Lesbian SFF recommendation master list

Short stories

Her Last Breath Before Waking by A.C. Wise

Women in Sandstone by Alex Dally MacFarlane

Perfect by Yukimi Ogawa

Mothers by Carmen Maria Machado

Novels and collections

Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar

Things We Found During the Autopsy by Kuzhali Manickavel

Alcestis by Katharine Beutner

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

The Race by Nina Allan

The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall

The Blue Place by Nicola Griffith

Earth Logic by Laurie J. Marks

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer

Disturbed by Her Song by Tanith Lee

These are, obviously, things I like (rather than a comprehensive list of all lesbian SFF ever). I’ll be updating them as more occur. Currently, the novel recommendations are way too white. Despite my efforts (repeated, persistent, futile), finding SFF novels (or SFF-adjacent) that feature lesbians or bi women who spend a good chunk of the story in love with women isn’t easy, and finding those written by women of color is painfully difficult. This is because publishing is dominated by white women, mostly straight ones at that. It leaves almost no room for women of color, let alone queer women of color.

There are two ways you can help. First, if you do find queer stuff by women of color, talk about it. You can recommend them to me too, with the caveats that I have specific preferences and what you like is not necessarily what I will like, but still.

(You’re also welcome to read mine, of course, which is pretty much all lesbian all the time.)

I’d like more recommendations in general but please keep in mind, I have no time for lesbians as written by men looking to capitalize on and exploit fetishistic lesbian tragedy. Nor do I have time for straight women looking to opportunistically capitalize on the diversity train and churn out perfunctory, emotionally dead, status quo-compliant lesbian depictions just so they can pester every queer woman alive on social media to let us know that they write diverse too. For such persons, please consider:

(Not all the writers I have listed here are queer and not all are women; in many cases I simply don’t know their orientation. But none of the authors I recommend here make a habit of seeking out queer women on social media to cajole into promoting them because ‘I write diverse too!’)