Agender Pride day was just a couple days ago – May 19th, 2023! Last week, we asked our Press folks for their favorite stories with agender characters, and here we are – a handful of novels, a few volumes of manga, and three of our very own short stories with agender rep! Here they are: 11 books with agender characters, recommended by our contributors: @unforth, @shadaras, @ramblingandpie, @dei2dei, and an anonymous contributor.
“On Not Going to Parties” by Stephen G. Krueger from the anthology He Bears the Cape of Stars
He Bears the Cape of Stars is one of our two paired masquerade-themed anthologies. It features 17 stories exploring mlm relationships developing, growing, and changing while the characters attend or participate in masquerades!
The collected works in He Bears the Cape of Stars feature men and masculine-leaning genderqueer characters, with a spectrum of sexualities, and these diverse individuals inhabit worlds ranging from a science fiction setting where everyone must be masked to breathe, to a fantasy world where no one wears a literal mask but everyone shows the world a false guise, to an iteration of the real world where all the characters truly want is to take their masks off and show the world who they really are. Our contributors stretched their imaginations to present innovative stories exploring what a masquerade can be…and, of course, tell rich, engaging tales of wonderful queer folk finding love, companionship, acceptance, the queer platonic relationship of their dreams, or the found family they deserve.
The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.
Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor’s lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.
At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She’s a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE by Clamp
SAKURA AND SYAORAN RETURN!
But they’re not the people you know. Sakura is the princess of Clow – and possessor of a mysterious, misunderstood power that promises to change the world. Syaoran is her childhood friend and leader of the archaeological dig that took his father’s life. They reside in an alternate reality…where whatever you least expect can happen – and does. When Sakura ventures to the dig site to declare her love for Syaoran, a puzzling symbol is uncovered – which triggers a remarkable quest. Now Syaoran embarks upon a desperate journey through other worlds – all in the name of saving Sakura.
Ancillary Justice, volume 1 of the Imperial Radch series by Ann Leckie
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren – a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.
The Black Tides of Heaven, volume 1 of the Tensorate series by Neon Yang
Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as children. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While his sister received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, he saw the sickness at the heart of his mother’s Protectorate.
A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue to play a pawn in his mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from his sister Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond he shares with his twin sister?
Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee
Gyen Jebi isn’t a fighter or a subversive. They just want to paint.
One day they’re jobless and desperate; the next, Jebi finds themself recruited by the Ministry of Armor to paint the mystical sigils that animate the occupying government’s automaton soldiers.
But when Jebi discovers the depths of the Razanei government’s horrifying crimes–and the awful source of the magical pigments they use–they find they can no longer stay out of politics.
What they can do is steal Arazi, the ministry’s mighty dragon automaton, and find a way to fight…
Fortune Favors Felines by R. L. Houck
“Tash?” Avery places a hand on Katashi’s shoulder, but all he does is blink once. Beneath Avery’s fingers there is ice-cold skin and tense muscle.
They frown and lean in closer, the height of the observation deck forgotten as they examine Katashi’s vacant stare. “Kitty? Kitty, you’re freaking me out here. Look at me, sweetie?” Avery moves their hand from Katashi’s shoulder to his chin and pulls. He doesn’t resist as his head turns. It takes a second, but recognition finally lights up his eyes, and the tight ball of anxiety in Avery’s chest loosens.
RG Veda by Clamp
300 years ago, a powerful warlord rebelled against the Heavenly Emperor. After killing the Emperor, the warlord crowned himself as the new Emperor, starting a cruel reign. But there is a prophecy: Six Stars will one day assemble and overthrow his reign. Now, the ruler of the Yasha Clan has found Ashura.
All Systems Red, volume 1 of The Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells
In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.
But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.
On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.
But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
Chobits by Clamp
One day, while leaving his job, a repeat student named Hideki finds a persocom, an android used as a personal computer, in the trash. He carries her back to his apartment. He turns her on and she instantly regards him with adoration. Initially, she is only capable of saying “Chi”, which becomes her name. After several attempts to access her data, he discovers that she possesses encrypted data and a program that allows her to learn, unlike other persocoms. He resolves to teach her and buys her a picture book entitled A City With No People. Later, he and Minoru Kokobunji discuss a picture of a Chobit, an artificial intelligence, that resembles Chi. Hideki’s teacher, Takako Shimizu, later comes over to his apartment and insists on drinking.
“Breaking Bread” by Beth Lumen from the anthology Add Magic to Taste: A Spellbinding (and Scrumptious!) Collection of Heartwarming Queer Stories
For Add Magic to Taste, 20 authors have come together to produce new, original short stories uniting four of our absolute favorite themes: queer relationships, fluff, magic, and coffee shops! Our diverse writers have created an even more diverse collection of stories guaranteed to sweeten your coffee and warm your tart.
What are your favorite books with agender characters? Tell us about them!
Who We Are: Duck Prints Press LLC is an independent publisher based in New York State. Our founding vision is to help fan creators publish their original works. We are particularly dedicated to publishing art and fiction featuring characters from across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Want to always hear the latest? Sign up for our monthly newsletter! Want to support the Press, read about us behind-the-scenes, learn what’s coming down the pipeline, get exclusive teasers, and claim free stories? Back us on Patreon monthly!