Announcement: Introducing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books with Disability Masterlist!


As some of you may know, for a while now I’ve been searching for sci-fi/fantasy books with physically disabled and chronically ill characters. And during that time, I kept trying to figure out something I could do with my blog to help bring awareness to disabilities and the books that include them in order to spread more understanding. And this was what I came up with!

So I am happy to introduce to everyone my little pet project, the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books with Disability Masterlist!

See, the thing is, even though there aren’t a lot of sci-fi/fantasy books out there with disability in them, there are some. The problem is that people don’t know they exist and can’t find them. I’ve come across a few lists and recommendations by doing a lot of searching, but there are still so many lesser-known books that aren’t on any list anywhere. Plus lists on Goodreads are kind of just a hot mess most of the time. Not to mention most lists aren’t specific to sci-fi/fantasy, often times include mental illness (which is also important but is still a different thing than physical disability), and they don’t give any information which means it could just be some random side character in two scenes who has the disability.

So my goal with this list is two-fold:

1) Help people actually find lesser-known sci-fi/fantasy books with disability in them, and…

2) Include as much information about the disability in each book as possible (e.g. what disability, who has it, if it’s magically cured) since so many blurbs are unclear on this.

I know it’s limiting to include only sci-fi/fantasy books, but I’m only one person who also has other responsibilities and obligations and whatnot as well as my own health issues, it’s a lot more work than it looks like to add books, and there are actually a lot of books out there if we’re including every genre, so I needed to limit it a bit. Plus sci-fi/fantasy is the genre I read and thus is what I’m constantly browsing and searching and finding books in. I know it’s also limiting to include only physical disabilities and not mental illness, but, again, I’m one person, and there are more resources out there already for mental illness than physical. I would like to expand the list to include mental illness and maybe more genres at some point though. If nothing else, I’ve at least got a fairly good list to start off with, I think!

And I figured a list would be a more dynamic and permanent thing than the occasional recommendation post since I can add as many books as I want and it won’t ever get lost in the archives of my blog. Pluuuus (sorry, I know this is getting long for an announcement post), the list has its own tags and archives, so if you click one of the tags, it will only bring up books in the list that also have that tag, not any other type of post.

So if you know of or come across any sci-fi/fantasy books with physically disabled characters, make sure to let me know by filling out this form! And don’t forget to check out the books already on the list and maybe find some good ones to read!

P.S. I’ll also have a post later this week to kind of spotlight some of the books, so be sure to check that out, too!


Talk to me!

What's the last book you read that had a disabled character?
Do any of the books on the list so far sound interesting to you?
Do you know of any other resources for finding books with disability?


Your Thoughts


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  1. Greg

    A great idea. I’ll have to go check out the list. I’m trying to think of any I’ve read and the only ones that come to mind I think fall in the mental health category (bulimia, OCD, stuff like that)… oh I know Dead Girls Society has an MC with cystic fibrosis if that applies.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks 🙂 I really would like to include mental illness at some point, and I’ll put Dead Girls Society on my list for if I start including other genres (I don’t think it’s SFF?). I actually had no idea the MC has cystic fibrosis! I’ve read one other book about that.

  2. Luna & Saturn

    This is such a great idea! We love the idea of reading diversely – disabilities tend to be unrealistically represented in books. No books come to mind straight away, but we’ll definitely fill in your form when we think of any!
    ~ Pendragons 

  3. chucklesthescot

    The list is certainly a useful resource for those seeking out diversity in the genre. I particularly like zombies, preppers and apocalypses so I’d like to see disability featuring higher in these books-maybe there are a good amount and I’m just not stumbling across them but I don’t really have time to hunt them down at the moment!

    1. Kristen Burns

      The Least by Michael John Grist is a zombie book with a paraplegic MC, if you wanna check that out and see if it sounds like something you might like 🙂 Sugar Scars and Foamers are also post-apoc but idk if they have zombies. But yes, exactly, as important as I think disability is, even I won’t read a contemporary romance, for example, *just* because it has disability. So maybe my list can help people find books that actually are the type they like but also happen to have disability.

  4. Angela @ Simply Angela

    I don’t think I’ve heard of SCI-Fi/Fantasy books with disabilities until now so kudos to you for compiling a list! I’m going to have to check some of those out.

    I’ve noticed in the last two years, historical romance started introducing characters with disabilities–it hasn’t been a broad range mostly blindness or deafness–but I think it’s good for more authors to include these types of things.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! It’s taken me a while just to hunt all these down, some I only found by accident.

      Oh that’s cool. I don’t read historical romance, but that’s awesome that more genres are starting to include disability!

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Well, you know I am one of those people looking for a list like this so I’m thrilled you’ve put the work in and actually done it. I would have just talked about doing it for a while and still not gotten around to finishing because I am easily distracted. I am bookmarking your list and I will browse to my heart’s content every time I feel the need to read something new. I do notice Graceling/Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore aren’t included. I know the character in it who has a disability is a secondary character, especially in Bitterblue but it does feature a character with blindness if that’s any help? I can’t remember all the details otherwise I’d submit to it properly, maybe I’ll have a reread of the series so I can remember it all.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I told you I’d have something soon 😛 I am including secondary characters on the list, so I’ll add that one 🙂 And I have it set up so that even if I don’t have all the info for the book I can still add it with however much I do have (some fields just might say “unknown”).

  6. Lola

    This is pretty awesome! I usually don’t specifically look for books with disabilities and even am a bit creeped out by some physical/ medical stuff, but I do think it’s very neat to see how you listed it. It is nice to get a quick overview and with how you handled the tags you can easily find other books with that too.

    I think this is a great resource for people who want to read about physical disabilities in sci-fi and fantasy books. It seems physical disabilities are a bit more common in contemporary books, so I think focusing on a specific genre works well and you can always add more genres later on if you want to.

    Now that I scroll through your list I do remember a few books with disabilities that I’ve read, most of them contemporary reads though. I remember a book with a kid with autism and one with mutism. And the amanda lester series has a blind side character. I did buy an urban fantasy book recently where the main character is blind, but I haven’t read it yet, so i don’t know the details. And I read Damned If I Don’t from that list, it was nice to see a book i recognized, although quite some of them i recognized because I read your reviews. I’ll try to make sure to remember to fill out the form if I read a book with disabilities.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! The great thing about sci-fi/fantasy books is that they don’t usually focus specifically on the disability. They usually have an actual plot, but the character just happens to have a disability, so they aren’t as depressing and don’t have as much medical stuff.

      Ooh what’s the urban fantasy book? I can look into it and add it and then after you read it I can go back and add any info I wasn’t sure of.

      1. Lola

        I agree I rather have a disability as side plot as then usually there’s less focus on it and the medical stuff.

        The urban fantasy book is Hidden Sight by Simone Pond. I think the mc becomes blind, but she gains the ability to see visions or something like that I think. I read the blurb and it sounded interesting and then the author did a 0.99$ sale and now I have both book 1 and 2.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, I’m not trying to push mental illness in books aside, it’s obviously important too, but there is starting to be a lot of focus on mental illness whereas people rarely seem to include physical disabilities. Glad you like it!

  7. Christy LoveOfBooks

    Wow, Kristen, you already have a great list going! I’ll make sure to let you know when I discover any. I’m sure I have already, but can’t think of any specifics right now.

  8. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    This is great, Kristen! I just finished reading Not If I See You First, where the heroine is blind. It’s not fantasy or sci-fi, so it won’t fit on your list, but it was a great story, and I really enjoyed reading it 🙂
    I’m off to check your master-list, while trying to remember the name of that one sci-fi book I read that had a disabled person in it o.O
    have a great week and happy reading! xoxo

  9. Puput @ Sparkling Letters

    This is such an AMAZING idea!! I tried thinking of something but doing that made me realize that I rarely ever read SFF books with disabled characters </3 the closest I could think of is Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I forgot the details but Kaz broke his leg and has been using cane and walking limply ever since. It was also described that his disability indeed slowed him down (so it wasn't just brushed off) and he refused to be healed even if the healer could heal it with magic. Anyway, good luck finding more titles and looking forward to the complete list! 😀

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you!!! Someone else let me know about Six of Crows, so it’s on the list 🙂 But that’s cool that he even refused to be healed, I didn’t know that! That’s kind of like in one fantasy book I read in which the character was blind, he didn’t want to be healed of it either because it was part of him. Thanks!

  10. Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

    Love the list. I think it’s great you took the time to put it together so I’m sure won’t mind it’s only fantasy/Sci-fi. Six of Crows is there! which I hope to be reading in a week or two. Hope your elbow get better! 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I figure a sci-fi/fantasy list is better than no list at all 😛 Isn’t Six of Crows in the same universe as that other series though? I might be kinda interested in reading it, but not if I have to read another series first to understand it.

  11. Caitlin @ Words and Other Beasts

    What a great idea! I remember you asking for suggestions a while back but I’ve always really struggled to find any SFF protagonists with disabilities. There’s sometimes the token disabled side character, which is normally a wise old mentor who’s missing an eye or something because he fought in a very important battle, but not so much protagonists. I’ll definitely be using the list so thanks for putting it together!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Yeah, I was asking for suggestions for a while. That’s part of the problem, a lot of books with disability just have the token side character, a character who’s disabled for the sake of including it but the disability is never actually explored. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to include info about which character has the disability in my list 🙂 Glad you find the list useful!

  12. Jennifer Lee Rossman

    This is such a great resource! I’m going through every one of these to see what my library has.
    One point I’d like to make, though: You use the term “wheelchair bound.” I can’t speak for all wheelchair users, but most of us dislike that term for various reasons (we aren’t “bound,” we’re actually liberated… a lot of us only use wheelchairs part time so “bound” isn’t really accurate…)

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you, glad you’re finding it helpful!

      I’m sorry, I will change that. Would “uses wheelchair” be a good substitute? Or what should I use instead?

      1. Jennifer Lee Rossman

        Uses wheelchair, wheelchair user… Maybe even their specific disability if it’s known.
        Thank you for being receptive to changing it!

        1. Kristen Burns

          I am trying to use specific disabilities, but sometimes it just doesn’t say :-/ And of course, no problem! Thanks for pointing it out so that I could fix it 🙂

  13. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    This is a really great idea! I’m doing the Fantastically Diverse readathon by Uma and one of the categories is main character with a disability – it’s not easy to find and the info is not easy to find either!

    I went with Six of Crows for that one but can’t tell you any info about it until I read it. 😉

    Again, wonderful idea!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! Yeah, when you actually start looking, you realize how difficult it can be to actively look for books with disabled characters and how hard it can be to then find out what character, what disability, etc.

      Six of Crows is already on my list, so it’s all good 🙂


    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Some of them I just found by accident and saved/bought/read, but I have been doing a lot of searching. It’s not easy finding SFF books with disability!

  14. Alex

    This sounds so great! I haven’t read nearly enough books featuring physical disabilities, so I look forward to browsing your list. I’ve been thinking of keeping a list myself of books featuring mental illnesses that I’ve read and would recommend, and that’s more my area (as a MI blogger), but I’ll agree no question that there isn’t enough visibility for physical disabilities in books and the book blogging world. Really looking forward to this!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I’m glad my list will be helpful to you 🙂 I would like to include mental illness in my list at some point, I know I have some to start off with since I have a tag on my blog and a shelf on GR for mental illnesses. But yeah, physical disabilities for some reason get even less attention. Thanks again!

  15. La La in the Library

    This is fabulous and you have Defying Doomsday up already! Thanks. I have a couple of books to fill out the form for. I am interested in reading some of the books on the list, too. Thanks for doing this for all of us! ☺

  16. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Oh goodness THIS IS AMAZING. I’m so glad you’re doing this and I’m about to go stalk your list!! I’ll definitely submit some that I know to the form, but I’ll say look up Otherbound and On The Edge of Gone! I’m pretty sure they’re sci-fi and I’m pretty sure they both feature disabilities (the second one definitely has Autism protagonist) but I actually haven’t read them yet, so I feel like I shouldn’t put them on the form. ? Anyway! So glad you’re making a list!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Glad you like it! Someone else already submitted Otherbound, so I’ve got that one 🙂 I also put it on my TBR because it sounds good! (I did not anticipate when I started this how much my TBR might be affected, haha.) And thanks, can’t wait to add whatever books you submit to the list!

  17. Bookworm Brandee

    This is brilliant!! And a great way to share something you’re passionate about. I’m sure it’s hard work but I’m also sure it’s going to be appreciated! 🙂

    1. Bookworm Brandee

      By the way, I was just scrolling through your list and there are several books on there I own already…and I didn’t realize there were characters with disabilities in the stories. Now I’m even more intrigued. 😉

      1. Kristen Burns

        Awesome! Lola mentioned that, after seeing my posts about disability, she started to realize that some of the books she was reading had disability, and she hadn’t even noticed before. So at least I’m getting people to start noticing it more and get more excited about the books they have 🙂

    2. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! It is a lot of work, but it does make me feel like I’m doing something good since it is something I’m passionate about, spreading more understanding about disability.

  18. Jared

    Wow! What a great idea, I do agree, It would be AMAZING to read a fantasy novel with an MC who is disabled. It would be SOO interesting, I do know that in Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan one of the characters is blind, and it’s SUPER interesting to hear his POV of the story.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! I’ve read some of these, and it can be super enlightening to read about an MC who is disabled and understand their struggles. That’s cool, I didn’t know there was a blind character in Magnus Chase!

  19. Wattle

    This is a wonderful idea 🙂 I actually own a few of the books on the list (haven’t read them yet), I wasn’t actually aware they even dealt with disability at all!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! That’s awesome that you already own some of them 🙂 And I didn’t realize some of these had disability either until other people told me!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve looked at lists on GR, but they’re a mess. Most lists aren’t specific to SFF, most of the books have mental illness rather than physical disability, half the time it’s just a small side character, and if it’s not in the blurb, it takes me half an hour to read through reviews for one single book and I still can’t even figure who or what disability is supposedly in the book, etc. It’s just way too difficult for me :-/

      1. Paula Berinstein

        I’m convinced that there’s a better way. Unfortunately my brilliant ideas have yielded nothing but I’m not giving up. I used to be a librarian. I *know* there’s an easier way to do this. 🙂

        1. Kristen Burns

          If you do figure out a way, let me know! I’ve put a lot more time and effort into finding these books than I think people realize, searching Google for posts and lists, searching FB, searching GR, asking for recs… At this point I’ve done about all I can do until I stumble upon some more or get more submitted. I just don’t have the time or energy to put 20 minutes of searching into individual books just to figure out if they have disability or not!

              1. Paula Berinstein

                Okay, Kristen, here is one approach that seems to work. If you go to WorldCat and pick the advanced search (, you can find a lot of books that fit your criteria. Set the content type to fiction and in the top dropdown menu pick Subject instead of Keyword. Then put in things like this:

                blind–science fiction
                deaf–science fiction
                disabilities–science fiction

                and so on.

                There are tons of variations on subject headings that work, including:

                People with disabilities–juvenile fiction
                Children with disabilities–fiction
                People with disabilities–children–juvenile literature
                Cerebral palsy–fiction
                Vision–juvenile fiction
                Eye–juvenile fiction
                Magic–juvenile fiction
                People with visual disabilities–fiction
                Blind women–fiction
                Deaf children–Fiction–Juvenile.

                However, if you do what I said, you should pick these up automatically.

                Please give it a try and let me know what you think. I know self-published books end up in WorldCat because mine are there. However, I have ISBNs so that might be why. Unfortunately if you don’t, Amazon and Goodreads are probably the best bets and their subject headings and even their keywords don’t work that well.

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  21. Sage Sharpe

    Might try the Arcadia Project. The main character has several different challenges, both mentally and physically.

  22. Paul Arvidson

    Omg! Where has this been all my life?
    Hello, I’m Paul L Arvidson and I accidentally wrote a book that should go on your list 🙂
    My Dark series is set on a lightless planet, so the playing field is levelled for sighted and unsighted characters. I’d love to send you a copy, if you’re still doing this!

    Great to get some new reading input in what is, as you point out, a disbursed field. I’ve got some swotting to do on whatevers latest as I’ve got the first panel on this I’ve chaired in a while at Eastercon 2022 in London!

    Let me know if and where I can send you a Dark copy if you’d like one.

    All the best,

    Paul L Arvidson