UF Hook-Up: LGBT Main Characters in Urban Fantasy

In honour of Adrien-Luc Sanders‘s debut, m/m super-hero novel, FROM THE ASHES, and the major promo contest he’s running (Have you entered? You could win $500 Visa gift card, a $250 Visa gift card, a manuscript critique, and other stuff.), I pulled the following from the frequently asked pile:

Where are the LGBT main characters in urban fantasy?

The most popular creatures we’ve seen with varying degrees of sexual orientation is vampires. Who could forget the Anita–Jean-Claude–Asher triangle (or Jean-Claude–Asher–Julianna) of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series? Vampires tend to be non-discerning when it comes to satisfying their lust. In Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, the vampire Ivy is attracted to the main character Rachel. In addition to vampires, the sexuality of faeries and some demons varies, as well.

But what about the main characters themselves?

We can go all the way back to 1797 when Samuel Taylor Coleridge penned “Christabel” and 1872 when  Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu wrote “Carmilla” for evidence of lesbian vampires. In more modern times, we have the Louis-Lestat relationship in Anne Rice’s series beginning with INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE.

Here are a few others you might not have heard of:

Mark Del Franco’s Connor Gray series has a bisexual main character who is also a druid. UNSHAPELY THINGS is the first in the series.

Tanya Huff’s Tony Foster is a gay wizard. SMOKE AND SHADOWS is the first in the series.

Menolly in Yasmine Galenorn’s DARKLING is bisexual and a half-human, half-faerie, turned vampire. DARKLING is the third book of this series.

NEW AMSTERDAM by Elizabeth Bear has a gay vampire main character.

J.A. Pitt’s Sarah Beauhall series stars a lesbian character with a supporting cast of magical swords, dwarves and dragons. BLACK BLADE BLUES is the first in the series.

Suzanne McLeod’s Genny is a bisexual sidhe fae infected with a vampire virus in the Spellcrackers.com series. THE SWEET SCENT OF BLOOD is the first in the series.

Can you think of any other LGBT main characters in urban fantasy?

Win $500 or $250 Visa Gift Cards or a manuscript crit if From the Ashes reaches the Amazon or B&N top 100!

Because gay in your sci-fi is like peanut butter in your chocolate. It’s too good to put down.

Contest Rules / Entry Page | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N | Add to GoodReads

Cover Copy: Sociopath. Killer. Deviant. Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called that and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire.

Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford–antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.

One kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. But when his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile deeper, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean–or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?

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UF Hook-Up: Less Sex

Do you have any recommendations? This is a question I get asked a lot, so I thought I would feature a weekly post, where readers can get suggestions for their next read.

Send me an email with what you’re looking for and we’ll get you hooked up! (urbanfantasyland at gmail dot com)

This week’s Hook-Up:

I’m looking for urban fantasy with less sex. It’s not that I mind the sex, it’s just that it shouldn’t take over like it did in the Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series and in third book in Kim Harrison’s series. Any suggestions?

Urban Fantasy Hook-Up: Werewolves

Do you have any recommendations? This is a question I get asked a lot, so I thought I would feature a weekly post, where readers can get suggestions for their next read.

Send me an email with what you’re looking for and we’ll get you hooked up! (urbanfantasyland at gmail dot com)

This week’s Hook-Up:

I’m looking for a good werewolf book. The last one I really enjoyed was Kelley Armstrong’s FROSTBITTEN. Any suggestions?

Help Find This Book

Writtenwyrdd is looking for the title of this book:

There was this fantasy of manners I read in the mid- to late-90s, and I really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, it has gotten lost in purge before I moved out to Maine from San Francisco.  And I foolishly disappeared this tome and now want to reread it.  Only I can’t recall the title or author – which is so unlike me.

Here’s what I recall of the plot.  Maybe you guys can come up with something for me!

POV is primarily the son of a noble family.  In memory, the book seems to revolve around the protagonist’s searching for answers about his dead mother.  It was very courtly and very much a fantasy of manners before the term was coined.  Most of the early action takes place in this palace with a deep, dark underground area filled with at least one altar or columnar thingie that is ritually significant.  The man’s got some family troubles, and many of them stem from the death of his mother some while back.  As I recall, the man spends a great deal of time trying to solve a problem that involves some mystical duties only his mother really understood (or which she’d kept secret).  It all revolves around what’s in that oubliette/basement down the long flight of stairs, he discovers after a lengthy process of hunting down some misplaced family member or associate (a woman?) and then some other information.  I seem to recall a box of some kind he acquires.  And at the climax he deals with a problem related to the oubliette/basement and that altar/column, resulting in the resurrection/retrieval of his mother.  (She is apparently not dead).

And the story reminds me of the Amber stories by Zelazny because this family has special abilities.  The resemblance to the Amber series, from what I can recall, is that the family has some sort of inter-world travel ability, some sort of magic.  The And that’s all I can really remember about it, except it was a slow and delicious read, not one to read in gulps.  The cover probably had a guy in doublet and hose on the cover.

Anyone recognize this by my horrid description?

Help a Reader Out: Stein & Banks Art

This week in my inbox, I received this question from a reader: Who are the cover artists for Jeanne C. Stein and L.A. Banks? I found the name of Ms Banks’s artist over at Wikipedia, “The cover art for this series was done by Vince Natale. Other illustrations for this series were done by Eric Battle.” I’ve been able to confirm Natale did the cover of MINION, the first book in the Vampire Huntress Legend series. But not the later covers, and so far no luck for finding Ms Stein’s artist.

So, I’m putting the question to the minds of the urban fantasy community. Who did the cover art for Jeanne C. Stein?

And who did the later covers for L.A. Banks– was it Natale, Battle, or someone else?