Trans Fiction

By , March 28, 2009 12:19 am

Note: As I realized I’ve been writing more and more about trans fiction, I wanted to create a semi-static page which A) links to all the blog posts I’ve authored on the subject and B) provides links to some of my favorite stories and authors. I would eventually like this page to also contain a single essay containing my collected thoughts on trans fiction, but I’m still very much in the wool-gathering stages…

Posts (I’m linking to these in chronological order, as I think they give the best impression of my thought process when read in that order, but they certainly aren’t a wholly linear series of writings…):

  1. Trans fiction – I start my mullings on trans fiction by thinking about a quote from Julia Serano’s book, Whipping Girl
  2. How do you transition I continue on the thought process of the previous post, and what draws me to trans fiction
  3. How do you transition (a followup) – I talk about how trans fiction is maybe bad for me, and how I should cut a lot of it from my life. Since then, I’ve rethought most of this post.
  4. Even more trans fiction – Here I rethink the above post, and reexamine a number of the authors I detracted
  5. Ruminations on trans fiction – I cut myself some slack, and find other reasons I’m drawn to trans fiction beyond “I want to absolve myself of responsibility for my transition”
  6. Why do we read trans fiction? – Some quotes from other people who read trans fiction, part of my larger attempt to get my own thoughts in order
  7. Trans Lit – searching for our reflections – In response to a Lamnda Literary post about trans fiction, I look at what divisions should(n’t) exist when thinking about what “trans” means

General Sites

  • Big Closet – Not horribly well organized, but lots of good stuff. (Also lots of less-good stuff. Remember Sturgeon’s Law when looking at any of these sites.)
  • Fictionmania – It was gone, now it’s back! Tons and tons of stories, not amazing organization, great search capabilities. Although some of my favorites are (ahem) not going to make it to this list in the interest of keeping things at least moderately PG…email me if you’re just dying to know.
  • Sapphire’s Place – Similar to Big Closet in my mind – a few very good authors, quite a bit of drek.

Stories/Series (What you all probably really came to see…)

  • Crystal Hall – Home of the Whateley Academy story universe, a group of stories by multiple authors involving teen mutants (and other, more exotic beings) learning to use their powers at an Charles-Xavier-esque school. Many, although not all, of the characters given focus are either explicitly trans, or have undergone an involuntary gender transformation. Some really good stuff, and less bad stuff than Sturgeon’s Law might indicate.
  • Aunt Jane’s Seasons House – This  borders on the horribly cliche ‘bad boy into good girl’ fare, but most of the stories are well written enough, and the protagonists likeable enough, that I’ll forgive their creators…I guess. More stories set in this universe is also over at Big Closet.
  • Caregivers Universe – A fun sci-fi setting, PG-13/R rated sex and romance, and even some trans characters. What’s not to like? Oh right. The rest of the characters who aren’t trans, but are OK being transformed into women due to hand-waving scientific justifications. Oh well…

Authors (I’ll try to mention when someone here is also linked to above, but make no promises)

  • Randalynn – A pretty good author, and I’ll admit I was a sucker for the Firefly fanfic. I did like the ‘No Obligation’ series, but wasn’t particularly happy with the ending. I need to let Randalynn know that, at some point…
  • Maggie Finson – She’s written some good stories over at Crystal Hall (see above) but has some other fun stuff at Big Closet, and at Sapphire’s Place (why can’t any of these authors collect all their work in one place!) Regardless, I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good serial.
  • Babs Yerunkle – A few fun stories, and has been a really good sport about emailing with me as I’m thinking about trans fiction. (Even though the X-Men story seems to have been left dangling!) Creater of Jade, one of the more compelling trans characters in the Whateley Universe.
  • Bek D. Corbin – A number of good stories, and I’m particularly enjoying the Jordan Winters series.
  • Scrambler J – Author of the Ayla stories in the Whateley Universe. Scrambler J has shown the ability to actually write interesting trans characters (both ‘real-world’ trans and ‘oh shit my mutation is making me into a girl’ trans). I highlighted a particularly well-written passage in this post.

Offline Media (This may not all be trans fiction, but is where I’ll put trans-related print books and movies)

  • Supervillainz by Alicia Goranson – From the author’s site: “Supervillainz is a madcap adventure story of a Scooby gang of queer twenty-somethings pitted against a gang of superheroes who believe one of the kids is responsible for their brother’s death.” I think this book is really important becuase it’s about a group of characters who happen to be trans, and while their status as trans feeds the story it isn’t really the core element. That said, the writing wasn’t amazing – it was good, and I enjoyed reading it, but it didn’t blow me away. I do, however, look forward to Goranson’s next book. Buy it now from Chicago’s feminist bookstore, Women & Children First!

12 Responses to “Trans Fiction”

  1. […] of being “out.” These and others (some of which I’ve linked to and written about at my blog) have helped me feel like I’m not alone in the world, even when friends and family might not […]

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