QUILTBAG+ Speculative Classics: Silence in Solitude by Melissa Scott

Silence in Solitude is the second volume of Melissa Scott’s The Roads of Heaven trilogy, the first volume of which I reviewed in my last column. This is one of the few early science fiction series built around queer characters, published at a time when most books with QUILTBAG+ themes were standalone releases. The adventures of space pilot Silence Leigh and her two husbands continue, but the story doesn’t quite go where I would have expected it to go… In order to find an ancient tome that could help the characters reach the long-lost, mythical Earth, they need to rescue a planetary governor’s daughter from the heart of the empire.

Without getting into spoiler-y plot details, Silence is studying in a magic academy at the beginning of the book, and the author delves into the popular magic-school theme for all it’s worth, here. The initial chapters show us not only ...