Ever since I started reading Star Trek fan fiction at age thirteen, I knew we needed more queer representation in the sci-fi genre; enter Beyond: The Queer Sci-fi and Fantasy Comics Anthology (Beyond Press, 2015), a collection of short comics produced by twenty six writers and artists of diverse sexualities and genders. Beyond started when the writer Sfé R. Monster tweeted a few years ago about their desire for an anthology of sci-fi/fantasy/adventure
comics with a queer focus. The idea received much attention, and the project took off, funded by a Kickstarter campaign in one day, with Sfé R. Monster as editor. In the foreword to Beyond, Sfé R. Monster writes about the long history of tongue-in-cheek queerness in sci-fi and fantasy, and how this subtext always stops short of real minority representation. Each comic features queer or trans characters, who unravel spacetime, search for rare dinner ingredients, fool pirates, attempt interstellar travel, slay monsters (or choose not to) and sometimes grapple with family, relationships, gender and sexuality. One story that stood out is “Optimal” by Blue Delliquanti in which a synthetic android who was meant to be a copy of their creator’s partner requests gender reassignment. Since Beyond was published, Sfé R. Monster has created Beyond Press to publish more sci-fi and fantasy comics by queer-identifying and minority creators. Visit them at beyond-press.com.