There have been a handful of books that I’ve read that have influenced me as I have strived to become an openly gay writer of sci fi and fantasy. I’m talking historically, not the great crop of gay-themed sci fi and fantasy currently on the market.
The first of these was inarguably The Dancers of Arun, book two of the Chronicles of Tornor by Elizabeth A. Lynn. The book contains a pivotal sex scene between the differently abled protagonist and the man he has fallen for that sent me swooning as a gay teen. Never before had I read a fantasy book that had such an open gay protagonist – and it was fodder for many late night fantasies of a different sort before I ever even considered coming out.
Lynn is also known for her book A Different Light, which was the namesake for several LGBT bookstores on the west coast (now gone), and which also deals with a gay protagonist.
The other book which really touched me as a young adult was 1994’s Larque on the Wing by Nancy Springer, in which a straight housewife finds that she has the soul of a gay man, and has that soul brought out as her true self. It’s an amazing book, and has provided a model for a number of my stories on the difference between what’s on our outsides and our insides.
Which gay themed sci fi or fantasy books influenced you?