Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Outstanding LGBT Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2017

June is Pride Month, and here are 34 outstanding stories with LGBT characters from 2017 that were either finalists for major SF/F awards 🏆, included in "year's best" SF/F anthologies 📙, or recommended by prolific reviewers 👍 in short fiction (see Q&A).

This list could be useful for making nominations for the 2018 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards for Best Short Fiction (published in 2010-2017). Anyone can nominate through June 30, 2018. Stories from 2017 are below. See Outstanding LGBT Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2015-2016 for earlier stories.

As always, our focus is on the stories, not the authors. These are stories with memorable LGBT characters—not necessarily stories by noted LGBT authors. These include stories in which a key character merely happens to be an LGBT person as well as stories where the LGBT angle is crucial to the plot.

Note that we can only list a story under one category due to a current limitation of our database schema and dynamic table script. If a story could fall under more than one category, we try to choose the one that's most important to the story.

If you see any mistakes (even if you're an author), please let us know in the comments. Thank you.

1. Observations

  • 15 are Lesbian, 8 are Gay, 3 are Bisexual, 8 are Trans/NB.
  • 23 of the 34 stories are free online.
  • 16 of the stories earned 33 of the 82 available finalist slots for the Eugie (1/5), Hugo (9/18), Locus (11/30), Nebula (8/18), and Sturgeon (4/11) awards. That's 40% of the award finalist slots even though LGBT stories were only 10% of all stories reviewed by RSR in 2017 (81 out of 810) and 35% of award finalist stories (16 out of 45).
  • Authors with the most stories here are JY Yang (3), Indrapramit Das (2) and Sarah Pinsker (2).
  • Three of the stories were written by Campbell Award-eligible writers.
  • Prolific reviewers with the most recommendations here are RSR (15), RHorton (8) and STomaino (8).

2. Background

RSR co-editors Greg and Eric have been a couple for 22 years, and Greg was an activist from 1979 to 2007 or so (GLAAD/SFBA in 1993). While representing LGBT employees at Microsoft, Greg’s biggest achievement as an activist was influencing Microsoft during 2005-2006 to add “gender identity” to its nondiscrimination policy and to amend its employee handbook to give HR sensible directions on helping employees who transition.

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