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.
I’m delighted beyond words to say I have a story, “The Lady’s Maid”, in Queers Destroy Fantasy!
I’m pleased the story’s found a home in such a great series, and in good company, too: there are stories by Catherynne M. Valente and Caitlín R. Kiernan, among others, as well as bunch of great essays from the likes of Keguro Macharia and Ellen Kushner, and some truly gorgeous artwork.
You can purchase the issue (digital or print) at the link above, or you can listen to a free audio version of the story, released by PodCastle. It’s read by Kim Lakin-Smith, with a lovely introduction from Keffy Kehrli, editor and host of the Glittership podcast.
In honor of yesterday’s Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality, today’s reading recommendation comes from Lightspeed‘s Queers Destroy Science Fiction! special issue:
Now: she is home, and leaning her head against her living room window at twilight, and something in the thrill of that blue and the cold of the glass against her scalp sends her tumbling —
— into her body at fourteen, looking into the blue deepening above the tree line near her home as if it were another country, longing for it, aware of the picture she makes as a young girl leaning her wondering head against a window while hungry for the future, for the distance, for the person she will grow to be — and starts to reach within her self, her future/present self, for a phrase that only her future/present self knows, to untangle herself from her past head. She has just about settled on Kristeva — abjection is above all ambiguity — when she feels, strangely, a tug on her field of vision, something at its periphery demanding attention. She looks away from the sky, looks down, at the street she grew up on, the street she knows like the inside of her mouth.
She sees a girl of about her own age, brown-skinned and dark-haired, grinning at her and waving.
She has never seen her before in her life.
— Amal El-Mohtar, “Madeleine“
I’ve been dipping in and out of Kelly Link’s most recent short story collection Get in Trouble of late. I’m really enjoying it, but I’ve also found it quite challenging in subtle, surprising ways. I may have something to say about it eventually, but in the meantime, here’s an excerpt from from the New York Times review:
When fiction enters a nonrealistic, fantastic zone, but is clearly not quick-read fantasy, many readers will begin mining the work for satire. I struggled with Link’s stories when I tried to read them like this. Although there is some similarity in tone between Kelly Link and George Saunders, her stories do not respond to this kind of reading as his do. Saunders, operating in a more obviously Baudrillardian hyperreal, is always happy to exaggerate our media-frenzied, overfictionalized world, even throwing in the odd sentimental ending or deliberate duff note from time to time because he knows that we know how to read it. We enter Saunders’s worlds, exaggerated and grotesque, so that we can see ours better. Link seems less interested in all this. She also wants us to look back at ourselves, but she wants us to see people rather than institutions and structures. Like other writers in the tradition of the modern American short story, she wants us to look closely at the small stuff of life.
I have a lot of reactions to this, but I’m not particularly interested in unpacking any of them at the moment. Maybe–hopefully–I’ll come back to this review at some future moment, but for now I just have to say: yes, the small stuff, that’s where it’s at. Fiction that’s about people–what a novel idea.
I’m a bit late in announcing this, but The Golden Key recently released its fourth issue, and it’s full of amazing writing about hungry things! Go check it out!
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.
Issue 3 of The Golden Key is available now, either to read online or to download. The theme is Things Unseen, and it features lots of wonderful speculative fiction and poetry. I’m so delighted by this issue, I can’t even tell you. Go check it out now! And if you like it, maybe consider making a donation to help us toward our goal of paying our excellent contributors in the future.