Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
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The Best New Queer SFF for Your TBR

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Rachel Brittain

Contributing Editor

Rachel is a writer from Arkansas, most at home surrounded by forests and animals much like a Disney Princess. She spends most of her time writing stories and playing around in imaginary worlds. You can follow her writing at Twitter and Instagram: @rachelsbrittain

Who doesn’t love great, new queer SFF? Well, whoever they are, they’re no friend of mine, because I can never get enough. And in 2022 we’ve got some truly exceptional science fiction and fantasy coming our way with a whole host of LGBTQ characters and queernormative worlds I know you’re not going to be able to get enough of. We’re talking bookish vampires (yes, plural), women who turn into dragons, blood AND music magic, not to mention some spacefaring outlaws. Tell me that doesn’t sound like a dream. And don’t even try to pretend like you’re not excited about them, because you’re the one who clicked on this article in the first place. Gotcha.

These 10 books are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this year’s queer SFF, but they’re a great place to start. From debut authors to fan favorites back at it again, you’ll find them here. Several of the books are already out, while others will have to wait it out on your TBR in anxious anticipation of their release later this year. I know the feeling well —and I’m sure you do, too. But don’t let that deter you, because these books are definitely worth the wait.

Dead Collections Book Cover

Dead Collections by Isaac Fellman

An archivist named Sol suffers for an illness that requires him to get regular blood transfusions and sleep in the basement of the archives by night. The disease? Vampirism. But when Sol meets the widow of a famous TV writer, their instant connection sparks a love story that traverses grief, Internet fandom, transphobia, and vampirism.

In a Garden Burning Gold Book Cover

In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power

The author of Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down returns with a fantasy novel about the immortal children of a tyrannical king. Rhea and Lexos have spent an eternity using their control over the seasons, tides, and stars to keep the people of their kingdom in line. But with their father losing his grasp and an independence movement growing, the twins must take matters into their own hands to save their people. For the first time in an eternity, though, they find themselves on opposing sides of a battle that could decide the fate of their family and their people forever.

the cover When Women Were Dragons

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill

In an alternate 1950s America where women have begun transforming into dragons, a young girl struggles with the new reality. Alex Green has questions, but she’s not allowed to have them, even though her aunt turned into a dragon along with thousands of other women in the Mass Dragoning of 1955, while her mother did not. Why did some women transform while others didn’t? Was it their choice? And what will happen to Alex’s cousin who is far too obsessed with the forbidden subject.

Siren Queen Book Cover

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

Pre-Code Era Hollywood is a challenging enough space for an aspiring starlet like Luli, but adding magic into the mix brings even more danger…and possibility. The studios that deal in blood pacts and ancient magic would love to control every aspect of Luli’s life, from her looks to the girl she loves. But Luli is willing to do whatever it takes to find the fame she longs for, even if it means becoming a monster herself in the process.

The Ballad of Perilous Graves Book Cover

The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings (June 21, 2022)

Music is magic in this fantastical version of New Orleans. Perilous Graves may be a failed magician but when nine songs escape from the magical piano that keeps the beat of NOLA going, it’s Perilous and his sister Brendy who are tasked with getting them back. Without these songs, the city will fall. But with the Haint of all Haints awakening, it may not matter whether Perry and Brendy can save the city, because one way or another, NOLA’s time may be coming to an end.

The Sleepless Book Cover

The Sleepless by Victor Manibo (August 2, 2022)

Jamie Vega is one of the sleepless, a group of people who can’t sleep and don’t need to. But Jamie is also a journalist, and when his boss shows up dead on the eve of a controversial corporate takeover, he doesn’t buy the ruling of suicide. But his investigation gets even more complicated when it turns out Jamie was the last one to see his boss alive — only he doesn’t have any memory of it. Memory loss can be a byproduct of the risky biohacking procedure he had to become a Sleepless, but as his investigation draws him deeper into a world of corporate coverups and extremist organizations, he discovers a terrifying secret about Sleeplessness that could endanger every not only him, but the entire world.

The Book Eaters Book Cover

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean (August 2, 2022)

In what has to be one of the most interesting takes on vampire-like myth I’ve ever seen, the creatures who refer to themselves as Book Eaters consumer words to survive. Book Eater princesses like Devon are forced into arranged marriages to have children and preserve their dying breed. But Devon has never been one to follow the rules without question, and when she breaks one of the biggest rules of all — leaving her abusive husband dead as she and her young son flee — she’s forced to confront just how far she’s willing to go to stop the evils of her family.

High Times in Low Parliament Book Cover

High Times in the Low Parliament by Kelly Robson (August 9, 2022)

This novella is full of fairies, antics, and political intrigue when the very best scribe at Aldgate is sent to Low Parliament after a fairy catches her agreeing to deliver messages for another scribe in exchange for kisses. The debates in Low Parliament are getting tenser and tenser, and due to an archaic tradition, a hung vote will result in flooding and endless war. Along with some unlikely allies in the form of a curmudgeonly fairy and a human deputy, Lana must save Parliament and prevent the destruction of all humanity — and maybe woo a few pretty ladies in the process, too.

The Bruising of Qilwa Book Cover

The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia (August 9, 2022)

In the queernormative, Persian-inspired world of The Bruising of Qilwa, a nonbinary practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease spreading in the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa. Firuz-e Jafari has a good job at a healing clinic in Qilwa while many other Sassanian refuges like them have not been so lucky. But with people blaming ineptly performed blood magic for this new disease, Firuz is forced to confront a cycle of prejudice to create a fresh start in their new city.

Though The Bruising of Qilwa is a standalone novella, it is only the first introduction to a larger queernormative, Persian-inspired world Jamnia has stated they hope to explore more of. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Naseem as an editor before, and I’m so thrilled to see their incredible writing being published for others to enjoy.

The Genesis of Misery Book Cover

The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang (September 27, 2022)

The author of the Tensorate Series is bringing us an incredible new space fantasy adventure full of high-tech battles and political machinations. Misery Nomaki is a nobody from a nowhere mining planet, but possesses a gift which either marks them as a saint (definitely not) or voidmad (hopefully not). Either way, when Misery finds themself in the middle of a war between two factions who would both like to use Misery for their benefit, they’re hoping some sign of divinity will show them the way forward. But probably not, which is why Misery is secretly training with a crew of outlaws and outcasts on the side and growing ever closer to a rebel royal who knows something of sainthood and prophecy herself.

You can never have enough great queer SFF, am I right? Here are some more suggestions we’ve got for you: