Editor Favorites

Cover Title and Author Summary (Scroll) Reasons (Scroll) Tags Date Audience

Binti: Home
by Nnedi Okorafor

Series: Binti
Book 2 of 3
The thrilling sequel to the Nebula and Hugo winning Binti. It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she left her family to pursue her dream. And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders. But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace. After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?
WOC characters, trans woman character
transgender, race, setting, African, Black 2016 YA

The Tea Dragon Society
by Katie O'Neill
After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.
Queer relationships, diverse cast, character in a wheelchair, character with memory issues. Beautiful, sweet, low-drama. Also a webcomic!
gay, lesbian, race, disability, FPOC, MULTIPLE, mobility, mental_illness 2017 YA

The Search for Aveline
by Stephanie Rabig and Angie Bee
Captain Harriet "Harry" Roberts and the daring crew of The Sappho are not for the faint of heart. A ship of strays unlike any other, they're not afraid to face whatever the world throws at them—be it mermaids, kidnappings, sirens, plague, clashes with their mortal enemy Captain Wrath Drew of The Charon, a handsome merman, or good old-fashioned love.
DIverse cast, issues of mental health, f/f relationships, other queer relationships
lesbian, bisexual, race, disability, class, MULTIPLE,Mental Illness 2017 Adult

Sun Dragon's Song
by Joyce Chng
More than anything, young Ho Yi wishes to become a Sun Dragon Rider, the courageous human guardians of the magnificent beasts that roam the sky and keep watch over the land. But confined to crutches, bullies giving him a hard time, and his parents being away at war, Yo Hi is up against almost impossible odds! Can he still keep hope alive, while suffering in his tiny village, to become the valiant hero only he feels he's destined to become?
disabled protagonist, Chinese setting
race, setting, disability, East_Asian, Mobility 2016 Adult

Cinder Ella
by S T Lynn
Ella is transgender. She's known since she was young; being a woman just fit better. She was happier in skirts than trousers, but that was before her stepmother moved in. Eleanor can't stand her, and after Ella's father passes she's forced to revert to Cole, a lump of a son. She cooks, she cleans, and she tolerates being called the wrong name for the sake of a roof over her head. Where else can she go? An opportunity to attend the royal ball transforms Ella's life. For the first time, strangers see a woman when she walks down the stairs. While Princess Lizabetta invited Cole to the ball, she doesn't blink an eye when Cinderella is the one who shows. The princess is elegant, bold, and everything Ella never knew she wanted. For a moment she glimpses a world that can accept her, and she holds on tight. She should have known it wouldn't last. Dumped by her wicked stepmother on the farthest edge of the kingdom, Ella must find a way to let go of the princess and the beautiful life they shared for an hour. She'll never find her way back. But it's hard to forget the greatest night of her life when every rose she plants is a reminder.
Black trans woman, f/f relationship
lesbian, transgender, race, setting Black 2016 Adult

Sea Foam and Silence
by Lynn E O'Connacht
She warned of the pain. She did. But no warning can prepare you. Nothing can. How could any of us have known what it is like on the dry sand? We just watched. Its hard, not being able to ask questions, though I have learned some speech with my hands. _ I miss my sisters. I love my prince. I have made friends here. I have laughed with them, learned with them, played with them. I love them. She said I would die if he loves someone else. Will I die? At the beginning I wanted to. It hurts so much. Life isnt easy, will never be easy, but I dont want to become sea foam.
Verse retelling of The Little Mermaid. Mermaid uses sign language, she and the prince are asexual, poly relationship.
asexual, disability, poly, Mute 2016 YA

Soul's Blood
by Stephen Graham King
Equal parts troubleshooters and troublemakers, Keene and Lexa-Blue, along with the sentient ship, Maverick Heart, have been known to solve a problem or two. For the right price, that is. Even so, they aren't prepared for a summons from a love Keene thought long past. Daevin Adisi is now the Technarch of Brighter Light, one of the greatest corporate colony states in the Galactum, which is on the brink of war with Sotari, descendants of a people changed by nanogenetic experimentation. Seeking only to live a quiet, simple life free of the technology they blame for the worst part of their history, Sotari has struggled to co-exist with Brighter Light, which to them represents the worst of their own history. And now, the uneasy truce has finally crumbled. In his last-ditch attempt to save their world, Daevin has called upon Keene to help him finally bring peace.
Diverse cast, discussions of prejudice, AIs use ey/em pronouns, M/M romance, bisexual protagonists
gay, bisexual, genderqueer, race, pronouns, South Asian, 2015 Adult

Wings of Renewal
by Claudie Arsenault (editor)
The future is vibrant, hopeful, and filled with dragons. In WINGS OF RENEWAL, twenty-two authors explore the exciting new subgenre of solarpunk through the lens of these majestic creatures. Whether they irrigate dry terrain or serve as spaceships, are mythic beasts come to life or biomechanical creations of man, these dragons show us a world where renewable energy overcomes gas and oil, and cooperation replaces competition. If you love fantasy/sci-fi fusion, this is an anthology you do not want to miss! So hop on solar wings, and follow us into futures thatfor all their witches and dragonsare far more possible than they might seem.
Settings are post-discrimination. Characters are of various races. Several minor NB characters. Three F/F stories. Representation of disabilities.
lesbian, nonbinary, genderqueer, race, setting, queered culture, disability, pronouns, , race Amputee, Black, East Asian 2015 YA

Dragonborn
by Maeghan Friday
Prince Ben and Princess Cecily are dragonborn. Since birth, the brother and sister have shared a body, shapeshifting from one form to the other each sunset. In exchange for this magic, they have been promised from birth to a mysterious dragon, who is set to collect on their twentieth birthday, which is now just weeks away. With the help of two tutors, a bodyguard, and a foreign princess, they must find a way out of the betrothal, delving into their kingdom's history and learning to harness their magic all the while challenging the kingdom's laws and restrictions on love.
Poly relationship. All characters have dark skin. Jude is genderqueer using jee/jem/jeirs. Crispin sometimes uses a wheelchair. Queer identities are common and accepted in other countries. Lila is asexual. Side M/M couple. Rachel is demiromantic.
bisexual, asexual, transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, race, setting, multiple culture, disability, poly, pronouns, , race Mobility 2015 Adult

The High King's Golden Tongue
by Megan Derr

Series: Tales of the High Court
Book 1 of 3
Prince Allen has trained his entire life to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious mother, who has made their kingdom one of the wealthiest and most influential in the empire. For the past few years he has trained to become the new consort of the High King. The only thing no one prepared him for was the stubborn, arrogant High King himself, who declares Allen useless and throws him out of court. High King Sarrica is ruling an empire at war, and that war will grow exponentially worse if his carefully laid plans do not come to fruition. He's overwhelmed and needs help, as much as he hates to admit it, but it must be someone like his late consort: a soldier, someone who understands war, who is not unfamiliar with or afraid of the harsher elements of rule. What he doesn't need is the delicate, pretty little politician foisted on him right as everything goes wrong.
Gay romance in setting where it's normal, side characters of various races, side interracial lesbian pairing, discussion of language barriers and cultural differences
gay, queered culture, multiple culture, 2015 Adult

The Dragon, the Thief, and the Princess
by Gillian Bradshaw
Award-winning novelist Gillian Bradshaws classic fantasy-history tale of Egypt and Nubia, now in one volume. Teen fisherman Prahotep is nicknamed bad-luck because everything he touches turns to disaster. When his father dies, he sets off to Thebes to improve his fate, but soon winds up on a dangerous work crew, cutting stone for an evil magician. There he befriends a dying tomb-robber who tells him of unimaginable richesand how to find them. Prahotep escapes the work crew but instead of finding the riches, he finds Lady Hathor, a proud, irritable dragon. Meanwhile, to the south, in Nubia, the princess Kandakis family is murdered by a usurper. Kandaki refuses the usurpers offer of marriage, and is sent north to be offered as a sacrifice to a swamp dragon.
Egyptian and Nubian characters
race, setting, multiple culture, , race North Africa 2013 MG

Binti
by Nnedi Okorafor

Series: Binti
Book 1 of 3
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive.
African (Himba) protagonist, focus on cultural respect
race, multiple culture, Southern Africa, Black 2015 Adult

Banished Sons of Poseidon
by Andrew J Peters
A new fantastical adventure by the author of The Seventh Pleiade. After escaping from a flood that buried the aboveground in seawater, a fractured group of boys contend with the way ahead and their trust of an underground race of men who gives them shelter. For sixteen-year-old Dam, whose world was toppling before the tragedy, its a strange, new second chance. There are wonders in the underworld and a foreign warrior Hanhau who is eager for friendship despite Dams dishonorable past. But a rift between his countrymen threatens to send their settlement into chaos. Peace between the evacuees and Hanhaus tribe depends on sharing a precious relic that glows with arcane energy. When danger emerges from the shadowed backcountry, Dam must undertake a desperate mission. Its the only hope for the Atlanteans to make it home to the surface. Its the only way to save Hanhau and his people.
Gay romance, dark-skinned characters
gay, race, queered culture, multiple culture, FPOC 2015 YA

2016 Young Explorer's Guide
by Sean and Corie Weaver (editors)
Join us for the second yearly anthology of science fiction stories for middle grade readers, with a focus on diversity and representation. We have 22 great stories from a wide range of authors, from Hugo and Nebula winner Nancy Kress, to relative newcomers in the field. Over 85% of the stories are brand-new, and our themes cover the field: space exploration, steampunk, post-apocalyptic, first contact and lots and lots of adventure.
Multiple mobility-disabled characters. Stories set in India, Southeast Asia, and others. Hispanic, Black, Japanese, Indian, and Malaysian characters, among others.
race, setting, class, disability, race MULTIPLE, Black, Mobility, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Hispanic, 2015 MG

Dragon Keeper
by Carole Wilkinson
In the time of the Han Dynasty in ancient China, the last remaining dragon is in danger of being killed by the cruel Emperor. A nameless orphan with no past and an uncertain future becomes his unlikely ally. The young orphan soon discovers that it is her destiny to protect the aging dragon and his mysterious purple stone. Chased by an evil dragon hunter and a powerful sorcerer, their adventure is not easy. Each must learn to help and understand the other if they are to survive. To succeed in her task, the young orphan must reach deep within herself to find courage she never knew existed. No longer can she be the timid, shy orphan she once was. She is now the one, true Dragon Keeper.
Chinese setting and mythology
setting, , race East Asian 2003 MG

The Wicked and the Divine
by Kieron Gillen
Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because youre immortal, doesnt mean youre going to live forever.
Main character is a woc. The author has confirmed that one of the characters is non binary. A lot of characters are non-white, and one of the main characters is a Japanese-British trans woman. Several characters have had relationships with people of the same gender or multiple genders.
lesbian, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, race East Asian, Black 204 YA

Thrall
by Barbara Ann Wright
Like heroes from an ancient tale, Aesa and Maeve plan to raid foreign shores, claiming gold and glory for their homeland. Young and in love, neither considers what will happen if one is chosen to be a warrior and the other is left behind. On a mist-shrouded island, Aesa meets Ell, a woman enslaved by an insidious curse. Maeve walks the path of dark magic and finds Laret, a woman well acquainted with pain. Together, they must break the magic surrounding Ell, an act that will force them to choose between their dreams, their homes, and the women they love.
All four protagonists are queer women. Laret is trans and brown-skinned. Class issues feature in Ell's culture. Poly relationships are common in Aesa's world, and she has three parents.
lesbian, transgender, race, queered culture, class, 2015 Adult

The Sea is Ours
by Jaymee Goh (Editor)
The stories in this collection merge technological wonder with the everyday. Children upgrade their fighting spiders with armor, and toymakers create punchcard-driven marionettes. Large fish lumber across the skies, while boat people find a new home on the edge of a different dimension. Technology and tradition meld as the people adapt to the changing forces of their world. The Sea Is Ours is an exciting new anthology that features stories infused with the spirits of Southeast Asias diverse peoples, legends, and geography
Southeast Asian settings and characters, race and class issues discussed. Several queer and/or disabled characters.
lesbian, race, setting, disability, class, , race Mobility, Southeast Asian 2015 Adult

The Nameless City
by Faith Erin Hicks
Every nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don't let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders. Kaidu is one such outsider. He's a Dao born and bred--a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together. Let's hope so, because the fate of the Nameless City rests in their hands.
Chinese inspired setting, multiple races and cultures, class issues discussed, imperialism/oppression is a major theme.
race, setting, class, , race East Asian, FPOC 2016 YA

Spinning Starlight
by R C Lewis
Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, its hard to escape it. So when a group of men shows up at her house uninvited, she assumes its just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired. Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddis vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word, and her brothers are dead. Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back? Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersens The Wild Swans fuses all the heart of the classic tale with a stunning, imaginative world in which a star-crossed family fights for its very survival.
All major human characters are brown-skinned. Many women in positions of power. Protagonist spends most of the story mute, but not because of a disability.
race, disability, FPOC, Mute 2015 Adult

The Scorpion Rules
by Erin Bow
A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war. Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Prefecture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the worlds most war-worthy resource water she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive. Enter Elin Palnik, the Prefectures newest hostage and biggest problem. Gretas world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elin dragged into the school in chains. The Prefectures insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elin, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesnt even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages. What will happen to Elin and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?
(Note: Due to the futuristic setting and new national borders, ethnicities dont exactly match up to modern-day labels) Da-Xia is from a Chinese/Central Asian empire, Thandi is from an African union, Elin (and most of North America) is indeterminately brown-skinned. Grego and Atta are a same-sex couple, Greta is possibly bi/pan. Eventual F/F pairing.
lesbian, bisexual, race, African, East Asian, Black 2015 YA

ODY-C
by Matt Fraction
An eye-searing, mind-bending, gender-shattering epic science fiction retelling of Homer's Odyssey starting with the end of a great war in the stars and the beginning of a very long journey home for Odyssia and her crew of warriors. The journey to Ithicaa begins HERE, by Matt Fraction (Sex Criminals) and Christian Ward (Infinite Vacation, Olympus).
Colorful, queer, and full of ladies of all shapes and sizes, ODY-C is an all-female space-faring take on The Odyssey. The sebex are a created gender- they are feminine and allow for the birth of babies in a world with no men. Characters have varied skintones and features, but as this a a psychedelic sci-fi comic, their specific ethnicities are unclear.
lesbian, genderqueer, race, queered culture, all-female, FPOC 2015 Adult

Thief of Songs
by M C A Hogarth
The lowland conquerers have taken everything from him, or so the composer Amet Emendexte-ilye was taught: prestige, autonomy, wealth, and most importantly, magic. But when one of them steals his fiancee, Amet avenges himself on them all by writing music and giving it away in defiance of the lowland laws. It is a very satisfactory vengeance, or so he thinks, until he discovers the kingdom's royal composer is planning to debut Amet's workas folk music! So he's riding east to set the record straight. But he has no idea how compelling a decadent lowland hermaphrodite can be. And before it's over, this thief of songs may be stealing more than his music....
Asian-inspired (Eastern and Central) culture with four sexes. Intersex/nonbinary protagonist with an asexual nonbinary partner and a male partner.
asexual, nonbinary, genderqueer, class, pronouns, intersex, East Asian, Central Asian, setting, race 2015 Adult

Dragonsdawn
by Anne McCaffrey
In the beginning, before Thread, before the Dragons, before the Holds and the Weyrs and the elite Dragonriders of Pern, was just the great ships gliding through space with nearly six thousand colonists prepared to tackle the mighty task of beginning a new world on a strange planet. It was a jewel of a planet, with rivers and seas and mountains, and breathable air and growing things. Then came the terror. The strange, unidentifiable circles in the grass suddenly revealed a meaning, and every living thing was at risk. Many died -- a horrible and consuming death. All resources, every man, woman and child had to fight the terrible nightmare of Thread. But a new creature was about to save the planet. From the delicate fire lizards a new life was born -- a new symbiosis between man and beast.
Prequel to the Dragonriders of Pern series. Diverse cast including an Asian girl as the first dragonrider and an Japanese scientist creating them. The rest of the cast is relatively diverse as well.
race, East Asian 1988 Adult

Princess Princess
by Katie (Strangely Katie)
Fairy tale inspired story about Sadie, the princess in the tower, and her rescuer, Amira, another princess (with a kickass unicorn!)
Read at: http://strangelykatie.com/princessprincess/
lesbian, race, FPOC 2014 YA

Star Trip
by Gisele Jobateh
Submitted: YA sci-fi webcomic with a queer Black woman protagonist; follows her adventures through the galaxy with a nonbinary shapeshifter.
Webcomic about a queer black girl and a nonbinary shapeshifter
lesbian, nonbinary, race, pronouns, Black 2013 YA

O Human Star
by Blue Delliquanti
Webcomic about a cis gay male couple and their trans robot daughter
Submitted: Excellent sci-fi webcomic about a cis gay male couple and their trans robot daughter. Was a PRISM grant recipient a few years back.
gay, transgender, race Jewish 2013 Adult

Sky Coyote
by Kage Baker
Facilitator Joseph is quite a guy. He's sailed with the Phoenicians, and he's been an Egyptian priest, an Athenian politician, and secretary to a Roman senator. After all, his employer, the twenty-fourth-century Company, sends immortal cyborgs like Joseph all over the world and all over time. But now Joseph finds himself in 1699, in the Mayan jungle's Lost City (actually a spa for the Company's operatives) with his protegee, the Botanist Mendoza, who still hasn't forgiven him for that unfortunate incident in Elizabethan England. And he has to save an ancient people from encroachment by the coming white men -- even if it means convincing the entire pre-Columbian village to step into the future.
Second the Company series. The whole series is relatively diverse, but this one deserves special attention. Protagonist was originally a caveman given immortality. The story focuses on the pre-Columbian Chumash people.
race, setting, multiple culture, , race Indigenous, South American 1999 Adult

Joust
by Mercedes Lackey

Series: Dragon Jousters
Book 1 of 4
National best-selling fantasy author Mercedes Lackey creates a vivid, dynamic fusion of the cultures of ancient Egypt and legendary Atlantis with the most exciting and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined. The first book in this thrilling new series introduces us to a young slave who dreams of becoming a jouster-one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon...
Egyptian/North African setting and culture
setting, multiple culture, class, , race North Africa 2003 Adult

Sandry's Book
by Tamora Pierce

Series: Circle of Magic
Book 1 of 4
With her gift of weaving silk thread and creating light, Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief who has a way with plants; Daja, an outcast gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. At Winding Circle, the four misfits are taught how to use their magic--and to trust each other. But then disaster strikes their new home. Can Sandry weave together four kinds of magical power and save herself, her friends, and the one place they have ever been accepted?
Diverse cast: Daja is from a dark-skinned race that's Roma and African inspired, and Briar and Lark are dark-skinned. Lark and Rosethorn are a lesbian couple, and in future books Daja has a relationship with a woman.
race, multiple culture, class, FPOC 1997 MG

Mindtouch
by M C A Hogarth

Series: Dreamhealers
Book 1 of 2
Seersana University is worlds-renowned for its xenopsychology program, producing the Alliance's finest therapists, psychiatric nurses and alien researchers. When Jahir, one of the rare and reclusive Eldritch espers, arrives on campus, he's unprepared for the challenges of a vast and multicultural society... but fortunately, second-year student Vasiht'h is willing to take him under his wing. Will the two win past their troubles and doubts and see the potential for a once-in-a-lifetime partnership? Book 1 of the Dreamhealers Duology.
Asexual partnership (one character might be considered aromantic. The relationship is difficult to define). Queered and multispecies culture, some are poly-normative.
gay, asexual, queered culture, multiple culture, aromantic, 2013 Adult

Earthrise
by M C A Hogarth

Series: Her Instruments
Book 1 of 3
Reese Eddings has enough to do just keeping her rattletrap merchant vessel, the TMS Earthrise, profitable enough to pay food for herself and her micro-crew. So when a mysterious benefactor from her past shows up demanding she rescue a man from slavers, her first reaction is to say "NO!" And then to remember that she sort of promised to repay the loan. But she doesn't remember signing up to tangle with pirates and slavers over a space elf prince... Book 1 of the Her Instruments trilogy is a rollicking space operatic adventure set in the Pelted Paradox universe.
Black woman protagonist, part of story spent with poly family
race, multiple culture, poly, Black 2013 Adult

The Farthest Shore
by Ursula K Le Guin

Series: Earthsea
Book 3 of 4
Book Three of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle Darkness threatens to overtake Earthsea: the world and its wizards are losing their magic. Despite being wearied with age, Ged Sparrowhawk -- Archmage, wizard, and dragonlord -- embarks on a daring, treacherous journey, accompanied by Enlad's young Prince Arren, to discover the reasons behind this devastating pattern of loss. Together they will sail to the farthest reaches of their world -- even beyond the realm of death -- as they seek to restore magic to a land desperately thirsty for it.
Diverse world, most people are dark-skinned
race, FPOC 1972 YA

The Tombs of Atuan
by Ursula K Le Guin

Series: Earthsea
Book 2 of 4
When young Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, everything is taken away - home, family, possessions, even her name. For she is now Arha, the Eaten One, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan. While she is learning her way through the dark labyrinth, a young wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs' greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. But Ged also brings with him the light of magic, and together, he and Tenar escape from the darkness that has become her domain.
Diverse world, most people are dark-skinned
race, setting, multiple culture, , race FPOC 1970 YA

A Wizard of Earthsea
by Ursula K Le Guin

Series: Earthsea
Book 1 of 4
Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth. Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.
Diverse world, most people are dark-skinned
race, FPOC 1968 YA

Saga
by Brian K Vaughan
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.
Diverse cast
race, class, multiple culture, FPOC 2012 Adult

The Children Star
by Joan Sloanczewski

Series: Elysium Cycle
Book 3 of 3
Only children can colonize the planet Prokaryon, genetically modified for a world whose chemistry kills unaltered adults. A colony of orphans struggles to survive, and finds the planet hides strange secrets. The Prokaryan landscape is ordered, as if by unseen gardeners, hidden "masters" no human has ever found. The weather behaves as though designed to meet the planet's needs. When fire threatens a forest, a rainstorm appears, only to dissipate when the fire is put out. When a ruthless corporation threatens to terraform Prokaryon, to recreate it for "normal" humans, there is a sudden urgency to find the intelligent life form directing the planet. For only then can the colonists save their worldand reveal unexpected possibilities for the human future.
Diverse cast
race, multiple culture, MULTIPLE, Unspecified 1998 Adult

Starbridge
by A C Crispin

Series: Starbridge
Book 1 of 7
The crew of the Dsire was unprepared. The Simiu were unexpected... Earth's first contact with an alien race turns to disaster when a friendly encounter erupts into inexplicable violence and the threat of interstellar war. But two ordinary individuals--Mahree Burroughs, an ordinary woman with a gift for friendship, and Dhurrrkk', a male Simiu with boundless curiosity--have forged a bond of understanding that bridges their many differences. Along with a reluctant Robert Gable, brilliant young ship's physician, they make an astounding journey across the stars, to seek a way to save the future of both species!
Diverse cast, future books in the series even more so. Aliens show a variety of gender roles: the Simiu are matriarchal, and others use a neutral pronoun introduced in the second book.
race, multiple culture, MULTIPLE, Unspecified 1989 Adult

Island in the Sea of Time
by S M Stirling

Series: The Change (Nantucket)
Book 1 of 3
During a perfect spring evening on Nantucket a violent storm erupts and a dome of crawling colored fire blankets the island. When the howling winds subside and the night skies clear, the stars appear to have shifted. The mainland has become a wilderness of unbroken forest, where tools of bronze and stone litter the beaches, and primitive natives scatter in terror. A startling phenonomenon has occurred; The island of Nantucket has been swept into the long-ago past. With its inhabitants adrift in the year 1250 B.C., there is only one question to be answered: Can they survive? A provocative and endlessly inventive spin on the classic adventure story, Island in the Sea of Time takes you on a journey of wonder, discovery, and imagination.
Diverse cast, including a lesbian black woman who falls in love with a woman from the pre-Norman British Isles
lesbian, race, multiple culture, MULTIPLE, Black, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, Unspecified 1998 Adult

The Goblin Emperor
by Katherine Addison
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment. Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favor with the nave new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the specter of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. All the while, he is alone, and trying to find even a single friend... and hoping for the possibility of romance, yet also vigilant against the unseen enemies that threaten him, lest he lose his throne or his life. This exciting fantasy novel, set against the pageantry and color of a fascinating, unique world, is a memorable debut for a great new talent.
Main character is mixed-race.
race, class, FPOC 2014 Adult

The Black Gryphon
by Mercedes Lackey

Series: The Mage Wars (Valdemar)
Book 1 of 3
It is an age when Valdemar is yet unfounded, its organization of Heralds yet unformed, and magic is still a wild and uncontrolled force. Skandranon Rashkae is perhaps the finest specimen of his species, with gleaming ebony feathers, majestic wingspan, keen magesight and sharp intelligence. Courageous, bold, and crafty, Skan is everything a gryphon should be. He is the fulfillment of everything that the Mage of Silence, the human sorcerer called Urtho, intended to achieve when he created these magical beings to be his champions, the defenders of his realm--a verdant plain long coveted by the evil mage Maar. Now Maar is once again advancing on Urtho's Keep, this time with a huge force spearheaded by magical constructs of his own--cruel birds of prey ready to perform any evil their creator may demand of them. And when one of Urtho's Seers wakes from a horrifying vision in which she sees a devastating magical weapon being placed in the hands of Maar's common soldiers, Skandranon is sent to spy across enemy lines, cloaked in the protective of Urtho's powerful Spell of Silence.
A central character, Amberdrake, is of a race targeted by the villain.
race, FPOC 1994 Adult

Titan
by John Varley

Series: Gaea
Book 1 of 3
It begins with humankind's exploration of a massive satellite orbiting Saturn. It culminates in a shocking discovery: the satellite is a giant alien being. Her name is Gaea. Her awesome interior is mind-bogglingbecause it is a mind. A mind that calls out to explorers, transforming all who enter.
Bisexual woman, genderqueer aliens, Lambda Recommended
lesbian, bisexual, genderqueer, alien, 1979 Adult

Beast
by Donna Jo Napoli
Orasmyn is the prince of Persia and heir to the throne. His religion fills his heart and his mind, and he strives for the knowledge and leadership his father demonstrates. But on the day of the Feast of Sacrifices, Orasmyn makes a foolish choice that results in a fairy's wretched punishment: He is turned into a beast, a curse to be undone only by the love of a woman. Thus begins Orasmyn's journey through the exotic Middle East and sensuous France as he struggles to learn the way of the beast, while also preserving the mind of the man. This is the story of his search, not only for a woman courageous enough to love him, but also for his own redemption.
Persian-set retelling of Beauty and the Beast
setting,, race Middle Eastern, Muslim 2004 YA

The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm
by Nancy Farmer
General Matsika's children steal out of the house on a forbidden adventure--and disappear. In Zimbabwe, in the year 2194, the children's parents call in Africa's most unusual detectives--the Ear, the Eye and the Arm--who have powers far beyond those of other human beings. The children must avoid the evils of the past, the technology of the future, and a motley assortment of criminals in order to return home safely.
Set in Zimbabwe
setting, race African, Southern Africa 1994 YA

American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Days before his release from prison, Shadow's wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.
Protagonist is biracial
race, Black, North Africa, Multiracial 2001 Adult

Cage the Darlings
by Elora Bishop (Sarah Diemer)
Envy is a lucky lady with a secret vice: she's one of the best thieves in the kingdom--something her current employer, the king himself, has no knowledge of. When one of her more audacious gambles gets her caught, Envy thinks her luck's run out. Infuriated, the king banishes her to Bran Tower, a haunted, forgotten prison of no escape. But, by day, a mysterious blackbird brings Envy crumbs of food--and, by night, the beautiful ghost Merle befriends her. Or so Envy thinks. When Merle, no ghost at all, reveals her terrible truth--cursed to spend daylight as a blackbird, night as the mortal woman she once was--Envy confesses, too: that she's fallen for the blackbird girl. But love has made them reckless in a forest of dangerous men. On the night of their planned escape, Merle is kidnapped by a band of brigands seeking the treasure of her father, the Blackbird King. Envy is brave but is now faced with an almost impossible task: to journey through the cursed forest in the hopes of saving her beloved Merle.
lesbian fairy tale
lesbian, queered culture 2011 Adult

The Dark Wife
by Sarah Diemer
Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth. Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want--except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice. Zeus calls Hades "lord" of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny. But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld. She finds love, and herself
Lesbian retelling of Persephone
lesbian 2011 YA

Eon
by Alison Goodman

Series: Dragoneye
Book 1 of 2
Twelve-year-old Eon has been in training for years. His intensive study of Dragon Magic,, based on East Asian astrology, involves two kinds of skills: sword-work and magical aptitude. He and his master hope that he will be chosen as a Dragoneye--an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a boy for the chance to become a Dragoneye. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured. When Eon's secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic...and her life.
Chinese world, disabled main character who crossdresses and questions her gender, trans woman as side character who becomes even more important in the second book
setting, disability, transgender,, race East Asian, Injury, Mobility 2008 YA

Sword of the Guardian
by Merry Shannon
A shocking assassination creates an unconventional bond between a princess and her guardian in a kingdom filled with political intrigue, danger and unexpected romance. Princess Shasta Soltranis enjoys a pampered life of court dances, elaborate finery, and the occasional secret fencing match with her twin brother, Daric. But in the midst of a birthday celebration, her world shatters when a mysterious assassin takes her brother's life. Shasta, the only remaining heir to the throne, narrowly escapes the assassin's blade thanks to the intervention of a traveling acrobat named Talon. With the threat of another attempt on Shasta's life imminent, her father declares that the young hero will be come the Princess's bodyguard. But what Shasta doesn't know is that her new guardian has a very well-kept secret: he is actually a she. Talon and Shasta soon grow closer than anyone, especially her father, could have predicted. Will the truth of her guardian's secret change their relationship forever?
Lesbian princess and bodyguard romance
lesbian, class, race, FPOC 2006 Adult

Young Avengers
by Kieron Gillen
Legacy isn't a dirty word...but it's an irrelevant one. It's not important what our parents did. It matters what WE do. Someone has to save the world. You're someone. Do the math. The critically acclaimed team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie reinvent the teen super hero comic for the 21st century, uniting Wiccan, Hulkling and Kate "Hawkeye" Bishop with Kid Loki, Marvel Boy and Ms. America. No pressure, right? As a figure from Loki's past emerges, Wiccan makes a horrible mistake that comes back to bite everyone on their communal posteriors. Fight scenes! Fake IDs! And plentiful feels! (aka "meaningful emotional character beats" for people who aren't on tumblr.) Young Avengers is as NOW! as the air in your lungs, and twice as vital. Hyperbole is the BEST! THING! EVER!
Various queer characters: a gay couple, America Chavez is a bisexual woman, and Loki is genderqueer
gay, bisexual, race, genderqueer, Hispanic 2013 YA

Daughter of Elysium
by Joan Slonczewski

Series: Elysium Cycle
Book 2 of 3
The pristine city of Elysium floats on the water world of Shora, inhabited by 'immortals' who have succeeded in unlocking the secrets of life. Outsider Blackbear Windclan wants to share the secret of immortality with his own people, but can he, and the City of Elysium, survive the corruption and decadence that immortality has bred into the ageless society. And what of the consciousness of self-aware nano-sentient servitors and their quest for vengence?
Multiple cultures: one matriarchal (with corresponding language) and non-white, one is the all-female Sharers from A Door Into Ocean, and the other accepts same-sex relations freely.
lesbian, alien, setting, queered culture, multiple culture,, race FPOC 1993 Adult

A Door Into Ocean
by Joan Slonczewski

Series: Elysium Cycle
Book 1 of 3
A Door into Ocean is the novel upon which the author's reputation as an important SF writer principally rests. A ground-breaking work both of feminist SF and of world-building hard SF, it concerns the Sharers of Shora, a nation of women on a distant moon in the far future who are pacifists, highly advanced in biological sciences, and who reproduce by parthenogenesis--there are no males--and tells of the conflicts that erupt when a neighboring civilization decides to develop their ocean world, and send in an army.
all-female world
lesbian, alien, all-female, queered culture 1986 Adult

Silent Dances
by A C Crispin & Kathleen OMalley

Series: Starbridge
Book 2 of 7
Book 2 of Starbridge. Deaf since birth, Tesa is the perfect ambassador to the alien Grus, whose sonic cries can shatter human ears. But her mission is harder than it looks. The Grus are not alone on their world. They have deadly enemies, both natural and otherwise. And if Tesa is to save all life on the planet, she will have to make peace with not one alien species... but -two-.
Deaf Sioux Native American woman, aliens who use sign language, racially diverse cast, this and rest of series have a few alien characters who use neutral pronouns
disability, race, pronouns, multiple culture, Native American, Deaf 1990 Adult

Ancillary Justice
by Ann Leckie

Series: Imperial Radch
Book 1 of 3
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.
Narrator confused by gendered language, shes asexual/aromantic, cultures have different views of gender. Many human characters are dark-skinned
asexual, pronouns, queered culture, aromantic, race FPOC 2013 Adult

Storyteller
by Amy Thomson
On Thalassa, storytelling is Teller's life. With the great sea-beast to whom she is telepathically bonded, she travels Thalassa's many oceans. But Teller has a secret--and when her young apprentice discovers it, he will be changed profoundly.
Protagonist is gay, another main character is a sex/gender-changing alien. World is combination of Mediterranian cultures.
gay, genderqueer, Middle East, Hispanic, North Africa 2003 Adult

Ascension
by Jacqueline Koyanagi
Alana Quick is the best damned sky surgeon in Heliodor City, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills. When the desperate crew of a cargo vessel stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away. Maybe her boldness will land her a long-term gig on the crew. But the Tangled Axon proves to be more than star-watching and plasma coils. The chief engineer thinks he's a wolf. The pilot fades in and out of existence. The captain is all blond hair, boots, and ego . . . and Alana can't keep her eyes off her. But there's little time for romance: Nova's in danger and someone will do anything--even destroying planets--to get their hands on her
gay black woman with chronic disease, woman with prosthetic leg
lesbian, race, disability, poly, class, Black, Chronic_Illness 2013 Adult

Project Unicorn: Book One
by Sarah Diemer and Jennifer Diemer

Series: Project Unicorn
Book 1 of 2
PROJECT UNICORN, VOLUME ONE is a collection of thirty young adult short stories featuring lesbian heroines. As ghosts and witches, aliens and vampires, the characters in this extensive and varied collection battle monsters and inner demons, stand up to bullies, wield magic, fall in love, and take action to claim their lives--and their stories--as their own. Written by wife-and-wife authors Jennifer Diemer and Sarah Diemer, this volume of stories, with genres ranging from science fiction and fantasy to the paranormal, is part of Project Unicorn, a fiction project that seeks to address the near nonexistence of lesbian main characters in young adult fiction by giving them their own stories. PROJECT UNICORN, VOLUME ONE contains the full first three collections of Project Unicorn stories: The Dark Woods, The Monstrous Sea and Uncharted Sky.
short fantasy stories about gay girls
lesbian 2012 YA

The Legend of Bold Riley
by Leia Worthington
From the Northwest Press website: "Leia Weathingtons sword-and-sorcery epic The Legend of Bold Riley is illustrated by Leia and a host of talented artists. Who is Bold Riley? you might ask. She has hunted the wildest game and dallied with countless beautiful girls, but still longs to know the world beyond the city walls. Princess Rilavashana SanParite, called Bold Riley, leaves behind her station and sets out to travel through distant lands and find forgotten ruins, fearsome enemies, inscrutable gods and tragic love. Shes as capable with a sword as she is with her witsman, does she carve things up when the need arisesand is a strong, beautiful, confident woman who doesnt wear a bikini into battle. And she always gets the girl!"
lesbian Indian princess
setting, lesbian, queered culture,, race South Asian 2012 Adult

Akata Witch
by Nnedi Okorafor
Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. Shes a terrific athlete, but cant go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazingshe is a free agent, with latent magical power. Soon shes part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?
Kids with magic powers in Nigeria
setting, disability,, race African, West Africa, Genetic 2011 MG

Aras Field
by Laurie J Marks

Series: Children of the Triad
Book 3 of 3
The Walkers ruled the land, the Aeyrie soared the skies, and the Mer reigned over the seas. But each race had much that the others desired. And only in the community of Triad had all three peoples come together in search of mutual peace and unity. But now, after years devoted to attaining this goal, Triad's dream of a better world for all the races is about to be shattered as, one after another, the high-ranking Walker and Aeyrie officials are brutally murdered. Caught in the chaos of imminent war, the citizens of Triad must discover who is playing this deadly game and somehow force them to stop before the world erupts in a final genocidal war of species against species.
genderless species, same-sex couples, minor poly, id/idre/ids as pronouns
nonbinary, alien, queered culture, pronouns, intersex, 1991 Adult

The Moonbane Mage
by Laurie J Marks

Series: Children of the Triad
Book 2 of 3
Formal combat was the art for which Laril lived, but now in an illegal fight-flying duel, Laril ruins the wings of a noted air dancer and is exiled. Embarking on the long and dangerous flight, Laril is caught in a terrible storm, is blown helplessly off course to an unknown land, and finds refuge with Raulyn, a powerful Aeyrie Mage. But what at first appears a wondrous haven soon becomes a frightening prison as Laril becomes an unwilling pawn in Raulyn's deadly plans for conquest plans that, if successful, would set race against race in a devastating war of destruction.
genderless species, same-sex couples, minor poly, id/idre/ids as pronouns
nonbinary, alien, queered culture, pronouns, intersex, 1990 Adult

Delan the Mislaid
by Laurie J Marks

Series: Children of the Triad
Book 1 of 3
To the Walkers, Delan was a monstrosity, big and clumsy with odd growths sticking out of ids back. Controlled by a cruel master, a sorcerer who practices dark magic to keep Delan his slave, Delan discovers new hope when, aided by Eia the Aeyrie, id goes through a metamorphosis that transforms idre into the beautiful, winged being id was always meant to be. Learning the truth of ids heritage may not be enough to save Delan and the entire Aeyrie race from Teksan and his diabolical plans for conquest.
genderless species, same-sex couples, minor poly, id/idre/ids as pronouns
nonbinary, alien, queered culture, pronouns, poly, intersex, 1989 Adult

Magics Pawn
by Mercedes Lackey

Series: The Last Herald-Mage (Valdemar)
Book 1 of 3
Vanyel prefers music to fighting and he dreams of being a Bard, but his father, Lord Ashkevron, wants the boy to be a proper man in his image. Fed up with Vanyel, his father sends him to Valdemar's capital city of Haven to learn from his aunt Savil, one of the Heralds Chosen by magical Companions to bring law to the land. Savil sees that Vanyel has been mistreated, but she can't help him in his dream, because he doesn't have the magic Bardic Gift. Tylendel, Savil's openly-gay student, brings Vanyel out of his despair, and the two soon fall in love. But then a series of tragic disasters awaken in Vanyel magical powers he must learn to control, or risk destroying himself and far more.
gay protagonist, visits culture where same-sex pairings are normal
gay, multiple culture 1989 Adult