You can find Queer speculative fiction authors in various online magazines and venues these days, but if you don’t know where to start, let me point you to three platforms that might interest you. These three online venues feature Queer multiply marginalized and international writers whose efforts deserve notice and praise.
The push for more Queer speculative fiction writers and stories in professional and semi-pro magazines takes more than just seeking and publishing them. There are experiences and backgrounds that don’t fit the dominant narrative (i.e., the majority population, white, cisheteronormative, etc.) and are sorely underrepresented in the mainstream for it. So for this Pride Reads feature, I want to spotlight three speculative fiction venues that publish Queer writers from intersecting identities and experiences.
Created in October 2016 by Michael Paramo (Queer aro, ace, and agender Mexican) to uplift writers on the ace/aro spectrum and agender, AZE Journal explores the intersectionality between asexuality, race, ability, and gender. Originally titled The Asexual, this platform changed its name to AZE Journal in 2019 to reflect the inclusivity of people who identify as demisexual, grey-asexual, and anywhere else on the ace/aro spectrum. AZE, or azeness, defines the marginalization of ace/aro and agender people both in the mainstream LGBTQ+ public and under cisheteropatriarchy (especially in Western and colonized countries). AZE Journal accepts submissions from ace, aro, and agender writers. Most of those writers hail from institutions like the University of Southern California and The New School. Since its first issue, AZE Journal has published over 300 pieces.
The journal’s May 2021 (vol 4, issue 3) pieces include personal essays, artwork, and poems about intimacy and sexual identity. Sarah Goodman’s essay Unconditionally and Irrevocably Asexual provides a unique angle to Bella and Edward’s relationship in the Twilight saga. Kyla Frank’s Teatime with Family conveys a message of acceptance and self-worth through a drawing of a person having tea with a shadow being. M. Stawler’s essay Three First Kisses discusses how societal expectations and heteronormativity don’t match with everyone’s level of sexual and or romantic attraction.
AZE Journal is open to submissions on the theme of asexual masculinities. You can support the venue on their Patreon.
A quarterly speculative fiction magazine (est. 2017) that publishes short stories, poems, and personal essays by Queer BIPOC writers. Even with more speculative fiction venues opening doors for underrepresented voices, there’s still work to be done. Anathema strives to do that work by providing a space for multiply marginalized writers.
Anathema’s May 2021 issue contains amazing and imaginative works by new and rising authors to watch. Each issue is worth checking out, but May 2021’s contents have impressed me. Really, I don’t know where to start. Cirque Mécanique by Kel Coleman, To Rise, Blown Open by Jen Brown, and Wild is Another Word for Witch by Donyae Coles are among my most recommended, but do take the time to read all the contents and then the previous issues.
This platform is a bi-monthly podcast (est. 2015) of original and previously published SFF short fiction by LGBTQ+ authors. Transcripts are available, so whether the audio format works for you, you can always read the stories. Although Glittership hasn’t been updated since March 2020, the abundance of wonderfully written stories there deserves recognition. Glittership’s most recent story, The Quiet Realm of the Dark Queen by Jenny Blackford (first published in the anthology Dreaming of Djinn), will transport you to a world based on Sumerian mythology. Another story I highly recommend is Zora Mai Quỳnh’s The Chamber of Souls (first published in the anthology The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeast Asia), which takes place in a fantastical post-apocalyptic Vietnam.
If you know of any Queer speculative fiction magazines not mentioned here, please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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