Guest Post: Aromantic SFF Recs by Rosiee Thor

This guest post was written by Rosiee Thor in honor of Aromantic Awareness Week 2020.

Rosiee Thor PhotoRosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding to tell her mother bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She spent her childhood reading by flashlight in the closet until she came out as queer. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and an abundance of bread.

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Every year when Aro Awareness Week rolls around, I like to take stock of what’s changed in the Aro pockets of the world around me. I always find a combination of two things, and this year is no exception.

First, I’m full to bursting with hope because I know my community has grown, my understanding of aro-ness has expanded, and I can see the distance we’ve traveled since the year before. Every year, our visibility increases. It feels a little like bumping the transparency down a notch in photoshop, and our layer of the LGBTQIAP+ tapestry gets a little more opaque.

But second, I’m weighted down by exhaustion. I know how hard I worked and how hard my friends worked just to gain a little ground this year. Yes, we’ve made progress, but even though we’ve come so far, it also feels like there’s so much farther to go.

Such is the duality of fighting against oppression, I guess.

For the sake of my mental health, I’m trying to focus on the former, and what better way to do it than to share some Aromantic stories? I’ve had the pleasure of reading many over the past year, and the number of aromantic narratives being published is increasing every day. To celebrate that, here’s a list of a few of my favorite depictions of aromantic characters in fiction.

The Ice Princess’s Fair Illusion by Lynn E O’Connacht

No list of mine about Aro books would be complete without this one. Ice Princess is, in so many ways, the book of my heart. It follows two princesses as they retell, in verse, their fairytale. Love stories come in lots of shapes and sizes, and though this one’s fairly short and cozy, it felt huge to me when I first read it. It was the first time I’d ever read a book with two a-spec characters who were a-spec in different ways. Marian, who is asexual alloromantic, is bubbly and full of sunshine, while Edel, who is asexual aromantic, is more pragmatic and balances Marian beautifully. The story of their queer platonic partnership is beautifully told, and it isn’t afriad to dive deep into the complex ways a-spec people exist.

Amazon | Goodreads

If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

If it Makes You Happy CoverThis is a smile of a book. If It Makes You Happy sure did make me happy. It follows Winnie, who is allo, as she handles falling in love for the first time and maintaining her important relationship with her aromantic “ungirlfriend.” Though its initial set up seems to pit Winnie’s relationship with her ungirlfriend and her new crush against each other, the narrative is careful to show how important both are to her and how, ultimately, they are not mutually exclusive. The respect this book showed for all the characters and their identities delivered all the warm fuzzies I could have asked for.

Amazon | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Our Review

Not your Backup by C. B. Lee

Not Your Backup CoverThe third installment in the delightfully queer superhero series, this book follows asexual arospec Emma. Now, this is the third book, so obligatory spoiler warning… look away if you don’t want to be spoiled! Phew, okay. Last we saw Emma, she’d entered into a relationship, but now that we’re in her head, it’s clear Emma’s got more to work out about her identity and how that intersects with her relationship. This book shows us Emma coming into her own in a lot of ways, and the conversations she has with other a-spec people felt so honest and real. The representation serves up serious dimension, and seeing an arospec character front and center in a heroic narrative was nothing short of revelatory.

Amazon | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Our Review & Character Interview

Dawnfall by RoAnna Sylver

If you thought I wasn’t about to include this year’s queerest game, you were wrong! Dawnfall is one chunk of a book in a choose-your-own-narrative style game. You can choose everything from your personality, to your actions, to your own sexuality. But that’s not all Dawnfall does. A-spec identities are baked into the very worldbuilding. Sylver has carved out a very clear spot for a-specs and labeled it “you belong” in a big way. This game gives us not one but two in-world terms for queer platonic partner, cementing the aro way as not only accepted, but baked directly into the culture. If you’ve ever wanted to play a game full of adventure where aro-identities can be centered and a relationship arc can be rich, fulfilling, and yet not romantic, this is the game for you!

Steam | Online | Goodreads


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