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Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books by Trans Authors You Should be Reading and Recommending

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books by Trans Authors

We’re not quite halfway through Pride Month, but oh boy, a LOT has happened. I won’t go over all of the headlines that have made this June one of the most… frustrating that I’ve experienced, but I will say, one of those headlines sparked the idea for this blog post. Really, it’s been a long-time coming. I first started drafting this in May because of a certain mega-famous author’s online behavior. Not only that, but I’ve been thinking a lot this year about how we don’t see as much representation of marginalized identities in science-fiction and fantasy as we do in contemporary Middle-Grade and Young Adult books. This led me to compile a list of trans authors of science-fiction and/or fantasy, which kind of turned into this post.

Besides, it IS Pride Month! It’s the perfect time to hype up some trans authors (and buy their books!)

Below, you will find a list of eight books from fantasy and science-fiction genres separated by age group. While not all of the following books feature trans characters, I still find it important to include them. After all, the important thing is getting diverse voices in publishing’s door. No author owes us #OwnVoices stories, and no matter what their characters identify as, these voices deserve to be heard. So please consider purchasing a copy or requesting from your library. Also, notice how they’re all Middle-Grade and Young Adult books? Please don’t forget to recommend some to the children and teens in your life!

* Titles in the “Other books by” section denoted with an asterisk are not in a science-fiction or fantasy genre.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links for Amazon and Indiebound. Purchasing products through these links do not raise the cost on your bill, however, using the links allows me to earn a small commission.

Middle-Grade

Cover of Lumber Janes, Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten HolyThe Lumberjanes Series by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen, Shannon Watters

Vol. 1 published April 1st, 2015 // BOOM! Studios
Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams.

Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!

(**There are currently 14 volumes of this graphic novel published, with the next volume expected to publish on August 18th, 2020)

Cover of Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

January 15th, 2019 // Rick Riordan Presents
Goodreads | IndieBound | Libro.fm | Amazon

THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD MIN comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times.

Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

 

Cover of Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo

Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo

August 4th 2020 // Scholastic
Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

The magical story of a hex that goes haywire, and the power of friendship to set things right!

In the town of Howler’s Hollow, conjuring magic is strictly off-limits. Only nothing makes Delpha McGill’s skin crawl more than rules. So when she finds her family’s secret book of hexes, she’s itching to use it to banish her mama’s money troubles. She just has to keep it quieter than a church mouse — not exactly Delpha’s specialty.

Trouble is, Katybird Hearn is hankering to get her hands on the spell book, too. The daughter of a rival witching family, Katy has reasons of her own for wanting to learn forbidden magic, and she’s not going to let an age-old feud or Delpha’s contrary ways stop her. But their quarrel accidentally unleashes a hex so heinous it resurrects a graveyard full of angry Hearn and McGill ancestors bent on total destruction. If Delpha and Katy want to reverse the spell in time to save everyone in the Hollow from rampaging zombies, they’ll need to mend fences and work together.

 

Young Adult

Cover of The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

October 30th, 2018 // Viking
Goodreads | IndieBound | Libro.fm | Amazon

All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that she secretly turns her family’s enemies into music boxes, mirrors, and other decorative objects. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas—wielders of magic—are figures out of fairytales. Nobody believes they’re real.

Then the Capo, the land’s new ruler, sends poisoned letters to the heads of the Five Families that have long controlled Vinalia. Four lie dead and Teo’s beloved father is gravely ill. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son—not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one.

Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book. Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. As she falls in love with witty, irascible Cielo, Teo realizes how much of life she’s missed by hiding her true nature. But she can’t forget her mission, and the closer they get to the palace, the more sinister secrets they uncover about what’s really going on in their beloved country—and the more determined Teo becomes to save her family at any cost.

Other YA book(s) by Amy Rose Capetta: Once & Future [with Cori McCarthy] (2019), The Lost Coast (2019), Echo After Echo* (2017)

Cover of Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

October 9th, 2018 // Feiwel & Friends
Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

Other YA book(s) by Anna-Marie McLemore: Deep and Darkest Red (2020), Wild Beauty (2017), When the Moon Was Ours (2016)

Cover of Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

September 10th, 2019 // Make Me a World
Goodreads | IndieBound | Libro.fm | Amazon

Pet is here to hunt a monster.
Are you brave enough to look?

There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question-How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

In their riveting and timely young adult debut, acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi asks difficult questions about what choices a young person can make when the adults around them are in denial.

 

Cover of Spellhacker by MK EnglandSpellhacker by M.K. England

January 21st 2020 // HarperTeen
Goodreads | IndieBound | Libro.fm | Amazon

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure.

Other YA book(s) by M.K. England: The Disasters (2018)

Cover of Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

September 15th, 2020 // Tor Teen
Goodreads | IndieBound | Libro.fm | Amazon

Xochital is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enimagic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.

One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous mayor. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

Other YA book(s) by Mark Oshiro: Anger is a Gift* (2018)

 

What other books by trans authors have you read recently? Which trans authors are your favorite?


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