The maturation of LGBT literature provides a vast array of authors, genres, and styles from which a reader chooses what books to enjoy. What a pleasure to see such diversity for our community, which once struggled to publish even the best of writers. New authors abound, coming from a solid amount of publishers. Yet within the new and unique, I often long for the familiar, the safe and sure hands of a polished writer known for creating literary classics that will always remain important works of gay literature. Picking up Felice Picano’s latest volume, 20th Century Un-Limited, provided this kind of comfort and assurance. I can’t imagine being in the hands of a better storyteller. (more…)
As the story opens, In the Midst of Tribulation (Bella) finds a rather motley group of exhausted, beleaguered travelers hiking the mountainous terrain of Northern California, looking for Jay, a woman who moved to the area years before in order to escape a society moving toward disaster. Jay has been living off the land for years.The group looking for her is made up of Susan, who was once Jay’s partner, Susan’s current partner, Martha and Susan’s two teenage children. Piper, a friend, who was also Martha’s former partner when they worked as police officers before the war, accompanies them. Also with them are Martha’s rather acerbic and homophobic sister, Doris, and her teenaged daughter. (more…)
In a recent interview, Lucy Corin was asked how she feels about endings:
It seems to me that people are mostly at war, and that there are only moments of peace. So I’ve been thinking that it’s actually strange that novels supposedly begin and end with stasis. In this sense, stasis is the artifice, not change, not conflict, drama, or discord. Stories often end with a moment of recognition of the profound discord that might have been there all along, unrecognized, and that seems like a more “realistic” aspect of traditional form than stasis-conflict-stasis.
This quote perfectly captures the success of Corin’s new collection of short stories, A Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses (McSweeney’s). In each of the four stories, Corin manages to avoid stasis entirely, dropping readers into strange worlds without explanation, and pulling them out just as everything seems poised to coalesce. And yet, the reader’s search for an ultimate order and meaning in these stories proves Corin’s point time and again: Humans want answers and we will spend our whole lives denying the unknown just so that we can say we understand. (more…)
“Some debts cannot be repaid.”
Knox is a Patron, born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. He has everything he could ever want, including a Proxy, Syd, to serve as a whipping boy and take his every punishment. But when one of Knox’s incidents results in unexpected consequences, the boys end up on a cross-country race to save each other and escape the very system they’ve lived under for so long. (more…)
A sultry BDSM club. The deep woods of Milton, Oregon. A college Abnormal Psychology lab. These are just a few of the landscapes where Lexie Clarion and her feminist wolf pack work, live, play, and fight. (more…)
In Deborah Wheeler’s Collaborators, Earth scientists take refuge on an alien planet after a devastating mid-space accident. With nowhere else to go, and desperate to make repairs, they initiate first contact with an alien civilization on the planet Bandar. But their mere presence on the planet accidently sparks off a devastating war between the alien nations of Erlind and Chacarre, which had previously been living in a hard-earned, tenuous, but functioning peace.
Demons come in varying forms and perhaps not all demons are equally evil. In The Pyramid Waltz, the kingdom of Farraday holds secrets traditionally known only to the royal family. Every five years, the king holds a ball, during which the royals engage in a dance called the pyramid waltz. If only the subjects of the kingdom knew how dangerous and life-altering the ritual was, they might be more considerate toward their rulers instead of being as demanding and self-centered as they are. (more…)
Lethe Press continues to produce quality LGBT literature, especially as a leader in speculative fiction. This latest collection of short stories adds nicely to Lethe’s offerings. Christopher Barzak offers up a mysterious and captivating collection of 17 essays that grab your attention and haunt you even after you finish them. (more…)
Makara (Handtype Press), Kristen Ringman’s debut novel, is the story of Fionnuala, the deaf daughter of a man and a selchie, or seal-woman. The selchies are mythical creatures of Ireland—as legend has it they may leave the sea for seven years, after which they are beholden to return to the water. Fionnuala’s attachment to her mother is fierce, but most of Makara takes place once Fionnuala’s mother has returned to the ocean. Traversing from Ireland to India to Venice, Makara manages to be both ethereal and incredibly earthly at the same time. It is a coming-of-age story unlike any other. (more…)
If you had nightmares as a child, or still do as an adult, after watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, then I recommend that you never pick up this novel. Because this fast-paced young adult story begins with birds hurling themselves into airplanes that then drop out of the sky, both the birds and the planes. Other birds fall mysteriously dead to the ground or ram themselves into the car of our main characters—a fowl collision that is so violent the car careens off the road, landing the injured Reese and David in a sterile clinic, come prison. Worse, they learn that their own government has incarcerated them and holds a secret that federal agents will kill to keep hidden.