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Seeking New Fantasy Novels/Series with Gay Protagonists

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Initial post: Jul 5, 2011 5:22:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2011 6:05:31 PM PDT
read4fun says:
I'm interested in exploring fantasy novels featuring gay protagonists. This is standard fantasy fiction (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, etc.) but with a main character that is gay. I'm not referring to "gay fantasies" (ie, erotica), but fantasy fiction that combines fantasy elements with GLBTQ characters, issues, themes, particularly with a gay main character. In particular, I'm looking for NEW stuff, current stuff. I already know about the Mercedes Lackey and Lynn Flewelling novels (which I like). Thanks for any tips on NEW stuff to check out in gay fantasy!

Edit: (ie, Fantasy other than paranormal romance!)

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 6:32:32 PM PDT
Ann says:
Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series is stylistically similar to Mercedes Lackey & Lynn Flewelling (who are other favorites of mine). Some of the characters are gay or lesbian and others are straight. Their love is part of the plot, but generally not central to the story as these are adventures not romances. I can't remember specifically which books feature GL characters as not all do. Generally any of the books about the "Free Amazons" will have more of these themes, but you might want to read the series in order. BTW the first book Darkover Landfall (Darkover) is more sci fi. The next book Stormqueen! (Darkover, Age of Chaos: Bk. 2) is the start of the fantasy books. Neither is available in Kindle version so far as I noticed.

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 8:47:19 PM PDT
I Googled it and someone on Amazon seems to have created a list: I can recommend the Tanya Huff Smoke trilogy, but it doesn't look like the first book is on Kindle. You also may want to take Welcome to Bordertown which is a great fantasy anthology. There are many characters there that are GLBTQ. Here's the description:

Bordertown: a city on the border between our human world and the elfin realm. Runaway teens come from both sides of the border to find adventure, to find themselves. Elves play in rock bands and race down the street on spell-powered motorbikes. Human kids recreate themselves in the squats and clubs and artists' studios of Soho. Terri Windling's original Bordertown series was the forerunner of today's urban fantasy, introducing authors that included Charles de Lint, Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and Ellen Kushner. In this volume of all-new work (including a 15-page graphic story), the original writers are now joined by the generation that grew up dreaming of Bordertown, including acclaimed authors Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Catherynne M. Valente, and many more. They all meet here on the streets of Bordertown in more than twenty new interconnected songs, poems, and stories.

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 8:55:28 PM PDT
It isn't Kindled, and so far only the first one has been released, but I highly recommend Hero by Perry Moore. The story is first person, the main character is gay. Great book.

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 9:04:39 PM PDT
Lasciel says:
I second Tanya Huff and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover as good picks. The Free Amazons books do have gay characters as well as Heritage of Hastur and some others.

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 9:07:18 PM PDT
Amberle says:
I liked the trilogy by Kirby Crow. It isn't really epic fantasy, but it is enjoyable. Only the third book is available for the kindle on Amazon Land of Night: Scarlet and the White Wolf III, but you can get the first two books on in the kindle format (multiformat).

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 10:36:16 PM PDT
Jwb52z says:
I recommand the book Strings Attached and Double Bound by Nick Nolan. They involve 2 gay characters, mainly and one minor one who isn't there forever by the second book, in a very interesting story with intrigue and a bit of thriller-like material. Granted, there is a bit of intimacy between the two gay characters at one point, but the story is a great deal more than that. There will eventually be a third book in the series in a year or two according to the author.

Posted on Jul 5, 2011 10:40:37 PM PDT
Gren99 says:
'Swordspoint' by ellen kushner readily comes to mind. i think there was a sequel to it published not too long ago, also.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011 10:51:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 5, 2011 10:56:42 PM PDT
The Elemental Logic series by Laurie J. Marks has characters of all persuasions. Two of the male secondary characters eventually form a relationship. (The main characters are women involved with each other.)

One thing that was really interesting about the series is in the main culture in the books there are no gender roles. Anyone does what they're good at or they want to do. It kept bringing me up short because a character of X profession would be mentioned and I'd automatically assume they were Y gender, then nope. I didn't realize how deeply that sort of thing is ingrained in us until faced with my obvious preconceptions while reading.

Fire Logic is the first book. This is a link to the paper book, which is now out of print. Unfortunately the original publisher never really supported the series. It's my understanding that a small indie press, I think Small Beer Books, is going to be reissuing the series, including as ebooks, at the beginning of next year. Their ebooks are sold without DRM at the Weightless Books web store. The only book available right now as an ebook is Water Logic and I would strongly recommend not starting the series there. You really need to read it in order. I'll be rebuying the books as ebooks once they're available.

Edit to add: I'll add my rec for Huff's Smoke series too. Even if you have to get the first one as a paperback. The main character in that series started as secondary character in the Blood series which you might also like. They're all available as ebooks now, the first one is Blood Price. It might even be best to read those first anyway to get all the background.

Posted on Jul 6, 2011 7:04:03 PM PDT
Ann says:
Luck in the Shadows: The Nightrunner Series, Book I It doesn't develop in the first of the series but later. Tasteful and actually secondary to the story.
I'm not sure but The Deed of Paksenarrion: The Deed of Paksenarrion omnibus might have some of what you are looking for too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2011 8:01:25 PM PDT
"I'm not sure but The Deed of Paksenarrion: The Deed of Paksenarrion omnibus might have some of what you are looking for too."

There's only one minor lesbian character. I love that trilogy, but I wouldn't recommend it for someone specifically looking for books with gay or lesbian characters.

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 6:42:47 AM PDT
read4fun says:
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see so many awesome responses to my query! Thank you all for sharing your recommendations. I'll be looking into each of them. I prefer the Kindle format, but for those not available as eBooks, I'll locate a print copy if one's available. Thanks again. I really appreciate your help. I'll keep checking back in case any other recommendations are shared.

You made my day and week! :-)

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 12:11:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2011 12:12:27 AM PDT
I thought I'd mention this series now that I've read the 3rd and 4th books. The main character is a (mostly?) straight woman involved in a relationship with a man. But the books have quite a few gay/lesbian/bi characters in them.

It's the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. The first book is: Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate). The series is sort of a mashup of Steampunk and Paranormal Urban Fantasy.

In the first book one of the protagonist's best friends is introduced, Lord Akeldama, an outrageously foppish gay vampire. In the second book a mysterious, cross-dressing lesbian inventor is introduced. There are also other more minor characters falling everywhere on the spectrum. From the above it sounds like terrible use of stereotypes is being made, but it actually all works great. (The books are replete with stereotypes of all sorts, including Victorian ladies swooning at the least provocation, all part of the humor.) The books are clever, fresh, and fun, IMO.

Posted on Jul 22, 2011 8:01:13 AM PDT
Chibi Rachy says:
Well, I can recommend Jane Fletcher for lesbian lead characters at least. Her Celaeno series can be read in any order, and features a world consisting of only women. The males... died off. One of the books explains it. Her other series is the Lyremouth Chronicles that features two female leads and does have a world of men and women. There everyone is considered bisexual. In either series I enjoy the social commentary. One of the Celaeno books deals with religion versus heresy, while the Lyremouth books tend to always bring in class.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2011 5:43:46 PM PDT
Dumbledore was gay in HP. There aren't many gay hero novels around, why not write some, yourself? If you enjoy reading such, you should do well at writing them. Non-gay authors who don't like reading gay hero fiction, would not do well at writing why ask them to do so? The trouble is that most fantasy stuff is aimed at youth, and the GLBTQ stuff is rather adult. Few authors/publishers want the various parents groups, grade school associations, televangelists, etc, jumping on them for their allegedly trying to corrupt youth. "Why start legal battles you don't have to?" is the general attitude. If you write adult fantasy stuff for adults, you can have the satisfaction, and income, to compensate you for the headaches. Go for it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2011 5:49:01 PM PDT
BareThoughts says:
I am always shocked when Lynn Flewelings's books are consider gay books... like many other traditional fantasy authors, she treats characters being gay as completely ordiary, nothing special or different and I havealways considered gay boks more about, well being gay (where in most fantasy, especially hers, gay is simply not an issue)...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2011 3:51:06 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 23, 2011 3:52:09 AM PDT
"Non-gay authors who don't like reading gay hero fiction, would not do well at writing why ask them to do so?"

Who asked them to? No one here.

"The trouble is that most fantasy stuff is aimed at youth, and the GLBTQ stuff is rather adult."

Once again you prove that you're almost completely ignorant of the facts.

Most fantasy fiction is aimed at adults, not youth. (Though most of it is also perfectly acceptable youth reading.) While the majority of fantasy books with gay characters are also aimed at adults (see my first sentence), most of them are also perfectly acceptable youth reading.

BareThoughts, I wouldn't consider Fleweling's books to be "gay fiction". (You can see a lengthy argument in another thread for why, heh.) But the poster of this thread simply specified fantasy novels with gay protagonists. So they fit that description.

Posted on Jul 23, 2011 5:09:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 23, 2011 5:09:55 AM PDT
Rabbit says:
Not exactly fantsy but very good from the Outlander seires
Lord John and the Private Matter
Lord John and the Hand of Devils
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade

Posted on Jul 23, 2011 10:32:39 AM PDT
Kieri says:
Definitely Tanya Huff (Smoke series is an all-time favorite of mine). Anything by the guys and gals at Blind Eye - Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, and Josh Lanyon. With the exception of Lanyon's Strange Fortune, those books aren't Kindled, but can be picked up in mobi or epub at Ginn Hale's Wicked Gentlemen (Hells Below) is a sort of steampunk fantasy noir, Astrid Amara's The Archer's Heart is epic fantasy set in a place very much like ancient India, and Nicole Kimberling's Turnskin is a kind of parallel-world urban fantasy featuring shapeshifters.

Ginn Hale also has a series out right now called The Rifter - a serial novel told in ten parts, new parts released every second Tuesday. Part 5 was released this month, and the series should finish up in December. It's also available through Weightless Books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2011 10:52:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 23, 2011 11:05:20 AM PDT
The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse
Gumshoe Gorilla

Noir premise; highly entertaining and original twisting of current-culture. No explicit sex; one sweet little hetero subplot romance, no vampires or dragons or knight errants. First chapter of book one is a simply gross set-up, once you get past that -- nice mix of oddball fantasy, social commentary, humor, and page-turning mystery. Must read first book first. Read the descriptions; these are indeed oddities. [No, I don't know the author personally.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2011 2:16:45 PM PDT
FYI read4fun - the Deed of Paksenarrion omnibus is available as a kindle-compatible ebook, but from Baen's (U.S. publisher) website rather than through Amazon. It was one of the very first books I picked up for my kindle. :-)

Posted on May 13, 2012 11:10:50 PM PDT
M. Cosgrove says:
The protagonist of The Destiny of Ethan King, a contemporary fantasy novel, is gay.

The Destiny of Ethan King

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 9:14:34 AM PDT
The Smoke trilogy by Tanya Huff is now completely available for kindle:
1. Smoke and Shadows (Standalone)
2. Smoke and Mirrors
3. Smoke and Ashes

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 10:51:19 AM PDT
That's the problem when someone resurrects a dead thread--often the information is no longer accurate.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 2:19:39 PM PDT
Agreed - but since I had the updated info at hand (I had JUST been looking for those books moments before reading this thread!) it was easy to to provide the update.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
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Total posts:  25
Initial post:  Jul 5, 2011
Latest post:  May 14, 2012

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