Who, What, and Why?
I'm a lesbian computer geek (more about me), and I've been reading science fiction since the fourth grade. When I came out in 1979, I looked for science fiction that reflected my life as a lesbian, and there simply wasn't much available (The Female Man, Amazons!, Tomoe Gozen). As an adult, I've checked the women's bookstores in the various cities I've inhabited, but none have had a decent science fiction section. I 've looked for lists like this on the web and the ones I've found haven't been as helpful to me as I'd like, either because they don't distinguish between lesbians and gay men, or mix fantasy and horror with the science fiction. So, I decided to put my collection online to benefit anyone else out there who is looking for books of this nature to read.
Where do I find the books?
The books on this list are books that I've encountered by chance, not because I thought or knew they had lesbian content. The vast majority are regular science fiction books from mainstream presses that happen to have lesbian content. I do not usually read lesbian science fiction books from independent presses, but I've provided links to some in the Links section.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and you are welcome to submit suggestions (click the Contact link below). When making a suggestion, remember that this list is focused on science fiction, not fantasy or horror.
How do I rate the books?
The books are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being terrible and 5 being awesome. Just remember that everyone likes books for different reasons and I may hate one of your all-time favorites, or vice versa. Use the amazon.com link to find out what other readers think of the book. For more info on my rating system, click here.
Want me to read your book?
If you are a writer of lesbian science fiction, you can ask that I read your book(s), but you do so at your own risk because I there's always a chance you won't appreciate the rating I give your work. My ratings fall across a traditional Bell curve (not by design--they just do).
How do I assess the lesbian content?
How accurate are my assessments of the lesbian content? I have personally read every book on this list (except for a couple by Joanna Russ, and I own all of them except for a couple by Naomi Mitcheson), so I know for sure that the characters are "lesbian" or "bi." However, I don't always know for sure about an author's sexuality. I only identify an author as a lesbian if I am confident that she is. The information I use to make this judgement comes from various sources, including published interviews with the author, author bios in anthologies, and information from the author's website. Usually, however, I am only able to say that I think an author might be a lesbian (noted in the list as "lesbian author?"). Clues that make me suspicious include: a bio that mentions a "partner" instead of a husband (e.g. Susan R. Matthews), a photo in which she "looks" like a lesbian (e.g. Carolyn Ives Gilman), or just the fact that she always includes queer characters in her books (e.g. Joan Slonczewski and Anne Harris, though I have recently discovered that both of them are married to men, though Anne Harris is reported to be bi).
I hate writing synopses. My sources for the stolen ones were the book jackets and reviews on amazon.com. Opinions however, are my own.