BOOK RADAR: Flamingoes in Orbit by Philip Ridley

Valancourt Books has reprinted Philip Ridley’s short fiction collection Flamingoes in Orbit. Ridley wrote a couple of homoerotic magical realist novels back in the 80s (In the Eyes of Mr Fury and Crocodilia) which went out of print. Kudos to Valancourt for bringing the novels back into print!

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From the Back Cover Copy:

A teenager stares at his reflection and sees the Milky Way. A motorbike prowls and growls like a wild animal. A whale sings a song to end loneliness.

Philip Ridley’s collection of short stories – like his two adult novels, Crocodilia and In the Eyes of Mr Fury – became an instant cult classic when first published in 1990. Magical, poetic, heartbreaking and humorous, the sequence explores childhood, family life, romantic love in all its aspects – lost, unrequited, obsessional – and does so with a haunting mixture of both the barbaric and the beautiful that has become Ridley’s trademark. In particular, these tales deal with the experience of growing up gay in a world still bristling with prejudice, and they sing and howl with the need for equality and freedom.

This edition includes two new stories, “Alien Heart” and “Wonderful Insect”, and finally completes a seminal and compelling collection first begun over thirty years ago.

In the Eyes of Mr Fury to be reprinted!

Last November at World Fantasy, I met the folks at Valancourt Books. They specialize in reprints of both supernatural fiction and long lost gay classics. I told them about a book that melded those two things together: In the Eyes of Mr. Fury by Philip Ridley. It’s a kind of a dark gay fairytale in the magical realist mode, set in London. Full of dream logic, it’s a homoerotic coming of age story, something Angela Carter might write if she were a gay men.

Anyway, Valancourt is reprinting the novel–along with Ridley’s other work. And the new cover is glorious!

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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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