I've been thinking a while about asexuals in literature- although not the 'fictional character shows ____ traits, maybe they're ace?" kind of discussion- the actual mentions of asexuality and actual literature that deals with asexuality explicitly.
Interestingly, I've seen somewhat of a trend in my favourite pool of writers, the USA's YA author equivalent of the Frat Pack- the group of authors who frequently promote each other's charity and blog events, create anthologies together, and seem to hold pretty much the same ideologies. (Some are more connected than others, and I may be the only one who refers to them this way, but...)
I'm talking about the group of writers such as John Green (vlogbrothers?) Scott Westerfeld (Uglies series author currently delving into steampunk), Holly Black, Maureen Johnson, Justine Larbelestier.... The lists goes on. Forgive me if I've missed any.
Anyway, I'm somewhat of an avid consumer of some of their books, what with being a Young Adult and all, and in particular I've seen rather an interesting trend between them all, namely their mentions of asexuality.
There's the passing mention in 'Geektastic, Stories from the Nerd Herd', the more-than-passing-mentions from 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson', and the way that John Green and Hank have alluded to asexuality through their Youtube channel.
There's also quite a lot of speculation on Scott Westerfeld's various characters, but that's dealt with most in 'Mind Rain', the Uglies Series collection of essays and in his personal blog.
Again, this 'Geek pack' are also known for their various political stances on various issues such as gender and the LGBT spectrum, too.
What's most interesting (apart from the collective awesome) is that they've got a very large following, even in the UK.
With more and more of these concrete mentions of asexuality, surely it's coming into the collective YA-reading psyche a little easier and faster, which is always a good thing.
However, this quiet invasion of popular YA novels isn't really enough, which I'll hopefully be discussing more in Part 2: Things written for asexuals soon(ish).