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2018’s Icons, Innovators, and Disruptors

Courtesy Janecesther

Jane C. Esther: Mission to Mars
Jane C. Esther explores lesbian love in a future where Mars may be Earth’s only hope.

While working as a librarian by day and living with her wife and dog in New England at night, Jane C. Esther penned her brilliant debut lesbian sci-fi novel, The Universe Between Us. Set in a both brighter (gay is normal) and bleaker (environmentally, Earth has fallen to shit) future, the story really centers on an evolving love between two women — one of whom is about to embark on a covert mission to colonize Mars.

“Visiting Nebraska inspired me to write a story about what I saw happening there, which was river beds dusty from drought, and farmland that won’t be there by the end of the century,” Esther admits. “It got me thinking, in the next few decades, how will our planet change, which desperate measures will we take, and what will hope look like?”

Esther — whose idea of fun encompasses microscopes, “trashy TV about the British royal family,” and Broadway show tunes — says she feels fortunate to be a part of the growing queer visibility.

“I’m so thankful that I grew up at a time when queer experiences were starting to be shared in the media. Watching and reading about other LGBT people was a way for me to feel less alone. I hope that my story, which normalizes queerness in the future, contributes to a world that values all voices and the stories they have to tell.”

Esther is already working on finishing her highly anticipated second novel with Bold Strokes Books, which will be another lesbian sci-fi romance (this time involving mental telepathy and alien contact) — and is set to be released in 2019.—DG

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