GLBT lit

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Jessica
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GLBT lit

Postby Jessica » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

So, I was given an article about trans people in sci fi. Sorry, I'd post it but I lost the link. But, the important thing was that most of the books were given bad reviews. Except some of the newer ones.

Ok, the important thing, in my mind, was one of the books called supervillainz. It's about two trans people, one male, one female, who manage to piss off a group of superheroes. I've only read, what, 30 pages, but I really like it. The trans protagonists are very well written. Realistic. The way the book describes it, hits home. A lot. For example, a passage...

It spoke in a filtered bass voice, like a protected witness on a news show. "I'm sorry," it said. "Would you know where I can find a guy named Jessica Bitters?"


I could quote more... But, just lines like that...

Yeah.

I really like it. I might not like it when I'm done, because hey, I have 200 pages left. but, it seems awesome. I recommend it to everyone.

So, do you have any good gay, lesbian, trans lit? I'd love to hear about it, so I can add it to my collection. Or, conversly, are there any books which are really bad for it. anti-recommendations. Just throwing it out there, because I couldn't find anything like it. Then again, my search-fu is weak.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Narsil » Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:21 am UTC

It's not entirely helpful, but I know Clive Barker received a lot of GLBT awards and grants and crap. He's gay, but the stuff he writes, for the most part, is lower on gay characters than you might think. I mention it, however, as you may appreciate the style, which is a bit different because of his sexuality, I think. Not every woman in his stories is a walking set of holes, most are strong and and have their own agendas and thoughts. But not in an in-your-face way. They're just people. The guys too, as they aren't all masses of oozing manliness, and a few male characters were described with their tenderness and beauty as facets of their character.

It was refreshing to read, as a lot of fantasy is terrible about stereotypes. What's odd though is that in the book I read, Weaveworld, the only gay characters in the book meet a really horrible fate because they have sex. Seemed strange to me, but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Anyway, thought that might help as it may have that same style that you're looking for in a novel, as this is just my opinion but I think a lot of the stuff you're going to find in this genre is books that only exist to make a point out of the G, L, B, or T characters in the story but are otherwise rehashes of the same old thing.

Also, A Softer World once had a news post with a link to this short story., that ties in with what you want, and I liked a lot.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby steewi » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:30 am UTC

Jessica, you completely need to read Triton by Samuel R. Delany (also known as Trouble on Triton). Most things by Delany have interesting GLBT themes, although they're mostly M-M. Triton has MTF/FTM stuff.
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I'm not much up on the F-F stuff. For M-M, Michael Craft and Philip Scott both write LGBT crime, Hero by Perry Moore is queer teen superhero fiction, Luck in the Shadows (and the NightRunner trilogy - high fantasy) by Lynn Flewelling centres around a gay couple. Patricia Nell Warren writes about GLBT issues - The Front Runner and The Wild Man are very famous.
Oh, Tipping the Velvet was originally a book, and the L Word might have been too.

ETA: If I remember correctly, Heinlein's Time Enough For Love involves a man's consciousness in a woman's body. Not exactly trans, but similar issues.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby cyberia » Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:26 am UTC

Jeanette Winterson writes awesome gay/lesbian fiction.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby AntonGarou » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:56 am UTC

steewi wrote:ETA: If I remember correctly, Heinlein's Time Enough For Love involves a man's consciousness in a woman's body. Not exactly trans, but similar issues.


Do you mean Libby?She appears in "Number of The Beast" and is at best incidental.She started out as an XXY male in Methushelah's Children, died somewhen before "Time Enough For Love" and got cloned into a female body between then and "Number of The Beast" at her own choice.There are nil issues invoked by it except a *very* slight hint she and Lazarus may have been lovers during her male incarnation.During Number Of The Beast itself the matter is referred to once or twice and dropped.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Malice » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:44 pm UTC

Well, there's the classic novel Rubyfruit Jungle, about a young girl growing up gay in a small town. It's pretty good, actually, entertaining enough if not high literature; its ideas (about tolerance, open-mindedness, and seeking happiness wherever you find it) still ring true, and aren't shoved down your throat; the main character's 1st-person voice is very engaging, and funny at times; and it's interesting reading it and imagining what it would feel like if you were gay in the 1920s and this was one of the first real things you ever read that spoke to that part of you.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby DarkKnightJared » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:03 pm UTC

steewi wrote:ETA: If I remember correctly, Heinlein's Time Enough For Love involves a man's consciousness in a woman's body. Not exactly trans, but similar issues.


Actually, it was I Will Fear No Evil. Never finished it (about half-way through), but from the half-way point I read, there is some pretty interesting trans-esque stuff in it, as well as some many gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby steewi » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:25 am UTC

Additional to my previous post. Delany's books often have a bit of a BDSM edge to them, or an obvious D-S plot. The Bridge of Lost Desire, Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand and the Nerveryon books are in this vein. He's also the author of a few hard-core erotica books, according to WP, but I've never seen them, and from the descriptions, I don't plan to. Not mine to read, those.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Jessica » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:52 pm UTC

Finished the book. It was good. Reviewed it in the readioactive one.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby psyck0 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:07 pm UTC

Maurice.

Beautiful book.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby steewi » Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:52 am UTC

psyck0 wrote:Maurice.

Beautiful book.

Oops - forgot that one. But then, I was keeping myself to SF.

Octavia Butler writes a lot of SF from the perspective of women who can pass as men. They're not queer, but they often include cross-dressing and other queer characters. The perspective is interesting.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Migratory » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

Neil Gaiman's won award/s for the positive portrayal of glbt people in his work. They're most obvious is Sandman, but there are a fair number of characters in his prose that happen to be gay, though he rarely makes an issue/plot point of it. Can't think of any trans characters in his prose (though Sandman: A Game of You has a transwoman), but it's been a while since I read some of his stuff so I could have overlooked someone.

Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy is also worth picking up. Fun to read (though the first book in particular has faults) and a (male) gay subplot.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby felltir » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:44 pm UTC

Migratory wrote:Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy is also worth picking up. Fun to read (though the first book in particular has faults) and a (male) gay subplot.


The first book is completely different from the other two. And the other two are much, much better. Great read.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby steewi » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:30 am UTC

Hero by Perry Moore has a heavily gay (male) theme to it, as well as being about superheroes. Not literature, but a good read, and has some realistic (non-superhero related) issues.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby une see » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:41 pm UTC

I loved Luna, a novel by Julie Ann Peters. It's about a transsexual trying desperately to be herself, against the wishes of her parents and of...society, I guess. I read it a few years ago, and I remember thinking it was really good. I recommend it, although it is a young adult book, so I don't know if that would turn you off the book or anything.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Gallus » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:24 am UTC

"Am I Blue?" by Marion Dane Bauer- classic. Funnily enough, I read this book before I even understood the concept, or that people were bothered by it at all.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Mix » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:10 pm UTC

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby AntonGarou » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:28 am UTC

Mix wrote:Tanya Huff

The Di'Taykan?
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Sandry » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:04 pm UTC

AntonGarou wrote:
Mix wrote:Tanya Huff

The Di'Taykan?

I don't know what that is, but it occurred to me her Four Quarters books would apply. I'm not sure I'd recommend them, though... I spent a lot of the fourth book wanting to smack several of the characters.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby AntonGarou » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:01 am UTC

Sorry, I only read her "confederation" series, which is fun but mostly straightforward military SF.
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Re: GLB Literature

Postby Felstaff » Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:22 am UTC

  • Alan Hollinghurst - The Swimming Pool Library
  • Jill Paton Walsh - Knowledge of Angels
  • Colm Tóibín - The Master
  • Abha Dawesar - Babyji

I recommend the Swimming Pool lyberry. 'Sall about cottaging, and upper-classes. And upper-class cottaging. Knowledge of Angels is a fantastic story with a single gay scene. Well, it's a Ménage à trois, but it's a fantastic book anyway. Babyji's all about an Indian lesbian teen. I've only read half of it.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby MalkuthSephira » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:09 pm UTC

Joey Comeau's Lockpick Pornography is excellent.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Jessica » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:29 pm UTC

How loathsome is great, even if it's a graphic novel.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Menagerie » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:22 am UTC

Narsil wrote:It's not entirely helpful, but I know Clive Barker received a lot of GLBT awards and grants and crap. He's gay, but the stuff he writes, for the most part, is lower on gay characters than you might think. I mention it, however, as you may appreciate the style, which is a bit different because of his sexuality, I think. Not every woman in his stories is a walking set of holes, most are strong and and have their own agendas and thoughts. But not in an in-your-face way. They're just people.


Except maybe Laurie from Cabal. ;)

Barker is definitely high on my list.

Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima, not sci-fi in the least but a fairly worth while book to read by my understanding. (I have it fairly highly recommended on my reading pile after I finish the Amber series).

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Minute » Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:08 am UTC

If you aren't trying to stay totally in sci-fi you might try Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series which has bi- main characters. Her Bone Doll's Twin series is about a female consciousness in a male body. Both series are very good, and I would definitely recommend them.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Plasma Man » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:47 pm UTC

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. The main character is intersexed, starting off as apparently female and later having surgery to render them apparently male, but being attracted to females in both incarnations.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby zombie_monkey » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:46 pm UTC

I should definitely recommend Delany, of whom I am a huge fan. I see he's already been mentioned so I'll just second this.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Osha » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:22 am UTC

Seconded for The Bone Dolls Twin. While the gender bending is magical it's not played for cheap laughs or done unrealistically, and the writing is superb. I'm about a third of the way through the sequel. Highly recommended.

Has anyone else read All You Zombies by Heinlein? This short story convinced me that he has no idea what he's talking about. So this intersex lady gets a baby delivered via C-Section, and the doctor decides, in the middle of this operation, that it's medically necessary to give her a sex change and when she wakes up just say "sorry, but you'll have to live as a man now". I realize this is important for the wacky time travel plot, but still!
I guess I'll have to try I Will Fear No Evil.

And thanks! This is exactly the sort of thread I've been looking for! I'll definitely check out some of those books.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:25 pm UTC

China Mieville's works are some of the only fantasy books I've read which deal with anything like this. Of his Bas Lag books (Perdido Street Station, The Scar and Iron Council), Iron Council deals with it the most, with more than one of the main characters being gay. There are other sexual issues dealt with in the book though.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby charliepanayi » Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:05 pm UTC

Sarah Waters is an excellent author and her books often have lesbian main characters - Affinity, Fingersmith and The Night Watch are all well worth checking out (I havn't read Tipping the Velvet). The first two are set in Victorian London, with the latter during World War II.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby dreamland » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:08 pm UTC

Sarah Waters is an excellent author and her books often have lesbian main characters - Affinity, Fingersmith and The Night Watch are all well worth checking out (I havn't read Tipping the Velvet). The first two are set in Victorian London, with the latter during World War II.


I second this OHHH so much - I just finished Fingersmith, and absolutely loved it. I'm definitely going to check out her other books now.
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby semicharmed » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:02 pm UTC

Osha wrote:Has anyone else read All You Zombies by Heinlein? This short story convinced me that he has no idea what he's talking about. So this intersex lady gets a baby delivered via C-Section, and the doctor decides, in the middle of this operation, that it's medically necessary to give her a sex change and when she wakes up just say "sorry, but you'll have to live as a man now". I realize this is important for the wacky time travel plot, but still!
I guess I'll have to try I Will Fear No Evil.


I went through a big Heinlen phase when I first got to college (and by big, I mean I read Stranger in a Strange Land, and picked up a bunch of his other books. I Will Fear No Evil was one of them, and while i enjoyed it for the speculative sci-fi portion, I don't think any of his books really address gender issues beyond a "lots of sex is had and occasionally the pairings aren't straight M-F." There's also some incest and stuff happening between twins and some of his later stuff gets really.. bizarre. "Time travelers going back to have sex with their mothers in 1930s America" bizarre.
In IWFNE,
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A man's mind is put into a woman's body, and somehow, both minds end up inhabiting the same body, essentially. And towards the end of the book, a third mind (also male, if I remember correctly) ends up sharing the head also. And there's a lot of sex, as is typical for Heinlen's stuff, but the sharing heads is definitely a plot device and he doesn't really go into the issues of the man adjusting to the new, young female body from his elderly male one.


And oh, I second the recommendation of Middlesex, although there's no surgery involved. The main character is raised as a female, but is actually physically & biologically male. It was a really good book that happened to deal with some fairly intense gender stuff & was one of the books that I absolutely devoured. Definitely pick it up if you can.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby animeHrmIne » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:37 am UTC

For any teen readers out there, Julie Anne Peters stuff is pretty great. I especially liked "Keeping You a Secret". I love the fact that her characters are real people that are pretty relatable, and in three out of the four and a half book I read of her's (I lost Far From Xanadu midway through the book -_- ) the focus either had no GLTB themes (Define "Normal") or had straight characters observing the (lesbians in Between Mom and Jo/Transsexual in Luna), which in my opinion offered a unique and interesting perspective on the situations. She proved that she was capable of writing books that had depth, instead of just an agenda.

I also enjoyed "I Am Blue" which is an anthology about "coming out of the silence". I picked it up thinking it was going to be something cathartic about depression, and was very pleasantly surprised that it was about coming out (yes, sometimes I'm kind of dense. More than sometimes.)

Does anyone know any good books about bisexuals, or about people with no sexual preference? I'm kind of in the middle of trying to figure out if I'm actually bisexual, or if it's just my ideals about sexuality (and rampant fifteen-year-old hormones) getting in the way of me being a happy straight person (or happy lesbian). Because ideologically I wouldn't be un-attracted to a person due to gender, but I've never had a crush on a girl, whereas I have on boys. [/angst-that-only-happens-after-1-am]
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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Terpsichore » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:50 pm UTC

I may have missed it, but hopefully someone has mentioned 'The Well of Loneliness' by Radclyfe Hall.
Considered one of the earliest lesbian themed novels, it was banned for some time, not due to any explicit content but due to it's case made for acceptance of 'inverts'.
Beware however, it is a depressing read in many ways and the conclusion that inverts are not destined to be happy may be unsettling- I know it scared me for a little while.

Failing that, Sarah Walters is pretty good for period romance, she writes in an engaging manner and also tackles other issues within her books. There are also television adaptations (although I was just overwhelmed that one of my favourite actresses, Anna Chancellor, had a sex scene in Tipping the Velvet xD) available, which are pretty good. My favourite books of hers are Fingersmith and Affinity.
Sputnik Sweetheart, by Haruki Murakami also has a couple of prominent lesbian characters, but I'm not a huge fan of his style of writing it must be confessed.

Generally however, I have to advise avoidment of books that class themselves prominently as 'LGBT'- I have found them, save those that have been specifically recommended to me by friends, to be rather shallow romances, somewhat PWP.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby steewi » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:24 am UTC

Terpsichore wrote:Generally however, I have to advise avoidment of books that class themselves prominently as 'LGBT'- I have found them, save those that have been specifically recommended to me by friends, to be rather shallow romances, somewhat PWP.


That's a problem I've found. The LGBT sections in the two places in the city that have an LGBT section are pretty much filled with erotica. Erotica can be interesting, but exclusively erotica is a bit boring, especially when it seems to be pretty appaling erotica. The best LGBT themed books I've found were on recommendation or found from reviews online, and I've almost always had to order them online.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby fersrs » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:57 pm UTC

The God Eaters and The Kastor Chronicles by Jesse Hajicek.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby Vellyr » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:23 am UTC

While there are no overtly GLBT themes in them, Iain Banks' Culture Series has a lot of trans characters in it. It takes place in a setting where technology is so advanced that having a sex change is something most people do at least once in their lives, and gender essentially has no meaning, kind of interesting and great books to boot.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby DarkKnightJared » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:54 pm UTC

Since we mentioned a few comics, I'd also recommend some of The Authority--cool series, which is basically about a proactive Justice League, and the Batman & Superman analogues are a gay couple with a kid. The Batman analogue, Midnighter, also had (has?) his own series, with a particularly great moment when he has a laugh at the social conservatives when he finds out during a time travel adventure that human sexuality is accepted as more fluid and everyone's at least a little bit bi.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby steewi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:06 am UTC

DarkKnightJared wrote:Since we mentioned a few comics, I'd also recommend some of The Authority--cool series, which is basically about a proactive Justice League, and the Batman & Superman analogues are a gay couple with a kid. The Batman analogue, Midnighter, also had (has?) his own series, with a particularly great moment when he has a laugh at the social conservatives when he finds out during a time travel adventure that human sexuality is accepted as more fluid and everyone's at least a little bit bi.

Love the Authority. I have a small thing for the "Badass with a Heart of Gold" trope, and thus for The Midnighter.

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Re: GLBT lit

Postby songwithnosoul » Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:10 am UTC

Deliver Us From Evie by M. E. Kerr was pretty good.
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