10 Spectacular Sapphic Sci-Fi Books

10 Spectacular Sapphic Sci-Fi Books

Sapphic sci-fi is always amazing, that’s a fact. If you’re looking to expand your sapphic sci-fi reading, it’s great you stumbled across this list because I have some amazing recommendations for you. Hard sci-fi, sci-fi horror, soft sci-fi, time travel, space travel? I have you covered. There’s sapphic sci-fi for everyone!

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

If you love horror and want more creepy, isolated cave systems in your life, this is the read for you. Gyre is alone deep underground, and instead of an experienced surface team to monitor her, she has Em. Both women are keeping secrets, and Gyre’s life is on the line.

The Luminous Dead book cover has a glowing hand holding onto the edge of a cave cliff

Adult Sci-Fi Horror

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck—enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother—meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane.

Instead, she got Em.

Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash—and a lash. And Em has secrets, too . . .

As Gyre descends, little inconsistencies—missing supplies, unexpected changes in the route, and, worst of all, shifts in Em’s motivations—drive her out of her depths. Lost and disoriented, Gyre finds her sense of control giving way to paranoia and anger. On her own in this mysterious, deadly place, surrounded by darkness and the unknown, Gyre must overcome more than just the dangerous terrain and the Tunneler which calls underground its home if she wants to make it out alive—she must confront the ghosts in her own head.

But how come she can’t shake the feeling she’s being followed?

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

An utterly fantastic read with detailed worldbuilding, political intrigue, and a nuanced examination of cultural assimilation and preservation. This is the book that got me back into reading after years, it’s that good.

A Memory Called Empire cover has a large furturistic throne

Adult Sci-Fi

. Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

If you want fantastic character work, big goth energy, and a plot that’s as confusing as it is brilliant, you should pick up Gideon the Ninth. Oh, and did I mention the main character is a sword-wielding lesbian with huge biceps?

Gideon the Ninth cover has a woman with skull face paint, sunglasses, and a big sword

Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die

Of course, some things are better left dead.

The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

This is a brilliant read that combines sci-fi with cosmic horror, fantastic, original worldbuilding and a focus on neurodivergence. The main character is a sapphic, autistic scientist and I love her.

The Outside cover has twisting tentacles and a person standing on the side of them.

Adult Sci-Fi

Autistic scientist Yasira Shien has developed a radical new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But when she activates it, reality warps, destroying the space station and everyone aboard. The AI Gods who rule the galaxy declare her work heretical, and Yasira is abducted by their agents. Instead of simply executing her, they offer mercy – if she’ll help them hunt down a bigger target: her own mysterious, vanished mentor. With her homeworld’s fate in the balance, Yasira must choose who to trust: the gods and their ruthless post-human angels, or the rebel scientist whose unorthodox mathematics could turn her world inside out

Seven Devils by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May

Action-packed with amazing characters and a vibrant universe, this one’s perfect for fans of Star Wars. Join a diverse team of brilliant women to take down an evil empire. The sapphic couple in this one makes my heart warm.

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Adult Sci-Fi

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die.

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

The Space Between Worlds is alternative universe sci-fi at its best. With an unflinching discussion of privilege, trauma, and belonging in a semi-dystopian setting, it’s a book you don’t want to miss.

The Space Between Worlds cover has two women walking parallel to each other, one on a desert one on white, futuristic floor

Adult Sci-Fi

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.

The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

This is a great book, even for people who don’t typically read sci-fi. If you love character-focused, intimate books that revolve and relationships and found families, this is for you. Also, sapphic aliens.

The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet cover has the silhouette of someone looking up at the milky way.

Adult Sci-Fi

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that’s seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.

But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful – exactly what Rosemary wants.

Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years … if they survive the long trip through war-torn space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful.

But Rosemary isn’t the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed. 

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders

A young adult book full of exciting action, vibrant, loveable characters and found family vibes. The antagonist has one of the most terrifying abilities I’ve ever seen.

Victories Greater Than Death cover has a girl with purple hair and purple eyes

Young Adult Sci-Fi

Outsmart Your Enemies. Outrun the Galaxy.

Tina never worries about being ‘ordinary’—she doesn’t have to, since she’s known practically forever that she’s not just Tina Mains, average teenager and beloved daughter. She’s also the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon, and one day soon, it’s going to activate, and then her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars will finally be possible. Tina’s legacy, after all, is intergalactic—she is the hidden clone of a famed alien hero, left on Earth disguised as a human to give the universe another chance to defeat a terrible evil.

But when the beacon activates, it turns out that Tina’s destiny isn’t quite what she expected. Things are far more dangerous than she ever assumed. Luckily, Tina is surrounded by a crew she can trust, and her best friend Rachael, and she is still determined to save all the worlds. But first she’ll have to save herself.

This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Gorgeous, lyrical sci-fi that’s guaranteed to live rent-free in your mind. This is The Sapphic Sci-Fi Love Story.

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Adult Sci-Fi

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. 

The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis

This book tore my heart out and I’d let it do it again. The First Sister has great worldbuilding, shocking plot twists, and a terrifying inspection of autonomy and identity.

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Adult Sci-Fi

First Sister has no name and no voice. As a priestess of the Sisterhood, she travels the stars alongside the soldiers of Earth and Mars—the same ones who own the rights to her body and soul. When her former captain abandons her, First Sister’s hopes for freedom are dashed when she is forced to stay on her ship with no friends, no power, and a new captain—Saito Ren—whom she knows nothing about. She is commanded to spy on Captain Ren by the Sisterhood, but soon discovers that working for the war effort is so much harder to do when you’re falling in love.

Lito val Lucius climbed his way out of the slums to become an elite soldier of Venus, but was defeated in combat by none other than Saito Ren, resulting in the disappearance of his partner, Hiro. When Lito learns that Hiro is both alive and a traitor to the cause, he now has a shot at redemption: track down and kill his former partner. But when he discovers recordings that Hiro secretly made, Lito’s own allegiances are put to the test. Ultimately, he must decide between following orders and following his heart.

13 thoughts on “10 Spectacular Sapphic Sci-Fi Books

  1. This is such a great list! The Teixcalaan duology was one of my favorite reads last year, and Gideon the Ninth is high on my TBR. I hadn’t heard of Seven Devils, but I’m adding it now, thanks to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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