C. L. Polk - Tor/Forge Blog

Be Gay, Do Crime: 7 SFF Books Full of Chaotic Queer Criminals

Two things we love at Tor: Being gay. Doing crime. And who does gay crimes better than the characters of our authors? Check out this list of queerly criminal stories for your perusal pleasure. 

Check it out!

the-thousand-eyesThe Thousand Eyes by A. K. Larkwood

Eons ago, the Serpent Goddess Iriskaaval destroyed her own empire. Millenia later, our wayward heroes from The Unspoken Name must contend with her re-manifestation. Contained within this book is a multiplicity of crime, yearning, love, action, death, betrayal, and sometimes apotheosis. It’s amazing and incredible and should be read with quickness and haste.

atlas-1The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Olivie Blake’s virally sensational The Atlas Six tells the story of six ambitious magicians as they vie for induction into a secret society that safeguards all the world’s most dangerous and forbidden research and knowledge. They drink fancy drinks, create magical wormholes, pour over research, and occasionally gayly pour over each other… and then backstab!

This is a book for lovers of romance, betrayal, and intricate intrigue 😈

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka AokiLight From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

In Ryka Aoki’s brilliant debut, Light from Uncommon Stars, love is weighed against Faustian bargains. Shizuka Satomi cut a deal with a demon long ago to save herself from damnation. Now, she must convince seven violin prodigies to sell their souls for success. But! A retired starship captain and a shop that sells warm donuts give her a chance at real love. Don’t miss this defiantly joyful adventure of queer courtship and crimes. 

winters-orbitWinter’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.

ceruleanseaThe 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.

becaame a sunShe 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.

book-9781250175359Trouble 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.


New Releases: 6/19/18

Happy New Release Day! Here’s what went on sale today.

Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky

Place holder  of - 77 Theo Mackey only remembers one thing for certain about the fire that destroyed his home: he lit the match.

Sure, it was an accident. But the blaze killed his mom and set his dad on a path to self-destruction. Everything else about that fateful night is full of gaping holes in Theo’s mind, for good reason. Maybe it’s better that way. As captain of the Ellis Hollow Diving Team, with straight A’s and solid friends, he’s only one semester away from securing a scholarship, and leaving his past behind.

Outcasts of Order by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

Placeholder of  -81 Beltur, an Order mage, discovers he possesses frightening powers not seen for hundreds of years. With his new abilities, he survives the war in Elparta and saves the lives of all. However, victory comes with a price. His fellow mages now see him as a threat to be destroyed, and the local merchants want to exploit his power.

There’s only one way he can remain free and survive—he’s going to have to run.

The Throwaway by Michael Moreci

Image Placeholder of - 83 Mark Strain had it all–beautiful wife, a baby on the way, and a skyrocketing career as a D.C. lobbyist. But when Mark is violently abducted from his home by masked men, everything he knows is turned upside down.

They say Mark committed treason. They say he’s a traitor to the United States.

They say he’s a spy.


An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock

Poster Placeholder of - 67 Born with a physical disability, no magical talent, and a precocious intellect, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs has lived her life being underestimated by her family and her kingdom. The only person who appreciates her true self is Jean-Claude, the fatherly musketeer who had guarded her since birth.

All shall change, however, when an unlikely marriage proposal is offered, to the second son of a dying king in an empire collapsing into civil war.

Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine

Image Place holder  of - 93 Arabella’s wedding plans to marry Captain Singh of the Honorable Mars Trading Company are interrupted when her fiancé is captured by the French and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp on swampy Venus. Now, Arabella must find passage to an enemy-controlled planet in the middle of a war, bribe or fight her way past vicious guards, and rescue her Captain.

To do this she must enlist the help of the dashing privateer, Daniel Fox of the Touchstone and build her own clockwork navigational automaton in order to get to Venus before the dread French general, Joseph Fouché, the Executioner of Lyon.


Witchmark by C. L. Polk

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind.


Precarious Woman Executive Miss Black General Vol. 1 Story and art by Jin

Masamune-kun’s Revenge Vol. 8 Story by Takeoka Hazuki; Art by Tiv


On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in June

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in June! See who is coming to a city near you this month.

Demetra Brodsky, Dive Smack

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Saturday, June 23rd
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
2:00 PM

Sue Burke, Semiosis

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Saturday, June 16th
Milwaukee Public Library
Milwaukee, WI
2:00 PM

W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Way Home

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Saturday, June 9th
Barnes & Noble
Honolulu, HI
1:00 PM

Jacqueline Carey, Starless

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Tuesday, June 12th
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Wednesday, June 13th
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
6:00 PM

Thursday, June 14th
The Printed Garden
Sandy, UT
7:00 PM

Saturday, June 30th
Kazoo Books
Kalamazoo, MI
2:00 PM

Spencer Ellsworth, Starfire: Memory’s Blade

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Saturday, June 16th
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
5:30 PM
Also with Joseph Brassey.

Candice Fox, Crimson Lake

Friday, June 8th
Huntington Beach Library
Huntington Beach, CA
12:00 PM

Matt Goldman, Broken Ice

Tuesday, June 12th
Once Upon A Crime
Minneapolis, MN
7:00 PM

Sunday, June 24th
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
2:00 PM

Tuesday, June 26th
Book Carnival
Orange, CA
7:30 PM
Also with Paddy Hirsch.

Wednesday, June 27th
Book Soup
West Hollywood, CA
7:00 PM

Thursday, June 28th
Bookshop West Portal
San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM

Tessa Gratton, The Queens of Innis Lear

Friday, June 15th
Blue Valley Library
Overland Park, KS
5:30 PM
Also with Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Cordova, and Justina Ireland.

Paddy Hirsch, The Devil’s Half Mile

Tuesday, June 6th
Solid State Books
Washington, D.C.
7:00 PM

Wednesday, June 6th
Mysterious Bookshop
New York, NY
6:30 PM

Thursday, June 7th
The Harvard Coop
Cambridge, MA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, June 13th
Southshore Center
Excelsior, MN
7:00 PM
Literature Lovers’ Night Out – also with Liam Callahan, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Sarah Healy, hosted by Excelsior Bay Books.

Thursday, June 14th
The Grand Banquet Center
Stillwater, MN
7:00 PM
Literature Lovers’ Night Out – also with Liam Callahan, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Sarah Healy, hosted by Valley Bookseller.

Thursday, June 21st
Copperfield’s Books
Heraldsburg, CA
6:00 PM

Tuesday, June 26th
Book Carnival
Orange, CA

Friday, June 29th
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Saturday, June 30th
Skylight Books
Los Angeles, CA
5:00 PM

Michael Moreci, The Throwaway

Wednesday, June 20th
The Book Cellar
Chicago, IL
7:00 PM
Also with Greg Hickey, Paula Carter, and Kirk Landers.

C. L. Polk, Witchmark

Tuesday, June 26th
Magers & Quinn
Minneapolis, MN
7:00 PM

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