Pride Reads: Queer SFF Short Fiction to Read

Queer SFF Short Fiction to Read
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After having read a lot of Queer SFF short fiction over the past several years, I decided to take the chance to recommend some of them. Here you’ll find speculative fiction written by Queer authors.

The mentions/recommendations below are unsponsored. All opinions are my own.

I’m pleased and excited to finally share several of the well-written and awe-inspiring Queer SFF short fiction (flash fiction, short stories, and novelettes). These amazing stories, either written recently or over the past several years, span from various experiences and narratives.

 

Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong
Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers (Nightmare Magazine)

Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong (Short story. Nightmare Magazine, Issue 37. Published October 2015.)

2015 Nebula Award Winner for Best Short Story. 2016 World Fantasy Award Winner for Short Fiction. 2015 Bram Stoker Award Finalist for Short Fiction.

Jen, a shapeshifter, consumes the thoughts and flesh of the people she dates. When she encounters Seo-Yun, another shapeshifter, Jen learns how to channel her hunger through desire. A memorable story about identity and the sense of self.

 

Single Origin by A.Z. Louise
Single Origin (Fantasy Magazine)

Single Origin by A.Z. Louise (Flash fiction. Fantasy Magazine, Issue 66. Published April 2021)

Benita finally decides to visit the witch’s bog after passing it so many times before. There, she meets Fawn and enjoys coffee and bourbon with her. A.Z.’s lyrical prose emphasizes the cozy feel of the setting.

 

Strange Music by Nicole Bade
Strange Music (Fireside)

Strange Music by Nicole Bade (Flash fiction. Fireside. Published April 2021)

Nina endures the trauma from the invasion and destruction of her home. Nicole Bade’s prose shows emotion in a small amount of time.

 

Tatreez by Sonia Sulaiman
Tatreez (Lackington’s)

Tatreez by Sonia Sulaiman (Flash fiction. Lackington’s, Issue 22. Published November 2020)

A powerful story about reclaiming histories even when they’ve been erased from the physical archives (in this piece, Palestinians). It’s about how stories change over time depending on who controls the narrative.

 

The Equations of the Dead by An Owomoyela
The Equations of the Dead (Lightspeed Magazine)

The Equations of the Dead by An Owomoyela (Novelette. Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 131. Published April 2021)

A novelette that questions whether consciousness can be replicated via AI after death. Does consciousness linger after its physical embodiment no longer functions? A thought-provoking story about grief and the desire to persuade a passed loved one to return spiritually or emotionally.

 

Salvage by Andi C. Buchanan
Salvage (takahē Magazine)

Salvage by Andi C. Buchanan (Short story. takahē Magazine, Issue 98. Published April 2020)

Talia finds a sewing machine from the sea following a storm. Haunting and atmospheric, the story navigates loss and renewal.

 

Conjurer's Rites by Jen Brown
Conjurer’s Rites (Breathe FIYAH, in collaboration with Tor.com)

Conjurer’s Rites by Jen Brown (Flash fiction. Breathe FIYAH (in collaboration with Tor.com). Published October 2020))

I’ve recommended Jen Brown’s To Rise, Blown Open in my Queer Speculative Fiction Magazine recs. Her piece for Breathe FIYAH (a flash fiction collaboration between FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction and Tor.com) is just as breathtaking. A gorgeous story involving family reunions and oral storytelling.

 

Three Partitions by Bogi Tackács
Three Partitions (GigaNotoSaurus)

Three Partitions by Bogi Tackács (Novelette. GigaNotoSaurus. Published April 2014)

A novelette that challenges traditions and the gender binary. An Orthodox Jewish community inhabits a sentient planet that does not accept them. Because of the planet’s immune system, the planet does not recognize its new inhabitants as part of its natural environment. Chani, the manifestation of the planet-mind, identifies as neither male nor female (although uses she/her pronouns). If the colonists continue to reject Chani, the planet’s immune system will attack them.

 

Anything Resembling Love by S. Qiouyi Lu
Anything Resembling Love (Tor.com)

Anything Resembling Love by S. Qiouyi Lu (Short story. Tor.com. Published April 2020)

Content Warning: rape and sexual assault

Sylvia forces the centipedes from escaping her body whenever she’s being intimate or having sex with a partner. A powerful narrative about consent and agency.

 

Bones in the Rock by R.K. Kalaw
Bones in the Rock (Uncanny Magazine)

Bones in the Rock by R.K. Kalaw (Short story. Uncanny Magazine, Issue 23. Published July 2018)

I’m a sucker for dinosaurs, and this piece delightfully contains that and a love story that transcends time. A raptor in her first life, the narrator (reincarnated as a human) attempts to resurrect her lover (yes, also a raptor).

 

The Mermaid Astronaut by Yoon Ha Lee
The Mermaid Astronaut (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

The Mermaid Astronaut by Yoon Ha Lee (Short story. Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 298. Published February 2020)

2021 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Short Story.

A mermaid named Essarala makes a bargain with the sea witch to travel the stars. This gorgeous, imaginative story compels me from beginning to end every time I read it.

Do you know of Queer SFF short fiction that you’d like to recommend? Feel free to comment below. I love to hear from you!

If you want more short speculative fiction recs, check out my Queer SFF magazines post!

Author: Brahidaliz Martinez

Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. They’re a submissions editor for Uncanny Magazine. Their various areas of interest include intersectionality in apocalyptic and disaster films, Artificial Intelligence, writing for animation, YA SFF, and LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media.

Pronouns: he/they
Location: DC Metro area

Twitter: @brahidaliz


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