Category: Ace & Aro Rambling

Ace Recs: 3 Books with Asexual Characters Associated with Death

Posted December 3, 2017 by dove-author in Ace & Aro Rambling / 0 Comments


As is undoubtedly no surprise to anyone who’s heard of me, I really really love giving recommendations for books featuring asexual characters. As a reader and writer on the asexual spectrum, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I’ve seen plenty of recommendations lists that are about asexual characters or that include asexual characters that repeat the same books over and over. Indeed, I’ve seen recommendations lists that explicitly stated that the handful of books the writer managed to find was all the asexual fiction out there. Considering it was missing several easy-to-find well-known and traditionally published books by respected authors… I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

But it is true that, for many readers, books with asexual characters in them are difficult to find. Many aren’t readily available in bookstores even when they’re pretty popular and well-respected. When I was in Cambridge, I saw displays of several books nominated for the Hugo Awards because they were nominated for the Hugo Awards, but Every Heart a Doorway? Couldn’t find a single copy anywhere. Not on display and not on the shelves. They didn’t stock it. And I wish I could say it was just one bookstore, but it was every major chain I visited. Likewise, in libraries you’ll have more luck finding books featuring asexual characters if you already know the titles before you enter. In both cases, you’ll probably have to ask the staff to order a copy specifically, so venturing into bookshops or libraries and hoping to find books featuring asexual characters just isn’t likely to happen.

Especially in combination with the way recommendation lists for books with asexual representation are usually styled, this difficulty to find books if you don’t already know they exist feeds into a negative spiral where recommendations lists repeat the same books over and over with the same note that this is all there is or this is all the writer could find. Yet there is so much more available to readers…

This is a series that aims to present small lists of books featuring asexual characters with some brief personal commentary on the books. Please note this does not equal endorsement. The aim is to introduce you to books you might find interesting, not books I think you must absolutely read. Each list consists of 3 books centred around a single, relatively broad theme. While, sadly, I have had to restrict my recommendations lists to 3 books instead of the more usual 5 found in recommendations lists, each list does consist of 3 unique books. There are no repeats of titles in this series of recommendation posts. This series consists of 10 posts for a total of 30 books featuring asexual characters in various roles.

Unless otherwise noted, assume that books mentioned either seem to assume all asexuals are aromantic or that they’ll erase aromanticism altogether.

I hope you’ll find something terrific to read in these lists! Most all categories have more than three books I could put there, but as I mentioned I only had space for a handful of books or stories. If you’d like to see even more of then, check out Claudie Arseneault’s database of aromantic and asexual (speculative) fiction, which features many more books starring asexual characters!

This week’s theme is…

3 Books with Asexual Characters Associated with Death

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How to Make a “List of Asexual Books” Post

Posted May 24, 2017 by dove-author in Ace & Aro Rambling, Personal, Writing / 0 Comments


So… There’s something I’ve noticed about a lot of people making lists about asexual representation. Actually, there’s a few things I’ve noticed and they all fall into slightly similar patterns.

Before I start talking about how to make lists about asexual representation, I want to discuss something else briefly. I want to talk about how these lists make me feel. This is especially true of lists or listers that include multiple queer orientations in their lists. These lists often make me feel like the asexual representation is tacked on as an afterthought with barely any research into what asexual representation exists in the field. The books are out there!

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More than a Story at Queer Girl Cafe

Posted April 4, 2016 by dove-author in Ace & Aro Rambling, Events, News / 0 Comments


My guest post for Queer Girl Cafe is up!

More Than a Story

This little girl grew up thinking that she was straight. She’d been taught that there were only three sexual orientations people could have: heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. Now, she knew that she wasn’t interested in girls at all, so by process of elimination that left heterosexual. No one around her ever challenged it. All the media she was surrounded by told her that what she liked was an idealised heterosexual relationship.

But she isn’t heterosexual. She’s demisexual. What she loves about the One True Love trope isn’t the ideal of a monogamous heterosexual relationship. It’s the fact that, for her, this is how romance and sex works. An absence of any sexual attraction to people unless she’s formed a strong emotional bond with them (and sometimes/often not even then).

I didn’t even realise it was going to go live today! (That just goes to show how frazzled I’ve been this past week or so.)

So! Because we’re talking stories, here’s another one. It’ll be a very short one, I promise. I was terrified of this essay/guest post. When I contacted Nita about whether she’d like my contribution I cried and shivered and sweated my way through writing the email. And this was knowing that Nita was welcoming of (heteroromantic) demisexuals like myself!

Initially, I was thinking I’d write a piece about that fear and why I had it and how it’s difficult for some people to use the word ‘queer’ because they’re so strongly and firmly told that they are not queer enough. (That’s… one of my first experiences with trying to use the word ‘queer’ and why I only ever use it when I’m absolutely, 100% certain that it’s safe to do so. Hence the anxiety attack when contacting Nita.) But I could never get those experiences to mesh well with the positive, encouraging tone I wanted.

And then… I threw it around entirely, struggling even more mightily and finally figured out that I needed to start it like it was a story. I hope the format will resonate with others and that someone out there will find it useful! It was still terrifying to write. I’m kind of glad I didn’t realise it was going live today and that I didn’t notice until I was at work. It meant I got immediate distraction and, um, did not duck under a blanket and hide for the rest of the day. (And soon I get to hide because it will be time for bed. Yay, time zones! Wow, I never thought I’d say that.)

But there you are! Two stories for the price of one! Many thanks to Nita Tyndall and everyone involved with Queer Girl Cafe for having me and making me feel welcome! ^_^