In recognition of PRIDE month in the US, we thought we would go back through our extensive collection of podcasts (we have been going for SIX years now!) and pull out some of our favourites that featured trans and nonbinary authors, publishers, and books.
We know that many of you are participating in reading challenges this month, so in case you are looking for a little inspiration, we’ve got you covered!
It was such a breath of fresh air reading Ryka Aoki’s Light From Uncommon Stars. It was hopeful, joyful, and inspiring! That’s not to say that it never touches on the darker side of life – it does – but she deftly shows readers that there are good people out there and you can find love and acceptance in the strangest of places.
In our podcast interview with Ryka, we explored the welcome trend of hopeful science fiction, putting dystopian fiction behind us!
We’d be remiss not to mention Charlie Jane who has been one of the most prominent trans SFF writers of the past decade. Charlie Jane’s work ranges from hard science fiction to magic-scifi hybrids, books for adults to YA, short fiction and long. She really is a master of many trades!
We spoke to Charlie Jane about the importance of chosen families, especially for those in the LGBTQ+ community who may have experienced rejection from their biological ones.
One of Lucy’s favourites in the last few years was Myers’ The Story of Silence. Myers explores gender identity through a lens of chivalric romance, knights, and royalty, using the French medieval poem ‘Silence’ as inspiration.
Not only did Lucy love Myers’ novel, but she is also a big nerd for chivalric romance. Who knew?! We dove into the nitty-gritty of gender in this era of storytelling during our podcast interview with Alex.
Neon Yang, who at the time of recording went by JY, is an undisputed master of the novella. Their Tensorate Series basically invented a new subgenre – silkpunk – and explores ideas of prophecy, fitting into roles in society, and just how perilous navigating complex political systems can be! Neon joined us in a great ode to the novella as a form, something that has had something of a golden age in recent years.
Alex Acks, aka Alex Wells, is perhaps one of the snappiest dressers on this list (no insult to other snappy dressers intended!). Their books often feature ‘badass’ characters – but no, not in the throwaway, generic way you’re thinking of. They joined us on the show to discuss how being a ‘badass’ is more than just throwing a good punch and how making a character good in a fight does NOT equal a personality.
This one is us cheating a little bit, full disclosure. While Cheryl isn’t a writer, she is the founder and owner of Wizard’s Tower Press, a great indie SFF publisher known for works like The Green Man’s Heir by Juliet E. McKenna. Also a critic and editor, Cheryl is extremely knowledgeable about trans history. She was kind enough to drop a little knowledge on us about trans history both within and outside of SFF when we spoke to her during this episode from 2019.
Ok, so not a trans writer either, but we want to give our Lucy a shoutout for Sistersong and its amazingly nuanced portrayal of a trans protagonist (and this is our list, so who’s going to stop us?!). Not biased at all!
And, well, you can hear Lucy talk in almost all of our episodes, so take your pick!