The Winner’s Circle – 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards and HAHAT giveaway

The 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards were held last night in New York City. The level of craft is always astonishing, and waiting to see who will win always nerve-wracking, but this year it was even more so. Several of my friends and two of three of my publishers were up for awards, often competing against one another, and in one case, against themselves.

 

 

Here are the nominees and winners:

 

BISEXUAL FICTION

Best Bi Short Stories: Bisexual Fiction, Sheela Lambert, editor, Gressive Press, an imprint of Circlet Press

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, Ron J. Suresha, Lethe Press

Finder of Lost Objects, Susie Hara, Ithuriel’s Spear

Give It to Me, Ana Castillo, The Feminist Press

She of the Mountains, Vivek Shraya, Arsenal Pulp Press

 

BISEXUAL NONFICTION

Fire Shut Up In My Bones, Charles M. Blow, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Not My Father’s Son, Alan Cumming, HarperCollins Publishers/Dey Street Books

Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men, Robyn Ochs & H. Sharif Williams, editors, Bisexual Resource Center

 

GAY EROTICA

Bears of Winter, Jerry Wheeler,Bear Bones Books an imprint of Lethe Press

Incubus Tales, Hushicho, Circlet Press

The King, Tiffany Reisz, MIRA Books

Leather Spirit Stallion, Raven Kaldera, Circlet Press

The Thief Taker, William Holden, Bold Strokes Books

 

GAY GENERAL FICTION

All I Love and Know, Judith Frank, HarperCollins/William Morrow

Barracuda, Christos Tsiolkas, Hogarth

Bitter Eden: A Novel, Tatamkhulu Afrika, Macmillan/Picador USA

The City of Palaces, Michael Nava, University of Wisconsin Press

I Loved You More, Tom Spanbauer, Hawthorne Books

Little Reef and Other Stories, Michael Carroll, Terrace Books, an imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

Next to Nothing: Stories, Keith Banner, Lethe Press

Souljah, John R Gordon, Angelica Entertainments Ltd/Team Angelica Publishing

 

GAY MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY

Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival, Sean Strub, Scribner

Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance, Brent Phillips, University Press of Kentucky

Closets, Combat and Coming Out:  Coming Of Age As A Gay Man In The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Army, Rob Smith, Blue Beacon Books by Regal Crest

Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris, Edmund White, Bloomsbury

Letter to Jimmy, Alain Mabanckou, translated by Sara Meli Ansari, Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press

The Prince of Los Cocuyos, Richard Blanco, HarperCollins/Ecco – TIE

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, John Lahr, W. W. Norton & Company – TIE

Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe, Philip Gefter, W. W. Norton & Company/Liveright

 

GAY MYSTERY

Blackmail, My Love: A Murder Mystery, Katie Gilmartin, Cleis Press

Boystown 6: From the Ashes, Marshall Thornton, MLR

Calvin’s Head, David Swatling, Bold Strokes Books

DeadFall, David Lennon, BlueSpike Publishing

Fair Game, Josh Lanyon, Carina Press

A Gathering Storm, Jameson Currier, Chelsea Station Editions

Moon Over Tangier, Janice Law, Open Road Media

The Next, Rafe Haze, Wilde City Press

 

GAY POETRY

[insert] boy, Danez Smith, YesYes Books

Clean, David J. Daniels, Four Way Books

Don’t Go Back To Sleep, Timothy Liu, Saturnalia Books

ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness, CAConrad, Wave Books

The New Testament, Jericho Brown, Copper Canyon Press

Prelude to Bruise, Saeed Jones, Coffee House Press

This Life Now, Michael Broder, A Midsummer Night’s Press

This Way to the Sugar, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Write Bloody Publishing

 

GAY ROMANCE

The Companion, Lloyd A. Meeker, Dreamspinner Press

Everything’s Coming Up Roses: Four Tales of M/M Romance, Barry Lowe, Lydian Press

Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction, Timothy Lambert and R.D. Cochrane,Cleis Press*

Like They Always Been Free, Georgina Li, Queer Young Cowboys*

Message of Love, Jim Provenzano, Myrmidude Press/CreateSpace

The Passion of Sergius & Bacchus, A Novel of Truth, David Reddish, DoorQ Publishing

Pulling Leather, L.C. Chase, Riptide Publishing (1)

Salvation: A Novel of the Civil War, Jeff Mann, Bear Bones Books, an imprint of Lethe Press

 

LESBIAN EROTICA

All You Can Eat. A Buffet of Lesbian Erotica and Romance, Andi Marquette and R.G. Emanuelle, Ylva Publishing

Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire, Cheyenne Blue, Ladylit Publishing

Lesbian Sex Bible, Diana Cage, Quiver Books

 

LESBIAN GENERAL FICTION

Adult Onset, Ann-Marie Macdonald, Tin House Books

Last Words of Montmartre, Qiu Miaojin, Translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich, New York Review Books

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, Francine Prose, Harper Collins/Harper

Miracle Girls, MB Caschetta, Engine Books

New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, Shelly Oria, FSG Originals / Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Palace Blues, Brandy T. Wilson, Spinsters Ink

The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters, Riverhead Books, Penguin Random House

Yabo, Alexis De Veaux, RedBone Press

 

LESBIAN MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith, Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, with Barbara Smith, SUNY Press

Cease – a memoir of love, loss and desire, Lynette Loeppky, Oolichan Books

Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger, Kelly Cogswell, The University of Minnesota Press

The End of Eve, Ariel Gore, Hawthorne Books

Under This Beautiful Dome: A Senator, A Journalist, and the Politics of Gay Love in America, Terry Mutchler, Seal Press

 

LESBIAN MYSTERY

The Acquittal, Anne Laughlin, Bold Strokes Books

Done to Death, Charles Atkins, Severn House Publishers

The Old Deep and Dark-A Jane Lawless Mystery, Ellen Hart, Minotaur Books

Slash and Burn, Valerie Bronwen, Bold Strokes Books

UnCatholic Conduct, Stevie Mikayne, Bold Strokes Books

 

LESBIAN POETRY

Haiti Glass, Lenelle Moïse, City Lights/Sister Spit

Janey’s Arcadia, Rachel Zolf, Coach House Books

Last Psalm at Sea Level, Meg Day, Barrow Street Press

Like a Begger, Ellen Bass, Copper Canyon Press

MxT, Sina Queyras, Coach House Books

Mysterious Acts by My People, Valerie Wetlaufer, Sibling Rivalry Press

Only Ride, Megan Volpert, Sibling Rivalry Press

Termination Dust, Susanna Mishler, Red Hen Press/Boreal

 

LESBIAN ROMANCE

Christmas Crush, Kate McLachlan, Regal Crest

The Farmer’s Daughter, Robbi McCoy, Bella Books

The Heat of Angels, Lisa Girolami, Bold Strokes Books

Jolt, Kris Bryant, Bold Strokes Books

Nightingale, Andrea Bramhall, Bold Strokes Books

Seneca Falls, Jesse J. Thoma, Bold Strokes Books

Tangled Roots, Marianne K. Martin, Bywater Books

That Certain Something, Clare Ashton, Breezy Tree Press

 

LGBT ANTHOLOGY

Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call, Charles Stephens and Steven G. Fullwood, Vintage Entity Press

A Family by Any Other Name: Exploring Queer Relationships, Bruce Gillespie, TouchWood Editions

Outer Voices Inner Lives, Mark McNease and Stephen Dolainski, editors, MadeMark Publishing

The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South, Douglas Ray, editor, Sibling Rivalry Press

Understanding and Teaching US Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History, Leila J. Rupp & Susan K. Freeman, University of Wisconsin Press

 

LGBT CHILDREN’S/Young adult

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, Susan Kuklin, Candlewick Press

Double Exposure, Bridget Birdsall, Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing

Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, Tim Federle, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before, Karelia Stetz-Waters, Ooligan Press

Lies We Tell Ourselves, Robin Talley, Harlequin Teen

Pukawiss the Outcast, Jay Jordan Hawke, Dreamspinner Press/Harmony Ink Press

This is Not a Love Story, Suki Fleet, Dreamspinner Press/Harmony Ink Press

When Everything Feels like the Movies, Raziel Reid, Arsenal Pulp Press

 

LGBT DEBUT

Death in Venice, California, Vinton Rafe McCabe, The Permanent Press

Kill Marguerite and Other Stories, Megan Milks, Emergency Press

A Map of Everything, Elizabeth Earley, Jaded Ibis Press

The Music Teacher, Bob Sennett, Lethe Press

Nochita, Dia Felix, City Lights/Sister Spit

Part the Hawser, Limn the Sea, Dan Lopez, Chelsea Station Editions

Unaccompanied Minors, Alden Jones, New American Press

The Walk-In Closet, Abdi Nazemian, Curtis Brown Unlimited

 

LGBT DRAMA

The Beast of Times, Adelina Anthony, Kórima Press

Bootycandy, Robert O’Hara, Samuel French

A Kid Like Jake, Daniel Pearle, Dramatists Play Service

The Whale, Samuel D. Hunter, Samuel French

Wolves, Steve Yockey, Samuel French

 

LGBT GRAPHIC NOVELS

100 Crushes, Elisha Lim, Koyama Press

Band Vs. Band Comix Volume 1, Kathleen Jacques, Paper Heart Comix

Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag, A.K. Summers, Soft Skull, an imprint of Counterpoint

Second Avenue Caper, Joyce Brabner; Art by Mark Zingarelli, Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Snackies, Nick Sumida, Youth in Decline

 

LGBT NONFICTION

An American Queer: The Amazon Trail, Lee Lynch, Bold Strokes Books

Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS, Martin Duberman, The New Press

The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality, Julie Sondra Decker, Skyhorse Publishing/Carrel Books

Nevirapine and the Quest to End Pediatric AIDS, Rebecca J. Anderson, McFarland

Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor, Hilton Als, Ann Temkin, Claudia Carson, Robert Gober, Paulina Pobocha, Christian Scheidemann, The Museum of Modern Art

Sexplosion: From Andy Warhol to A Clockwork Orange, How a Generation of Pop Rebels Broke All the Taboos, Robert Hofler, It Books/HarperCollins

The Transgender Archives: Foundations for the Future, Aaron H Devor, University of Victoria Libraries

The Up Stairs Lounge Arson: Thirty-Two Deaths in a New Orleans Gay Bar, June 24, 1973, Clayton Delery-Edwards, McFarland

 

LGBT SF/F/HORROR

Afterparty, Daryl Gregory, Tor Books

Bitter Waters, Chaz Brenchley, Lethe Press

Butcher’s Road, Lee Thomas, Lethe Press

Child of a Hidden Sea, A. M. Dellamonica, Tor Books

Full Fathom Five, Max Gladstone, Tor Books

FutureDyke, Lea Daley, Bella Books

Skin Deep Magic, Craig Laurance Gidney, Rebel Satori Press

 

LGBT STUDIES

After Love: Queer Intimacy and Erotic Economies in Post-Soviet Cuba, Noelle M. Stout, Duke University Press

Charity & Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America, Rachel Hope Cleves, Oxford University Press

Delectable Negro: Human Consumption and Homoeroticism within US Slave Culture, Vincent Woodard, Ed. Justin A. Joyce and Dwight McBride, New York University Press

Queen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and the Performance of Femininity in Venezuela, Marcia Ochoa, Duke University Press

The Queerness of Native American Literature, Lisa Tatonetti, The University of Minnesota Press

Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings, Juana Maria Rodriguez, New York University Press

The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, Susan S. Lanser, University of Chicago Press

Under Bright Lights: Gay Manila and the Global Scene, Bobby Benedicto, University of Minnesota Press

 

TRANSGENDER FICTION

Everything Must Go, La JohnJoseph, ITNA PRESS

For Today I Am a Boy, Kim Fu, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Moving Forward Sideways like a Crab, Shani Mootoo, Doubleday Canada

Revolutionary: A Novel, Alex Myers, Simon and Schuster

A Safe Girl To Love, Casey Plett, Topside Press

 

Transgender Non-Fiction

Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man, Thomas Page McBee, City Lights/Sister Spit

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More, Janet Mock, Atria Books

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community, Laura Erickson-Schroth, Oxford University Press

 

– See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/04/the-27th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists/#sthash.R18Mi1wt.dpuf

 

HAHAT Giveaway

 

The winner of the Hop Against Homophobia giveaway is….

 

Kimberly Lynn Workman

 

Congratulations! You’ve won a copy of Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up*, edited by Steve Berman (Bold Strokes Books, 2011). I have sent an email with further details.

 

*Reviewed on this blog as part of last year’s Short Stories 365 Review a Day project.

 

Short Stories 365/361

“The Cake is a Lie” by Jonathan Harper from Daydreamers (Lethe Press, 2015). Originally published in Chelsea Station (March, 2012).

This collection will be released in March. I was given an advanced reader copy by the publisher.

There’s not much I can say about this one without giving away details you should discover on your own. Let’s just say it involves another man who’s standing on the threshold between unfulfilled twenty-something and accomplished adult. Also if you like experimental fiction you will like this.

Fun fact: The title comes from the video game Portal. Apparently the AI guiding the player character through the levels continually promises cake as a reward for certain actions, but said cake never materializes (and may never have existed).  

Short Stories 365/348

“The Bloomsbury Nudes” by Jameson Currier from The Haunted Heart and Other Tales, Chelsea Station Editions 2014. Originally published by Lethe Press, 2009.

The next story in the collection is “The Man in the Mirror” but I reviewed it already as part of the inaugural issue of Icarus Magazine (see Short Stories 365/280).

Here I’m tempted to say the author saved the best for last, but you should be informed up front that I am biased. This story is about an artist named Dennis, who falls in love with a dancer, Jared, who is in a tempestuous relationship with a painter, Clive, who was involved with a man, Teddy, who was, in the fictional world of the story, involved with the turn-of-the-last-century freethinkers known as the Bloomsbury Group. That would be more than interesting enough but he takes it even further by conflating that real life group with another of their day, namely the folks who orbited Aleister Crowley.

I’ve said it here before: I’ve read six biographies of Crowley. It was awhile ago, mind you, but I’ve retained enough that this story set my mind afire. (“Wait, was there that much cross-over? I don’t remember reading that.”)

An excerpt:

The parlor was filled with gorgeously illustrated books on religion, mysticism, magic, and the occult, leather-bound volumes of The Book of the Law, The Equinox, The Secrets of Conjuring, Deceptive Conceptions, Malleus Maleficarium, Clavis Salomonis, Psuedomonarchia Daemonum, and early issues of The Magic Circular, The Criterion, and The Tatler.

Um, about that….

Thelemic Bookshelf 2

So yeah, definitely the best for last. In my book, anyway.

Short Stories 365/347

“A Touch of Darkness” by Jameson Currier from The Haunted Heart and Other Tales,  Chelsea Station Editions 2014. Originally published by Lethe Press, 2009.

This story is part ghost tale, part murder mystery, part modern romance. The narrator and his lover Gabe own a home on Long Island – Northwest Woods, specifically, which they jokingly refer to as “Far Hampton”. They’ve been there three years and together for many more. Each is high enough up the corporate ladder to be allowed to telecommute to his job. They’ve settled into a blissful life of antique shopping, gardening and entertaining friends from the city.

That bucolic existence is threatened when Gabe brings home what was billed by an antique shop owner as a jewelry box but turns out to be something very different. I liked the connection the author drew between past and present circumstances. Yes, it’s true that the terrifying story events are triggered by the action of the box being brought to the home site, but who brought them together is, I think, every bit as important. If the main character and Gabe had traded places with, say, Martha Stewart, would things have played out differently? I think so. The evil force at work in this story is gunning for them and everyone like them. It made the ending all that much more satisfying.

Short Stories 365/346

“The Vision” by Jameson Currier from The Haunted Heart and Other Tales,  Chelsea Station Editions 2014. Originally published by Lethe Press, 2009.

It makes sense that this story brought to mind “The End of Our Broadcast Day” by Thomas Kearnes and “Trunk” by Trebor Healey. All three stories concern guys who’ve gone off the rails, who’ve developed drug dependencies and lost the ability to modulate their sexual impulses. All three stories are set in treatment facilities or rehab programs, and in two cases a questionable authority figure acts as a foil.

This story has the greatest scope of the three. The events play out over a long period of time and what the main character, Buddy, wants isn’t entirely clear. We’re told that he was not abused as a child; that his trouble is largely of his own making and is owed to “laziness” and “ennui”, but it’s also true that his psychiatrist, Dr. Kuttar, is close to overstepping the boundaries of the doctor/patient relationship. With Buddy, he gets much more than he bargained for. Anyone looking for a clearly defined villain and victim won’t find them here.

It’s possible to make the case that there is an element of the supernatural at work, because Buddy has what seems to be a premonition near the beginning. You could also, though, see it as a warning from his subconscious. I think it all depends on your personal point of view.

Short Stories 365/345

“Death in Amsterdam” by Jameson Currier from The Haunted Heart and Other Tales,  Chelsea Station Editions 2014. Originally published by Lethe Press, 2009.

Another 180 degree turn. Here we have a story that feels like a thriller, until it feels like a murder mystery.

Brian is an American journalist on assignment in Amsterdam, sent to get the scoop on a recent spate of attacks on gay businesses and citizens. The rumor on the street is that the tension between the gay community and conservative Islamic immigrants to the country has just reached its boiling point. The mainstream media hasn’t covered the story, but the paper Brian works for is geared to the LGBT community; it’s his job to figure out whether or not the city is still safe for gay tourists. It means, of course, that he goes looking for trouble…and finds it.

Yet another ghost story that doesn’t feel like a ghost story, in a surprisingly eclectic collection.

Short Stories 365/344

“Wait” by Jameson Currier from The Haunted Heart and Other Tales,  Chelsea Station Editions 2014. Originally published by Lethe Press, 2009.

This old-fashioned, suspense-based ghost story brought to mind the Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Ghost Stories for Young People LP I owned as a child.  Those stories were much-abridged versions of classics by, among other people, Edward Bulwer-Lytton and H.H.  Munro (writing as Saki).

This story—about a young man who picks up a hitchhiker outside a nightclub geared to a gay clientele—not surprisingly reminded me of the story “The Helpful Hitchhiker”. It would have been disappointing had the author chosen merely to re-write the tale’s central character as a gay man. Thankfully, as he makes clear in his comments afterward, he realized that would be the case and worked hard to expand past the point where the action usually stops. Because of this, it is its own unique tale.