Lesbians in Genre Fiction: Books Like Romancing the Inventor & Gail Carriger’s Competence

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.

Lesbians In Genre Fiction Gail Carriger

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


Lesbian Urban Fantasy


Lesbian Mystery


Lesbian Sci Fi


Lesbian Fantasy

Lesbian Romance

* 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


Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

Both Editions Competence UK USA CP Teacup Gail Carriger

Competence: The Custard Protocol Book 3

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

Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),

Miss Gail 

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Quote of the Day:

“I don’t know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.”
~ E.B. White

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Posted by Gail Carriger

5 Responses

  1. Lynne Alexander said:

    I saw that Jacqueline Carey had been listed for Santa Olivia, but she also wrote 3 trilogies in the Kushiel Universe that don’t shy away from lgbtq protagonists. The third (Moirin Trilogy) goes more in depth with Naamah’s path and was beautifully written. It actually made me cry and that’s rare.

  2. quartzen said:

    Melissa Scott’s Shadow Man is about an intersex nonbinary person who is primarily/exclusively interested in men and a gay man, and so far as I can remember does not have important lesbian characters at all. Her books Trouble and Her Friends, Mighty Good Road, Night Sky Mine, and Burning Bright (my personal favorite) do, however!

  3. Jo said:

    Seraphina and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman don’t have an explicitly stated queer protagonist, but I love the world for its nonchalant attitude toward the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters, and Shadow Scale has my favorite transgender character in fiction!

  4. Felicity Banks said:

    My first novel just came out, a YA steampunk fantasy with a female bi protagonist set mainly in Australia. I actually wrote it before I realised I was bi myself (although I did know I was Australian).

    I was warned that gay main characters don’t sell in Australia, but ultimately decided my protagonist’s sexuality made the story better. My favourite rejection (before it found a home with Odyssey Books Australia) said it was “too much in the vein of Gail Carriger” (based on the light-hearted adventure-ness, not plagiarism I swear).

    It’s called “Heart of Brass” (by Felicity Banks). It’s on Amazon.

  5. Vladkergan said:

    I would also add the following one :
    – Caxton in the Vampire Story story (by David Wellington). Badass urban fantasy. And she’s the main character, btw
    – Carmilla von Karnstein in Le Fanu’s Carmilla. First lesbian vampire !

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