November 27, 2014

‘Deserted Echo’ by Linda Kay Silva

Posted on November 26, 2014 by in Reviews, Speculative

Deserted Echo takes us on another heart-pumping journey in the Echo series. Echo Branson, her family of supernaturals, and technical-guru-and-sometimes-security-person Sal, are in Mexico for a vacation. What begins as a relaxing time on a Mexican beach turns into a tense drama filled with characters with ulterior motives and warped objectives. In spite of the vacation, Echo has decided to combine some business with pleasure, and the result turns out to be devastating to her and her friends and family. (more…)

‘Deep Merge’ by Linda North

Posted on November 6, 2014 by in Speculative

In the compelling opening of Deep Merge, we meet Kaesah and Atimki, and events rapidly unfold to find Kaesah cradling her beloved partner as she dies. Both women are from the planet NaQwi. They were living on earth Earth doing clandestine research; however, with Atimki’s passing, Kaesah is conflicted about the action she must take in order to fulfill her duty to her beloved and their home planet. The women were on a mission related to genetics and discover that a second alien race has infiltrated Earth and is manipulating its inhabitants for their own devices. Now Kaesah must find a human capable of performing Deep Merge so she can return home to report the nefarious interference from the Phlurx along with her research results. (more…)

‘That Door is a Mischief’ by Alex Jeffers

Posted on October 27, 2014 by in Reviews, Speculative

Liam Shea is not an ordinary teenage boy, growing up in rural Massachusetts; and not just because he has two fathers. Liam is not even a boy; he’s a fairy—literally. A fairy with glowing golden eyes, antennae, dragonfly wings sprouting between his shoulder blades, super-human strength, the power of suggestion, and a serious aversion to cold iron. That Door is a Mischief  by Alex Jeffers tells Liam’s story growing up and living in the world of humans; but because of Liam’s non-human status, this is not your typical coming-of-age story, for the adolescence of a fairy is no less tumultuous than a human’s, if somewhat more spectacular.  (more…)

‘Wilde Stories 2014: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction’ Edited by Steve Berman

Posted on August 11, 2014 by in Fiction, Speculative

Begun in 2008, the annual series Wilde Stories has striven to provide the best in gay speculative fiction (much as its companion series Heiresses of Russ strives to do for lesbian speculative fiction). The latest installment in this series contains fourteen selections published during the calendar year 2013, which first appeared in other anthologies, literary magazines, and three first appeared online (two at Tor.com). Both female and male writers are represented. In his introduction, Berman notes that this installment happens to contain only writers who have never been published in this series before: a sign that perhaps the field of gay speculative fiction is expanding. Berman certainly has an expansive definition for speculative fiction:  four are outright horror, several more blur the line between horror and dark fantasy, most seem set in some version of our world (two are clearly set on another world), one is a historical fantasy, and one is steampunk. Several of the stories defy easy classification, straddling different sub-genres, and a couple do not even strike me as obvious speculative fiction. (more…)

‘Light’ by ‘Nathan Burgoine

Posted on April 30, 2014 by in Reviews, Speculative

Kieran Quinn, a not-so-mild-mannered massage therapist, has some unusual skills: he is both telekinetic (he can mentally lift up to thirty pounds, or keep up to seven small objects aloft simultaneously), and telepathic (he can receive and send thoughts from other people or animals). When he uses these abilities, they refract the light around him into spectacular rainbows, which he can use to hide behind, or dazzle foes and friends alike. However, Quinn has no pretensions of becoming a super hero; but when Wyatt Jackson (dubbed “Stigmatic Jack” by the press for his uncanny ability to produce bleeding palms) and his followers from the Church of the Testifying Prophet arrive to demonstrate during Pride Week celebrations, Quinn decides to shadow them, and maintain order as best he can. Because wherever Jackson appears, violence erupts, and people get hurt—including Quinn, who soon discovers that he is up against another telekinetic and telepath, one much stronger than he is. Locating and defeating the rogue telekinetic/telepath occupies Quinn for the better part of his vacation—when he isn’t going on disastrous blind dates, meeting hot leathermen, or being distracted by handsome police officers, that is. (more…)

‘Dust Devil on a Quiet Street’ by Richard Bowes

Posted on April 20, 2014 by in Reviews, Speculative

 “A writer’s life only becomes clear to him after he writes it,” declares Richard Bowes near the end of his Dust Devil on a Quiet Street. Part memoir, part tell-all, part homage to the city he has lived in for forty-plus years, and part secret history of that same city, Dust Devil is more than just an examination of Bowes’s life, although it definitely has the quality of someone looking back at his life and trying to make sense of it, both to us, and to himself. (more…)

‘Daughter of Mystery: A Novel of Alpennia’ by Heather Rose Jones

Posted on April 13, 2014 by in Romance, Speculative

Daughter of Mystery: A Novel of Alpennia, is a wonderful book of intrigue and romance. Margerit Sovitre is an orphan who lives with her overbearing uncle, his wife, her sister, and their son. She is the god-daughter of Baron Saveze, a man who has ancestral lands and great wealth.  (more…)

Discussing ‘Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand’ with Dale Cooper

Posted on March 24, 2014 by in Interviews, Speculative

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its publication, Wesleyan University Press has republished Samuel Delany’s Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand. Stars has earned comparisons to Joyce’s Ulysses and has been called “the most truly galactic novel ever written.” As a novel it performs delightful and confounding acts of destabilization, challenging normative understandings of gender and race, sex, language, and death. (more…)

‘Wild Fell’ by Michael Rowe

Posted on February 24, 2014 by in Reviews, Speculative

In his well-reviewed debut Enter, Night, a chilling and atmospheric throwback to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot fused with the gothic leanings of an early V.C. Andrews novel, author Michael Rowe added both depth and dimension to the otherwise overplayed vampire mythos, injecting it with some much needed viability. (more…)

‘The Heavens Rise’ by Christopher Rice

Posted on February 11, 2014 by in Reviews, Speculative

Readers who held out hope that the son of Anne Rice would eventually find his way to the dark side will rejoice over his latest novel, The Heavens Rise (Gallery Books). Those lamenting the time it took him to get here shouldn’t because the years Christopher Rice spent sharpening his literary teeth over the course of five New York Times bestselling thrillers was time well spent indeed. (more…)