2spoopy, But Make it Girls

What is the most important job of a blogger? Making terrible blog post titles—I mean, giving profile to books you love. When my friend Quynh lamented the continuous lack of female characters in her preferred genres (SFF, horror) I knew it was my time to shine. 

(Sort of. I do not know a ton of period fantasies. Shh…)

The point is, after a recommendation, I mused it would be a great blog post. Have these been done before? Of course! But that doesn’t stop me from making one of my own. And I will open with a familiar call: please feel free to drop your favourites below as long as they hit the criteria!

The Criteria

Must Have: Protagonist of the novel is a woman, genre is Horror, Scifi, or Fantasy (specifically Period Fantasy if possible)
Nice to Have: LGBTQ+ rep, especially WLW characters 
Bonus: Author is a woman/WLW/sapphic (includes women/female-aligned non-binary authors)*

*As far as I know, based on interviews and public information I can find. I can be wrong, identities change, and I welcome corrections.

For these, I won’t be writing reviews per se, but will do my best to summarize the plots quickly and give all the most important details, like, are there lesbians? (Spoilers: there are).


The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

Genre? Adult, Scifi & Horror
Female Protag? Yes
LGBTQ+ Rep? Yes
Have I Read? Yes
Bonus: Female author

A caving horror story, in space, with lesbians. Rich with all the good, gritty things that make a horror terrifying: trauma, gaslighting, lies, ghosts, and huge aliens that can murder you. Tense as all hell.

Starling also has a new novella out, Yellow Jessamine, which I know is a horror about a woman. It’s also some type of historical fantasy? It might be gay? I have not read yet but am looking forward to my next book order.

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

Genre? Adult, Science Fantasy
Female Protag? Yes
LGBTQ+ Rep? Yes
Have I Read? Yes
Bonus: WLW author

World hopping, orcs, and necromancy, with lesbians. I would stop describing books like this but honestly it’s what we’re all here for. A splash of mystery here, an immortal god there, and a bunch of incidental queer characters to boot. Well worth your time, and a debut novel, so there’s always more to look forward to.

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

Genre? Adult, Scifi & Horror
Female Protag? Yes
LGBTQ+ Rep? Yes (side characters)
Have I Read? Yes

Yes, it’s by a man. Yes, it’s well known. No, it’s not perfect. But holy hell, are these ever the books for badass female characters, creeping horror, and a whole bunch of terrifying implications. Writing this tiny description makes me want to reread these books desperately. If that isn’t scary enough for you, it’s inspired by Florida.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll 

Genre? Adult, Horror & Period Fantasy
Female Protag? Yes*
LGBTQ+ Rep? Hmm**
Have I Read? Yes
Bonus: WLW Author

*There are 5 stories in the book, all but 1 have a female protagonist
**Nothing explicit, but feels very gay as only stories by gay people can

I can’t talk about horror without mentioning my idol, Emily Carroll. Through the Woods is a graphic novel with 5 short stories, including His Face All Red, which made me love the horror genre. Most of her works focus on women, and she’s married to another woman, so enjoy all the queer interpretations you want. She has free online horror comics if you desire even less sleep.

Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams

Genre? Young Adult, Scifi & Horror
Female Protag? Yes
LGBTQ+ Rep? No
Have I Read? No, on my TBR
Bonus: Female author

Dual POV between two sisters, in a dystopian society. There’s a cult and a pandemic, which may be too on the nose for you right now, but it may also make it more apt than ever? McWilliams is a mixed-race Black author, so please support her extra.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Genre? Young Adult Scifi & Horror
Female Protag? Yes
LGBTQ+ Rep? Yes
Have I Read? No
Bonus: WLW author

Power has a content warning list on her website, so start there if you need one. Basically, a horror set in a school for girls, sort of also about a pandemic. I know it’s gay in some fashion (it’s an all girls’ school, insert joke here), but not details since I haven’t read it. I am honestly too scared to read it. 


And that’s all for now! I’ll see you later tonight, since writing this list has reminded me of every terrifying moment in all these horror books and thus prevented me from ever sleeping again. #JustHorrorThings.

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