New and Award-worthy 2SLGBTQ+ Speculative Fiction Reads

May 27, 2022 | Ames

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With Pride month 2022 just a few days away, why not pick up a 2SLGBTQ+ novel to celebrate? Here in The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, we've pulled some new arrivals to highlight.

We're one of Toronto Public Library's Special Collections. So although our copies of these books can't be borrowed, copies of these books are available in the circulating collection too.

All of these books have 2SLGBTQ+ themes or characters and are written by 2SLGBTQ+ authors.


2SLGBTQ+ Novels Published in 2022

These novels were published between January and May 2022. They're listed alphabetically by title.

The Boy with a Bird in his Chest

The Boy with a Bird in his Chest by Emme Lund

In this magical realism novel, Owen Tanner has a literal bird living between his ribs. Her name is Gail. Owen has never met anyone else living with a bird inside them, and fears what will happen when his secret is discovered.

Lund did a talk on this book with TPL back in February. If you missed the live event, you can watch the recorded replay.

The Circus Infinite

The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong

Jes is half-human, half-alien, and possesses the psychic ability to control gravity. He's on the run from the scientists who want to examine – or dissect – him. Jes finds refuge as an employee at a casino/circus. But the owner is a crime boss who wants Jes to use his powers as his new muscle.

Moon Witch Spider King

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James, sequel to Black Leopard, Red Wolf

Sologon, the Moon Witch, moves from the role of antagonist to protagonist in this sequel. While this book also covers the search for the missing boy in the first book, readers will also learn a lot more about the 177-year-old Sologon.

My Volcano

My Volcano by John Elizabeth Stintzi

One day in 2016, a jogger discovers an active volcano has developed in Central Park. And that's not the only weird thing that's happening. Time-travel, metamorphosis and pyrokinetics are just a few of the phenomena that show up in this novel. This book features multiple perspectives and multiple narrators.

Siren Queen

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

A historical fiction novel of Old Hollywood and ancient blood magic. Luli Wei is a young Chinese American who wants to star on the silver screen. What is she willing to pay for her dream? Her beauty, her name, the woman she loves? Perhaps even her own life?


Spear by Nicola Griffith

In this queer retelling of Arthurian legend, a young girl sneaks away to become one of Arthur's knights. Perceived as a man, she goes on quests for the treasures of legend: the sword, the spear and the grail.

The Thousand Eyes

The Thousand Eyes by A. K. Larkwood, sequel to The Unspoken Name

Set two years after the end of The Unspoken Name. Csorwe, her lover Shuthmili, and Tal have formed a mercenary trio for hire. When their client dies and accidentally awakes a 3,000-year-old snake warrior, they are drawn into a fight against the immortals.

Wild and Wicked Things

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

Mysterious islands, roaring parties, magic and blood deals. This alternate history novel is set after the Great War – the first war to use magic – and has been described as Gatsby-esque.

This author also writes mystery/thriller novels under the name Fran Dorricott.


LAMBDA Literary Award Speculative Fiction 2022 finalists

LAMBDA Literary announced their 2022 finalists on March 15. Because of the way the award cycle works, 2022 finalists are books published in 2021. These are the five finalists in the Speculative Fiction category. In case you missed them last year, why not read them now?

A Desolation Called Peace

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine, sequel to A Memory Called Empire

Diplomatic ambassador Mahit Dzmare's job keeps getting tougher. She has been called to negotiate with a hostile alien fleet that cannot be destroyed and refuses to communicate. The survival of her society depends on her success.


Breeder by Honni van Rijswijk (not yet in catalogue)

Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia where a man's worth is based on his productivity, and a woman's worth on her reproductivity. Teens Will and Alex fight to reach the unregulated Gray Zone and what little freedom it offers.

No Gods No Monsters

No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull

What starts with a fatal shooting by Boston police turns into the revelation that monsters live among us. Monsters from myth and legend are real, they're done living in the shadows, and nothing will be the same. But why have the monsters chosen now to reveal themselves? What worse things are still hiding in the dark?


Phototaxis by Olivia Tapiero, translated from French.

The world ends not with a bang, but with a sudden flood of rotting meat clogging the streets. No, really. This unusual apocalyptic novel suggests that however bizarre the end is, we have no idea what to expect and no way to be prepared for it.

The Black Tides of Heaven

The Tensorate series by Neon Yang, which begins with The Black Tides of Heaven

Twins Mokoya and Akeha are raised together in the monastery. As they grow older, Mokoya is encouraged to support the Tensors – the state – while Akeha begins to side with the Machinist rebels. But supporting the rebellion means turning away from their twin.


The LAMBDA Literary Award 2022 winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 11.

And if you're looking for more award-worthy 2SLGBTQ+ speculative fiction, here's a list of LAMDBA winners in this category since 1990. Some of the older, rarer titles may not have copies available to borrow, but they can be read in The Merril Collection reading room.

LAMBDA Literary Award winners for other categories are part of the list on our awards page.

Alyx and Lee
Alyx Dellamonica and Lee Mandelo. Photo credit for Alyx: Kristy Boyce. Photo credit for Lee: Sarah Jane Sanders Sarah Jane Webb.

We'll also be hosting an online author talk on June 10! Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Speculative Fiction. Authors Alyx Dellamonica and Lee Mandelo will be talking about their writing, and how speculative fiction can expand our ideas of gender identity and sexual orientation. The discussion will include a live Q&A with participants.

Alyx Dellamonica recently released Gamechanger and a sequel Dealbreaker, two hopepunk novels. They're published under the pen name L.X. Beckett. And Lee Mandelo's Summer Sons is a perfect gothic horror to give you chills in the hot weather.

You can register now to receive an email reminder, or tune in live on June 10 at 7pm.


What other 2SLGBTQ+ speculative fiction books would you recommend? Are you excited for any new titles publishing later this year? Share below in the comments!