Is It Good Because It’s GaySaturday 10:00 AM
Rob Gates Fandom 2.0: Social Networking Saturday 11:00 AM
Alex Martin Everyone’s A Little Bit RacistSaturday 1:00 PM
Craig Gidney Paging Captain Subtext Saturday 3:00 PM
Jo Graham The Best of the BestMonday 10:00 AM
Rob Gates Reading: Craig Gidney, Warren Rochelle Sunday 11:00 AM
Walking into a gay bar is like going underwater.There’s no air, because of the smoke, the cologne, the press of people; the pheromones, the alcohol, the drugs, the hidden vials of poppers.The loud music rivals the crash of surf on the beach; diva’s voices break through the relentless beats, like the clanging of distant buoys.The chattering voices are as annoying and ubiquitous as the screeching of gulls.The bar itself is a coral reef of stools and countertop.The servers are unusually fine specimens, sailor boys, with crew cuts, bronzed by the sun(lamps).Toxins are held in transparent solid jellyfish (glasses), and the patrons begin their displays of mating and challenge.Most are dressed to kill, in plumage, feathers and fins—or Abercrombie and Fitch and J Crew.They prowl the tiny aquarium with precision of sharks, and hunger of piranhas.The pretty ones always find each other through some system that I’m not privy to—some mysterious navigation, sexual echo-location—who knows?These guys always glow with some private fire, the sheen after a workout, the lift of X or poppers, glitter smearing their faces and bodies in bioluminescence.In this ecosystem, I am an anemone.
Tiny.Full of bristles.Stuck to a rock, in a small pool, away from the action.
Oh, occasionally, something will come by to devour me.A fat squid in clothes too tight, his beak quivering in anticipation, his sex oozing out like ink, making the waters murky.Or a blobby man o’ war will drift up to the tidal pool, lazy tentacles questing, with desperation the stinging poison.But most ignore me.
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.
My forthcoming book of short stories, published by Lethe Press, is now available for pre-order at Amazon. My good friend, the artist Thomas Drymon, is currently designing the cover. Three preliminary designs are below: