I know it's not really true that you can use mind-control to turn somebody queer and make that person want you, OK? I know that. But sometimes in the happy land of science fiction, you come across a book or movie that makes it seem like the whole frakkin universe has been taken over by a bunch of queer tranny superhero aliens, and that's totally alright. More than alright, even. It's hot. You saw that cylon-on-cylon action in Battlestar Galactica, so you know what I'm talking about. And so, to get you heated up for the last beer-drenched weekend of Queer Pride Month, we bring you a list of science fiction guaranteed to make even the most hetero and cisgender people wonder, just for a nanosecond, "Gee, maybe I should . . . ?"
Even though Quiznos is the official sponsor of lesbianism on BSG, which is kind of gross, nobody could watch Six and D'Anna in bed with Baltar without wanting to kick old sweaty-pants out and see our two lovely cylons get busy.
The Man Who Folded Himself, by David Gerrold
Gerrold is the author of the "Trouble with Tribbles" episode of Star Trek, and later he quit ST: TNG in a huff because the show runners had promised him repeatedly that they'd do a gay character but never came through. Instead we got that lame "planet of one gender" episode where the outcasts were people who wanted to make it with an opposite-gendered person. Lame! Anyway, Gerrold wrote this great novel in the early 1970s about a guy who travels though time and eventually meets so many of his alternate selves that they have an orgy. Funny and zippy, this book might make you say, "Hmm . . . is it really gay love if it's with myself?"
Ammonite, by Nicola Griffith
Planet of tough lesbians, packed with cool fight scenes and tribal war and desperate journeys and parthenogenesis. It's every girl's dream.
Liquid Sky A weird 1980s New Wave movie set in Los Angeles, this tale of bisexual artist/fashion models making the club scene is surreal and bizarro and sexy as hell. An androgynous lovely discovers she's being followed by aliens in a tiny spaceship who want to eat people during orgasm. Which for some reason pleases our hero, so she goes around having sex with lots of boys and girls just to watch them disappear when they come. Weird and pretty, this movie is a 10 on the "make you queer" scale.
A bit of a mess script-wise, Zerophilia nevertheless wins for sheer plucky cuteness. A mutant discovers that he possesses the strange "Z chromosome" which allows him to switch genders when he has an orgasm. But then he's stuck as that gender until he can have sex with another Z. Or something. The point is there are a lot of cute people having gender-bendy sex and doing lots of running around and being pouty-grumpy about their gender-transcending natures. Even though the plot has gaping holes, it will still make you wish you could switch from an innie to an outie once in a while — and then go back again.
Gay boys get addicted to electricity, and install sockets in their arms so they can plug into each other better. No really, it's hot.
Runaways, by Brian K. Vaughan and Joss Whedon
In this comic book about a team of teen superheroes, Karolina is a lesbian alien with superpowers thrust into an unwanted, arranged betrothal to Xavin the Skrull. When Xavin falls in love with Karolina, he uses his shape-shifter powers to turn into a cute girl. Yay for shape-shifty, tranny lesbian love! OMG srsly awesome as ponies no joke.
Fledgling, by Octavia Butler
This tale of a polyamorous, bisexual mutant/vampire re-discovering her powers after a catastrophic accident is pretty much the most awesome bit of erotic non-erotica ever written. Sadly, Butler died before she was able to write the sequels to this book. Still, just reading about the sexy relationships our heroine creates will make you wonder if maybe going both ways is the right way.
The Man Who Fell To Earth
In this crazy-ass David Bowie flick, there are no queer scenes at all. But Bowie, as an alien who comes to Earth seeking a way to bring water back to his parched planet, manages to make straight sex look somehow queer. He tries to raise a bunch of money by selling alien technology, and then spend that money building a ship that will take him home. Sadly, his plans are derailed and he falls into a life of debauched 1970s sex and alcohol with a lady friend who is only marginally more feminine than Bowie. Which is awesome, thanks.
Maybe it's just man-love, or maybe it's kinda gay, but the very intense both that develops between genderless alien Louis Gossett Jr. and macho dude Dennis Quaid on an alien world is definitely full of sparks. Especially when Gossett gets pregnant and Quaid has to protect him and the baby. This movie makes it seem cool for men to "marry" each other, even if they aren't into each other THAT way.
A Canadian prairie boy triggers the apocalypse with his lust, and somehow decides that sleeping with 2,000 guys will fix things? I'm confused by the plot, but amused by the boppy surrealism of this sweet homage to apocalyptic teen lust.
This all-bisexual, all-the-time spinoff of Doctor Who has basically been two seasons of the immortal Captain Jack (briefly the Doctor's companion) leading the secret alien-tracking group Torchwood into sex romps in Wales. Queer sex romps. With aliens, or sometimes cross-temporal beings. Come for the sex, try to ignore the awful plotlines, and stay for the sex. It will not only turn you a little queer, it will make you want to go to Cardiff. Which is really perverted.
Scaldingly hot Tilda Swinton plays the title character in this adaptation of the time-traveling, gender-bending novel by Virginia Woolfe. Orlando starts out a snotty boy during Queen Elizabeth's reign, mistreats his lady lovers horribly, and grows into a misogynist prick in the 18th Century. Then, abruptly, he turns into a woman. Who has to deal with misogyny, sexual awakening, and war throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Swinton plays boy half and girl half with sexy aplomb, and will definitely tempt you into a little tranny-chasing.
Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula Le Guin
This is Le Guin's classic gender-bender, homo-sorta novel of the late 1960s. A lone emissary comes to study the society on a planet where nobody has a gender. They go into "kemmer" or heat once in a while and take on gendered characteristics in order to mate. When the emissary gets stuck on a dangerous mission with one of the natives, who suddenly goes from seemingly male into a kemmering female, our hero has to confront his confused feelings about gender and sex. More sociological than sexy, the book will definitely force you to question your assumptions about gender, even if it doesn't turn you queer.
Mysterious Skin, by Scott Heim (also a great movie)
Two boys grow up together in a small Kansas town — only one becomes gay, and the other becomes convinced he's been abducted by aliens. It turns out their two stories are inextricably linked, and only when they finally meet as adults to they figure out the secret of the aliens. The book is haunting and delightful, and the movie version (with Joseph Gordon Levitt) is superb. You can't look at Levitt's broody face and not want to feel a little man-on-man with him for just a nanosecond.