The Stars are Legion

Hurley, Kameron. The Stars are Legion. New York: Saga Press, 2017.

Two space vehicles flying toward a large planet, with the author's name and title in large silver letters.

Zan wakes up with no memory of her history or identity. She is being held by the Katazyrna matriarchy and trained to breach Mokshi, the only remaining world-ship healthy enough to sustain life. Meanwhile, her sometime-lover Jayd is traded to the Bhavaja matriarchy in a diplomatic marriage intended to stop a generations-long war. The two women’s stories intertwine as both desperately struggle to stay alive, negotiate loyalties and betrayals, and gain control of Mokshi. Continue reading

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Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic

Hill-Meyer, Tobi (Editor). Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic. New York: Instar Books, 2017.

A brown-skinned transfemme laying on their back. Their eyes are closed, their mouth is open, and their hands are in their pants. A Hitachi Magic Wand rests on the bed next to them.

This collection of short stories is a rarity: erotica by trans people, about trans people, for trans people. So often, trans bodies are commodified and fetishized by cisgender people; both in pornography and socio-legally. Nerve Endings proudly presents 30 unique trans narratives that run the gamut of sexualities, genders, romantic/sexual behaviors, and literary genres. Continue reading

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What Makes a Baby

Silverberg, Cory (Author) and Fiona Smyth (Illustrator). What Makes a Baby. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2012.

A brightly-colored illustration of various families walking in a park. Text reads: "Who was happy that it was YOU who grew?"

With the tagline “A book for every kind of family and every kind of kid,” What Makes a Baby is indeed the most inclusive children’s book about reproduction that I’ve ever read. Intended to be read by grownups to children, this book provides an age-appropriate approach to basic details about reproduction and plenty of opportunities for personal sharing about a child’s own story. Continue reading

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What Night Brings

Trujillo, Carla. What Night Brings. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2003.

A girl laying in a four-poster bed with an orange blanket, floating in a large body of water.

Every night, Marci Cruz prays to God and Baby Jesus to turn her into a boy, and every morning she checks to see if they granted her wish. She doesn’t actually feel like a boy, though:

It’s because I like girls. I don’t know how or when it happened. Maybe I was born this way, but the second I saw chiches, I wanted them. I couldn’t stop thinking of girls, during the day at school, at night in my dreams, and especially when I watched TV. Now I know you can’t be with a girl if you are a girl. So that’s why I have to change into a boy. (9)

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Brown, Rachel Manija, and Sherwood Smith. Stranger. New York: Viking, 2014.

A person walking toward an open gate with light streaming out of it.

Stranger is genre-crossing, told from five separate points of view, and written in collaboration by two writers, but there’s nothing rambling or uneven about it. In fact, the excellent writing and fascinating plot kept me turning pages and holding my breath.

In a post apocalyptic world, a mutation caused curious changes in the ecosystem, giving squirrels telekinetic abilities and creating crystalline trees that kill people with their shards. Some humans changed, too. In the town of Las Anclas, the sheriff has superhuman strength and the doctor can alter time to heal patients faster. Continue reading

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The You I’ve Never Known

Hopkins, Ellen. The You I’ve Never Known. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2017.

Close-up of a light-skinned young woman's face, with a fuzzy grid overlay.

Ariel and her father have been on the move since her mother left when she was two years old, never staying long in one place. Now, at seventeen, they have finally settled in a town where Ariel can make friends and go to school. She’s flourishing with academics and sports and cautiously exploring first love with her best friend Monica. Continue reading

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The Telling

Le Guin, Ursula K. The Telling. New York: Harcourt, 2000.

Book cover with a group of people in a cave, backlit with a bright light.

Sutty, an (Anglo-Indian and lesbian) ethnographer representing a peaceful interstellar confederation, travels to Aka to initiate diplomatic relations. Continue reading

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