Made-to-order reading list!

Okay, so it’s that time of year again – for the 26th year running. Yep, our old friends the Lammy’s. Fine, okay – the Lambda Literary Awards. Don’t they sound terribly posh? I always view the Lammys with more respect than any of the other awards for GLBT fiction out there, though that may just be me.

Whichever, whatever, their list of finalists makes one big to-read list.

It’s the fifth year of record-breaking submissions, and that tells us something for sure – something most of us have noticed when we’re looking for our next read. There’s more lesbian fiction out there than ever.

It used to be that you could read every new lesfic book out in a year (so I’ve been told – I’m in New Zealand, so lesbian fiction has only been on my bookshelves since the virtual kind was invented). Now, it’s impossible to keep up. Every day, a new book is announced for our reading pleasure.

So where are all these new books coming from?

The obvious answer is from those writers (like myself) who self-publish, and the abundance of small presses which have sprung up in recent years. Of course, the old favourites such as Bold Stroke Books and Bella are still debuting new books and new writers — I’m hearing about a lot of first-time writers from all over.

What this means, of course, is that we now have to pick and choose what to read. The choice is always a good thing, but it all becomes so much noise when there is so much choice. How to find the books we really want to read?

Well, there are dozens of reading groups – they’re a good way of getting recommendations for new reads. Then of course, Amazon makes it particularly easy to search by keyword for books, and there are their Bestseller and Hot New Releases lists. The publisher websites are handy too; it’s easy to find their new releases with a click of the mouse. For Indie authors, something like my new website is a great resource for bringing self-published titles together.

What if you want a curated list though?

Like I said – it’s that time of year again, and the Lambda Literary Awards shortlisted books make an excellent place to start. I’m going to be totally biased and give you the finalists in my favourite genre – science fiction/fantasy/ horror. So sue me. Then go read the books.

– Collaborators by Deborah Wheeler, Dragon Moon Press

– Death by Silver by Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold, Lethe Press

– Dragon Slayer by Isabella Carter, Less Than Three Press

– Deprivation; or, Benedetto furioso: an oneiromancy by Alex Jeffers, Lethe Press

– Hell’s Belle by Marie Castle, Bella Books

– Dust Devil on a Quiet Street by Richard Bowes, Lethe Press

– Invisible Soft Return by Roberta Degnore, Digital Fabulists

– Like Light for Flies by Lee Thomas, Lethe Press

– The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj, Circlet Press, Inc.

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