?
In the vast palace of the empress lives an orphan girl called Nothing. She slips within the shadows of the Court, unseen except by the Great Demon of the palace and her true friend, Prince Kirin, heir to the throne. When Kirin is kidnapped, only Nothing and the prince’s bodyguard suspect that Kirin may have been taken by the Sorceress Who Eats Girls, a powerful woman who has plagued the land for decades. The sorceress has never bothered with boys before, but Nothing has uncovered many secrets in her sixteen years in the palace, including a few about the prince.
As the empress’s army searches fruitlessly, Nothing and the bodyguard set out on a rescue mission, through demon-filled rain forests and past crossroads guarded by spirits. Their journey takes them to the gates of the Fifth Mountain, where the sorceress wields her power. There, Nothing will discover that all magic is a bargain, and she may be more powerful than she ever imagined. But the price the Sorceress demands for Kirin may very well cost Nothing her heart.

This is another one I’m currently reading, although this time because I was #blessed with an arc. I should have finished it ages ago, but it’s so incredibly good and intense I only allow myself a page or two a day. I cannot handle the awesome in this one, folkx. I’m not exaggerating even a little bit; this is without doubt going to hit my fave of 2020 list!

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia, Anna-Marie McLemore
Representation: Latinx MCs, sapphic girls
on 22nd September 2020

There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

Witty and heartfelt with characters that leap off the page, Miss Meteor is acclaimed authors Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia’s first book together.

Miss Meteor is a collaboration between two of my favourite authors – Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia! I literally didn’t need to hear anything else before I slammed the preorder button – but it doesn’t hurt that the blurb sounds like a lot of fun!

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
Representation: Queer cast
on 22nd September 2020

A smart, imaginative, and evocative novel of love, betrayal, revenge, and redemption, told with razor-sharp wit and affection, in which a young woman discovers the greatest superpower—for good or ill—is a properly executed spreadsheet.

Anna does boring things for terrible people because even criminals need office help and she needs a job. Working for a monster lurking beneath the surface of the world isn’t glamorous. But is it really worse than working for an oil conglomerate or an insurance company? In this economy? As a temp, she’s just a cog in the machine. But when she finally gets a promising assignment, everything goes very wrong, and an encounter with the so-called “hero” leaves her badly injured. And, to her horror, compared to the other bodies strewn about, she’s the lucky one.

So, of course, then she gets laid off.

With no money and no mobility, with only her anger and internet research acumen, she discovers her suffering at the hands of a hero is far from unique. When people start listening to the story that her data tells, she realizes she might not be as powerless as she thinks.

Because the key to everything is data: knowing how to collate it, how to manipulate it, and how to weaponize it. By tallying up the human cost these caped forces of nature wreak upon the world, she discovers that the line between good and evil is mostly marketing. And with social media and viral videos, she can control that appearance.

It’s not too long before she’s employed once more, this time by one of the worst villains on earth. As she becomes an increasingly valuable lieutenant, she might just save the world.

A sharp, witty, modern debut, Hench explores the individual cost of justice through a fascinating mix of Millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics.

A book about superheroes being kinda awful and their sidekicks and henchpeople getting things done??? This sounds like so much fun! And although I don’t know the specifics of the rep here, I’ve been promised that there’s a ton of queerness in the cast!

October

The Archive of the Forgotten (Hell's Library, #2) by A.J. Hackwith
Representation: Pansexual MC, multiple bi characters
on 6th October 2020

In the second installment of this richly imagined fantasy adventure series, a new threat from within the Library could destroy those who depend upon it the most.

The Library of the Unwritten in Hell was saved from total devastation, but hundreds of potential books were destroyed. Former librarian Claire and Brevity the muse feel the loss of those stories, and are trying to adjust to their new roles within the Arcane Wing and Library, respectively. But when the remains of those books begin to leak a strange ink, Claire realizes that the Library has kept secrets from Hell--and from its own librarians.

Claire and Brevity are immediately at odds in their approach to the ink, and the potential power that it represents has not gone unnoticed. When a representative from the Muses Corps arrives at the Library to advise Brevity, the angel Rami and the erstwhile Hero hunt for answers in other realms. The true nature of the ink could fundamentally alter the afterlife for good or ill, but it entirely depends on who is left to hold the pen.

Library of the Unwritten, the first book of this series, was one of my faves from last year, so I can’t wait to dive back into Claire’s world for more adventures. I really love the worldbuilding in this series, and it sounds like we’ll be getting to see more of it in this one!

Beyond the Ruby Veil (Beyond the Ruby Veil, #1) by Mara Fitzgerald
Representation: Lesbian MC
on 13th October 2020

A dark, queer YA fantasy that's perfect for fans of the Three Dark Crowns series and Wicked Saints. After Emanuela Ragno kills the one person in Occhia who can create water, she must find a way to save her city from dying of thirst.

Emanuela Ragno always gets what she wants. With her daring mind and socialite schemes, she refuses to be the demure young lady everyone wants her to be. In her most ambitious move yet, she's about to marry Alessandro Morandi, her childhood best friend and the heir to the wealthiest house in Occhia. Emanuela doesn't care that she and her groom are both gay, because she doesn't want a love match. She wants power, and through Ale, she'll have it all.

But Emanuela has a secret that could shatter her plans. In the city of Occhia, the only source of water is the watercrea, a mysterious being who uses magic to make water from blood. When their first bruise-like omen appears on their skin, all Occhians must surrender themselves to the watercrea to be drained of life. Everyone throughout history has given themselves up for the greater good. Everyone except Emanuela. She's kept the tiny omen on her hip out of sight for years.

When the watercrea exposes Emanuela during her wedding ceremony and takes her to be sacrificed, Emanuela fights back...and kills her. Now Occhia has no one to make their water and no idea how to get more. In a race against time, Emanuela and Ale must travel through the mysterious, blood-red veil that surrounds their city to uncover the secrets of the watercrea's magic and find a way to save their people-no matter what it takes.

Beyond the Ruby Veil is another book I’ve been waiting years for, and with that premise, can you really blame me?!

Brothersong (Green Creek #4) by T.J. Klune
Representation: M/M
on 13th October 2020

In the ruins of Caswell, Maine, Carter Bennett learned the truth of what had been right in front of him the entire time. And then it—he—was gone.

Desperate for answers, Carter takes to the road, leaving family and the safety of his pack behind, all in the name of a man he only knows as a feral wolf. But therein lies the danger: wolves are pack animals, and the longer Carter is on his own, the more his mind slips toward the endless void of Omega insanity.

But he pushes on, following the trail left by Gavin.

Gavin, the son of Robert Livingstone. The half-brother of Gordo Livingstone.

What Carter finds will change the course of the wolves forever. Because Gavin’s history with the Bennett pack goes back further than anyone knows, a secret kept hidden by Carter’s father, Thomas Bennett.

And with this knowledge comes a price: the sins of the fathers now rest upon the shoulders of their sons.

The final book in the incredible Green Creek series, and Klune’s third book of the year! I am so not ready to leave Green Creek for good, but at the same time, I’m dying to know how it all ends. I just know this one’s going to tear my heart to pieces before it’s over!

The Shadow War by Lindsay Smith
Representation: Queer Cast
on 13th October 2020

Inglourious Basterds meets Stranger Things in this dark and thrilling tale of power, shadow, and revenge set during World War II.

World War II is raging, and five teens are looking to make a mark. Daniel and Rebeka seek revenge against the Nazis who slaughtered their family; Simone is determined to fight back against the oppressors who ruined her life and corrupted her girlfriend; Phillip aims to prove that he's better than his worst mistakes; and Liam is searching for a way to control the portal to the shadow world he's uncovered, and the monsters that live within it--before the Nazi regime can do the same. When the five meet, and begrudgingly team up, in the forests of Germany, none of them knows what their future might hold.

As they race against time, war, and enemies from both this world and another, Liam, Daniel, Rebeka, Phillip, and Simone know that all they can count on is their own determination and will to survive. With their world turned upside down, and the shadow realm looming ominously large--and threateningly close--the course of history and the very fate of humanity rest in their hands. Still, the most important question remains: Will they be able to save it?

A gang of queer misfits out to take down the Nazis??? I’m a little sceptical, but also hopeful, because this sounds like it could be amazing???

Hunger Pangs: True Love Bites by Joy Demorra
Representation: Queer MCs, Polyamory, M/M/M
on 28th October 2020

In a world of dwindling hope, love has never mattered more...

Captain Nathan J. Northland had no idea what to expect when he returned home to Lorehaven injured from war, but it certainly wasn't to find himself posted on an island full of vampires. An island whose local vampire dandy lord causes Nathan to feel strange things he'd never felt before. Particularly about fangs.

When Vlad Blutstein agreed to hire Nathan as Captain of the Eyrie Guard, he hadn't been sure what to expect either, but it certainly hadn't been to fall in love with a disabled werewolf. However Vlad has fallen and fallen hard, and that's the problem.

Torn by their allegiances--to family, to duty, and the age-old enmity between vampires and werewolves--the pair find themselves in a difficult situation: to love where the heart wants or to follow where expectation demands.

The situation is complicated further when a mysterious and beguiling figure known only as Lady Ursula crashes into their lives, bringing with her dark omens of death, doom, and destruction in her wake.

And a desperate plea for help neither of them can ignore.

Thrown together in uncertain times and struggling to find their place amidst the rising human empire, the unlikely trio must decide how to face the coming darkness: united as one or divided and alone. One thing is for certain, none of them will ever be the same.

Demorra runs a fabulous tumblr account, which is how I discovered Hunger Pangs. I supported Joy on Patreon for a good while, and now we should be getting poly vampires this autumn! Having read the first few chapters on Patreon, I’m really eager to sink my teeth into the rest!

November

Master of One by Jaida Jones, Danielle Bennett
Representation: M/M
on 10th November 2020

Sinister sorcery. Gallows humor. A queer romance so glorious it could be right out of fae legend itself. Master of One is a fantasy unlike any other.

Rags is a thief—an excellent one. He’s stolen into noble’s coffers, picked soldier’s pockets, and even liberated a ring or two off the fingers of passersby. Until he’s caught by the Queensguard and forced to find an ancient fae relic for a sadistic royal sorcerer.

But Rags could never have guessed this “relic” would actually be a fae himself—a distractingly handsome, annoyingly perfect, ancient fae prince called Shining Talon. Good thing Rags can think on his toes, because things just get stranger from there...

With the heist and intrigue of Six of Crows and the dark fairy tale feel of The Cruel Prince, this young adult fantasy debut will have readers rooting for a pair of reluctant heroes as they take on a world-ending fae prophecy, a malicious royal plot, and, most dangerously of all, their feelings for each other.

This just sounds like it’s going to be so much fun, and I’m extra excited since Jones & Bennett have co-written before, with excellent results!

December

A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha
Representation: F/F. characters of colour
on 1st December 2020

With just one touch, bread turns into roses. With just one bite, cheese turns into lilies.

There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic—her curse—has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain.

If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers…into food.

Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss.

As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death?

With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more.

She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction.

Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…

A retelling of a myth I don’t know for once, plus soft sapphic girls and flower curses??? I am so ready for this book to sweep me away already!

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain (The Singing Hills Cycle, #2) by Nghi Vo
Representation: Genderqueer (agender) MC, characters of colour
on 8th December 2020

"Dangerous, subtle, unexpected and familiar, angry and ferocious and hopeful. . . . The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a remarkable accomplishment of storytelling."—NPR

The cleric Chih finds themself and their companions at the mercy of a band of fierce tigers who ache with hunger. To stay alive until the mammoths can save them, Chih must unwind the intricate, layered story of the tiger and her scholar lover—a woman of courage, intelligence, and beauty—and discover how truth can survive becoming history.

Nghi Vo returns to the empire of Ahn and The Singing Hills Cycle in this mesmerizing, lush standalone follow-up to The Empress of Salt and Fortune

I love, love, loved Empress of Salt and Fortune, so I may have shrieked a bit when I heard that Vo was writing a follow-up novella! This one sounds like it’s going to be a lovely Yule gift to myself!

Aaand, that’s it! What queer spec fic are YOU looking forward to in the rest of the year?

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