I did a recent blog post about how Mercedes Lackey opened my heart to writing about LBGTQ characters in genre fiction. Still, I struggled to find other characters (main or side) who represented lesbians in particular, in the genre books I loved to read.
I guess I was thinking about characters like Madame Lefoux, who so many of my readers expressly told me they admired seeing in print.
(In case you are out of the proverbial loop, Genevieve Lefoux makes her first appearance as a main character in Romancing the Inventor but she’s a pretty active side character from Changeless on in the Parasol Protectorate and in the Finishing School series.)
So I threw this question out to social media:
Where are all the great lesbian characters in genre?
My readers helped me to come up with this list.
Now, I’m not claiming it’s comprehensive. I certainly haven’t read most of these myself so I can’t vouch for quality, but I figured since I was interested, some of you might be interested too. Many of these are certainly getting onto my to read pile.
I tried to put them by category, as I know not everyone has the same taste in which commercial genre they like to read. But in some cases I couldn’t figure out from blurb or cover what was going on so I made an educated guess. In a few cases, I eliminated on the basis of utter confusion.
Without further ado!
Awesome Lesbian Characters in Genre Books
Curated by Gail Carriger’s Readers
(Entirely Biased & Not Definitive)
Lesbian Historical Drama & Romance
- Tipping the Velvet & Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
- Bittersweet by Nevada Barr
- The Ladies Guide toCelestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite (3 book series) – if you love Romancing the Inventor then this book is for you!
Lesbian Urban Fantasy
- Pam in The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
- May & Jazz in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series
- Samantha Black Crow from American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- Diana in The Keeper’s Chronicles by Tanya Huff
- Sarah & Katie in Black Blade Blues by JA Pitt
- The Gilda Stories by Jewel Gomez
- Avery & Emma from The Immortal Empire series by Kate Locke
- Frost from The Skin Dancer books by Anthony Francis
- Menolly in the Otherworld series by Yasmine Galenorn
- Elphaba & Galinda in Wicked by Gregory Maguire (bi)
- Ivy in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison (bi)
- Kate Delafield series by Katherine Forrest
- Kate Martinelli series from Laurie R King
- Dr Mac from the Phryne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood
- Butch Fatale from Christa Faust
Lesbian Sci Fi
- Slow River by Nicola Griffith
- Kage Baker has some fantastic gay characters in her Company series
- Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
- Arianne Seaforth from Pyramids of London by Andrea Host (steampunk)
- The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
- The Winter Triangle by Nikki Woolfolk (I read and enjoyed this one quite a bit)
- Loup Garron from Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
- Ash by Malinda Lo
- Raina & Berdine from Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series
- Lark & Rosethorn (bi) from Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic books
- Shadows of Aggar by Chris Anne Wolfe
- Sword Masters by Selina Rosen
- Sarah Bisop in A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
- Keren/Ylsa/Sherrill from Mercedes Lackey’s Arrows of the Queen
- Shasta & Talon in the Legends 0f Ithyria series by Merry Shannon
* Please note these are recommend by MY FANS not me. If you are ONE OF MY READERS and you know what style of books I write, then you should feel free to add more in the comments. If you are on a self promo bandwagon, or have attitude, or an axe to grind then you should have a cup of tea and a nice baby cupcake, and reevaluate your life choices. This is not a shouty, mean, or uncomfortable part of the Internet. This is my blog. I am queen here. Shoo.
Lesbian TV – Honorable Mention
- Garnet from Steven Universe
- Sailor Moon‘s Sailor Uranus
- Legend of Korra
- Killjoys (Evil Lesbian Queens of the Galaxy!)
- Thelma in HEX
- Carmilla & Laura, Lexa, Clarke from The 100
- Nicole Haught & Waverly from Wynonna Earp
- Cosima from Orphan Black
- Bo & Tamsin from Lost Girl
- Helen Magnus from Sanctuary
- Cassandra from The Librarians
- Dorothy (bi) and Portia (lesbian) from One For All
A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?
All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.
Primrose decides, finally, to come out.
Other People’s Lists of Fictional Lesbians
- For those of you who prefer to consume by audio, here’s Goodreads’ Best Lesbian Books Available On Audible
- For those of you who are particular fans of Madame Lefoux here’s a list of Butch lesbian characters
- Fantasy & Sci-Fi Featuring Lesbian Characters
- The Lesbian Lounge podcast includes a Lesbian Bookgroup segment
- Bi WOC SFF ~ Science Fiction/Fantasy novels with bisexual women of color. Preferably, but not necessarily, main characters.
- Related lists featuring LBGTQ characters.
- Lesbian Shapeshifter Fiction
- Lesbian Vampire Books
- Lesbian Werewolf Books
- F/F Paranormal and Urban Fantasy
- Casually Queer Books
- Lesbian Steampunk Stories
- Lesbians in Space: A Reading List
- Lesbian and Bisexual Women (etc) Sci Fi
- Lesbian Steampunk Books
- Lesbian Knights in Fiction
- 31 F/F Books That Made Us Laugh Out Loud
Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),
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Tags: Book Rec List, COMPETENCE, Pride, ROMANCING THE INVENTOR
“I don’t know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.”
~ E.B. White