Following up on my previous post about Asexuality in fiction, I wanted to list upcoming releases with Ace (asexual, gray-ace, demisexual, aromantic, etc) main characters. Please note that for the purpose of this post I am using “Ace” to mean anyone under the asexual umbrella, though I recognize that aromantic is a distinct orientation.
This is just a reference list to keep track, and is not to be taken as a complete “master” list. If you know of an upcoming novel that features an ace main character, please drop a comment and let me know (and link if possible)! Doesn’t have to be a romance, just as long as one of the main characters falls under the ace umbrella.
Where possible, I have linked to Goodreads (GR) or other relevant post.
In order of (estimated) release date:
Man-Shik Park has stood by Jim Frankel through the first several weeks of Jim’s attempt to start a new life in Ludington, Michigan. But while he keeps Jim’s secrets, Manny has secrets of his own: He wants to become an artist and musician against his parents’ wishes; he likes guys instead of girls; and he’s asexual. Only Jim knows everything about Manny, but struggling with his own demons, Jim can’t be completely supportive.
When middle school girls in town–including Manny’s younger sister Jae–receive explicit, threatening messages online, Jim is the first suspect. Even after proof surfaces that Jim had nothing to do with the messages, and after he receives one himself, some people in town won’t let go of their belief that he’s a predator. To help his friend, Manny tries to learn who’s behind the messages, and who wants to destroy Jim’s life.
Jughead, by Chip Zdarsky, illus. Erica Henderson. Graphic novel/comic, from the Archie series. As of Issue #4 (Feb. 2016), Jughead is canon asexual!
Seven Ways We Lie, by Riley Redgate. Publisher: Amulet Books. Asexual character, YA novel. More info on Asexual Representation. (GR) Update: I have been informed that there is no actual ace character in this novel, just a character who could possibly be read as ace. If I’ve been misinformed please let me know.
The Solitary Travelers Collection. Publisher: Less Than Three Press. Asexual, aromantic, variety of genres and pairings. Includes the following unconnected stories:
- Blood and Clockwork, by Katey Hawthorne (GR) (March 16)
- Breakfire’s Glass, by A.M. Valenza (GR) (March 16)
- Dust on the Wing, by Parker Foye (GR) (March 16)
- How Not to Summon Your True Love, by Sasha L. Miller (GR) (March 16)
- Mr. March Names the Stars, by Rivka Aaron-Hughes (GR) (March 16)
- Stinger, by Katya Harris (GR) (March 16)
- The Cybernetic Tea Shop, by Meredith Katz (GR) (March 16)
- The Galloway Road, by Catherine Adams (GR) (March 16)
- Any Way the Wind Blows, by Carlin Grant (GR) (March 23)
- At the Edges, by Alden Lila Reedy (GR) (March 23)
- The Faerie Godmother’s Apprentice Wore Green, by Nicky Kyle (GR) (March 23)
- The Life and Death of Eli and Jay, by Francis Gideon (GR) (March 23)
- Wandering Star, by K.M. Penemue (GR) (March 23)
- We Go Forward, by Alison Evans (GR) (March 23)
- Texture Like Sun, by Ils Greyhart (GR) (March 23)
- Open Skies, by Yolande Kleinn (GR) (March 23)
The Adrift Series, by T.J. Land. Publisher: NineStar Press. Currently contains three books, all with asexual/aromantic characters, as well as a menage relationship, explicit content, and gay and bi characters. Science Fiction.
- The Captain’s Men (March 14)
- The Captain’s Encounter (April 11)
- The Captain’s Calamity (June 20)
- The Captain’s Promise (coming October 17)
A Word and a Bullet, by Rachel Sharp (The Planetary Tarantella Trilogy, Book 2). Asexual Character, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic. Self Published (March 29). Amazon.
Colt, Janie, and Damien were planning a weekend at Zed Games when the real apocalypse canceled their trip. Now the planet is trying to kill them. Evacuation by plane is less than successful. The Piper goes down. They survive, stranded somewhere up the East Coast with all the gear they could ask for but no idea where to go.
Colt never saw himself as a leader. Now his friends are turning to him to make decisions. He can’t be sure of the answers. He’s used to having one foot in many worlds – a Cherokee living in Asheville, three-quarters nerd and one-sixteenth responsible adult – but never in charge. Now he feels the pressure to keep his friends alive while the planet is dying.
Scraping from one disaster to the next, Colt and his friends encounter Mab, a punky survivor on her way back to a safe haven in the Canadian wilderness. She invites them to tag along. Recruiting some horses from an abandoned farm, Colt, Janie, and Damien charge into the post-civilized unknown.
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
No matter the cost.
A Gentleman’s Position, by K.J. Charles (Society of Gentlemen, Book 3). Demisexual, gay (M/M), Historical. Publisher: Loveswept. (GR) (April 5). K.J. also shared with me a couple of excerpts from the book, of the main character, Richard, discussing his demisexuality! Here’s part of one:
“When you say a long time . . . ?” David asked.
“Seven years.” Richard saw the red brow tilt and turned up his palm. “Two since I have had anyone at all. I don’t, can’t bed men for whom I don’t care. I dare say that’s unusual, but honestly, I feel I have deprived myself of nothing but the pox—oh, God damn it.” He could have kicked himself for saying such a thing to David. “I beg your pardon.”
Candy Land, by Lissa Kasey. Series: Hidden Gem, Book 3. Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 25, 2016). Please note that this book is not described as having an asexual MC, but instead as a “low libido” character. However, I have been told by a reader that this does have an asexual MC. It also contains an M/M and menage relationship with BDSM, so be aware of erotic content. (GR) (Publisher)
The Trouble With Grace, by Jenn LeBlanc. Series: Lords of Time, Book 4. Publisher: Everafter Romance. (May 2, 2016). Historical, POC, contains both M/F and M/M relationship. Per the author: This book is an autochorissexual romance (on the asexual spectrum) but contains important pieces of a gay romance. Both are explicit. (GR) (Author’s Website) (Thanks to FantasyLibrarian for the heads up!)
She had no idea what passion was, until she saw them…
Lady Alain needs a husband, and Quintin Wyntor will do just fine. She will offer him a mutual agreement of respect and independence— As long as he never visits her bed to claim his marital rights. But seeing him with a man, with Calder, changes it all.
For better—and for worse.
Passion stirred. Desire ignited.
And yet, she still never wants to touch or be touched.
But Quinn’s heart is shattered when his lover walks away so he decides to explore his feelings for Celeste to ease his broken heart. In one unchecked moment of passion, mutual need spins out of control and bringing Calder home now may just be impossible.
Will Celeste give in to what Quinn wants for her?
Or will she stand her ground and hope they find another way…
Carnack rules a vast kingdom, with millions of people looking to him for leadership and protection.
But he wasn’t born royalty, and never had any interest in taking care of anyone but himself. So what changes a cold and ruthless mercenary into a trusted and caring king?
That story begins with a belt buckle, and the unexpectedly complicated adventure required to obtain it…
The Olive Conspiracy, by Shira Glassman. (Mangoverse #4) Publisher: Prizm Books. (July 20, 2016). Fantasy, lesbian, demisexual. (GR) Per Shira (via twitter, so please pardon typos and abbreviations):
One of the leading ladies in my book series (#4 out this summer) is demi but since it’s not really a focus or even mentioned explicitly Because Fantasy, just something demi fans told me I’d done, I hesitate to mention her for lists like this. Esp since she isn’t the “real” lead (an allo lesbian.) “MC’s best friend/bodyguard now written demi after demi fans decided she was in other books”. Her name is Rivka & she got a whole story to herself last year… rescuing aro ace woman! relevant. basically she has a high sex drive for her husband but had no interest in sex b4 they met or when she thought he was dead & I just wrote it as “she’s a warrior woman, why does she NEED a boyfriend all the time?” but demi fans were like GLOMP and I said, “well, okay! that fits bc she’s only attracted to Isaac because he’s HIM, different body would have been ok” Since it wasn’t originally deliberate representation I feel it’s more honest to share whole story. I don’t know if people would be able to tell from just OLIVE CONSPIRACY that she’s even demi; it’s more obvs in the short story I linked, the one that came out last year but she’s there playing a big role in OLIVE, her & her sword 😛
Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
Three cheating girlfriends in a row have given skateboarder Brennan Cross the same excuse: he wasn’t meeting their needs. Desperate and humiliated, he goes to the professionals at the local sex shop for advice.
Zafir Hamady, a sales clerk at Red Hot Bluewater, has an unusual theory: he doesn’t think Brennan is a bad lover. In fact, he doesn’t think Brennan is heterosexual. Or sexual at all, for that matter.
Into the Hallowed Veil, by A.M. Valenza, part of the Enchanted Soles anthology. Publisher: Less Than Three Press. (July 6, 2016). This anthology contains stories in the urban fantasy and fantasy genre, and this story contains an ace MC as per the publisher. (GR) (Publisher)
And Into the Hollowed Veil is the story of a man who puts on a pair of beautiful red shoes and finds himself in a strange forest helping a beautiful woman rescue the man she loves…
Undertow, by Rory Ni Coileain. (SoulShares, Book 7). Fantasy. (End of Summer). Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books. One of the characters, a fae named Rhoann Callte, is demisexual. Author’s Blog.
Far From Home, by Lorelie Brown. Series: Belladonna Ink, Book 1. Publisher: Riptide Publishing. (August 1, 2016) Per author’s website, one MC is demisexual. This book contains a sexual relationship between two women. (GR) (Publisher)
My name is Rachel. I’m straight . . . I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.
My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She’s really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She’s kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari’s kindness and calm rubs off on me, that’d be a bonus, because I’m a mess—anorexia is not a pretty word—and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren’t working anymore.
And if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I’ll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife.
Dead of a heart attack at only twenty-two years old, Abigail Campos is far from thrilled to find herself in the afterlife. Her guide, a prim, sweet banshee named Renata, definitely makes the transition easier, but Abbie doesn’t know if the two of them can make it work: she’s asexual and Renata is bi. Harsh past experience has taught her it’s not worth the risk, and she seriously doubts it’s going to be any different now that she’s dead.
A Fine Bromance, by Christopher Hawthorne Moss. Publisher: Harmony Ink Press. (August 11, 2016). Asexual, transgender, gay, contemporary. A bit of googling tells me that this “is about a transgender and an asexual high school boy who find a partnership in the midst of a strange little mystery.” (GR) (Publisher) (Our Review)
New World, by Lyssa Chiavari. (The Iamos Trilogy, Book Two) Self-published (September 2016). Science fiction, asexual, demisexual. Per the author, one of the main characters is ace, the other is demi. (GR) (Author’s Website)
Scott’s skills as a surveillance expert come in pretty handy when he’s breaking down firewalls. But hacktivism isn’t enough; he’s going after the holy grail—UltSyn’s Human Information Drives, assets implanted with cerebral microchips. While plenty of hackers are trying to save the world these days, all Scott wants is to find his sister.
His obsession with finding her leads him halfway around the world. But as Scott digs deeper into restricted databases, he discovers that those who enlist with UltSyn get far more than they bargained for. Plunged into a world of human trafficking and corporate espionage, Scott is determined to find his sister, no matter the cost. But when the information reveals the people closest to him have been working for UltSyn all along, he has to find her—before UltSyn finds him.
Empty Net, by Avon Gale. Series: Scoring Chances, Book 4 (Stand-alone). Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (September 2, 2016). Contemporary, New adult, sports romance. One MC is demisexual, and eventually enters into a sexual relationship with another man. Please note that there is serious child abuse in this novel unrelated to the MC’s demisexuality. (GR) (Publisher) (Our Review)
Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain, Isaac Drake, ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and a family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him—no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.
Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse. He was constantly treated like a disappointment, on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist. Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the-season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold on to Laurent—or their relationship.
Demonica, part of the Magic & Mayhem Anthology. Story by Megan Derr. Publisher: GRNW Press. This is an anthology by several different authors, but contains a story with an ace MC, as per the author. (GR) (Author’s Website)
Running with the Pack, by Caitlin Ricci & A.M. Burns. Publisher: Harmony Ink Press. (September 8, 2016). On her website, Caitlin lists this as a “Contemporary, Young Adult, Asexual, Polyamorous, Gay Romance”. (GR) (Publisher) (Our Review)
Finn is about to start his senior year of high school when he and his family move from Austin, Texas, to Woodland Park, Colorado. Everything is different—even the elevation—and Finn’s having a hard time getting used to his new home. Life takes a turn for the better when he meets Ivan Dubovasky at a farmers’ market. Finn finds not only a close new friend but a fulfilling volunteer position at the High Mountain Wolf and Wild Dog Center, which Ivan’s family runs. Before long Finn develops an affinity for the wolves under the center’s protection.
Things only get better for Finn when he starts a relationship with Ivan; and Ivan’s best friend, Adrian, who’s asexual, completes their small pack. But it all comes crashing down when the bully plaguing Adrian crosses the line and Adrian goes missing. Finn and Ivan are determined to bring their boyfriend home safe, but they might not be able to do it alone. Luckily there’s a special wolf ready to lend a paw.
Overexposed, by Megan Erickson. Series: In Focus, Book 4 (Stand-alone). Publisher: InterMix (Berkley/NAL). Contemporary, one of the MCs is demisexual and eventually enters into a sexual relationship with the other male MC. (GR) (Author’s Website)
Levi Grainger needs a break. As a reality show star, he’s had enough of the spotlight and being edited into a walking stereotype. When he returns home after the last season of Trip League, he expects to spend time with his family, only to learn his sister is coming back from her deployment in a flag-draped casket. Devastated, Levi decides the best way to grieve will be to go off grid and hike the Appalachian Trail—a trip he’d planned to do with his sister.
His solitary existence on the trail is interrupted when he meets Thad, a quiet man with a hard body and intense eyes. Their connection is stronger than anything Levi has ever experienced. But when Levi discovers the truth about what Thad is hiking to escape, their future together looks uncertain, and uncertainty is the last thing Levi needs…
The decision to stop dating has made Vaughn Hargrave’s life infinitely simpler: he has friends, an excellent wardrobe, and a job in the industry he loves. That’s all he really needs, especially since sex isn’t his forte anyway and no one else seems interested in a purely romantic connection. But when a piece is stolen from his art gallery and insurance investigator Jonah Sondern shows up, Vaughn finds himself struggling with that decision.
Jonah wants his men like his coffee: hot, intense, and daily. But Vaughn seems to be the one gay guy in Toronto who doesn’t do hookups, which is all Jonah can offer. No way can Jonah give Vaughn what he really wants, not when Jonah barely understands what love is.
When another painting goes missing, tension ramps up both on and off the clock. Vaughn and Jonah find themselves grappling not just with stolen art, but with their own differences. Because a guy who wants nothing but romance and a guy who wants nothing but sex will never work—right? Not unless they find a way to fill in the spaces between them.
Please also note that Book Two in this series (Finding Your Feet) is ace female/het trans!male. It will be out in January 2017!
The Painted Crown, by Megan Derr. Series: Unbreakable Soldiers, Book 2. Publisher: Less Than Three Press. Per author, has demisexual and graysexual MCs! Also contains warning for attempted suicide. (GR) (Publisher)
Prince Istari has spent his life reviled: his parents wish he had never been born, the royal court of Belemere avoids him for fear of angering the king, and everyone else is kept away by his notorious reputation as a deadly sharpshooter. Now a hostage of peace in Tallideth, he is subjected to their hatred as well—even that of Regent Vellem, who once considered him a comrade in arms.
Unexpected solace comes in the form of Lord Teverem, a sad, quiet lord who assumed the title when his brother was killed in the explosion for which Istari’s father is to blame. He is kind and sweet and a sorely needed bright spot in Istari’s life—until Istari meets his family and learns of a dangerous family secret with unexpected ties to Istari’s past, a secret that could drag Tallideth and Belemere right back into war…
ONGOING: Sex Criminals, by Matt Faction, illus. by Chip Zdarksky. Graphic novel/comic book. As of issue #13 (Oct. 2015) features an asexual character. Amazon.
Again, if you know of a novel or novella being published in 2016 with a main character who identifies as asexual, demisexual, aromantic, gray-ace, etc., please leave a comment and let me know. Provide a link if possible, or just a tentative title, release date, etc.