Lists of Autistic Representation in Literature

Autistic representation in literature is growing, but all portrayals are not universally favorable. There are many different ways autistic people live, so no one representation should be accepted as truth. Other controversy arises when one portrayal is so narrow that it leads to damaging misconceptions. This is a complex issue, but increasing the amount of autistic portrayals and greater exposure to autistic-authored literature featuring autistic characters should at least get our society moving in the right direction.

Ada Hoffmann is a writer and computer science PhD student who has authored over 60 published speculative short stories and poems and six papers that she has presented at conferences around the world. She regularly reviews fiction that features autistic characters. Below is an excerpt from an ongoing list she publishes on her site. This excerpt is printed here with her permission.

  • Kathryn Andrews, “Deicide” and others
  • Kara Barbieri, “White Stag”
  • Asha Bardon, “The Changing of the Sun” and others
  • Manda Benson, “The Emerald Forge” [sequel to “Pilgrennon’s Beacon”]
  • Katie Bridges, “Warriors of the Edge”
  • Grady P. Brown, “The Young Guardians and the Genesis Spell” and others
  • Jennifer Brozek, “Never Let Me Sleep” and others
  • Claudia Casser, “No Child Left Behind”
  • Rosemarie Cawkwell, “Hidden Fire” and others
  • Mitchell Christian, “Spurious Transmissions: Six Diverse Tales of Short Speculative Fiction”
  • Corinne Duyvis, “The Art of Saving the World”
  • Meg Eden, “Post-High School Reality Quest” and others
  • Will Hadcroft, “Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows”
  • Erika Hammerschmidt, “If the World Ended, Would I Notice?”
  • Talia Hibbert, “Mating the Huntress”
  • Mike Jung, “Unidentified Suburban Object” and others
  • C.E. Kilgore, “Not In Kansas Anymore”
  • Yoon Ha Lee, “The Fox’s Tower and Other Stories” and “Dragon Pearl”
  • Luna Lindsey, “Emerald City Dreamer” and others
  • L.C. Mawson, “Hunt” and others
  • Ana Mardoll, “No Man of Woman Born”
  • Elizabeth May, “The Falconer” and others
  • Emmie Mears, “The Masked Songbird” and others
  • Caiseal Mór, “Lady of the Lamp” and others [including sequels to “The Meeting of the Waters”; Caiseal Mór talks to Donna Williams hereabout his life, including the challenges of being an autistic author trying to “pass”. Trigger warning (on the interview, not the book) for child abuse.]
  • Athlynne Morley, “The Happiness to Sleep”
  • Franklin Newman, “The Sorceress of Shandigore” and others
  • Raphael Ordoñez, “Dragonfly” and “The King of Nightspore’s Crown”
  • Lola Phoenix, “The Visitors”
  • Tyrel Pinnegar, “MARiiMO”
  • Dawn Prince-Hughes, “Adam”
  • Ann Aguirre, “The Demon Prince”
  • Wendy C. Allen, “For Fear of Little Men”
  • Margaret Atwood, “Oryx and Crake” [See Bogi Takács’ comments [1]and [2] and Sheogorath’s comment.]
  • Richard Bachman, “The Regulators”
  • Chris Barzak, “The Language of Moths”
  • Bradley P. Beaulieu, “The Winds of Khalakovo”
  • Eric Bernt, “The Speed of Sound”
  • Franny Billingsley, “Chime”
  • John Birmingham, “A Protocol for Monsters”
  • James Bradley, “Clade”
  • Stefan Brijs, “The Angel Maker”
  • Douglas Coupland, “Jpod”
  • David Brin, “Existence”
  • William C. Deitz, “Mass Effect: Deception”
  • Philip K. Dick, “Martian Time Slip” [See Bogi Takács’ comment.]
  • Craig DiLouie, “One of Us”
  • Keith Donohue, “The Boy Who Drew Monsters” [see Rhoda Nightingale’s commentand “The Stolen Child” [see Chavisory’s comment]
  • Greg Egan, “Distress”
  • Christine Feehan, “Water Bound” [Note: This is paranormal romance, which may or may not count as spec fic depending on how you like to draw genre boundaries. Also, see Verwirrung’s comment.]
  • Mike Fletcher, “88”
  • William Gibson, “All Tomorrow’s Parties”
  • Kathleen Anne Goonan, “Light Music”
  • Mira Grant, “Into the Drowning Deep”
  • Shaunta Grimes, “Rebel Nation” [sequel to “Viral Nation”]
  • James L. Halperin, “The Truth Machine”
  • Elizabeth Hand, “Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol”
  • Elizabeth Hand, “Winterlong”
  • Rachel Hartman, “Seraphina”
  • Kathy Hoopmann, “Of Mice and Aliens: An Asperger’s Adventure”
  • Matt Hughes, “Costume Not Included” and “Hell to Pay” [sequels to “The Damned Busters”]
  • Randall Ingermanson, “Double Vision”
  • James B. Johnson, “Daystar and Shadow”
  • Drew Karpyshyn, “Mass Effect: Ascension”
  • Drew Karpyshyn, “Mass Effect: Retribution”
  • Maggie Shen King, “An Excess Male”
  • Stephen King, “The Reg ulators”
  • Jeffrey D. Kooistra, “Dykstra’s War”
  • Dean Koontz, “Frankenstein: Prodigal Son”

The list above is not complete. Check out Ada Hoffman’s website for more titles, which she updates regularly as she discovers more.

Ali Catrin is another autistic book blogger who actively searches for books featuring autistic characters. Check out her Essential Autistic Reading List for more ideas!

Recent Resources on Autistic Representation in Literature

Representation in Literature: Why It’s Important & How To Handle It–written by Angela Ackerman, a self-described “Jamaican, neurodivergent, and simultaneously a citizen of and immigrant to the United States, among other things.”

What Good Representation of Autistic Characters Looks Like, Part I: Interiority and Neurology by Elizabeth Bartmess

What Good Representation of Autistic Characters Looks Like, Part II: Diversity in Autistic Characteristics and Demographics by Elizabeth Bartmess

What Good Representation of Autistic Characters Looks Like, Part III: Setting, Plot, and Character Growth by Elizabeth Bartmess

Too many depictions of autistic people rely on tired clichés. The neurotypical world needs to take note of our own voices by Katherine May

Aut Lit By Neurotypicals; Or, Another Case Of “Where Are The Women?” by Allison Bird Treacy

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