This is the home page of the Aromantic and Asexual Characters in (mostly) Speculative Fiction Database, a searchable compilation of the representation out there, complete with reviews when possible!
First, some important thanks:
Several authors have contributed to this database by giving me the information on their ace and aro characters, saving me a lot of time and making the information contained here much more reliable. Thank you so much for your time–I know how precious it is.
A more pointed thank you to Lynn E. O’Connacht, who has helped me find many new entries to the database, especially in genres that aren’t speculative fiction.
Thank you, also, to all reviewers who have accepted to be listed in the entries.
Second, a caveat:
Classification is a great tool to find what you want, but it has its flaws. I had to create broad categories for this, and sometimes a story doesn’t fit neatly into these. “Word used”, for example, can mean anything from the quick use of “asexual” to extensive On page description. And while it’s nice to have an idea of which ship happens with the ace characters, a quick look at the Chameleon Moon series and its network of polyamorous relationships quickly shows the limitations of my column. But I think these tables have the potential to do what I set out to accomplish: allow asexual and aromantic people to find themselves in a wide range of stories. Our narratives are out there, but too often it’s hard to find more than the same handful of well-known (and sometimes not-that-great rep) recommendations.
These tables will let you differentiate characters by the role they play in the story, by their gender, by their aromantic and asexual orientation, and so much more. It’s my hope that one can modulate their search enough to find wonderful works that fill precisely their craving.
Instructions about how to use the database and what each category means are below the link!
If you are an author with an ace spec or aro spec character and want to be added to the list, I have google forms for that! Self-published work is 100% welcome! Contact me!
If you are an asexual or aromantic reviewer who would like their reviews linked into the database, you can contact me too! I’m always looking for more.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there are problems with it or accessibility issues! I’ll do my best to fix it.
To view all of a line at once, click on the little double-arrows symbol at the very beginning of it. It will open a window with all information.
There are two ways to search the database:
- In the top right corner is the “Main Menu”. In it is a “Find” tool (also CTRL+F). You can use this to search the entire database for text.
- You can click on the header of any column. It gives you a search bar. You can use that to search the column. These searches add up, so you can search for more than one thing at a time.
Your sorting options and searches show up under the title. At any time, you can clear one away by clicking on the “x” next to it.
Column Headers and Definitions
|Character Name||Character’s name|
|Title||Story (or anthology) title|
|Series||Name of the series (if applicable)|
|The length of the story. These categories are somewhat arbitrary numbers but I’ve based them on what is generally understood by them.|
|Short story||Up to 10,000 words|
|Novella||10,000 to 50,000 words|
|Novel (short)||50,000 to 80,000 words|
|Novel (long)||More than 80,000 words|
|Anthology||Short story is part of an anthology (please list the Anthology in “series”)|
|Webseries||Published in several installments on internet (blog, Wattpad, etc.)|
Type of rep
|How involved the representation is. This description only encompasses the title stated. If, for example, a character is aromantic but it is only mentioned in the second book of a series, then the first book remains “Word of God”. The second will show “On Page” or “Word used”, depending on context.|
|Word of God||The character’s sexuality is not explicited on page, but the author has confirmed it. This means it may never come up as a narrative element, so be warned!|
|On page||The character’s sexuality is explicitly demonstrated within the text. It should be stated, discussed, or showed to an extent that makes it clear to the readers.|
|Word used||The identity is stated using the actual word (this usually means it is also On Page)|
|Gender||Character’s gender (nonbinary characters are put together)|
|The character’s importance to the story|
|Lead||The character is at the heart of the story’s central storyline|
|Main||The character plays an important role in the story and is frequently on page|
|Side||The character plays a minor role in the story|
|Sexual orientation||The character’s sexual orientation|
|Romantic orientation||The character’s romantic orientation|
|Pairing (QPP or romantic)||If the character is in a relationship (qpp or romantic), what are the genders involved?|
|Rep Notes&Warnings||Warnings or notes with regards to the representation.|
|Other Notes&Warnings||Everything else! This includes notes about polyamory, warnings about book content, explanations, and everything that couldn’t fit in the neat boxes elsewhere. I can’t guarantee all trigger warnings are there, so be careful|
|Reviews||Click through to access ownvoices reviews for this story|