Book Birthday: “Daydreamers” by Jonathan Harper

Happy Birthday to my friend, colleague Jonathan Harper’s debut collection, “Daydreamers.” It’s been getting some great buzz. Harper and I not only share publishers (Lethe Press), we also live relatively near each other (DC Authors represent!). I’ve heard him read from the collection and can assure you that his fiction is full of humor, and excellent characterization.

Daydreamers_Cover

 

 

EVENT: Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Reading in NYC (April 24)

I am participating in a group reading of Lambda Literary Finalists on April 24th in New York City.

WHERE: Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster St, New York, New York 10013

WHEN: 6:30 PM

Confirmed readers: Timothy Liu, Michael Carroll, Ellen Bass, Dia Felix, Jameson Currier, Craig L. Gidney, Michael Broder, Thomas McBee, David Swatling, Ron Suresha, Rafe Haze, Kelly Cogswell, Susan Kuklin, Sean Strub, Vinton McCabe, Bob Hofler, Rob Smith, Shelly Oria, Dominic Ambrose, Sheela Lambert, Philip Gefter, Ann Herendeen, Stephen Morrison, Alexis De Veaux, Tim Federle

 

 

GoodReads List for Speculative Authors of Color

Pagan Poetry: Story Notes for “Inscribed”

When I was in fifth grade, we studied Greek Mythology . The text we used was Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. I think the teacher cleaned-up the myths up,  taking out all the naughty bits, but she sparked my interest in mythology in general. Because of this interest, I got another, more comprehensive salacious book at a yard sale for 25 cents.  That was the birth of my obsession.

What cemented my obsession, though, is an obscure children’s novel, called The Gods in Winter by Patricia Miles. The teacher read the novel aloud to us a couple of times a week. It’s set in 1950s Britain and retells the story of Persephone and Demeter. The POV characters are kids, after their parents hire a mysterious nanny who always seems to be looking for her lost daughter. The mythic echoes in the story are full of wonder and terror, I remember being haunted by expertly invoked angst of the nanny (who, of course is Demeter/Ceres in disguise).

“Inscribed” is a kind of skewed homage to that book. It’s set in the present-day, and concerns the esoteric research of Byron Davies, a kind of Robert Graves-styled academic, and the legacy he leaves for his son, Simon, who isn’t interested. It’s a kind of Oedipal tale about fathers and sons, betrayal and alchemy. The figure of Hermes—as psychopomp, magician and trickster—is woven throughout the story.

The Gods In Winter by Patricia Miles

The Gods In Winter by Patricia Miles

BOOK SIGNAL BOOST: The Glittering World by Robert Levy

Robert Levy’s supernatural thriller debut, THE GLITTERING WORLD is a sinister reinterpretation of the changeling child myth set in the ruins of a remote Canadian artist’s community. Levy is trained as a psychologist, and this insight into various mental states and disorders underpins the tightly-drawn character portraits. The story is told from four distinct view points, and the grounding in the ‘real’ world (hippy artist’s communes, 90s-era club scene, the professional lives of chefs and a working psychiatrist) makes the intrusion of the counterfactual more chilling.

Levy’s novel reminds me, tonally, of the movie UNDER THE SKIN. The works share themes of otherness—true otherness (think of Starfish Aliens)— existential despair and both works use the landscape-as-character (the highlands of Scotland in UTS, the Canadian wilderness in TGW) effectively.

Highly recommended for fans of Elizabeth Hand and Holly Black (in her dark lyrical mode).
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Skin Deep Magic is a Lambda Literary Finalist

My collection Skin Deep Magic is a finalist for the 27 Annual Lambda Literary Award. I am honored to be included among my fellow finalists.

Writing is such a solitary endeavor; it’s nice to get recognition every now and then. Special thanks to Sven Davisson, the publisher/editor of Rebel Satori Press.

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