Same-Sex Romance in Fantasy and Science Fiction by Maya Chhabra // Walking on Knives Release Week

by - 11:09 AM

Hello, readers! I know I haven't been writing a lot in my blog or anywhere else lol. Sadly I've been on a slump, plus a book slump after finishing Permanent Ink by Avon and Piper. I've been slowly reading this other book and maybe I'll actually finish it today because it isn't that long either.

But today is another thing. Today I bring you a fun blog post written by Maya Chhabra, author of Walking on Knives, this new novella that is a retelling of the Little Mermaid but with a twist, because the Little Mermaid actually falls for the Sea Witch's sister. I'll leave you all the info and details for the book and then you can read the post which it's fabulous.
The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she's being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch's sister is falling in love with her.

 When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid's secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high…

Trigger warning: Rape scene.

Every writer starts out as a reader—and generally remains one for the rest of their life. Here are just four of the great SFF books (both YA and adult) with lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters that have inspired me as a writer.

1) THE WINGED HISTORIES by Sofia Samatar
—Sofia Samatar, a mixed-race Mennonite author, created the fictional country of Olondria, where the standard look is much more like herself than like the white default, and populated it with wonderful characters like Tavis, an aristocratic swordmaiden fighting for her country’s independence (but it’s more complicated than that) and Seren, a female poet from a nomadic, marginalized culture, who falls in love with Tavis while remaining deeply ambivalent about war. 

—In its dissection of imperialism’s evil and its focus on queer women of color, this is THE WINGED HISTORIES’ grimdark twin. Baru is a lesbian who has to hide her sexuality—and her political opinions—while rising through the ranks of the empire that conquered her homeland. This requires her to control herself completely, but when she meets Tain Hu, a warrior duchess, she begins to fall in love. It all ends in tears. What fascinates me is the contrast between the two central characters—one cerebral, tightly wound, and accustomed to deceit, the other playful, physical, and deeply honorable, though not without a cunning streak. 

3) CARNIVAL by Elizabeth Bear
—Bear, who is bisexual, crafts a thrilling spy adventure that combines ethical dilemmas with a great romance in a dystopian future. Two black men, diplomats from a patriarchal society ruled by killer robots, travel to a planet where men are oppressed instead. They’re supposed to steal the energy source that could mean freedom from the robots, but things quickly become more complicated. What price are they willing to pay to liberate their society? 

—Erin Bow’s YA science fiction novel revolves around Greta, a princess/hostage who is slowly learning to question the justice of the system she lives under. She’s also slowly coming to terms with her feelings for the Asian princess she shares a room with. But there’s plenty of action to match the character development as a foreign general targets Greta—and draws the attention of the AI who rules the world. While the racial diversity in this book is sometimes not handled perfectly, the sequel, THE SWAN RIDERS, introduces even more and better-developed POC characters. There’s also a major mixed-race Jewish character who appears in both books.

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