Best Science Fiction Books with Gay Main Characters

Science fiction books featuring gay or bisexual main characters. Other "alternative" forms of sexuality are accepted, too.
Note: please add/vote books with male/androgynous main characters only
1

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4.10 avg rating — 2,798 ratings
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2

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3.95 avg rating — 2,430 ratings
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3

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4.06 avg rating — 90,054 ratings
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4

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3.96 avg rating — 2,697 ratings
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5

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4.25 avg rating — 114 ratings
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6

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4.09 avg rating — 3,039 ratings
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7

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3.95 avg rating — 4,482 ratings
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8

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3.75 avg rating — 10,937 ratings
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9

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3.56 avg rating — 145 ratings
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10

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3.91 avg rating — 246,821 ratings
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11

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3.99 avg rating — 2,359 ratings
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12

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4.21 avg rating — 586,573 ratings
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13

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4.08 avg rating — 1,820 ratings
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14

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4.20 avg rating — 4,506 ratings
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15

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4.13 avg rating — 828 ratings
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16

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4.13 avg rating — 3,014 ratings
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17

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4.03 avg rating — 686 ratings
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18

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4.03 avg rating — 1,393 ratings
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19

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3.86 avg rating — 1,003 ratings
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20

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3.86 avg rating — 780 ratings
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21

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3.93 avg rating — 3,243 ratings
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22

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3.73 avg rating — 13,041 ratings
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23

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3.63 avg rating — 2,005 ratings
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24

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3.68 avg rating — 1,543 ratings
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25

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3.79 avg rating — 7,491 ratings
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26

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4.26 avg rating — 1,538 ratings
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27

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4.05 avg rating — 21 ratings
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28

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3.98 avg rating — 1,588 ratings
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29

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4.03 avg rating — 2,959 ratings
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30

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4.13 avg rating — 721 ratings
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31

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4.33 avg rating — 2,865 ratings
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32

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3.91 avg rating — 1,638 ratings
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33

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3.66 avg rating — 263 ratings
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34

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3.78 avg rating — 1,294 ratings
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35

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4.58 avg rating — 2,568 ratings
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36

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3.89 avg rating — 2,149 ratings
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37

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4.25 avg rating — 377 ratings
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38

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3.93 avg rating — 1,495 ratings
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39

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3.87 avg rating — 191 ratings
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40

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4.49 avg rating — 2,749 ratings
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41

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3.59 avg rating — 760 ratings
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42

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3.89 avg rating — 825 ratings
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43

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3.83 avg rating — 1,008 ratings
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44

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3.84 avg rating — 378 ratings
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45

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3.57 avg rating — 237 ratings
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46

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3.73 avg rating — 6,747 ratings
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47

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4.27 avg rating — 654 ratings
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48

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3.98 avg rating — 1,777 ratings
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49

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3.65 avg rating — 709 ratings
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50

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3.91 avg rating — 1,680 ratings
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50

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4.33 avg rating — 9 ratings
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52

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3.37 avg rating — 724 ratings
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53

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4.27 avg rating — 399 ratings
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54

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3.78 avg rating — 314 ratings
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55

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3.94 avg rating — 717 ratings
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56

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4.30 avg rating — 493 ratings
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57

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4.08 avg rating — 241,779 ratings
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58

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3.69 avg rating — 570 ratings
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59

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3.93 avg rating — 776 ratings
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60

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3.97 avg rating — 280 ratings
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61

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3.36 avg rating — 45 ratings
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62

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3.77 avg rating — 796 ratings
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63

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3.88 avg rating — 120 ratings
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64

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3.85 avg rating — 3,486 ratings
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65

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3.81 avg rating — 4,168 ratings
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66

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3.96 avg rating — 29,041 ratings
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67

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3.63 avg rating — 140 ratings
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68

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4.10 avg rating — 101 ratings
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69

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3.70 avg rating — 207 ratings
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70

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3.96 avg rating — 831 ratings
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71

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3.92 avg rating — 938 ratings
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72

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3.89 avg rating — 91 ratings
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72

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4.27 avg rating — 1,199 ratings
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74

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3.71 avg rating — 1,751 ratings
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75

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3.96 avg rating — 52 ratings
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76

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4.08 avg rating — 892 ratings
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77

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3.66 avg rating — 358 ratings
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78

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3.71 avg rating — 153 ratings
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79

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4.10 avg rating — 1,003 ratings
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80

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4.22 avg rating — 69 ratings
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81

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3.67 avg rating — 310 ratings
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82

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3.83 avg rating — 355 ratings
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83

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4.07 avg rating — 107 ratings
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84

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3.68 avg rating — 338 ratings
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85

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3.59 avg rating — 166 ratings
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86

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4.30 avg rating — 598 ratings
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87

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3.99 avg rating — 87 ratings
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88

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,019 ratings
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89

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3.88 avg rating — 1,218 ratings
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90

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3.85 avg rating — 2,384 ratings
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91

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4.16 avg rating — 816 ratings
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92

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3.56 avg rating — 153 ratings
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93

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3.82 avg rating — 234 ratings
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93

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4.03 avg rating — 37 ratings
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95

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4.05 avg rating — 190 ratings
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96

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4.36 avg rating — 64 ratings
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97

by
3.49 avg rating — 169 ratings
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98

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3.95 avg rating — 1,010 ratings
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99

by
3.97 avg rating — 204 ratings
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100

by
3.44 avg rating — 1,544 ratings
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410 books · 494 voters · list created February 9th, 2010 by Nemesis (votes) .
133 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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More voters…


Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by momokaachan (new)

momokaachan Why is Dune on this list? Paul is not gay; at a stretch he may be bi-


message 2: by Noah (new)

Noah Why is Stranger In A Strange Land on this list? It's FULL OF HOMOPHOBIA.


message 3: by Noah (new)

Noah Probably because Baron Harkonnen was a pervert that liked boys. I don't think he should count as a main character, really, and I utterly disagree with it being on the list, but that is the only thing that makes any sense.


message 4: by Kaitlyn (new)

Kaitlyn What I want to know is why all of the covers of these stories feel that it is necessary to have pictures of men's abdominal muscles on nearly everyone of them? Can't we have a story with gay main characters that isn't JUST about the sexual aspect of it?


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah There is no gay protagonist in The Left Hand of Darkness.


message 6: by David (new)

David There may be no gay protagonist in Left Hand Of Darkness, but at a stretch, the population of Gethen are all transgendered! The fact that a person of that world can be both a mother and father in the same lifetime is mindblowing! And as in other gay books(see City and the Pillar) one of the protagonists must die. In this case it's Lord Estraven.

David


message 7: by Terri (new)

Terri I wouldn't call Wraeththu science fiction. It's a gothic fantasy.


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Offutt momokaachan wrote: "Why is Dune on this list? Paul is not gay; at a stretch he may be bi-"

I bet it has to do with Baron Harkonnen.


message 9: by Seregil (new)

Seregil The Left Hand of Darkness probably shouldn't be here. I suppose who added it thought of the scene where the protagonists sleep together and even though at that point they are female-male, the female partener has always been thought of as male so it's... confusing...

I totally disagree with Dune on the list though. I've always seen the Baron as a pedophile rather than a gay character. And I wouldn't call him a protagonist...


message 10: by Elizabetta (new)

Elizabetta Not sure I'd call Mongrel or Slave Boy (listed twice) sci-fi. Alt univ or fantasy may work better.


message 11: by Lori S. (new)

Lori S. Dune shouldn't be on this list. The Baron is a cruel, perverted, pedophile whose intentions with Paul ... >shudders< And the suggestions of what went on with his nephews? Yeah, no.

I have an issue with The Last Pure Human being on this list. It may have started out as science fiction at the beginning, now, however, it has degenerated to just PWP - porn without plot.


message 12: by Elizabetta (last edited Dec 09, 2013 10:05AM) (new)

Elizabetta Dune is definitely sci-fi. The Baron being a pedo versus gay is a toss-up. The fact that he focused on males is a clue though. But, I see your point after some thought... :)


message 13: by Lori S. (new)

Lori S. Dune is excellent science fiction. However, I do think Frank Herbert had some definite ideas about homosexuality which would be at odds with most of the books on this list. Also, his characterization of Baron Harkonnen is not a man who likes/loves men in and of themselves, but who loves power over younger men, most especially pretty boys who are either sedated before he starts using them (there's no love in his actions) or are feisty enough to put up a fight, but not strong enough to stop his sadism. The whole point in the Baron's view is not the enjoyment of D/s|M/s|BDSM where the sub has control but where he has the power of life and, more importantly, death over his victims.

From Dune: "I'll be in my sleeping chambers," the Baron said. "Bring me that young fellow we bought on Gamont, the one with the lovely eyes. Drug him well. I don't feel like wrestling."

There are very few redeeming qualities about the Baron, he's out to grab all the power he can and has no qualms about how he achieves his goals. Yes, he's homosexual, but as written in the original text (ignoring the Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson versions), the Baron doesn't qualify as anything but a nasty, dirty old man who, if he thought he could get away with it and survive, would have raped his own grandson (Paul) just because he was "pretty".


message 14: by Elizabetta (new)

Elizabetta I have a hard time judging a book because of an author's proclivities or personal beliefs (Ender's Game also comes to mind). This falls into the slippery slope of book censoring/banning, imho. It's something I mull over a lot.

The list calls for Sci-fi books with gay characters and by that spec alone, Dune belongs here no matter what we feel about the author or a character.


message 15: by Zachary (new)

Zachary Bonelli Kaitlyn wrote: "... Can't we have a story with gay main characters that isn't JUST about the sexual aspect of it?"

I feel the same way, Kaitlyn. It's a philosophy I bring to my writing. I write stories about characters' whole lives, not just their sex lives. I expect the draw of my stories to be a spirit of adventure and philosophical depth, not a cover filled with abdominal muscles.

But also, it appears that in the three years since your post, this list hass been filled out with many titles that do not engage in sex-appeal cover tactics. That's heartening. We're beginning to explore gay characters' whole lives, not just their sex lives.


Roger - president of NBR United - Have to say I read stranger in a strange land many time and there is no gay character at all in it definiely not a main character.


Roger - president of NBR United - Luck in the shadow is fantasy not Sci FI


message 18: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Kaitlyn wrote: "What I want to know is why all of the covers of these stories feel that it is necessary to have pictures of men's abdominal muscles on nearly everyone of them? Can't we have a story with gay main c..."

Ethan of Athos barely touches on the sexual aspects, it's more of interest for the cultural aspects and the adventure Ethan has when exposed to the world outside Athos, and meeting women for the first time.


message 19: by Lori S. (new)

Lori S. Kathy wrote: "Kaitlyn wrote: "What I want to know is why all of the covers of these stories feel that it is necessary to have pictures of men's abdominal muscles on nearly everyone of them? Can't we have a story..."

Which makes it an interesting book, especially from Ethan's point of view. Not every book needs sex in it to be valid.


message 20: by Kirstin (last edited Oct 24, 2016 08:27AM) (new)

Kirstin Steitz Orson Scott Card is actively anti-gay and has donated and participated with prominent anti-gay organizations. Surprised to see one of his books listed.


Kelly H. (Maybedog) Roger - president of NBR United - wrote: "Have to say I read stranger in a strange land many time and there is no gay character at all in it definiely not a main character."

Actually the main character is bisexual which qualifies if the rest of these books are anything to go by. The whole thing is about free love and being able to love and have sex with whomever you want. It was my favorite book for many years as a kid. I read it when I was 11 and it was the book that made me realize I was bi, too. I came out after I read it. Of course, my mother just thought it was me being dramatic so she was quite shocked when I finally started dating women, too.

Although as an adult I can see Heinlein's politics in his work, and that his views on women and gay people were stuck back in time and never grew so it became clear he was horribly sexist in particular. Stranger in a Strange land really opened my eyes and allowed me to be true to myself much earlier in life than a lot of other LGBTQ people. Looking back on it now, yes it's homophobic, but in the era in which it was written, it was quite forward thinking for a mainstream book. He wasn't Delaney or Sturgeon, but the book definitely pushed boundaries at the time.


message 22: by Tim (new)

Tim I read the Dune series by Frank Herbert and loved it. There is NO gay main character in this series. None.

I've no clue why it's in this list.


message 23: by Lori S. (new)

Lori S. Tim wrote: "I read the Dune series by Frank Herbert and loved it. There is NO gay main character in this series. None.

I've no clue why it's in this list."


Because of Baron Harkonen - who isn't gay so much as a pedophile (a distasteful implication that's so old fashioned ... blergh).


message 24: by Tim (new)

Tim Pedophile and Gay are not the same and shouldn't be thought of as such. The Baron is a stockpile of bad behaviors but to say he's gay and lump that in with the other evils is incorrect on numerous levels.

Everything about his sexual expression is a litany of non-con including drugging his victims so they don't resist or make unpleasant noises.

I think it's a stretch of any psychology to label him as gay.

Then there's the factor of this list "Best Science Fiction Books with Gay Main Characters" and while the Baron is a character in the book I don't think he fits the list descriptor.


message 25: by Lori S. (new)

Lori S. Tim wrote: "Pedophile and Gay are not the same and shouldn't be thought of as such. The Baron is a stockpile of bad behaviors but to say he's gay and lump that in with the other evils is incorrect on numerous ..."

I quite agree. Others seem to think otherwise. :\


message 26: by Amy (last edited Oct 22, 2017 07:55PM) (new)

Amy Yeah I agree with Kaitlyn. The list is getting better than it was before but I don't like it when some authors advertise their books with half naked muscular men. I understand that authors use it as a tactic to lure people in. But when I see those kinds of covers, I can't help but think that the story is probably full of sex and nothing about character development or plot at all.

This is also the trick used in MM romance, where I know for sure that story development doesn't matter as much as it does in gay literary fiction. MM romance is where you will find the half naked covers and unrealistic depictions of gay relationships. Thankfully not all books on this list are the same.

But I try so hard not to judge a book by its cover! Lol


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