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Naseem Jamnia

5 SFF Books With Queernormative Worlds

One of my biggest joys is reading a secondary world that doesn’t replicate our real-world oppression in them. This is particularly true of queer issues. Given that the US—and many other countries around the world, but I’m in the States—is currently attacking queer and trans kids in addition to reproductive rights (and upholding ableist white supremacy, but that’s another, albeit related, topic), I find it more and more pressing to find secondary worlds in which queerness is normalized (even though that technically means characters are no longer queer).

For me, queernormative books represent possibilities of something better, but also like a homecoming: when I was at Lambda Literary’s fellowship retreat a few years ago, being among all queer people, where our queerness was assumed and also unquestioned, I finally felt like I was in a community where I belonged—and reading queernorm books has that exact same feeling for me. “Why don’t you write such worlds?” one may ask, and indeed, I have! The Bruising of Qilwa, my debut, is a novella that introduces my queernormative Persian-inspired world. But in the meantime, there are plenty of incredible books with queernormativity embedded in the worldbuilding, and here are five below.

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