We’re All Bending Reality

By Alex London As a closeted teenager, thinking about any kind of future for myself was an act of speculative fiction. I attended a conservative all-boys prep school, a place where, at the time, athletes were kings and heroes and there was only one way to be a man. Any deviation from that way was [...]

By | May 15th, 2015|Archive, Author Guest Blog|Comments Off on We’re All Bending Reality

Writing an Intersex, Agender Character

“...before you go on, yes, most likely whatever you’re about to ask is very rude. If you’re wondering about what’s under my clothing, it’s very rude. If you’re wondering about my genetics, my hormones, my biology… there’s a pretty damn short list of people for whom any of that is actually relevant. Having said that, [...]

By | March 23rd, 2015|Archive, Author Guest Blog, Guest Blogs|Comments Off on Writing an Intersex, Agender Character

Orphan Blade by M. Nicholas Almand & Jake Myler: Review

“Orphan Blade is pretty gruesome,” the email warned. “You don’t have to review it if you’re not a fan of blood, gore, guts and monsters.” Nonsense! I thought blithely, cheerful and ready to accept whatever queer YA literature might grace my inbox for review. It’s a graphic novel. How gross can it be? As it turns out, gross enough [...]

By | December 23rd, 2014|Archive, Book Review|Comments Off on Orphan Blade by M. Nicholas Almand & Jake Myler: Review

The Question of Queering the Mainstream Novel: A Conversation with authors Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith

The story behind the story is sometimes, as they say, stranger than fiction. Stranger is the title of a Viking November release by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith and, if you read this book, as I did (when Rachel asked me, in my paranormal YA novelist persona Tate Hallaway, to blurb it,) you might not think much [...]

By | December 5th, 2014|Archive, Author Guest Blog, Author Interview|Comments Off on The Question of Queering the Mainstream Novel: A Conversation with authors Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith

Shadowplay by Laura Lam: Review

by Georgie Having read Laura Lam’s Pantomime - and loved it - I was super excited to read its sequel, Shadowplay, which follows Micah Grey’s journey as a fugitive after the tragedy at the end of the last book. Pantomime’s closing moment saw Drystan, the white clown from the circus, telling Micah that he knew [...]

By | November 25th, 2014|Archive, Book Club, Book Review|Comments Off on Shadowplay by Laura Lam: Review

Interview With Laura Lam

Sooo only like a month late, here is our interview with Laura Lam, author of our October and November Book Club books, Pantomime and Shadowplay! We had a lot of fun with this one, since Kathleen and I were also joined by Sarah and Laya, two of the awesome people behind lauralamfans.tumblr.com! Our transcript for [...]

By | November 15th, 2014|Archive, Author Interview, Book Club, Teen Voices|Comments Off on Interview With Laura Lam

Review: Pantomime by Laura Lam

by Georgie Penney Compared to my usual reading choices, this was the furthest out of my comfort zone that I’ve read in a long time, and I’m so glad that I decided to give it a go. Pantomime starts as the tale of two apparently unlinked young people: the young would-be trapeze artist Micah Grey, [...]

By | October 25th, 2014|Archive, Book Club, Book Review, Teen Voices|Comments Off on Review: Pantomime by Laura Lam

Interview With Alaya Dawn Johnson: Transcript

We interviewed Alaya Dawn Johnson author of The Summer Prince and Love is the Drug. Find the recorded interview here!  V: Hey everyone, I’m Victoria. K: And I’m Kathleen.  Today we have Alaya Dawn Johnson with us, author of our September book of the month, The Summer Prince.  Alaya, thank you for joining us, all the way from Mexico City! A: Thanks so much for having me. K: The Summer Prince is a dystopian science fiction novel that takes place many years in the future. V: We chose it for our September book of the month because it was incredibly well-written, took place in a futuristic world where no one had an assumed sexual orientation, and was polyamory-friendly.  We’ve never seen anything like it before, and it was a very welcome addition.  My full review is up on the site [LINK] if anyone wants to know more. K: Alaya, our first question for you is, how did the idea for this book come to you? A: Well, I have to say that my ideas tend to come from all sorts of directions, so I’d say probably the biggest influences–what I was trying to do, and what ended up becoming the novel–were…well, first, I had taken a trip to Brazil with my sister, who had studied there and learned Portuguese, and I went with my sister and my cousin when she was going to do some research in San Paulo, and basically, that trip was just one of these amazing, eye-opening experiences, I fell in love with Brazil, and I’d already learned a lot about Brazil before I went, but that, it just sort of solidified it for me. It also kind of brought me to more conscious awareness of the African diaspora community within Brazil, the descendants of former slaves who had integrated in Brazilian society in ways that interested me so much just because of the parallels and the really stark differences I could see between how it had worked in the United States and how the African diaspora community worked in Brazil, because Brazil and the United States were, during the slave trade, two of the biggest importers of slaves and had two of the biggest populations of slaves–and, obviously, of their descendants. So, how that society had moved past that point and how American society worked past that point were two things that really interested me. I came back, I didn’t really think about it for a while, but meantime, I was writing other novels, and I was thinking about science fiction and how much I really wanted to write, like, this…super weird, trippy science fiction novel–like a social science fiction novel, kind of like the ones that Ursula Le Guin writes, especially The Left Hand of Darkness, which had a major impact on me. And at some point this whole thing kind of came together, especially because I had been thinking about how oppressively white those futures were.  Ursula Le Guin in Left Hand of Darkness 100 percent was playing around with ideas of gender, and she definitely was doing other interesting things with what we would now call diversity and trying to open up the whiteness of her world, but I kind of felt like aside from that example there wasn’t a lot going on, especially nowadays, especially with the boom of science fiction and what we’re calling dystopian fiction. Right now there’s a ton of science fiction being published, but so much of it was so white, so much of it so straight.  So I kind of got this notion that I could write a science fiction novel that actually took notice of the rest of the world, put black people and the African diaspora front and center, actually open sexually–like, kinda use the power I had to create a whole new world and a whole new future for…a complicated good, I mean, obviously the world in The Summer Prince is not 100 percent wonderful, it’s not a utopia.  I mean…In my own thinking of it, it’s a complicated utopia, but anyway. All these things are wandering around in my head, and then I was watching this program about futuristic building technology.  [laughs]  And for some reason this really interested me, because they were showing this amazing idea that a Japanese company had had for building…taking advantage, in that particular case, of the waves that come into Tokyo bay.  You can have hydroelectric power, and you can have geothermal power, but you can also have wave power.  So if you build generators that harness the power of waves crashing against a shore, you can actually power a lot of things with that, and I don’t think that there’s much happening right now in that way, but it’s a thing that this company had thought of, and so they constructed this giant pyramid that was a city, but it was kind of vertical, and so all these skyscrapers hung from the vertices of all these, like, mini-pyramids, and there were these parks, and so obviously you can see, this is exactly where Palmares Tres came from, and I just like, my whole brain exploded when I was reading about that, and all of those things came together until I had the first, first kernel of the book, and of course the book is doing all sorts of other things, too, so it’s not…that doesn’t even really come to it, but that’s kind of like the three main things that were kickin’ around in my head when I was coming up with the idea. […]

By | October 23rd, 2014|Archive, Author Interview, Book Club|Comments Off on Interview With Alaya Dawn Johnson: Transcript

On Seasickness and Honest Sexuality in Witch Eyes

GayYA is thrilled to welcome one of our new regular contributors Nathaniel Harrington!  I'm going to do my best to keep this spoiler-free, which means avoiding talking about the main plot. Briefly, it's really good. The action is engaging, the villains are excellent, and the resolution is satisfying and still has real, long-term consequences for [...]

By | October 20th, 2014|Archive, Book Review|Comments Off on On Seasickness and Honest Sexuality in Witch Eyes

Book Review: Unicorn Hunting by A.R. Hellbender

Reviewer: Leslie Rewis 3.5/5 stars 152 pages Unicorn Hunting by A.R. Hellbender was a very surprising read. Most of the YA fiction that I have read about queer characters tends to focus more on their coming out and what ensues because of it. If you are looking for a story with a queer character that [...]

By | October 15th, 2014|Archive, Book Review|Comments Off on Book Review: Unicorn Hunting by A.R. Hellbender