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Fiction Gay

The Future is Queer

A Science Fiction Anthology

edited by Richard Labonte & Lawrence Schimel

Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2006
Gay, Anthologies (multiple authors), Short Stories, Lesbian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2006
    List Price

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Silver Winner, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (Science Fiction)
Silver winner, Independent Publisher Book Award (Fantasy/Science Fiction)
Winner, 2 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards, Best Book and Best Short Fiction ("Instinct" by Joy Parks)

In a world increasingly complicated by questionable technologies and factional politics, what does the future hold for gays, lesbians, and transgenders? The gay marriage controversy, scientific "breakthroughs," and well-organized anti-gay campaigns by the Religious Right seem to ensure that we are still decades away from achieving any kind of pansexual utopia some forty years after the advent of gay liberation. But in this anthology, the first of its kind in over ten years, provocative stories and comics posit a queer future of limitless possibilities, covering issues like cloning, gene manipulation, and gender assignment.

The Future is Queer is not about bug-eyed aliens or missions to Mars, but asks probing questions that relate as much to our past and present as they do to the future; of gays and lesbians, it asks, who are we, what do we want, and what should we be afraid of? The book includes pieces from writers around the world, including bestselling author and comic book creator Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys, The Sandman), World Fantasy Award winner Rachel Pollack, and cult UK comic artist Bryan Talbot.

About the authors

Richard Labonte (1949-2022) was a writer, bookseller, and editor, best known as the editor or co-editor of numerous anthologies of LGBT literature. He was the co-founder of the LGBTQ bookstore A Different Light, and managed the store in Silver Lake, California for many years. As well, he was editor of Cleis Press' Best Gay Erotica series for many years; for Arsenal Pulp Press, he co-edited four anthologies with Lawrence Schimel: The Future Is Queer, First Person Queer, Second Person Queer, and I Like It Like That. He won three Lambda Literary Awards, for Best Gay Erotica 2005, First Person Queer, and Best Gay Erotica 2009.

Richard Labonte's profile page

Lawrence Schimel is an award-winning author and anthologist who has published over 70 books in many genres, including four anthologies for Arsenal Pulp Press, all co-edited with Richard Labonte: The Future Is Queer (2006), the Lambda Award-winning First Person Queer (2007), its sequel Second Person Queer (2009), and I Like It Like That (2009). His other books include Lambda winner PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions about Gender and Sexuality (with Carol Queen), The Drag Queen of Elfland, The Mammoth Book of Gay Erotica, and Things Invisible to See: Lesbian and Gay Tales of Magic Realism. Formerly of New York, he has lived in Madrid, Spain since 1999.


Follow Lawrence Schimel on Twitter

Lawrence Schimel's profile page


  • Winner, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (SILVER)
  • Winner, Independent Publisher Award (SILVER)

Editorial Reviews

The prose is literate and incisive, the politics of gay liberation is subjected to intelligent and sympathetic scrutiny, and the devices of SF are made to amplify, shrewedly, the concerns of the GLBT community.


A satisfying and intriguing look at what is possible for the GLBT community of tomorrow.... Editors Richard Labonte and Lawrence Schimel show a clear respect for the genre and for the talent they pulled together for this one-of-a-kind anthology.
-X Factor

X Factor quote

An admirable and necessary collection that spares no political, religious or ideological commentary about an often dark future.
-Matrix magazine

Matrix Magazine

This anthology is a perfect example of why Labonté and Schimel are the best anthologists being published today. Diverse voices and stories make this the perfect book for a lazy Saturday afternoon.
-Greg Herron

Greg Herron

Vancouver's Arsenal Pulp Press, the Little Press That Could, has hit another home run.... This well-edited anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories offers an amazing selection of talent.... The editors have done a wonderful job. The futuristic genre is perfect for giving us perspective on the present world...
-Jim Deva, Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

A provocative, unusual anthology on an under-explored theme, gender and sexuality in the future.... Standouts include Candas Jane Dorsey's melancholy meditation on pagan sexuality, Rachel Pollack's experimental tale of transcendent transgenderism, and newcomer Diana Churchill's brief reunion of star-crossed lovers.
-Books to Watch out For

Books to Watch out For

Unusually fine introductions precede this handful of provocative stories by some of our best writers. In these tales the queer future is surely different, yet resonant with legacies from the past.
-Katherine V. Forrest

Katherine V. Forrest

By encompassing a variety of forms and styles, this collection offers a tantalizing peek into science fiction from a queer perspective.
-Canadian Book Review Annual

Canadian Book Review Annual

A fascinating collection with futures as diverse as the community itself--a pleasure to read.
-Melissa Scott

Melissa Scott

As a reader, my imagination was piqued, and that is what sci-fi is supposed to do. This anthology does it quite queerly..... [Rachel Pollack's "The Beatrix Gates"] is a marvelous example of how schi-fi can remythologize the terms of common experience to elucidate and give new and deeper meaning.
-Lambda Book Report

Lambda Bk Rep

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