Recent Stories of Doppelganger Husbands and After(life) Parties

It has been so long since I posted that it’s ridiculous to even mention! But after many years of a way-more-than-full-time job, I’ve been freelancing the past couple of years and so have had more time for writing. Stories have been written, novels completed, more stories and novels begun. And some of those have started making their way into the world!

Earlier this year, the Indiana Review published my story “Two People,” which starts off with the sentence: “As I awake one morning from difficult dreams, I find my husband has transformed into two people.”

It’s a story that’s deeply personal for me, and I was thrilled to see it find a home at a wonderful journal like Indiana Review. It felt even more special since it won their annual Fiction Prize contest, which was judged by K-Ming Chang, a brilliant author who I admire deeply and whose dense, queer, fantastic stories make my mind twist and my heart do somersaults. Here’s her incredibly flattering description of the story:

“Two People” is wondrous and strange, as slippery and mysterious as an underwater creature. It’s stunningly attuned to the elusiveness of intimacy, belonging, and desire. It explores the multiplicity of selfhood and the limitations/expansive possibilities of being known (and of knowing oneself). This story is captivating and uncanny, philosophical and funny, meditative and urgent: in short, as multifaceted as existence itself. I read it with rapture and awe. There’s a description of a beast that moves with “sacred beauty,” and this story is an embodiment of those words. It’s pure alchemy, written with precision and pulsing with life, and I was completely submerged inside its language. Readers will come out of it entranced and transformed.

–K-Ming Chang, Award-Winning Author of Bestiary and Gods of Want

Order the latest issue of Indiana Review to read the whole story – as well as a slew of other brilliant fiction and poems.

Another story, “The After Party,” came out in the anthology Speculatively Queer: Stories of Queer Possibility, an inspiring anthology of optimistic queer spec fic. This one starts with the line, “The land of the dead is a party that never stops, and you can stay as long as you want.” It imagines an afterlife of self-actualization, healing encounters, and a really excellent DJ. After all the dystopian turns of our own real-life timeline in the past several years, the stories in this book offer refreshing optimistic imaginings of queer futures and possibilities. And what an honor to share a table of contents with writers like Charlie Jane Anders and Aimee Ogden, to name just a couple.

More exciting writing news is soon to come! (And hopefully updates more than once a decade!)

Fantasy & scifi, Fiction, Stuff I wrote

Ghost stories, Ursula Le Guin, and Gay Trading Cards…

… are among the topics that came up in David Grossman’s interview of me over at io9, along with some discussion of my short story, “Tio Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts.”  Check the interview out here in case you didn’t catch it yet.  David had some great questions and it’s cool to see io9 initiating some discussion of LGBT themes in spec fic. The interview is part of io9’s new “short story club” discussion group, a very cool feature showcasing a different SF short story each week – and the stories are always available online for free, somewhere across the vast lands of the internets.

In other Tio Gilberto-related news, Realms of Fantasy just announced its first annual Reader Awards, and John Kaiine’s illustration of the story was the runner-up in the art category.  It’s a gorgeous illustration, so it’s not surprising that many Realms readers loved it.  Congrats, John!

Fantasy & scifi, Recommended books, Stuff I wrote

Wilde Stories

I recently got news that my story “Tío Gilberto and the Twenty-Seven Ghosts” will be reprinted in next year’s Wilde Stories, an annual year’s best anthology of LGBT speculative literature.  The series is published by Lethe Press, an independent press publishing all sorts of stuff at the fun nexus of the queer and the speculative.   This year’s edition of Wilde Stories is out now and features cool queer science fiction and fantasy stories by Lee Thomas, Hal Duncan, and others.  The Best Gay Stories series is also worth checking out (though not exclusively speculative), with fiction by Richard Bowes, David Levithan, and others.

Fiction, Recommended books

The Fantasy of Boy Meets Boy

boy-meets-boyFinished Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan last night at like 4 am.  It was completely unlike any other book I’ve ever read, and that’s something I almost never say.  It’s a gay-themed young adult novel about Paul, a high school sophomore who meets Noah, the new boy in town, and instantly falls for him.  The book is completely mimetic (i.e., no aliens, no elves, nothing outside present-day consensual reality), and yet it has the feel of a fantasy, because Paul’s high school is unlike any real high school in the U.S. (with the possible exceptions of the Harvey Milk school and maybe a couple places in the Bay Area).  The homecoming queen is Infinite Darlene, a transgender student who is also the quarterback for the football team.  Paul’s elementary school teacher helped him figure out that he was gay.  With telling details, Levithan creates a world where everyone accepts everyone else for who they are – and that’s a speculative element for a story if ever I’ve heard one.

Continue reading “The Fantasy of Boy Meets Boy”