Monthly Archives: May 2013

Out in Print is Taking the Next Two Weeks Off

96
800×600

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
JA
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

Out in Print will be taking a small vacation from 5/20 to
6/2, so no new posts until we return from our annual intellectual debauchery at
Saints and Sinners in New Orleans. Come visit us on Monday, June 3rd,
when we’ll resume our regularly scheduled posting duties with reviews and
interviews. We’ll have reviews of The Other Man, edited by Paul Alan
Fahey, Lee Thomas’ new collection, Like Light for Flies and, of course,
our Spring Poetry Roundup, so stay tuned. We’re still all you need to read
about all you need to read. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

In the Time of Solution 9 – Wayne Courtois (Lethe Press)

96
800×600

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
JA
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

Buy it now from Lethe Press

Is it tickle-torture? Is it speculative fiction? Is it a
deep exploration of relationship dynamics? Or an examination of submissive
behavior and helplessness? Well, it’s actually all of the above, and if those
elements sound too disparate to blend together, don’t discount the talents of
Wayne Courtois.

On a future Earth, a formula called Solution 9 has been
added to the water supply to eradicate disease. One of the side effects is that
it has also eliminated ticklishness except in a very few individuals. One of
these is our hero, Wade, who becomes the coveted object of tickle fetishists
Robert and Sloan and their Internet friends David and Glenn. Sloan, however,
wants Wade for himself and devises a fiendish plan to achieve that end.

I must admit, tickle-torture is brand new to me. I know
Courtois’ first novel, My Name is Rand, also features this kink, but I
haven’t read it. I was intrigued as to how a storyline could be built around
it, and Courtois comes through with an involved, yet not convoluted, plot that
takes us from Earth to an asteroid somewhere in space and back, complete with
pseudopod-bearing aliens and a holographic overlord. This, obviously, is the
speculative fiction part.

Relationship dynamics? When Wade meets Robert and Sloan, a
seed is planted that will eventually affect the couple’s partnership, and this
is further complicated when David and Glenn are introduced into the mix. This
portion of the novel concentrates on both couples, leaving Wade a rather flat
character. However, this appears to be a conscious choice on the part of the
author—and one wholly in keeping with the objectification of Wade as an
instrument of pleasure. His personality is secondary (even tertiary).

Though Wade is entirely submissive, many of the other
characters also have submissive aspects, especially when one considers that in
relationships of this nature, the most submissive member actually has the most
power. Without Wade and his acquiesence, the reason for his objectification
wouldn’t exist, and the irony that emerges when Sloan finds himself equally
powerless is absolutely delicious.

In the Time of Solution 9 is a thought-provoking,
well-envisioned read, as interesting as it is inventive. Just the sort of
genre-busting book expected from both Courtois and Lethe Press.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
JA
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

©, 2013, Jerry Wheeler

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bitter Orange – Marshall Moore (Signal 8 Press)

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;}

Buy it now from Amazon.com

The poor human animal. Buffeted by technological advances
and fishbowled by social networking, his response in many cases is to disappear
into anonymity—surfing secretly behind IP scramblers and stalking friends and
enemies alike online. Taking that a step further, what might it be like to
actually be invisible? Seth Harrington finds out in Marshall Moore’s sardonic Bitter
Orange
.

Seth is a moderately wealthy San Franciscan living with his
Korean roommate Sang-hee, wandering aimlessly through life with the aid of his
friend Elizabeth, a tattoo artist. Only she really isn’t his friend. Harrington
discovers his powers of invisibility quite by accident but rather than be
elated by his newfound abilities, they instead cause him even further distress
and confusion.

One of Moore’s greatest gifts is his ability to isolate and
illuminate societal anomie. He finds the very heart of our disconnectedness,
distills it into a character like Seth Harrington, and puts him through the
paces of life (not plot, though there is some of that here). The result is both
intriguing and reflective, and you might find yourself putting it down, as I
did, just long enough to digest an experience before picking it back up with
either recognition or denial of your own response.

If this sounds boring or too deep for enjoyment, it doesn’t
take into account Moore’s second biggest asset—his enormously smart-assed sense
of humor. This manifests itself in chuckling asides as well as broader slapstick.
All are on Moore’s pallete, and he paints Bitter Orange in wide swaths
of funny.

But Moore is almost always at his funniest when he’s being
mean—his characterization of the Asian woman who runs the convenience store
Seth discovers his powers in (by stealing a bottle of wine) is so devestatingly
real that you know this is someone who’s pissed Moore off in real life. His
other characterizations are equally adroit. Seth comes off the page quite well,
as does his roommate Sang-hee.

But really, this is a novel populated by characters in a
plot which really can’t be encapsulated in a review. But keep reading until the
end. The last thirty pages are marvelous and revelatory. If you’ve liked
Moore’s other work, you’ll find this to be all of a piece with it.

And if you’ve never read him before, this is a most
excellent place to start.

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;}

©, 2013, Jerry Wheeler

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dirty Sex – Ashley Bartlett (Bold Strokes Books)

Buy it direct from Bold Strokes Books

A young,
new author, Ashley Bartlett definitely should be on your radar. She’s a really
fresh, unique voice in a sea of good authors.

I first met Ms. Bartlett briefly two years ago before she became a published
author. My impression was that she lived off coffee and cigarettes. (I thought
about checking her ID to see if she should even be smoking.) I wondered if
those piercings hurt as much as they looked like they did. I wanted to pull her
pants up to cover her underwear and give her my belt. And, I was sure she would
wear white jeans with no regard to whether it’s after Easter and before Labor
Day. It’s a Southern thing. But I read her books anyway, and I’m so very, very
glad I did.

Don’t misjudge this first book in the Dirty Trilogy because of its title.
“Dirty Sex” isn’t erotica, even though there are several hot sex scenes. It’s
about intrigue. It’s about twenty-somethings trying to find their way into the
adult world. It’s about relationships between best friends, twins, and lovers.
Did I mention there’s also an amazing “tough girls don’t like to admit they can
be really sweet” romance that burrows its way into the story?

Vivian Cooper and Reese DiGiovanni have hated each other since the second grade.
Too bad Reese’s twin brother, Ryan, is Cooper’s best friend.

Cooper and Ryan will do anything for each other, even when it’s illegal,
suicidal, or just plain stupid. Which is why, when Cooper and the twins stumble
upon millions of dollars in gold bars, they take it and head for Las Vegas.
Soon they find themselves running from some very angry and very organized
criminals. Which turns out to be not nearly as sexy as it looks in the movies.

“Dirty Sex” isn’t Ms. Bartlett’s debut. I enjoyed her first novel, “Sex
and Skateboards,” but “Dirty Sex” turns it up about a dozen
notches.

In short, I found this story to be flawless. The characters are deep and the
action fast-paced. The romance feels real, not contrived. There are no fat,
padded scenes, but no skimpy ones either. It’s told in a strong first-person
voice that speaks of the author’s and her character’s youth, but serves up
surprisingly mature revelations.

“Dirty Sex” released at the end of 2012, and “Dirty Money” followed
close behind in February. You’ll have to wait until August, however, for the
conclusion of the series in “Dirty Power.” That gives you plenty of
time to read “Sex” and “Money” beforehand.

If you’d like to read the author’s
thoughts about concluding the series, check out http://lesbianauthors.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/alimony-by-ashley-bartlett/

©, 2013, D. Jackson Leigh

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

King of Angels – Perry Brass (Belhue Press)

96
800×600

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
JA
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

Buy it now from Amazon.com

Perry Brass belongs to that rarified group of writers
including myself and Leslea Newman (Heather
Has Two Mommies)
who have been nominated for five or more Lambda Literary
Awards and never received a single one.

That all three of us work in different literary forms and
genres is a given. We write prose, poetry, drama, non-fiction, even children’s
books. Literary judges, unable to look beyond the page in front of them, don’t
know what to make of us. Up till now, Brass has written science fiction,
religious fiction, erotica, you name it. With King of Angels, however, Brass has finally written a more or less
acceptable piece of “literature”—although it’s actually more than that—and the
book is a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award* and who knows what other honors
may fall upon it. 

Why? Simply because it’s a growing up and coming out story.
Everyone knows what to make of one of those, right? Except that Brass spins
several variations on the theme that makes it increasingly, excitingly, odd.
The little boy protagonist is growing up in a good-sized town in the South. His
mother is a Gentile, gentle, Southern, almost sophisticated woman of her
generation. But his father is a Northener and a Jew, handsome and somewhat
suspect, who travels a great deal, and whose sources of income are unclear,
uncertain, and eventually even criminally prosecutable. This, naturally, makes
Benjy a most interesting misfit, even amid the small, ingrown Jewish community
in his town.

To make it all even more complex, his father places the boy
into a Catholic Academy for his middle years, saying it’s the only superior
school around. So Benjy’s life becomes even more splintered, and he is a
complete outsider, even more so than the one beautiful and doomed Puerto Rican
scholarship boy in his class. His most natural mentors are grown Christian
religious teachers, and or his father and his father’s best friend Solly. But
the teacher is questioning his faith, and the adult friend is even more suspect
than dad and probably a betrayer too.

Let’s hear it for Benjy: he goes through all of the expected
tropes of growing up, being a boy who is becoming a man, finding himself
academically, physically, sexually, and he does so with curiosity, panache, and
a refreshing sense of his own self esteem. Along the way as tragedy occurs and
near-tragedies mount up, Benjy also develops a strong sense of self
preservation, along with a slow-growing conviction—as every adult fails
him—that he can only rely upon himself.        

The reader is quite entertained by all of this: not only
with all the contradictions and mix-ups natural to such an individual, but also
by the way Brass delineates several small, often opposite, families and
societies that Benjy falls into and out of. 
The Catholic kids are, for the most part, put upon, hassled, and
controlled to within an inch of their lives, but then strangely free in many
other respects. So it’s no wonder that they act out in bullying, aggression,
and other boy-on-boy mishaps. But the Jewish kids Benjy hangs out with are
portrayed as spoiled and smug and they utterly lack independence. His one wiser
older cousin who refuses to conform ends up in and out of institutions. By the
way, each child is wonderfully characterized, even the girls Benjy is expected
to romance are well (and humorously) individualized.

That would be enough to make King of Angels a good book. But lurking beneath this veneer, Brass
uses his novel to ask a variety of questions about how children see the world
for themselves and eventually how they make various choices—despite parents,
despite teachers, despite society, despite religious teaching, and despite each
other. That has been for decades how almost all LGBT kids grew up in America,
and I applaud Brass for making his Benjy such a little mensch. King of Angels is
a sobering, truthful, yet subversive text and Perry Brass’ most accomplished
work.

* Editor’s Note: Trebor Healey won the 2013 Ferro-Grumley
Award for “A Horse Named Sorrow.”

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
JA
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

©, 2013, Felice
Picano

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Beyond Innocence – Carsen Taite (Bold Strokes Books)

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”,”serif”;}

Buy it direct from Bold Strokes Books

I closed (or “turned” the last Kindle page of) Beyond
Innocence
last night quite satisfied with the read and anxious to begin my
review. Browsing Facebook the next morning, I came upon a picture of Carsen at
a lesbian fiction festival brandishing a copy of Battle Axe, HER
BRAND-NEW BOOK. Crap, I thought, she has another one out already?
Nevertheless, here it is—despite the fact that Carsen writes more words weekly
than I say in a month, and I’m a book behind.

Cory Lance is a Texas prosecuting attorney who has been
suspended for some questionable tactics and, as penance, has been temporarily
demoted to work a public defender clinic. Enter one Serena Washington, whose
brother is on Death Row for a murder he didn’t commit. Cory, of course, is
assigned to the Washington case, and she and Serena fall for each other—or they
would if they could get out of each other’s way. Can Cory switch career gears
and defend Serena’s brother? Will they get together in spite of the obstacles
they keep throwing in each other’s path?

It’s reasonable to assume they will, but Taite keeps you
guessing with delicious delay until the very last minute. Typical of a real
life lawyer. However, Taite’s time in the courtroom lends Beyond Innocence
a terrific verisimilitude someone not in the profession couldn’t impart. And
damned if she doesn’t make practicing law interesting.

This would be nothing, however, if the story and the
characters were slight but Taite comes up a winner here as well. The plot works
nicely, but it’s the characters that made me keep turning pages—chiefly Cory
and Serena. Cory suffers a comedown both personally and careerwise, and the
lessons she learns from this provide some palpable growth.

Serena is more of a mystery—and more of a frustration. Her
brother Eric follows many of the same paths as their junkie mother, but Serena
was taken from that environment and raised by an adoptive family. Both
experiences have left Serena in emotional denial, rendering her incapable of
personal commitment. The miscommunication between Cory and Serena provides for
some of the most insurmountable obstacles to romance I’ve ever seen. I shook my
Kindle severely—no, you idiot, I shouted, she didn’t mean
that. For Chrissakes, go talk to her!
Now, that’s getting me involved in
the story.

The wear and tear on my electonics notwithstanding, Beyond
Innocence
was a great read with a very satisfying conclusion, and I can
heartily recommend it. And next week, she’ll have something new out, and I’ll
be two books behind.

Thanks, Carsen, for inspiring me to write faster.

©, 2013, Jerry Wheeler

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized