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Over at Rose Fox's Genreville blog -- which you really should be following, if you're not already; among other things, she has the definitive coverage of the response to Orson Scott Card's Hamlet's Father, kicked off by William Alexander's review in Rain Taxi -- there's an important post today, by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith:

Our novel, Stranger, has five viewpoint characters; one, Yuki Nakamura, is gay and has a boyfriend. Yuki’s romance, like the heterosexual ones in the novel, involves nothing more explicit than kissing.

An agent from a major agency, one which represents a bestselling YA novel in the same genre as ours, called us.

The agent offered to sign us on the condition that we make the gay character straight, or else remove his viewpoint and all references to his sexual orientation.

If you read the full post, this is not the only such response they've had to their novel, although the others have not been so explicit. They have said no to such requested changes, and said no to this one: but it is, as they also say, not about one agent or event, but about a dismaying, unacceptable pattern.

The post concludes with a list of suggested actions for editors, agents, readers and writers. There's also a hashtag, YesGayYA, on Twitter. Please read the full post; and for our part, Strange Horizons welcomes your queer submissions, and indeed your reviews of or articles about queer speculative fiction.

Niall Harrison is a reader and fan.
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