Be Gay, Do Crime: 10 SFF Books full of Chaotic Queer Criminals

Happy Pride Month! We’re celebrating by being gay and doing crime. We mean… reading books about being gay and doing crime. But because we’re Tor, and we do it all with an SFF twist!

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Look. Sometimes, to solve the big crimes, you need to commit a few smaller, more fun crimes. Kiem and Jainan, our two favorite space princes, need to solve a murder as they fall into mutual pining (despite being married) and that means things like hacking databases and a little bit of light breaking and entering.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Linus works for Extremely Upper Management, and they have a lot of rules. One of the most important is “Do Not Form Attachments”. But that’s pretty hard when you’re soft and gay and you end up on a private island with the mysterious Arthur Parnassus and the cabal of terrifying but adorable children with supernatural powers he looks after.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The crime is mostly implied, but theres a whole lot of spontaneous duels, breaking and entering, and murder. We heartily endorse this first in series featuring lesbian necromancers in a haunted space castle.


Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

Bisexual mercenary librarians committing crimes against the state? Sign us up. We’re all for fighting corrupt governments, stealing clones, and distributing information to the masses. 


She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Few people on this list frighten us as much as Zhu Chongba, the titular heroine of She Who Became the Sun. She’s willing to do an awful lot of crime to achieve greatness. Plus she did steal her brother’s identity to masquerade as a man and join the rebellion against the Khans.

The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood

Sedition, assassination, a little bit of forbidden necromancy, stealing sacrifices from gods– you name the crimes, Cswore, her girlfriend and her garbage frenemy Tal are ready. It’s epic fantasy, so it features one of our favorite gay crimes: Fighting god.

Witchmark by C. L. Polk

Miles is on the lam, trying to escape his legislated fate of being used as a magical battery. But he’ll break more laws in his quest to solve a murder, romance a handsome angel, and expose the rotten core of his post-WWI England inspired society.

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho

To protect a sacred object, a nun will become a thief. Not only are there many gay crimes, but there’s another of our favorite Queer lit tropes: Found Family. 


Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Set in gritty alt-history Harlem, the crime in Trouble the Saints is organized! Phyllis LeBlanc is a bisexual assassin, hired to keep the Manhattan underworld in line. Trouble is both a magical love story and a compelling exploration of race in America at the dawn of World War II. And there are also knives. A lot of knives.

3 thoughts on “Be Gay, Do Crime: 10 SFF Books full of Chaotic Queer Criminals

  1. Already read Gideon (WHICH IS FANTASTIC), but I’m adding each and every one of these to my TBR. Whoo hoo!

  2. I’d be a bad fan, if I didn’t throw the “Shadow of the Templar” series by M. Chandler in the hat. Such an amazing series! Wonderful writing, enchanting characters, and crime… did I mention the crime? 😀

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