2. Willow and Tara Reconcile — Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2002)
Before comments start flying, let me make one thing clear: I know I'm cheating. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is technically horror. Just this once, though, I'm going to stretch the definition of fantasy to include vampires and demons. We are talking reality-twisting media here. How could I possibly ignore Willow and Tara?
For me the best Willow and Tara moment is when they reconcile after a painful breakup. In the Season 6 episode "Entropy," Tara shows up unexpectedly at Willow 's door.
Tara recites a grand speech about how she knows that it will take a long time for them to reconcile. She lists task after task that they have to complete, and then interrupts herself to ask: "Can we just skip that? Can you just be kissing me now?"
Willow smiles. You can guess the rest.
If you are one of the few who doesn't know about Tara 's fate, I would suggest that you turn off the next episode, "Seeing Red," in the final act when Xander tracks down Buffy in her backyard. Everything about Willow and Tara is a joy to behold until that moment. The less said about what happens next, the better.
Other great Willow and Tara scenes include their first kiss in "The Body" and their floating-on-air dance at the end of "Family." I'm also partial to some of the intensity between Willow and Kennedy, particularly in the Season 7 episode "The Killer in Me."
1. Zanja Awakens Karis — Fire Logic (2002)
Who hasn't felt the earth move in that first explosive skin-to-skin meeting with a lover? For Zanja and Karis in Laurie J. Marks' Fire Logic, the earth not only moves, it actually begins to heal, and I'm not talking about metaphor here. That's why this scene tops my list of the best lesbian/bi moments in science fiction and fantasy.
Call me a romantic, but I think there is something deeply healing about true love between two women. Every human being struggles, everyone is lost at times, and each of us has issues, but love can help us explore and heal our wounds.
Marks presents these realities in all their complexity in the novel-length struggle of Zanja and Karis to love each other. Meanwhile, as an Earth witch and the rightful ruler of her country, only Karis has the power to save her people from destruction.
But Karis can't use all of her power. The problem, among other things, is that she literally can't feel physical sensation because she is a drug addict. When she finally is cured of that addiction, Karis still doesn't know how to access her full power. Karis is helpless — that is, until Zanja breaks through: "She lifted a hand to Karis’ face and found her gasping with surprise, awash in astonished tears."
Marks has provided other great woman-to-woman moments in Earth Logic (2004) and Water Logic (2007) and Dancing Jack. (1993)
Other top print moments can be found in Motherlines by Suzy McKee Charnas (1978), Gossamer Axe by Gael Baudino (1990), The Kappa Child by Hiromi Goto (2001), Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski, Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott (1994) and Spin State by Chris Moriarty (2003).
Trivia Answers: Joss Whedon was the creator and executive producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly; he wrote Alien: Resurrection. Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge are life partners.