A gay travel magazine, Passport, has a brief write-up about Lethe Press here.
I am now the managing editor at Lethe Press. One of my goals is to get the Tincture imprint–which focuses on writing by g/l/t/b of color — off the ground. I’ve been doing it for a little under month, and I’m enjoying helping other authors and bring books to life immensely.
THE CARL BRANDON SOCIETY recommends these books of speculative fiction by writers of African descent for Black History Month 2009, with descriptions from our members:
DARK MATTER: A CENTURY OF SPECULATIVE FICTION FROM THE AFRICAN DIASPORA (Sheree R. Thomas, ed.): It’s an important book because it shows that people of color were indeed represented in the speculative literature world back in the day, something I frankly didn’t realize until I read the book. I’m sure the book will do the same for many others.
SLY MONGOOSE Tobias S. Buckell: Fourteen-year-old Timas lives in a domed city that floats above the acidic clouds of the Venus-like planet Chilo. To make a living Timas is lowered to the surface in an armored suit to scavenge what he can in the unbearable pressure of Chilo’s dangerous surface, where he’ll learn a secret that may offer hope to a planet about to be invaded.
FLEDGLING Octavia E. Butler: A different take on the vampire novel.
THE GOOD HOUSE Tananarive Due: The story of a house, magic, and pure terror. I loved every scary moment of reading this book.
MIDNIGHT ROBBER Nalo Hopkinson: Caribbean folk in space, coming of age, magnificent aliens, how “reality” becomes folk tales. Magnificent.
THE SHADOW SPEAKER Nnedi Okorafor: When fifteen-year old Ejii witnesses her father’s beheading, her world shatters. In an era of mind-blowing technology and seductive magic, Ejii embarks on a mystical journey to track down her father’s killer. With a newfound friend by her side, Ejii comes face to face with an earth turned inside out — and with her own magical powers.
THE ICARUS GIRL Helen Oyeyemi: The first book by a talented new author. Set in England and Nigeria, this is the tale of magic gone wrong and twisted around an unsuspecting child.
WIND FOLLOWER Carole McDonnell: Loic, the son of the wealthy headman of the Doreni clan, falls in love at first sight with Satha, the impoverished but proud daughter of his father’s old Theseni friend. Loic requests an immediate marriage, but for Satha, passion takes longer to ignite, and Loic’s father’s jealous third wife plots to destroy their happiness. The two must reaffirm their faith in each other and the Creator God to find their way through their troubles.
SONG OF SOLOMON Toni Morrison: A novel of southern-fried magical realism that rivals anything the Southern Hemisphere has produced.
FILTER HOUSE Nisi Shawl: A long-awaited collection of short stories by a Carl Brandon Society founder. Shawl’s roots in African American community of the Great Lakes area, and her commitment to using speculative fiction to decode power relationships and uncover magic come through loud and clear in this wonderful book.
The legendary author Tanith Lee has agreed to blurb Sea, Swallow Me. Future copies of the book will have an edited version of the following blurb.
Sea, Swallow Me is a wonderfully original and eventful collection, whose stories range from the supernatural to the historical to the right-now moment. Craig Gidney combines an exceptional gift for prose poetry – often as dark and steely as it is beautiful – with an unerring sense of the preposterous and the horrifying. ( But add to that also occasional hilarity that should make a stone laugh aloud.) He breaks rules and remakes them, as many talented writers will, and is undaunted by the murks of society or psyche. Though inevitably ( and rightly ) he brings to his work the voices of Black and Gay Experience, what speaks most strongly throughout is the Human Experience – yes, even when confronted by a god of the sea. Here are elements of the young Ray Bradbury, of John Steinbeck, of Toni Morrison and James Baldwin and Angela Carter. But most of all it is the uniqueness of Gidney’s own take on life, clad in vivid, cunning and, in places, Dionysian language, that make this a must-read ( and read again ) collection. With new writers producing work of this caliber, the future of books looks bright.
Thanks to Ms. Lee. It truly is an honor!
A reviewer by the name of Elisa Rolle had some wonderful things to say about SEA, SWALLOW ME, including:
As I said, the anthology is not simple, but it’s mesmerizing. It’s full of color and flavor, an intoxicating mix that catches you while reading and lingers afterward. All the tales are mostly sad, but not without hope; the romance is not the target of the characters and so it’s not even the final point of the stories; they are almost all self discovery journey, and the ending point of the journey not always is a light and beautiful paradise.
The rest of her review may be read here.
Richard Labonte says of Sea, Swallow Me:
Poetic imagery, clever plotting, and a mature writer’s mix of magic realism, creepy horror, whimsical fantasy, and African-American folklore make this a stellar debut.
Read the rest of the review here.
1. The Safety of Thorns. A Southern Gothic retelling of the Erl King, with African mythology.
2. Etiolate. David Lynchian erotic horror in Baltimore’s goth scene.
3. Her Spirit Hovering. Modern Southern Gothic with black humorous twist
4. Come Join We. A young boy with the ability to see spirits, set in a Southern coastal island in the 1960s.
5. Sea, Swallow Me. A tourist has an encounter with a sea god.
6. Circus Boy Without A Safety Net. An allegorical coming out story.
7. Strange Alphabets. Historical fantasy. The poet Rimbaud meets his unlikely muse.
8. Magpie Sisters. Flash Fiction about the goddess of kleptomaniacs.
9. A Bird of Ice. Historical Fantasy. A twelfth century Japanese monk attracts the attention of a mischievous shape shifter.
10. Catch Him By the Toe. Southern Gothic novella. Race relations and the supernatural collide in the sleepy Southern town in the 1930s.