This Post Couldn’t Wait: The Seep

I know this post is coming at you in the middle of a hiatus, but bear with me, it’s exciting.

So, I was browsing Edelweiss+ on this Friday night in and, as usual, I check out the LGBT+ review copies first. Of the 3,913 DRCs available for request or download as I write this, there are 6 in that category (which is heinous, but I won’t dwell on that for this post).

But anyways, 6. That’s one more than yesterday, so yay! So, among the titles I’ve been seeing on repeat for weeks, what’s new? The Seep by Chana Porter.

45448133“A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut is perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Carmen Maria Machado.

Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity calling itself The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seep-tech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina chases after a young boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind.”

When I say my heart was palpitating as I read this description, that was no exaggeration. Queer representation in this sort of genre-bending speculative fiction is extremely rare – all that I’ve seen recently amounts to a couple short stories in the first volume of Today, Tomorrow, Always (review here). So, if it wasn’t readily apparent, I’m insanely excited about this book and you can count on me chatting about it for the rest of this year.

The Seep will be released on January 21, 2020. It’s a long way off, but you can always save time later by adding it to your Goodreads TBR now!  Continue reading “This Post Couldn’t Wait: The Seep”

Review: No Man of Woman Born

★★★★★39878322

Simply put, wow. I needed this book and I had no idea until I picked it up on a whim.

No Man of Woman Born is a collection of seven short stories, all featuring trans and nonbinary characters in epic fantasy settings. Aside from how overjoyed I was with the representation in this collection, I must take a moment to comment on Ana Mardoll’s incredible talent as a writer. In each brief story xie conjures an elaborate, fleshed out world that could support its own collection of tales. Though the world xie creates may be filled with strife and warfare, xer characters persevere. While some protagonists experienced hardship in their past, none suffer gruesome deaths or tragic fates, no characters are deadnamed, and misgendering and bigotry are minimal. Each story elegantly subverts well established tropes in the fantasy genre, and left me smiling each time it did. Mardoll puts the heart of this book best in xer own words:

The heroes and heroines in these pages aren’t special because they are trans; they are special and they are trans.

I loved this book from cover to cover and I highly recommend it to any lovers of fantasy, retellings, and queer fiction. Continue reading “Review: No Man of Woman Born”

Review: Defense of an Other

★★★★☆

Outside a gay bar in New Orleans, a young lawyer and a man he met only hours before are confronted by a group of drunks that have targeted them for a hate crime. So begins Grace Mead’s Defense of an Other. In the first few chapters leading up to the inciting incident, plenty of the dialogue and character interactions fell flat, but after the fight that ultimately ends a man’s life, our protagonist is thrown in jail. Then the book really takes off.

Mead lays out the trial proceedings and events that follow in the riveting way I’m sure only a lawyer of 17 years could do. She presents vivid drama with none of the theatrics or hyperbole that I’ve found pervasive in other legal thrillers. Instead, reading Defense of An Other felt like sitting in the court alongside all the other spectators, reeling as the case transpires, hoping for a not guilty verdict. Continue reading “Review: Defense of an Other”