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Pure trans joy–in space!

Cover of Catnip by Vyria Durav, showing a figure in a cat-eared space suit on a planet with lavender grass.

This short novel tells the story of a space explorer who is transformed into a catgirl and ends up loving it–and herself, with the help of an adorable transfeminine AI. While a lot of trans stories rightfully describe the pain and suffering of the trans experience alongside the triumphs, this one focuses almost entirely on the euphoric moments, and it’s a joy to read. The catgirl revels in her cuteness, as does the AI, who is constantly giving her scritches, which she is unable to resist. Adorbs!

It’s funny, delightful, and occasionally poignant. There are moments of deep reflection, which never delve too far into the tragic, but which hit me hard. Several lines stuck with me, particularly this exchange, as a character who has been transformed into a catgirl struggles to accept that she’s trans. The AI searches the human knowledge databases and comes up with one of the best answers I’ve read.

“I can’t be trans. I was happy as a guy, I can’t possibly be a girl!”

“You don’t have to hate the gender you were assigned to be trans. Sometimes joy is a much stronger indicator.”

The book is filled with little gems like this, building an affirming, safe reading space unlike any I have encountered. It was the perfect followup to another excellent book I read, which had me deep in my feelings but with a lot of tears. No tears in this book, except perhaps a few of joy. You might just need this book in your life.

The queer utopian sci-fi novel you’ve been waiting for, complete with a cute as a button, queer-as-the-day-is-long polycule, who arrive toward the end and form a new society on Saturn with Callie and her AI lover.

Note: Vyria Durav will be participating in my upcoming SFF transfeminine author panel in late October, so keep your cat ears peeled!

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