Friday, April 11, 2008

Gay Sci-Fi?

Who knew that such a genre in literature even existed? I've always been a bit of a sci-fi nut (yeah, like that isn't obvious) but most of the books I've seen with a gay character weren't very good. Either the writing was poor or the plot sub-standard. Almost as bad, the gay characters are sluts or lack any depth other than their sexuality. However, thanks to Darker Projects I found a good sci-fi audio drama that not only has a gay character, but he's the hero of the story. Even better, his sexuality is incidental to the story and not the main focus. Check out The Falcon Banner, based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Patrick Lydon:

By the twenty-second century, mankind had stretched forth its hand to command the stars. Other races were discovered, and, as the human sphere of influence expanded, they were happy to live in peaceful coexistence, and humanity was on the verge of an evolutionary leap.

The Terran emperor was the first to ascend to the next step of human evolution. His advisors, who now styled themselves holy clerics, sought to force the other races to see the light of their religion. They began to subjugate the other races to the will of the empire. The Amsus, who saw the Empire as decadent, illogical and chaotic, waged war upon it. Admiral VonGrippen, the brightest military mind in centuries, betrayed the empire, and removed the entire home fleet, collapsing the jump gate after them, leaving Earth and the Empire to be squashed under the heel of Amsus oppression.

Now, three hundred years after the fall of the Terran Empire, humans find themselves the subject race, Stagnating on their own world unable to evolve either technologically or otherwise. It is into this oppressive world, that the most unlikely of men are thrust into the roles of heros.

If you enjoy this audio version of the story, you might want to get all the books in the series: The Falcon Banner, Sigil of the Wolf, The Lion's Pride, The Balance of Judgement, The Fifth Column and Queen of Ice (prequel).

Of course, unlike the audio version the books aren't free but their cost is reasonable. I bought all of them today and will enjoy reading this series. Check it out for yourselves...


QuakerJono said...

There's tons of good gay sci-fi out there, or at least sci-fi with gay characters who aren't stereotypes and good writing. Everything from C.J. Cherryh's Cyteen to Greg Egan's Teranesia and pretty much all of Melissa Scott's work.

For more esoteric stuff, there's China Mieville's Iron Council which is perhaps more steampunk, but I would call it sci-fi as well. Maureen F. McHugh's China Mountain Zhang is sci-fi speculative fiction sort of in the vein of Samuel R. Delany, with it's meandering story lines.

If it's more space opera you're wanting, there's always Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga, which deals with all sorts of sexuality issues and gives rise to the sort of spin-off novel, Ethan of Athos, which is sort of sci-fi meets mystery/thriller.

There's a lot out there and more coming out all the time, which is kind of exciting!

JohnAGJ said...

Hey thanks a lot! I'm still discovering the range of gay-related literature. I found this link which has some interesting titles:

Anonymous said...

Book V, the fifth column was just released