by Elizabeth Barrette

  • The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt. (Nonfiction.) Explains the concept of ethical slutdom, describes alternative paradigms for healthy sexual relations, and gives some ideas on practice. Excellent resource section in back.
  • Polyamory, the New Love without Limits: Secrets of Sustainable Intimate Relationships by Dr. Deborah M. Anapol. (Nonfiction.) Defines sundry forms of polyamory, outlines the ethics, and offers techniques for successful practice. Excellent resource section in back.
  • The Cage by S.M. Stirling and Shirley Meier. (Fantasy.) Set in a world where bisexual polyamory is the norm in most cultures, including those of the main characters; heavy emphasis on relationships.
  • Dark Water’s Embrace by Stephen Leigh. (Science fiction.) Human culture is polyamorous by necessity, and must adapt to accommodate the evolution of a third sex; watch the sensible main characters get clobbered by their pig-headed relatives, nearly dooming the colony as a result. Relationships prominent.
  • Fire Margins by Lisanne Norman. (Science fantasy.) Third in the Sholan Alliance series, this book introduces a third partner, Kaid, to the telepathic/sexual bond shared by the human Carrie and the felinoid Kusac. They get pretty good backup from some of their relatives; good attention to relationships.
  • The Forbidden Tower by Marion Zimmer Bradley. (Science fantasy.) Explores human relationships and the art of revolution, stretched across some interesting linguistic and cultural barriers.
  • Genderflex edited by Cecelia Tan. (Speculative fiction anthology.) The story “Did You Get Your Answers Questioned?” by Elizabeth Barrette takes place in a culture that recognizes five different genders and consequently includes a lot of polyamory, although polyamory is not a dominant theme in the story.
  • The Honor of the Queen by David Weber. (Science fiction.) Second in the “Honor Harrington” series, this book introduces the planet Grayson, where men commonly have two or three wives, by necessity. Relationships take a distinct back seat to the military- focused plot, but still play a key role in the setting.
  • The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton. (Horror.) Sixth in the “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter,” this is the obligatory negative example; it covers how NOT to practice polyamory, catching a werewolf-necromancer-vampire relationship just as it begins to boil over.
  • The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman. (Science fiction.) Although the two main characters share a powerful bond, one of them is married to a whole lot of wives and the other dallies amiably with a variety of partners. Nice healthy relationships provide a solid backdrop for other activities.
  • XXXenophile by Phil Foglio. (Erotic speculative fiction comic book series.) Polyamory is a frequent theme appearing in many forms throughout this series, usually with an emphasis on sex but sometimes with fine attention to relationships.