Queer SF: A Different Kind of Light

Published in 1978, A Different Kind of Light has been long deemed a rare gay SF story and one of the few books to deal with AIDS.

Except that it didn’t really deal with anything.

The story is a man who has a rare cancer that is controllable and perhaps curable with ancient alien masks and the book is a space adventure to access them.

This book won awards in 1980 and along with the Marion Zimmer Bradly and Mercedes Lackey was some of the books that fit the queer spectrum.

Subtext is not representation and it’s not inclusion; certainly many could read the book and not even get that gay couple reading.

I met Elizabeth A Lynn at a science fiction in the 1990s, where I bought her book and spent 3 hours reading it at the end of the evening. the gay aspect did not strike me, but the use of a current era slang word for vomiting did bother me – which rather annoyed Ms Lynn when I mentioned it the next day at the convention.

I met up with her and a group for a private screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show – and it was just to watch and not do the audience bit, although most in the room mouthed the audience words.

It is curious to me the fascination that hetero women have for gay men and are the biggest creators and consumers of Slash FanFiction.


I re-read the book this century, and can only think it’s fairly pedestrian as a scifi, and the desperation for any representation that wasn’t murdered or suicide, as queer stories usually end for hetero audiences

the one thing that would have made it stand out was repressed and had to be read in by LGBTQs.

Elizabeth A. Lynn – Wikipedia

Elizabeth A. Lynn (born 1946) is a US writer most known for fantasy and to a lesser extent … Her SF novel A Different Light (1978) featured a same-sex relationship between two … Jump up ^ Garber & Paleo, “The Woman Who Loved the Moon”, “The Man Who Was Pregnant”, “Jubilees’s Story” “The White King’s Dream” p.


A Different Light – Wikipedia

A Different Light may refer to: A Different Light (album), a 2007 album by the band Sherwood; A Different Light (bookstore), an LGBT bookstore chain that operated from 1979 to 2011; A Different Light, a 1978 science fiction novel by Elizabeth Lynn …

Apr 26, 2011 – Spaceships, art, and life: Elizabeth Lynn’s A Different Light …. artist, living in Europe, is creating art by layering emotions in some sort of crystal.


Locus: Elizabeth A. Lynn interview – Locus Online

Elizabeth Lynn published her first genre story, “We All Have to Go”, in the 1976 … Showcase, and her first novel was SF stand-alone A Different Light (1978).

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One Response to Queer SF: A Different Kind of Light

  1. Pingback: Star Wars: White vs Lesbians Debate | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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