Pride StoryBundle!

Catherine Lundoff (of Queen of Swords Press) has amassed a StoryBundle of queer SFF ebooks for the low, low price of $5 (for $15, you get more books)! I’m honored to have A Spectral Hue included in this bunch of books. It supports a great cause, and is a nice way to celebrate my book’s birthday — June 18,2018 was the official release date

Here’s the official announcement:

Celebrating Pride Month with a StoryBundle has become an annual tradition, one in which we present a different and wonderful collection of LGBTQ+ books and authors each June.

This year, I’m curating the Pride Month Bundle for StoryBundle and it is an amazing lineup. We have novels and novellas as well as an anthology and a single author collection, each one a unique and terrific read. As always, at StoryBundle, you name your own price—whatever you feel the books are worth and you can designate a portion of the proceeds for our selected charity, Rainbow Railroad. Rainbow Railroad is a nonprofit that works with LGBTQ refugees, helping them to leave dangerous situations and safely resettle in new areas.

The 2020 Pride Bundle includes two works by creators from New Zealand, in honor of this year’s Worldcon. A.J. Fitzwater, author of the joy-filled collection The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper, is a Sir Julius Vogel Award finalist this year, as is editor Andi C. Buchanan, whose ground-breaking special issue of Capricious SF MagazineCapricious: The Gender Diverse Pronouns Issue, is also included in the bundle.

Like your queer fiction to have elements of the Southern Gothic, perhaps a touch of horror and mystery, coupled with sumptuous writing and compelling characters? You’re sure to enjoy A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney and Catfish Lullaby by A.C. Wise. Looking for beautifully written stories set in historical settings with a fantastical edge? We’ve got you covered with Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett’s Armor of LightFloodtide by Heather Rose Jones and Will Do Magic for Small Change by Andrea Hairston. Want adventures set just beyond the worlds we know? Come along on some glorious adventures with Grilled Cheese and Goblins by Nicole Kimberling and the novellas The Counterfeit Viscount and The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus by Ginn Hale. And finally, for something a little different, join author R.R. Angell’s cadre of queer college students as they play an unusual game set in virtual reality with an AI who’s more than she seems in Best Game Ever.

Not only is this year’s bundle an intriguing mix of stories, it’s star-studded too! Our bundle’s authors and editor have won the Astounding Award, the Otherwise Award, the Sir Julius Vogel Awards and several Lambda and Spectrum Awards, as well as being finalists for awards like the Nebulas. So there we have this year’s Pride StoryBundle – lots of variety, lots of new voices, a fun mix of new and classic tales, adding up to 11 great reads for a great cause! Catherine Lundoff

Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer (NetGalley review). Visionary Weirdness.

I suspect that a great many readers will not appreciate the dense language and the non-linear structure a this loose prequel to Borne. Borne, for all of its hallucinogenic qualities, has a fairly straight forward plot that could be turned into a film, albeit one by Jodorowsky. Dead Astronauts, though, revels in its textuality. It can’t be filmed. Though it’s an ecological science fiction novel that plays with theoretical concepts like Time Travel and parallel Earths, it operates with dream logic. Vandermeer plays games with typography (though not in a House of Leaves way; it’s more like the beginning of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye with its use of repetition and claustrophobic line spacing) that underscore the surrealistic nature of book. The novel—prose poem?— is closer tone to Delany’s DHALGREN or even Lautremont’s Le Chants de Maldoror. This kind of visionary writing—full of beautiful nightmarish imagery—is one of my favorite forms of fiction. I hope it finds the right audience. 

Coming in 2019: My new novel, “A Spectral Hue” will be published by Word Horde!

I am over the moon to announce that my novel, A Spectral Hue, will be published next year by Word Horde. Thanks to the publisher, Ross E. Lockhart, for taking on this weird novel of Outsider Art, ghosts, and divine inspiration. I would also like to thank the participants of the Wyrd Words workshop for their valuable suggestions and insight.

Huzzah! I’m joining the Horde!

Announcement of Spectral Hue

Reading Log: Books by Jeanette Ng, Greg Keyes, T.E. Grau

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng.

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In spite of being flawed in its pacing, this debut novel stuck with me. It is a gothic novel given a fantasy makeover. It deals with forbidden passion and is mostly set in a gothic castle in fairyland (here called Arcadia). Ng’s evocation of fairyland is sinister rather than whimsical, full of mists and confusion. The Fae are cruel, capracious creatures, given to mindfuck games and illusions. Their alien morality is tantalizingly disguised behind a thin veil of beauty.  One of the central themes of the novel is: do these creatures have souls?

The Waterborn by Greg Keyes

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A colorful play on sword and sorcery tropes. Very action-filled with a ‘sensawonda.’ The worldbuilding is non-western even if the tropes (the Chosen one, the princess in peril) are. Bits of Native American and South American (Aztec and Mayan) influence are filtered through this take on the Hero’s Journey. The rich imagery and characterizations (particularly the princess) make this a ‘page-turner.’

I Am the River by T.E. Grau

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I’m reading the ARC of this novel (soon to be out the publisher of my first collection Sea, Swallow Me & Other Stories). It’s a Vietnam War novel with supernatural elements, well researched and with a somewhat experimental style. The shifting timelines technique takes a bit to get used to, but it works well with the disorienting narrative. It’s a textual representation of PTSD, very effective, very uncomfortable.

What are you reading?

 

Celebrity Ghosts, 80s style: At Danceteria & Other Stories by Philip Dean Walker

At Danceteria and Other StoriesAt Danceteria and Other Stories by Philip Dean Walker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The specter of AIDS haunts this star-studded, themed collection which is set in the early 80s, just at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. The cast includes Keith Haring, Sylvester, the Reagans, Jackie O, and Little Edie Beale. The settings veer from New York Bathhouses to the Castro to Fire Island to the White House. The brief book exudes a unique mixture of camp and nostalagia, shot through with a prophetic melancholy.

Forthcoming Interview with the author….

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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