This spotlight on SFF books with genderfluid characters was originally published in our SFF newsletter, Swords and Spaceships. Sign up for it here to get SFF news, reviews, deals, and more!
Hello friends! For this last Friday of Pride Month, let’s get in some SFF with genderfluid characters.
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Two unlikely friends meet on the pirate ship Dove. Flora becomes Florian in the brutal life of a pirate, which is still better than being a starving street urchin. Lady Hasegawa is en route to an arranged marriage she doesn’t want, carrying her own casket with her. Soon they go on a series of wild adventures, including freeing a captured mermaid, finding an opportunistic witch, and going up against the Pirate Supreme.
No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll
A collection of short stories with trans, nonbinary, and genderfluid characters that fulfill — and subvert — gendered prophecies.
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
Sallot is a genderfluid thief who wants to use the skills they’ve developed in highway robbery to get closer to the nobles that destroyed their life. Their chance comes in the form of a chance to join the Queen’s personal assassins, but the audition is more than Sal bargained for. Their common criminal childhood didn’t prepare them for circus acrobats, apothecaries, and ex-soldiers, but they have to figure it out if they want to survive — and win the heart of the scribe they’ve fallen in love with.
Nine of Swords, Reversed by Xan West
Dev and Noam have lived a good life together for years, practicing magecraft together, caring for each other when their disabilities flare up, with Noam acting as Dev’s service submissive. But when Dev’s arthritis worsens, xe is unable to shield properly, which means xe can’t touch Noam without transferring too much of their pain via xyr empathy. Together, Dev and Noam must navigate this change in their relationship, with the help of a timely tarot reading.
No More Heroes by Michelle Kan
Young Vigilantes across the world keep watch over cities. A new enemy comes onto the scene, identity and motive unclear, but one thing’s for certain: they’re killing Vigilantes. When someone wants to disturb the peace in a city where the gifted make the rules, who will stop them?
Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night by Katherine Fabian and Iona Datt Sharma
Layla and Nat have nothing in common except a deep, mutual dislike — and a boyfriend named Meraud. But when Meraud vanishes during a magical experiment, they must work together to follow the cryptic clues and deadly obstacles that will lead them to him…and then possible let him get back home. Worse, their time is growing short — if they don’t get him home by the winter solstice, Meraud will be lost forever.