Short Stories 365/220

“Starpoint Rendezvous” by E. Craig McKay from Queer Fish (Volume One) from Pink Narcissus Press, 2011. Edited by Margarita Bezdomnya and Rose Mambert.

This story concludes the reviews for this anthology because I already reviewed “Color Zap!” by Sam Sommer from Wilde Stories 2012 (Short Stories 365/194).

There’s a complete world contained in this story. I was blown away by the complexity of the details set forth by the author. Consider:

The pool chamber rotated at a rate independent from the rest of the hotel complex…Crossing the atrium was to become part of an Escher sketch…The dining area provided and unimpeded view of space…filtered and shielded to create the stunning effects of an eclipsed sun with flaming corona.

There’s also a lot about the history of asteroid mining, what it takes to be a space prospector, and how they differ from their Earth predecessors. It’s all very interesting, and very complete. In some ways, it may actually be too complete. We’re given the entire story of the two main characters, Simon and Jeremy – how they met, how they came to be working together in this place, and what obstacles they face. That’s great and it was well done, but after the challenge was introduced I was expecting the story to stay in that particular moment. I thought the overview was finished and we were going to watch them overcome the challenge, but the story summarized the action instead and then jumped ahead to the next challenge. That, too, was summarized, and Jeremy and Simon head off into the sunset. I’m all for HEA, but I think I would have preferred it if we’d been given the most important moment of their lives, really close up. I wonder if this is the rough sketch of a much longer science fiction piece? If so, I’d love to see other incarnations.

Short Stories 365/219

“Super Love” by Chris Helton from Queer Fish (Volume One) from Pink Narcissus Press, 2011. Edited by Margarita Bezdomnya and Rose Mambert.

We’re starting to see more and more depictions of gay superheroes. Sometimes the wrongs they work to right are related to LGBT social justice issues, as in ‘Nathan Burgoine’s Lambda Award-nominated young adult novel Light. Sometimes the characters are superheroes who simply also happen to be gay, as is the case with this story. Both types are welcome.

This isn’t so much a tale about fighting evil; it’s about doing what it takes to have a successful relationship. It’s about the importance of putting the other person first rather than expecting them to be the one who always compromises, and about making sure that individual interests don’t become a wedge that drives a couple apart. It’s just that the job that takes up all the time of one of the characters happens to be one that requires him to wear spandex and a cape.

Short Stories 365/218

“Fools in Love” by Chelsea Crowley from Queer Fish: An Eclectic Anthology of Gay Fiction (Volume One), Pink Narcissus Press, 2011. Edited by Margarita Bezdomnya and Rose Mambert.

Two members of the kingdom don’t get along. The wizard Horatio despises the antics of the Fool. He views the other’s performances as a waste of his valuable time. He has better things to attend to, the much more important business of a learned man.

When the Fool has the audacity to single Horatio out during a performance, and mercilessly mock him, the wizard goes to the King. As punishment, the Fool is sent to work as the wizard’s servant for a period of one month.

Naturally, once they get acquainted they discover they are not so very different after all. In fact, they’re rather drawn to one another.

Civil War Museum, New Orleans

Our first full day in New Orleans we didn’t take the streetcar from the Garden District to the French Quarter, we walked in. We walked, and walked, and walked around for sixteen hours that day, stopping briefly for a drink here or a plate of oysters there. Mainly we just wandered around looking at everything.

In retrospect that was a terrible idea, because we could barely move the next day and for several after that our feet hated us. But I was like a person possessed. I’d wanted to visit the city my entire life, and I was not going to waste my chance.

It was early on a Sunday, and many places were closed. That’s okay. It was largely about the architecture.