Birdverse is my fantasy universe, named after its Bird deity. It is a  complex, culturally diverse world with very many LGBTQIA characters and different family configurations. My Birdverse works have been nominated for the Nebula award, longlisted for the Hugo award and the Tiptree award,  placed in the Rhysling award, won the Strange Horizons readers’ poll, and more.

New: Where to start with Birdverse? An Infographic !


How queer is Birdverse? IT’S QUEER ALL THE WAY DOWN.  The majority of my Birdverse characters are explicitly queer, and many are non-binary trans people. This aspect of Birdverse is #ownvoices.

In the Birdverse, a magic loosely based in geometry is a source of craftsmanship, art, protection, and healing. Multiple cultures and countries engage in trade relationships and political alliances. Cultures make use of magic according to their own traditions and rules, and worship the deity Bird, in whichever feathered form Bird takes. And within these countries and cultures, individuals hurt and are hurt, heal and are healed. (Bookslut)

I have a Birdverse Patreon, where I share work in progress, art, poetry, and other things unavailable elsewhere. More cool things are coming!

The Starcounter of Keshet

What is available/upcoming:

The Four Profound Weaves (novella). Two transgender elders must learn to weave from death in order to defeat an evil ruler who murders rebellious women and hoards their bones and souls. Forthcoming from Tachyon Press in June 2020, and available wherever books are sold.

The Book of Seed and the Abyss“: a Birdverse Kabbalah story about the language of creation, and a book thief. Patreon exclusive, 2018.

A Splendid Goat Adventure“: the intrepid Marvushi e Garazd sets out in search of magical goats. Shenanigans ensue. This is a light-hearted, cheerful epistolary adventure about goats and academia. (Patreon exclusive, 2017;  reprinted in Transcendent 3: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction 2017.

A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power (novella,  Beneath Ceaseless Skies): A very old royal personage, running around the desert on stilts, discovers the antihero fast asleep in the sands. ( supermages, consent, power exchange, the magical history of Birdverse).

The Book of How to Live” (novelette, Beneath Ceaseless Skies) – Efronia Lukano is a commoner without magic who trekked across the landmass to study at the Royal University of Laina. A story about bitter academic politics, and revolution as a viable alternative to academic politics 🙂 – also with an Aspie, asexual protagonist and f/f feels. (September 2016).

The Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar” (short story, Uncanny) – a small happy story about two artists (February 2016).

Mirrored Mappings” (poem, Through the Gate) – a mythic poem about layered histories, set in the Great Burri Desert. Accidentally the speakers are the characters of my BV novella on submission, A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power. (June 2016).

Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds”  (novelette, Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
– continues the story started in “I will show you a single treasure.” Grandmother-nai-Leylit has something to hide. (June 2015)

  • Nebula Award Nominee 2016
  • Tiptree Longlist 2016
  • Hugo Award Longlist 2016

“Beautiful telling of many gendered wordings and relationships, with great tenderness.” (Tiptree Award nomination)

Ranra’s Unbalancing” (poem, Strange Horizons) – Ranra tells about the disaster that destroyed her homeland. Also quince.  (November 2015)

  • Winner, Strange Horizons Readers Poll.

Geometries of Belonging” (novelette, Beneath Ceaseless Skies) – Parét, a famous mind-healer, is asked to cure a young autistic patient – but his patient does not consent to be cured. Meanwhile, Parét uncovers a carefully wrought intrigue against his lord and lover. (October 2015).

  • Winner, The Big Sip Award for excellent relationships in SFF 🙂 (It’s a small award, but I love it!)
  • Honorable mention in Year’s Best SF, edited by Gardner Dozois

“A wonderful portrayal of a society with trans and non-binary people, polyamory, fluid sexuality, and dom-sub relationships.” (Tiptree Award Nomination)

Three Principles of Strong Building” (poem, Strange Horizons) – a worldbuilding poem about one of the oldest Applied Disciplines, Strong Building (September 2015).

I will show you a single treasure from the treasures of Shah Niyaz” (poem, Goblin Fruit) – many women work together to create the greatest treasure ever woven, even though they know what fate awaits it.  (Summer 2013)

  • Rhysling Award nominee
  • Rhysling award, 3rd place, in the long poem category

Held Close in Syllables of Light” (novelette, Beneath Ceaseless Skies): YA with three queer teens on a trading quest gone awry.  (October 2011.) It’s important to note that this was an earlier story, the first BV story to be published – and that it takes place later on the timeline. Things changed quite a bit in Birdverse since then, especially in the details of the Ranravan-Kekeri House dynamics, as well as to the Raker’s earlier time in Burri. All this is background detail, but it is important. I will update this story for a collection, should one materialize.

  • Reprinted in Best of BCS, Year 4.


Other things

“Where Your Quince Trees Grow” (short story) – a tender, slow story about quince and immigration.

The Upholding, the BV origin novel. A bunch of queer and NB people save the world. (magic, the environment, linguistics, depressed and mentally ill protagonists, queer D/s romance, all queer+trans people all the time).


In Progress

“Magpie” – a short story hahaha, either a novelette or a novella set in Stromha, about two shopkeeper siblings who trade in unusual artifacts. One day a secret agent from the People’s Unity of Laina appears with some contraband goods to sell…

Bridgers,  novel – prequel to The Upholding. I am revising this. It’s about revolution and linguistics.

“Two and Five Syllables,” alternatively “The Odd Angle” (either a novella or a novel, argh). This one continues the story of Dedéi, the young autistic person from “Geometries of Belonging,” who runs away from their abusive family and Has Adventures while also dealing with very many speech and motor difficulties. Parts of this are on Patreon.

“This is My Mission, This is My Sleigh”  – a bunch of ethnomusicologists traverse the desert on a sleigh driven by a shapechanging lion. I only wish I were joking. (novella in progress).


  1. […] stories from Rose that I’ve recently read and loved. These are both set in the same world, Birdverse: a world where magic is based on language and geometry in fascinating […]

  2. […] just $1 a day you can support Rose’s ongoing and expanding body of stories set in the “Birdverse.” One of the most recent of these stories is a Nebula Award nominee this year (the conference […]

  3. […] well-done stories with magic. If you are reading this, you may be familiar with my secondary world, Birdverse; you’ll find most of my favorite things in […]

  4. […] I am very pleased to announce that I sold “The Book of How to Live,” A Birdverse novelette, to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. “The Book of How to Live” has two protagonists, both inventors without magical ability: Efronia Lukano, an autistic woman who is a peasant (and also ace), and Atarah-nai-Rinah, a Lainish Khana woman who is writing an important book about equality.  This story is set in Laina in the very early days of the Lainish revolution, before the events of Bridgers, a novel I am revising. Here is how the story is described on my Birdverse page: […]

  5. […] of the self, a lightbulb moment. – Two new published stories by Rose Lemberg in their Birdverse, which I know I have mentioned here before, but they just keep getting better. I’m so pleased […]

  6. […] Desert Glassmaker and the Jeweler of Berevyar is another piece set in Lemberg’s Birdverse, where magic is made by drawing on the deepnames of yourself and the world around you. […]

  7. […] A Portrait of the Desert in Personages of Power, by Rose Lemberg, which is a core work in their Birdverse. You can find my review of Portrait here, a free ebook version of the novella here (Part 1, Part […]

  8. […] Links page to all previous Birdverse works on the author’s website […]

  9. […] My novella The Four Profound Weaves is forthcoming from Tachyon Press in September 1, 2020. It is a story of two trans elders who must learn to weave from death to defeat a sinister ruler who murders rebellious women and hoards their bones and souls. It is set in Birdverse, my award-winning LGBTQIA+ focused secondary world. […]

  10. […] first novel is a continuation of their Birdverse universe. They have many short stories and poems published in Birdverse. It feels a little like Discworld in […]

  11. […] was first introduced to R.B. Lemberg’s Birdverse stories when their novelette “Geometries of Belonging” was published in Beneath […]

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R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their work has appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Unlikely Story, Uncanny, and other venues, and has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards.

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