Episode 8: Science fiction has always been queer

Cover detail from  Hild , by Nicola Griffith. Illustration by Anna and Elena Balbusso.

Cover detail from Hild, by Nicola Griffith. Illustration by Anna and Elena Balbusso.


It's queer pride month, and we're talking about how LGBTQIA+ got into our SFF. We time warp back to the lesbian vampires of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla and the utopian world of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland, and catch you up on modern classics. Plus, we explore Torchwood, Sense8, Battlestar Galactica, and more! Along the way we ask why vampires and time travelers are so gay, and how queerness crept into fandom. Do fantastical stories help queer people cope with dark times? Yes! So much yes!


Works Cited:

Ovid, Metamorphoses

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland

Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, dir. James Whale

Gods and Monsters, dir. Bill Condon

Thomas Disch

Samuel Delany, Dhalgren

Joanna Russ, The Female Man

David Gerold, Trouble with Tribbles (note: he was 22 when he wrote this, not 18 as we guessed in the podcast), The Man Who Folded Himself

Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Zardoz, dir. John Boorman

John Varley, Steel Beach, Titan, Wizard

The Hunger, dir. Tony Scott

Rocky Horror Picture Show, dir. Jim Sharman

Essay by Joanna Russ on K/S and slash fic, “Pornography by Women for Women, with Love

David Gerrold’s suppressed gay episode of ST:TNG: “Blood and Fire

Star Trek: TNG “The Outcast”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: “Rejoined”

John Nathan Turner’s 1980s Doctor Who

Russell T. Davies, Queer as Folk and Doctor Who

Torchwood and Captain Jack Harkness

Legends of Tomorrow

“It Gets Better” campaign

Joe Haldeman, The Forever War

Alan Ball, True Blood

Swamp Thing


Species, dir. Roger Donaldson

Ryan Murphy, American Horror Story

Lana Wachowski, Sense8

Lois McMaster Bujold, Ethan of Athos

Nicola Griffith, Ammonite and Hild

Nalo Hopkinson

Geoff Ryman

Jewell Gomez

Octavia Butler

Becky Chambers, Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Ronald D. Moore, Battlestar Galactica


Mary Ann Mohanraj, The Stars Change

Ann Leckie, Imperial Radch Series

JY Yang, The Tensorate Series

Sarah Gailey, River of Teeth

NK Jemisin, Broken Earth Trilogy

Catherynne Valente, Palimpsest


Annalee Newitz