Book Recs: SFF Books with LGBT Protagonists

Hello friends! How are you all today?

It’s so good to be able to write a book recommendations post; I really missed writing these. Unfortunately I was on hiatus during all of Pride Month, so I want to make up for that today. Although Pride Month is a time to celebrate our identities and highlight the struggles that LGBTQIA+ individuals experience, it can also be a very difficult month. And that’s why, I think, books with characters that have LGBTQIA+ identities are so important. It’s so important for us to read these stories, and to open ourselves, to listen, to learn, to understand, and to share these stories too. In today’s Book Recs post, I wanted to share four books with all of you.

The title of this post says ‘LGBT’; in other words, I’ll be sharing one book with a lesbian protagonist, one book with a gay protagonist, one book by a bisexual protagonist, and one book by a trans protagonist. However! It’s important to highlight that there no such thing as ‘a LGBT character’, and that there are many more identities beyond lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans; there’s also nonbinary, intersex, asexual/aromantic, pansexual, and questioning. So, although I am recommending only four books today, I implore all of you (and I need to do this too!) to read books that have characters with a diversity of sexual identities.

So, without further ado, here are your book recommendations for this month!


GAY PROTAGONIST: TIMEKEEPER BY TARA SIM

I listened to the audiobook for this and it was brilliant! The accents were so much fun and the narrator was superb. Other than that, Timekeeper is such a unique book with a compelling story.

  • Set in an alternate world where clock towers control the time, insofar that a clock with a broken second hand will stutter time within its radius and a destroyed clock tower can stop time completely. Cool, right?!
  • The protagonist is Danny – a sweet and charming clock tower mechanic who has experienced trauma (he has PTSD) and still grieves for his father.
  • The romance was unpredictable, a little exciting, and a little tentative. I enjoyed the dynamics, the weight of the consequences riding on the romance, and the love interest was adorable.
  • Excellent for readers who are looking for something a little unique or different, perhaps a world they have never imagined or seen before. Oh, and did I mention that this book is steampunk?!

Timekeeper in Goodreads


LESBIAN PROTAGONIST: THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US BY EMILY SKRUTSKIE

I was a little skeptical going into this, but after being book-pushed this book by Daisy, I’ve trusted her book recommendations wholeheartedly and never regretted it.

  • Set in a distant future where the international alliances have formed and the worlds’ waters are infested with pirates. Giant sea monsters are genetically engineered and imprint on marine vessels to protect and fight for them.
  • Cass, the protagonist, is a trainer for these giant monsters; things go terribly wrong on her first mission when the ship she is on is attacked and invaded by pirates.
  • Yes, pirates! I’m a little sick of pirates, but this book does pirates so well – they’re original, charming, vicious, and kept me on my toes.
  • Perfect for readers who want something fast-paced and doesn’t waste time with its action, likes a little bit of WLW, and something super fun.

The Abyss Surrounds Us in Goodreads


BI PROTAGONIST: OTHERBOUND BY CORINNE DUYVIS

This book is a little treasure. It’s one of the most imaginative fantasies I read, with a story full of twists, turns, and exciting developments.

  • About a boy who, whenever he closes his eyes, sees through the eyes and life of a slave from an entirely other world. He knows she exists, but she doesn’t know he’s watching her every move… until something happens.
  • Explores disability and sexuality with a fantasy and contemporary twist. Again, so so unique and compelling.
  • The fantasy world itself was very unique, complete with political intrigue, conspiracy, and immense and secret powers that are surprising and fascinating.
  • Ideal if you want to try something a little different, something unlike you’ve read before, and don’t mind something a little slower for an awesome buildup towards the end!

Otherbound in Goodreads


TRANS PROTAGONIST: PETER DARLING BY AUSTIN CHANT

Okay friends, listen up! If you love a good retelling, then you must pick up this gem called Peter Darling. It’s one of my favourite reads so far in 2017, and it is absolutely incredible. Don’t sleep on this!

  • Yes, it’s a Peter Pan retelling; one that retains the beauty of its original story while giving it an original and wonderful new perspective and spin.
  • The story and characters are wonderful, the developments were absolutely stunning and magical, and the romance was wow
  • Best of all, despite all the hurt, quiet pains, and struggles, there is an ending that will warm your heart and is absolutely deserving.
  • Perfect if you love good retellings, a magical story, and something truly heartwarming.

Peter Darling in Goodreads (trigger warning: suicide attempt, transphobia)


I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Once again, I hope all of us can read more books about characters that are very different to us, or perhaps for those of us questioning, potentially the same or similar to us. I believe reading such books help us to understand ourselves and others, help us become better people, and be better equipped to help, empower, and support others.

The four books I have recommended aren’t the only books out there with gay, lesbian, bi, or trans characters! In saying that though, if you would like to read more of such books and have no idea where to look, don’t hesitate to ask for more recommendations in the comments!

Let’s discuss!

  • Do you have any suggestions for awesome books that have gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or even intersex, pan, or ace characters?
  • What was the first book that you read that represented your identity?
  • We’re starting to see more LGBTQIA+ characters in SFF, which is awesome! Do you have any diverse SFF favourites?
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36 thoughts on “Book Recs: SFF Books with LGBT Protagonists

    • Hi Marianne!
      Thank you so SO much! The Abyss Surrounds Us is such a great read, especially if you want something fast-paced and exciting. I’m excited for you to read them too, so I hope you enjoy them when you get to read them! 💛

  1. Oh what a fantastic post, and thank you so much for recommending these books. I haven’t read any of these yet, but I’m curious about all of them now, especially Peter Darling and Otherbound! :)

    • Hi Marie!
      It’s my pleasure! 💛 Oooh, Peter Darling is so so good, and Otherbound is wonderful if you don’t mind a slower-paced read (though there’s a lot of twists and turns)! I hope you enjoy them if you get around to reading them. 💛

  2. CW YOUR NEW DESIGN!!! I’M IN LOVE!!! IT’S SO PRETTY AND CUTE AND PLEASING TO LOOK AT DID I MENTION I’M IN LOVE

    Okay on to the post itself haha. I absolutely LOVED Timekeeper – favourite book of 2016 by far.

    Out of the other ones I only knew Peter Darling (which I NEED), but the other ones sound amazing too! Thank you for this wonderful post CW :)

    • Michelle!!
      Thank you SO SO much! I’m glad you like it, and, hehe, I’m glad it’s nice to look at as well! 💛

      Ooh I’m glad you loved TK too! It’s definitely up there for me, and I cannot wait to read Chainbreaker and be reunited with my boys again.

      My pleasure! I hope you enjoy the books if you get around to reading them. 💛

  3. Hi! Ida by Alison Evans has a bisexual biracial MC with a LI that’s genderqueer (they/them pronouns) and the plot is interesting because Ida can travel through time. Or so she thinks. It’s very intriguing and the writing style puts the reader on edge anticipating whats about to happen to Ida when she starts seeing dopplegangers of herself.

    This is a great list. I’ve read both TK and PD and loved both! I’ll get to the others soon because I love me rep in SFF!

    • Hi Mariam!
      Ooh, thank you for the recommendation; I really appreciate it. I think I’ve seen Ida floating around in my library, so I’ll be sure to add it to my wishlist so I can keep track of it. :D That sounds like an AWESOME premise, and I’m excited to read it!

      Wasn’t TK and PD amazing?! Ah yay, I’m glad. I hope you enjoy them! 💛

    • Hello Sarah! Peter Darling is fantastic so if you ever have the opportunity to read it, I cannot recommend it enough! Otherbound is fantastic, BUT I found it a bit slow in places. Not a bad thing though, if you like something slow-paced, and if not, the development is really good.

  4. Ooh, so many great recs here! I also listened to the audio of Timekeeper and really enjoyed it! I agree; the world was incredibly unique, and I loved the slow burn of the romance. I also enjoyed The Abyss Surrounds Us– I need to pick up book two! I haven’t yet read Peter Darling or Otherbound, but after reading this post I’m convinced that I need to pick both of them up sooner rather than later. Thanks for this post, CW!

    • Hi Madalyn!
      Thank you so much! Wasn’t the audiobook awesome?! The accents were great too, and the vernacular that they used is close to what we use in NZ, which I don’t often see in books!
      I haven’t picked up book two as well! I need to get on it though, especially since TASU was so much fun.
      Oooh I cannot recommend Peter Darling enough! Otherbound is fantastic, but is a bit slow – if you like slow-paced books with development, I wholeheatedly recommend that one too.

      My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by, Madalyn! 💛

    • Hi Cae!
      Ooooh!! I’m glad to have met someone who liked Otherbound as well. So, glad to meet you! I thought it was fantastic, albeit slow.
      You’re right! I should add the tw’s in – can’t believe it slipped my mind. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Yay Lauren! All are so good, but YES I cannot recommend Peter Darling enough. It’s probably my favourite retelling of ANY Western fairytale – ever. There are some parts that are hard to read, but it’s ultimately a lovely read.

  5. Aha thanks for these recs! Very sad to say I have not yet read any of these but I will be for sure, especially seeing how highly you have praised them! Thanks so much for sharing and stunning drawing + graphics!

  6. Thank you for the recs! I haven’t read any of these books, but books with LGBT+ MAIN characters is definitely a gap in my reading, especially within SFF. Peter Darling looks particularly interesting. I’ve also had my eye on The Timekeeper for a while because it’s steampunk…

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a SFF with a LGBTQIA+ main character unfortunately. I have read a few contemporary books. My favorites would have to be George by Alex Gino (MG book w/ transgender character) and Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn (Adult book w/ lesbian MC)

    • Hi Amanda!
      I totally understand. It’s hard to read every sort of book to fill the holes in our reading – and even if we do, it’s a struggle to read enough of everything.
      Peter Darling is very lovely and I enjoyed it very much. Some parts were a wee dark, but not in a bad way!
      With Timekeeper, the steampunk isn’t too pronounced. I think it makes a good backdrop; the romance is more focal in the story.

      Oh, I started George but never got around to finishing it. I will have to pick it up again at some point though. :D

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