As the month comes to a close, I thought I would share some of the praise Queers Destroy Fantasy! has received from reviewers. I suppose I won’t sound impartial if I say it’s well-deserved, but, in all seriousness, this is a killer issue, featuring some excellent stories and truly gorgeous artwork, and I’m honored to be in such good company.
Over at Quick Sip Reviews, Charles Payseur says of the issue, “These are stories of longing and love, violence and tenderness. They are not about queerness so much as they let their queerness subvert and, yes, destroy.”
Lois Tilton at Locus, calls Queers Destroy Fantasy! “a superior issue in this series, definitely the best of them I’ve seen.”
Bridget McKinney, writing for SF Bluestocking, agrees, saying: “Queers Destroy Fantasy has, hands down, the best fiction in any of the Destroy issues so far.”
David Steffen also reviewed the issue of PodCastle featuring my story from QFD!, “The Lady’s Maid”, at SF Signal.
In case you haven’t heard, The Golden Key starts accepting submissions today for our fourth issue, the theme of which is: hungry things. Send your most ravenous poetry and fiction Feb 1 – March 31. Check out our submission guidelines for more details.
I’m delighted to see Nelly Reifler’s wonderful novel Elect H. Mouse State Judge on BuzzFeed’s list of 10 best debut novels of 2013. It also made Slate’s list of 21 best lines of 2013. If you haven’t read this odd gem of a novel, go do it right now. Seriously, I’ll loan you my copy!
Today I read Nelly Reifler’s excellent essay on ending stories, a theory I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her advance in person and heartily agree with:
To my mind, a story’s ending ought to acknowledge the ever-moving quality of life; that is, I want it to engage change rather than finality. Your final word and the void following it on the page are as close as you’ll get to conclusion. The best endings to stories have a sense of hovering in space and time; even a dark ending can be uplifting, exhilarating, as long as it seems to hover in space and time — because then it reflects life to us as it is: unresolved, eternally unresolvable.
Here’s another way I like to look at endings. Inhale. Your lungs inflate, your chest rises, you feel the pressure pushing outward inside your chest. If you hold your breath at the end of an inhalation, your body tenses with the pressure, your throat locks. Now exhale. Your chest deflates; your shoulders slump slightly, your belly is soft. The best stories end on an inhalation, or at that moment after you’ve inhaled but before you exhale. It’s a kind of hovering, too. Often, when you think you’ve reached the end of a story you’re writing, the truth is you actually ended it a page or pages before, or sometimes you need to continue writing a few paragraphs farther.
— Nelly Reifler, “Endings That Hover“
I’m going to be stepping away from this blog for a little while, just on a trial basis. Don’t worry, I wasn’t abducted by wild Portlandians or anything, I just need some distance from the sound of my own voice.
Friendships are the best ships!