Disability and Neurodivergence in Fantasy and Science Fiction

This page seeks to provide resources for those looking for disability and neurodivergence representation in science fiction and fantasy. It is drawn from the books I have read personally, but I do not vouch for the quality of the representation in all of these books.

Fantasy and Science Fiction with Amputee Protagonists

  • Fantasy:
    • Borderline by Mishell Baker is an urban fantasy novel where the heroine is a double amputee with a cane and prosthetic legs.
    • The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley has Lilith, a girl who’s missing most of one foot and has asthma.
  • Science Fiction:
    • Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Slyver is a hopeful dystopian novel where people have superpowers. One of the protagonists has a prosthetic leg.
    • Hammered, a science fiction by Elizabeth Bear, has an older, 50 something, female protagonist with a prosthetic arm.

Fantasy and Science Fiction with Autistic Protagonists

Fantasy and Science Fiction with Protagonists with Chronic Conditions

  • City of Lies by Sam Hawk is a second-world fantasy novel. The female protagonist has a chronic illness.
  • The Lifeline Signal by RoAnna Sylver, sequel to Chameleon Moon, has a protagonist with chronic pain.

Fantasy and Science Fiction with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Protagonists

  • Science Fiction
    • Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant is a sci-fi horror novel with killer mermaids. Two of the protagonists are deaf female scientists.
    • The Vela by Yoon Ha Lee, Beckie Chambers, S.L. Huang, and Rivers Solomon is a serial story. It’s a far future space opera, and one of the protagonists is a deaf woman who uses hearing aids.
  • Resources:

Fantasy and Science Fiction with Mentally Ill Protagonists

  • Fantasy:
    • Borderline by Mishell Baker is an urban fantasy novel where the heroine has Borderline Personality Disorder
    • City of Lies by Sam Hawk is a second-world fantasy novel. The male protagonist has OCD.
    • Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria is a YA fantasy novel. One of the protagonists has anxiety and panic attacks.
    • Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire is a portal fantasy where the heroine has OCD.
    • Witchmark by C.L. Polk is a gaslamp fantasy novel where the protagonist has PTSD.
  • Science Fiction:
    • Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Slyver is a hopeful dystopian novel where people have superpowers. One of the protagonists has anxiety.
    • The Lifeline Signal by RoAnna Sylver, sequel to Chameleon Moon, has a protagonist with triochotillomania.
    • Planetfall by Emma Newman is a science fiction novel about secrets among an extraterrestrial colony. The protagonist has OCD.
    • Before Mars by Emma Newman is a science fiction novel about an artist/scientist on Mars who has post-natal depression.
    • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal is an alternate-history science fiction where the heroine has anxiety.

Fantasy and Science Fiction with Otherwise Disabled Protagonists

  • Fantasy
    • Brood of Bones by A.E. Marling is a second-world fantasy book with a narcoleptic protagonist.
  • Science Fiction
    • Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee is a military space opera where the genius general has dyscalculia.
    • Lock In by John Scalzi is a science fiction novel about a future where a disease left many people paralyzed, able to communicate with the outside world through use of robots and modern technology.
    • Feed by Mira Grant is a zombie political thriller where the protagonist is visually impaired — her eyes are constantly dilated and vulnerable to sunlight.
  • Young Adult Fantasy
    • Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis is a YA portal fantasy where the heroine is mute and communicates through sign language.
    • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a YA fantasy heist story where one of the protagonists uses a cane.
    • Akata Witch by Nnedio Okorafor is a middle-grade fantasy novel with an albino heroine.

Resources

Advertisements