Skin Deep Magic gets a 5-Star Review!

Over at GoodReads, Skin Deep Magic has its first review, and it’s  a good one. James says,

Skin Deep Magic, the second short story collection penned by Craig Laurance Gidney, is a worthy follow-up to his first collection, 2008’s Sea, Swallow Me (Lethe Press). Once again mining his own unique vein of interstitial fiction (to use the author’s own description of his work), this collection continues his proclivity to depict stories that are simultaneously fantastic, folkloric, mythic, and sometimes horrific from the perspectives of oft marginalized social groups (in particular, LGTB people and African-Americans, or mixed variations thereof). Whereas his first collection mostly concerned itself with male protagonists, here the majority of his narrators and main characters are women, which makes for an interesting change of pace, and the fact that all of the ten stories revolves around the issue of race (and, to a somewhat lesser extent, sexuality) gives the collection a nice unity of effect.

Read the rest of the review here.

Diversity in SFF–Some Small Presses doing good work (a signal boost)

At the World Fantasy Convention, I saw two small presses in the dealer’s room that are releasing work that includes diverse voices.

Rosarium Publishing produces a wide range of titles in the SFF/graphic novel categories that put people of color at the front and center. Recent titles including Mothership: Tales From Afrofuturism and Beyond; the graphic novel Malice in Ovenland and an artbook featuring the work of black artist John Jennings.

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Valancourt Books focuses on gothic horror and gay literature, with the two interests often intersecting. They’re currently reprinting the work of the late gay horror writer Michael McDowell.

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World Fantasy, Moonbeam Awards, Birthday Book Giveaway

This past weekend, I attended and volunteered for the World Fantasy Convention, which was practically in my backyard. In addition to catching up with and meeting various writer friends, I enjoyed the panels and the readings. Congratulations to the WFA winners, especially Ellen Datlow (Lifetime Achievement) and Sofia Samatar (Best Novel).

While I was at World Fantasy, my YA novel BEREFT received the Bronze Moonbeam Award (in the Mature Issues category). Unfortunately, I could not be at the ceremony. Thanks to the Moonbeam Award Committee and to the fellow winners, which include fellow Tiny Satchel Press author Lisa R. Nelson.  More about the awards is here).

Finally, today is the last day to enter my GoodReads Book Giveaway for SKIN DEEP MAGIC. The contest ends tomorrow–my birthday! The winners will receive an autographed copy of the book in the mail.

I will be attending the World Fantasy Convention this weekend

I will be attending the 2014 World Fantasy Convention this week in DC (actually, in nearby Crystal City. I am scheduled to volunteer in the Hospitality Suite for a few hours, but I will be around the hotel and bar (though I’ll going back home during the nights). I am not on any panels. I hope to meet some fellow authors, reconnect with old friends, and maybe, gain some new readers!

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Mention of BEREFT at Bookriot

Alison Peters of the weblog Book Riot includes BEREFT in a list of Coming Out and Coming of Age YA LGBTQ books. It’s great to have my book listed among work by such folks as David Levithan, Francesca Lia Block & Malindo Lo.

Of BEREFT, she says:

It’s every young, closeted/confused gay, black boy’s worst nightmares, all at once.

That’s what I was aiming for–a portrait of the stress of being Other in a hostile environment.

Read the rest of the list here.

 

 

Afro-fantastic Horror Fiction in “Skin Deep Magic”

There are two outright horror stories in Skin Deep Magic.

“Death and Two Maidens” is set in Victorian London, and is about the life—and afterlife of a young charwoman, Prothenia Jenkins. The tonality of the piece borrows heavily from penny-dreadful fiction (example: The Phantom of the Opera, Bram Stoker’s Lair of the White Worm). I won’t say more about it, because, as River Song from Doctor Who says, “Spoilers!”

An Afro-Victorian Lady

“Sugardaddy” was inspired by a couple of things. The narrative convention, which is in the form of a young girl’s journal, is a homage to everything from Stoker’s Dracula to Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. I love the interiority of the technique, and the slow build rhythm. It is a tale that is partially about body horror. I have a couple of (well managed) chronic conditions. Before I was diagnosed, there was a sense of horror as my body began to behave in ways that were unpredictable and unpleasant. “Sugardaddy” was kind of cathartic to write, as I got used to the transformation.