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Out of the Past: LGBTQ Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror 2010 – present

     As part of my ongoing history of LGBTQ+ speculative fiction, I’m in the process of doing interviews with authors, editors and reviewers who are working in different areas of the genre that I’m not as familiar with. I’m hoping to boost the signal on some of their projects, too so please check out their writings and other projects. There’ll be interviews with various folks on trans and nonbinary spec fic, indie queer romance, new trends and recommendations for short fiction and other fun things coming up as well as my essays on different aspects of the field. I hope … Read more

Out of the Past: LGBTQ Science Fiction and Fantasy 2000-2010


The dawn of the 21st century brought massive changes to the publishing industry, fueled in part by a surge in epublishing. More efficient and portable e-readers enabled readers to access an increasing number of ebook publications, fueling ebook sales. Larger print publishers, many of which were unprepared for the shift, responded by consolidating or closing their doors. There were additional impacts to brick-and-mortar stores as well as to print distribution of books and magazines. Many authors responded to these changes by releasing their own books in a variety of formats, sometimes by starting their own small and medium-sized presses. Alongside … Read more

LGBTQ Science Fiction and Fantasy in the 1990s

The 1990s saw a huge increase in the positive portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) characters in all parts of the genre: literature, anime, manga, comics, even some television and movie characters. Character-driven fantasy and science fiction became more popular, as did game-driven fiction and fandom. Different kinds of science fiction, fantasy and horror became a global phenomenon via the Internet. Cyberpunk-influenced science fiction with out queer characters, urban fantasies with LGBTQ characters, queer horror and television, movies and comics which celebrated queer subtext, all became more visible to mainstream audiences. One change in this decade was … Read more

Out of the Past – LGBTQ Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror in the 1980s

The Northern Girl

The 1970s, famed as an era of free love, political protests and hallucinogen-fueled utopias, gave way to the era of punk and New Wave, AIDS, and the politics of Reagan and Thatcher in the more conservative 1980s. And science fiction, fantasy and horror followed suit, with hard-edged military science fiction, dystopian visions, anti-hero sword and sorcery, vampires and of course, cyberpunk. None of these, on the face of it, seemed any more LGBT-friendly than the sfnal works of the previous decade, yet the number of portrayals of LGBT characters over the course of the decade more than quadrupled. This was … Read more

Out of the Past – LGBTQ Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror in the 1970s

Hello! Welcome to the second installment of my series of columns on the history of LGBTQ science fiction, fantasy and horror. As I noted in my previous post, things had begun to improve slightly for SF/F/H readers looking for more positive portrayals of LGBT characters and complex perspectives on sexuality and gender in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. That trend accelerated after the events of June of 1969 when the police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The raid triggered several days of rioting by bar patrons and other LGBT people. These … Read more

Out of the Past – LGBTQ Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Before 1970

Welcome! Out of the Past will be a regular column discussing the history of LGBTQ+ science fiction, fantasy and horror literature from the earliest years of the genre to the more recent present (many thanks to Queer Sci-Fi for hosting me and to Scott for suggesting it). While portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) characters didn’t become relatively common in science fiction, fantasy or horror until after the early successes of the Gay Liberation Movement in the 1970s, that didn’t mean that there was “no there there, ” to borrow a phrase from Gertrude Stein. Of course, most … Read more