Good Lesbian Books

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Good Lesbian Books: What are your pet peeves about Lesfic?

alexbeecroftauthor:

shiraglassman:

goodlesbianbooks:

shiraglassman:

goodlesbianbooks:

We’ve got a whole essay on the topic: Pet Peeves and Problems in Lesbian Fiction, and these are the main points.

  1. Reused Plots
  2. Poor Writing/Editing
  3. Terrible Characters
  4. F/F
  5. Finding It
  6. Sex Scenes
  7. Limited Variety

What do you hate about lesbian fiction right now? What turns you off…

"Shyness of authors" heeee that doesn’t seem to be my problem. ;-)

What you said about it being associated with porn really resonated with me, because the word ‘lesbian’ has such a pornographic connotation outside of feminist/queer spaces that “lesbian” + “fantasy” doesn’t mean “fantasy plus lesbians”—for many people, and for Google, adding the word ‘lesbian’ to ‘fantasy’ doesn’t mean ‘a gay woman with a dragon and magic potions’ — it means ‘sexual fantasies involving one more more lesbians’.

This doesn’t happen for anything else. You can say you write fantasy about this, that, or the other, but suddenly when you bring lesbians into it, it’s that type of fantasy (i.e. sexual daydreams), not the type where Gandalf takes Luna Lovegood on a magical quest for Susan Pevensie’s missing quiver of arrows. So I was never able to market my book with the simple words ‘lesbian fantasy’.

Screw that. Lesbians like dragons, too.

YES.

I was actually thinking about that when I was looking at your book (shout out: The Second Mango, a YA lesbian fantasy novel with dragons).

I’ve gotten to the point where I have trained my head canon to “lesbian fantasy” = dragons and sparkly things and demons and soul splitting power from the seven hells, and “lesbian fantasies” = fantasies that are possibly sexual and either involve lesbians, or are the fantasies of lesbians. I assume significant overlap.

I am defiantly promoting the former definition in book reviews. I love fantasy. I love fiction with lesbians. It’s lesbian fantasy fiction, dammit.

The other problem is that ‘fantasy’ covers a lot of subgenres. The paranormal mostly-romance stuff has started really taking off (shapeshifters and vampires and urban fantasy, oh my), the fairy tales are also pretty popular, but epic fantasy, real sword and sorcery stuff, is still very rare. 

It’s really annoying that it’s so hard to think of any fiction to recommend to a friend who’s mostly only into epic-ish fantasy of the GRRM and Stephen King and Terry Pratchett variety. They are also into lesbians, but tend to scorn most lesfic I try and give them. IT SHOULD NOT BE THIS HARD. 

I mean, offhand, there’s Gossamer Axe, and the Elemental Logic series and some awesome short stories (e.g. by Catherine Lundoff, or the Bending the Landscape anthology), and some vaguely-lesbian in a sneaky, we’re just going to wait for you to realise way, that got snuck into some of the older ‘true’ fantasy novels, like Lythande and The Moonbane Mage, and more recent stuff like The Warrior’s PathPrivilege of the Sword and Sword of the Guardian that isn’t quite ‘traditional’ fantasy, but smells close enough for my starved state. And I know of a few others I haven’t yet read, include a couple of series. 

But I’ve been actively reviewing and hunting down lesbian fantasy fiction for two years now, and that pathetic paragraph is all I’ve managed to get my hands on. I can name quite a few more fantasy novels that just… aren’t really lesbian fiction, like Paksennarion, and most of Tamora Pierce’s stuff (though I owe some of the more recent books a read). But that’s just not the same.

… Ha. I truly did not intend to start ranting. Enjoy?

(P.S. My mind did promptly turn “Gandalf takes Luna Lovegood on a magical quest for Susan Pevensie’s missing quiver of arrows” into a dirty metaphor. I’m sure it was indeed magical).

My mind did promptly turn “Gandalf takes Luna Lovegood on a magical quest for Susan Pevensie’s missing quiver of arrows” into a dirty metaphor.

You’re right! I didn’t even think of that, because my mind doesn’t often sexualize Gandalf. Love him to pieces, though.

What’s the definition of “high fantasy”, though? Because in the shower just now I wondered if it might not be accurate to describe my book as “a female-centered Jewish Narnia” just because the style is… well, the violence isn’t very graphic, there’s no incest, and it’s not 500 pages like what I think of as ‘high fantasy’. Actually, I think it would fit in nicely among shoujo anime, if it were animated.

Or am I being too narrow in my definition of high fantasy?

Well, if LotR is high fantasy it also has non-graphic violence and no incest, so you’re in safe company there.

Ha. It’s always funny defining high/epic fantasy, because it tends to sound elitist. But it IS a specific subgenre, and it IS missing from lesfic. Sword and Sorcery isn’t quite the same thing; it’s more an excuse for a particular character’s adventure and most of the books fall under this (again, I want more!), such as Sword Master by Selina Rosen, oh, and the Terizan short stories by Tanya Huff.

Jane Fletcher’s books (which I haven’t read and sort of overlap with scifi a lot of the time) might count, as might the Aggar books (more scifi overlap!) and The Warrior’s Tale by Allan Cole, Banshee’s Honor by Shaylynn Rose (sitting on my desk right now!) and Maia by Richard Adams (enormous book, bisexual content).

(via alexbeecroftauthor-deactivated2)

Filed under fantasy genres lesbian fantasy lesbian books

254 notes

Good Lesbian Book Lists: finding lesbian fiction through our site

So the first round-up of links went viral, which was awesome. Unfortunately, it’s also out of date. Out of date in a good way, because now we have more book lists. For the most up-to-date list in future, see this page on the site. For a list and star rating of all the titles we’ve reviewed to date, see the List of Book Reviews.

Themed/Niche Book Lists

Want something FREE?

You don’t quite have what I want… where else can I start looking for good lesbian books?
  • Well, there’s our actual reviews, of course! (Come see what we’ve posted lately!)
  • For general scifi and fantasy, the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards are a great place to start; we’ve got a short list of the lesbian books out of the whole spectrum here: The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards: Overview & Lesbian Recipients
  • The Sci-fi/Fantasy page is also pretty up to date, and gives a nice overview of what we’ve already reviewed on the site so far, and introduces you to some good authors.
  • For reliable lesbian fiction authors, check out the Alice B Readers Awards, which go to authors who publish a lot of good (enough) lesbian fiction, rather than to specific books.
  • To just start browsing books on Amazon, try the Good Lesbian Books Amazon Store. Yes, we know that searching for ‘lesbian’ just brings up porn and everything in the ‘Gay & Lesbian’ category, so we’ve curated this handy store. It doesn’t contain every lesbian book published, but it’s got an awful lot of them.
  • For more award winning GLBTQ books, check the Award Winning Lesbian Books page (we’ve got the Lambda and Stonewall awards up, as well as the previously mentioned Alice B Readers and Gaylactic Spectrum Awards. They tend to be mixed GLBTQ, so we’re going through and identifying the lesbian stuff).
How About Some Fun Arty Stuff?

Why don’t you have a list on…?

  • because we’re still putting it together
  • because we haven’t thought of it yet
  • because there aren’t really any books that fit 
  • because there are way too many and we’re scared

So if there’s something you’re dying to find books on, suggest it! 

Filed under good lesbian books lesbian fiction book lists book reviews lgbtlaughs lesbian gay lesbrarians genres

8,414 notes

Lesbian Themed Booklists

marthur:

puelhathnofury:

goodlesbianbooks:

For your general perusal, these are all the current, completed niche booklists we have put together. If you know of any books that should be on one of these lists and isn’t, please let us know!

…also taking suggestions for future lists. 

There’s a whole list of lesbian pirate fiction?

Well, I know what I’m reading.

I was about to post “*hurls actual work out of the window, buries face in lesbian pirates*” but then I realised that was possibly the least subtle innuendo that would ever have graced my blog

and then I posted it anyway

Among an entire list of awesome, hilarious comments, I think this is my favourite (why yes, yes we are stalking the reblogs. IT IS RESEARCH).

But anyway, some additional lists (these are all books from the full YA list, but with more information and divided further into topic):

And for the record, I do not consider either Tamora Pierce’s books, or the Gemma Doyle trilogy, or several of the other frequently cited books as lesbian fiction. They just happen to have lesbian characters, who get to be lesbian as a side issue. And they keep sneaking into my lists based on other people’s recommendations, and I keep having to weed them out once I actually take a good hard look at them. Yes, we’ll probably make a list of those in future, but I consider it highly misleading to put them on a list of books promising Real Lesbians and Bisexuals All The Time With Rainbows Coming Out Their Eyes.

However, if you want to argue that they DO feel lesbian to you, I may be swayed by majority votes. At least on books neither me nor Cress have read. And of course, if you know of any books we just haven’t found or confirmed as having tasty lesbian goodness with creamy fill-uh, I think I’ll stop there. But we want.

(via thealienlives)

Filed under lesbian fantasy lesbian fiction ya books young adult rant books genres

62 notes

fuckyeahlesbianliterature:

[image description: a list of lesbian teen fiction, separated into genre:
CONTEMPORARY
Bach, Tamara - Girl from Mars
Benduhn, Tea - Gravel Queen
Boock, Paula - Dare Truth or Promise
Borris, Albert - Crash Into Me
Garden, Nancy - Annie On My Mind
Garden, Nancy - Good Moon Rising
Lazara, Dole Mayra - Down to the Bone
Lieberman, Leanne - Gravity
Jahn-Clough, Lisa - Country Girl, City Girl
Johnson, Maureen - The Bermudez Triangle
Jousan, Juli - Drawing Love
Kerr, M. E. - Deliver Us from Evie
Mac, Carrie - Crush
Ryan, Sara - Empress of the World
Ryan, Sara - The Rules for Hearts
Peters, Julie Anne - Between Mom and Jo
Peters, Julie Anne - Define “Normal”
Peters, Julie Anne - Keeping You a Secret
Peters, Julie Anne - Far From Xanadu
Peters, Julie Anne - grl2grl (short story collection)
Peters, Julie Anne - Rage: A Love Story
Peters, Julie Anne - She Loves You, She Loves You Not…
Scoppettone, Sandra - Happy Endings Are All Alike
Wallace, Kim - Erik & Isabella series
Watts, Julia - Finding H. F. 
Williams, Bett - Girl Walking Backwards
Wittlinger, Hard Love
PARANORMAL/URBAN FANTASY
Healey, Karen - The Shattering
Tiernan, Cate - Sweep Series
FANTASY
Diemer, Sarah - The Dark Wife
Lo, Malinda - Ash
Lo, Malinda - Huntress
Pierce, Tamora - Protector of the Small Quartet
Pierce, Tamora - Will of the Empress
HISTORICAL
Eagland, Jane - Wildthorn
OTHER
Cat, Michael (ed.) - How Beautiful the Ordinary
End description.]
mambo-chocobo:

evewithanapple:

mambo-chocobo:

cancer-man:

-redux:

evewithanapple:

mambo-chocobo:

The list (so far) of YA books that feature lesbian characters. Notice anything?

Fuckton of Contemporary, not so much with the other genres?
That said, “Wildthorn” looks AMAZING, and I am putting it on my wishlist right now.
(there were lesbians in the Sweep series? I read through all fourteen of them when I was fourteen- oh god, the shame- but I don’t remember any. I might’ve blocked them out as a coping mechanism, though.)

Ash was actually really wonderful; I picked it up when it was a draft waiting to be published and it was great (my friend still has it though- I need to get it back!). And of course, the lovely Tamora Pierce (whom I met and was awestruck by how fantastic she was) but I mean, no one else? Wtaf.

Wait wait wait where is the gemma doyle trilogy?
Felicity was a lesbian. She was such a lesbian. I mean the sexual tension build between her and Pippa jesus are we just going to ignore this there were lesbian kisses and talks of wanting to go to paris with all the other “free women” and wear pants

Thank you for reminding me of that series. The list isn’t complete yet so if there are some missing, just assume I haven’t added them yet (or I truly don’t know about them, in which case suggestions are welcome.)

Hmm, are you going to be reviewing/putting content warnings on the books as well as listing them? Because the AGATB books, while they did include a gay character, also had child molestation in that character’s backstory.

I do think we should try to do content warnings if at all possible, yes, but we likely won’t be posting reviews on the site. It’s more a fanlisting type site where you publicly pledge to read a certain amount of YA books that have queer characters in them, to help boost support for those books. Hopefully we’ll get a lot of book bloggers involved, however, and they can review the books they read.


Our list of lesbian YA fiction gives us these numbers:
(Disclaimer: we didn’t have the paranormal titles or ‘How Beautiful the Ordinary’ (checking them out now!), and I don’t consider the Tamora Pierce series ‘lesbian enough’ as they only have ambiguous background couples, with the exception of the final book where Daja comes out. So those aren’t included). 
Contemporary: 92 (70.8%)
Fantasy: 10 (7.7%)
Historical: 10 (7.7%)
Science Fiction: 4 (3.1%)
Non-lesbian main character: 15 (11.5%) (11 contemporary (8.5%), 4 historical (3.1%))
Still pretty dire ratios, but there are a few more non-contemporary books there.

fuckyeahlesbianliterature:

[image description: a list of lesbian teen fiction, separated into genre:

CONTEMPORARY

Bach, Tamara - Girl from Mars

Benduhn, Tea - Gravel Queen

Boock, Paula - Dare Truth or Promise

Borris, Albert - Crash Into Me

Garden, Nancy - Annie On My Mind

Garden, Nancy - Good Moon Rising

Lazara, Dole Mayra - Down to the Bone

Lieberman, Leanne - Gravity

Jahn-Clough, Lisa - Country Girl, City Girl

Johnson, Maureen - The Bermudez Triangle

Jousan, Juli - Drawing Love

Kerr, M. E. - Deliver Us from Evie

Mac, Carrie - Crush

Ryan, Sara - Empress of the World

Ryan, Sara - The Rules for Hearts

Peters, Julie Anne - Between Mom and Jo

Peters, Julie Anne - Define “Normal”

Peters, Julie Anne - Keeping You a Secret

Peters, Julie Anne - Far From Xanadu

Peters, Julie Anne - grl2grl (short story collection)

Peters, Julie Anne - Rage: A Love Story

Peters, Julie Anne - She Loves You, She Loves You Not…

Scoppettone, Sandra - Happy Endings Are All Alike

Wallace, Kim - Erik & Isabella series

Watts, Julia - Finding H. F. 

Williams, Bett - Girl Walking Backwards

Wittlinger, Hard Love

PARANORMAL/URBAN FANTASY

Healey, Karen - The Shattering

Tiernan, Cate - Sweep Series

FANTASY

Diemer, Sarah - The Dark Wife

Lo, Malinda - Ash

Lo, Malinda - Huntress

Pierce, Tamora - Protector of the Small Quartet

Pierce, Tamora - Will of the Empress

HISTORICAL

Eagland, Jane - Wildthorn

OTHER

Cat, Michael (ed.) - How Beautiful the Ordinary

End description.]

mambo-chocobo:

evewithanapple:

mambo-chocobo:

cancer-man:

-redux:

evewithanapple:

mambo-chocobo:

The list (so far) of YA books that feature lesbian characters. Notice anything?

Fuckton of Contemporary, not so much with the other genres?

That said, “Wildthorn” looks AMAZING, and I am putting it on my wishlist right now.

(there were lesbians in the Sweep series? I read through all fourteen of them when I was fourteen- oh god, the shame- but I don’t remember any. I might’ve blocked them out as a coping mechanism, though.)

Ash was actually really wonderful; I picked it up when it was a draft waiting to be published and it was great (my friend still has it though- I need to get it back!). And of course, the lovely Tamora Pierce (whom I met and was awestruck by how fantastic she was) but I mean, no one else? Wtaf.

Wait wait wait where is the gemma doyle trilogy?

Felicity was a lesbian. She was such a lesbian. I mean the sexual tension build between her and Pippa jesus are we just going to ignore this there were lesbian kisses and talks of wanting to go to paris with all the other “free women” and wear pants

Thank you for reminding me of that series. The list isn’t complete yet so if there are some missing, just assume I haven’t added them yet (or I truly don’t know about them, in which case suggestions are welcome.)

Hmm, are you going to be reviewing/putting content warnings on the books as well as listing them? Because the AGATB books, while they did include a gay character, also had child molestation in that character’s backstory.

I do think we should try to do content warnings if at all possible, yes, but we likely won’t be posting reviews on the site. It’s more a fanlisting type site where you publicly pledge to read a certain amount of YA books that have queer characters in them, to help boost support for those books. Hopefully we’ll get a lot of book bloggers involved, however, and they can review the books they read.

Our list of lesbian YA fiction gives us these numbers:

(Disclaimer: we didn’t have the paranormal titles or ‘How Beautiful the Ordinary’ (checking them out now!), and I don’t consider the Tamora Pierce series ‘lesbian enough’ as they only have ambiguous background couples, with the exception of the final book where Daja comes out. So those aren’t included). 

  • Contemporary: 92 (70.8%)
  • Fantasy: 10 (7.7%)
  • Historical: 10 (7.7%)
  • Science Fiction: 4 (3.1%)
  • Non-lesbian main character: 15 (11.5%) (11 contemporary (8.5%), 4 historical (3.1%))

Still pretty dire ratios, but there are a few more non-contemporary books there.

(Source: einmyriasx)

Filed under young adult lesbian fiction genres lesbian fantasy lesbian books

8,414 notes

Lesbian Themed Booklists

For your general perusal, these are all the current, completed niche booklists we have put together. If you know of any books that should be on one of these lists and isn’t, please let us know!

…also taking suggestions for future lists. 

Filed under books lesbian books lesbian literature genres lesbrarians