Hey folks. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ve heard me talk about the Faux Book Box: a monthly post in which I select a few bookish or otherwise awesome items all centered around a newly released queer book (probably often YA, since that’s a genre I read a lot of). I want to feature queer makers as much as possible, so if you think that might be you, let me know!
I’m very sorry for the delay in this post! The end of the month was a little wild for me. I think I’ll have the same issues next month, but hopefully now that I know how busy it will be I can schedule it better.
Anyway, without any further ado, let’s “unbox” this!
The theme for this month’s post is Queer in Space. I’ve been on a huge sci-fi kick lately and queer sci-fi is, in my completely unbiased opinion, the absolute best. The book for this month’s post is one of my recent favorites. You’ll have to read to the end to find out what it is!
And the first item is…
If you read vintage sci-fi, you’ll notice that sometimes the oddest items end up in futuristic worlds. Adrienne and Winx, hosts of the S’more Sci-fi Book Club podcast, saw typewriters showing up with surprising frequency. Adrienne designed the above print for their Society6 store. It’s also available on a variety of shirts and zip pouches. Marshmallow Commonwealth is one of the queer shops that I’ve been excited about featuring… just another reason this theme was perfect!
Speaking of awesome queer shops, NerdyKeppie is one of my favorites. You may remember them from the Social Justice Faux Box in May. This design is on point for this month’s theme and is on sale at the time of this posting! This symbol from Star Trek stands for “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.” It’s a Vulcan phrase and medal. To me, this design symbolizes all the positive potential of sci-fi: freeing ourselves from the confines of our societal norms. They have a huge collection of nerdy and queer goods and this same design is available in all different flag combinations; if you don’t see your combo available in the shop, shoot them a message and they’ll add it.
Another returning shop (check out their Simon vs. bookmark from the first Faux Book Box!), I was so thrilled to see BibliophilApothecary had a Long Way bookmark. To me, this book is the pinnacle of queer science fiction. It features diversity in sexuality, gender, and even species. The quote is also adorable and perfectly encapsulates the soft mood of the book: “I can’t wait for the galaxy outside to get a little kinder.”
Cafe Press: Alex Harrow
If you don’t have your eye on queer sci-fi author Alex Harrow, you should. Their debut book Empire of Light comes out in January and they describe it as a queer Firefly with magic. It sounds like everything I want from a story. Their tagline is “Diversity with a chance of explosions” and their CafePress shop has a whole variety of things with that line (though it’s soon changing to “Queerness with a chance of explosions!”). You should definitely support this author and keep an eye out for their book in a few months!
Really, these buttons are so fun. I’m into sparkles, I’m into space, and I’m into my identity. Check, check, and check! This is my first time featuring Tigers Eye Adventure Co and you can definitely expect to see more of them in the future. They also offer different designs of Pride buttons, pronoun and name buttons, and nerdy buttons.
And now that we’ve gone through all the items, it’s time to announce the book!
Hullmetal Girls by Julian Winters
I have a full, spoiler-free review posted earlier on my blog if you’re interested in reading ALL my thoughts about this book, and then I have a BookTube video in which I discuss whether I think this book is feminist or not (spoiler: I’m pretty sure it is). Hullmetal Girls gave me all sorts of feels. If you’re at all into queer sci-fi I recommend checking out this story.
CW for body horror and nonconsensual body modification
The two main characters of this book are Aisha and Key and both are newly-made Scela: cyborg soldiers who have given up their autonomy to the government. Aisha comes from a low-level ship and needs the money from being a Scela to help her brother get medical treatment. Key is from the upper classes of society and has no memory of why she became a Scela. The two end up on the same team along with Praava and Woojin. They all have to work together to deal with their problems (as well as the problems of their society at large).
Representation: Aisha is aroace and the futuristic equivalent of Muslim. Praava is trans. Woojin is pan.
Find Hullmetal Girls online here or at your local library.
And that’s it! That’s this month’s Faux Book Box. What did y’all think? What was your favorite item? Do you think you might get any yourselves?
As I said above, if you’re interested in having your shop featured please let me know on Instagram or Twitter! I’d love to find some queer makers/crafters/artists that I haven’t heard about before. If you’re a fan of the Faux Box idea, let me know what books/items you might like to see in future posts.