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Wilde Stories 2016: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction

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Reality and memory; imagination and oblivion. Somewhere between these signposts can be found the events in the 15 stories of Wilde Stories 2016: a future world has forbidden the songs of dancefloor divas but on one night the show returns as a cautionary exhibition; high school outcasts create a fictional scapegoat and then his body is found; and let us not forget that colo Reality and memory; imagination and oblivion. Somewhere between these signposts can be found the events in the 15 stories of Wilde Stories 2016: a future world has forbidden the songs of dancefloor divas but on one night the show returns as a cautionary exhibition; high school outcasts create a fictional scapegoat and then his body is found; and let us not forget that colonial Mars needs Oscar Wilde, but then, who doesn't? "Many troubled characters in these stories face self-hatred, homophobic parents, and defeatism, but they rise above with inspiring determination to love whomever they choose; each story excels as speculative fiction as well." - Publishers Weekly, starred review


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Reality and memory; imagination and oblivion. Somewhere between these signposts can be found the events in the 15 stories of Wilde Stories 2016: a future world has forbidden the songs of dancefloor divas but on one night the show returns as a cautionary exhibition; high school outcasts create a fictional scapegoat and then his body is found; and let us not forget that colo Reality and memory; imagination and oblivion. Somewhere between these signposts can be found the events in the 15 stories of Wilde Stories 2016: a future world has forbidden the songs of dancefloor divas but on one night the show returns as a cautionary exhibition; high school outcasts create a fictional scapegoat and then his body is found; and let us not forget that colonial Mars needs Oscar Wilde, but then, who doesn't? "Many troubled characters in these stories face self-hatred, homophobic parents, and defeatism, but they rise above with inspiring determination to love whomever they choose; each story excels as speculative fiction as well." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

31 review for Wilde Stories 2016: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    DrCalvin

    The literary quality of the Wilde Stories collections have improved nicely as I've been reading them, and I think this volume is perhaps the most polished. But, this collection of gay fantasy/horror starts off very bleak, and I found that the greatest weakness of the stories: unhappy endings, or unhappy nows, and not even "grandly" unhappy, just generally bleak. Does gay speculative fiction really have to be like that? The second half felt a bit more varied, in tone, style and mood of stories, w The literary quality of the Wilde Stories collections have improved nicely as I've been reading them, and I think this volume is perhaps the most polished. But, this collection of gay fantasy/horror starts off very bleak, and I found that the greatest weakness of the stories: unhappy endings, or unhappy nows, and not even "grandly" unhappy, just generally bleak. Does gay speculative fiction really have to be like that? The second half felt a bit more varied, in tone, style and mood of stories, which earns it a third star. My favorite stories: The Ticket Taker of Cenote Zací by Benjamin Parzybok. A dark, tense story which sets up a horrifying premise and then juggles it deftly until the last word. This is probably the spookiest story in the collection, and I truly appreciated the language, environment and that it dared go all the way. Left me unnerved Utrechtnaar by Paul Evanby, about time-travel and history that is buried. Interesting premise, deftly drawn characters and good writing. To the Knife-Cold Stars by A. Merc Rustad, a classic cyberpunk plot that fills its pages well. Which is harder than it sounds for short stories, that can feel like a great beginning. I also like the imagery in this story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard Parent

    My review for this series: This is an excellent anthology series. The stories are thought-provoking, imaginative, and affecting. These days it feels as though gay culture has been largely assimilated into the mainstream (at least, it feels this way up here in progressive-ish northern New England), and for those of who remember how liberating and exhilarating it felt to finally discover that there were others like us and a whole culture of novels, movies, and songs about our experience, this serie My review for this series: This is an excellent anthology series. The stories are thought-provoking, imaginative, and affecting. These days it feels as though gay culture has been largely assimilated into the mainstream (at least, it feels this way up here in progressive-ish northern New England), and for those of who remember how liberating and exhilarating it felt to finally discover that there were others like us and a whole culture of novels, movies, and songs about our experience, this series feels like a homecoming. By curating this series, Steve Berman scratches an itch I didn't know I had. If you're gay and if you like speculative fiction, you owe it to yourself to check this series out.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jerry L. Wheeler

    Another varied collection of fantastic and fantastical gay short fiction from some of the finest writers in our community. Especially noteworthy are Jonathan Harper’s “Wallflowers,” Richard Bowes’ “The Duchess and the Ghost,” and a wonderful story about a Mayan “tourist attraction,” Benjamin Parzybok’s “The Ticket Taker of Cenote Zaci.” Great entry in the series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Will

    This is the kind of book that you read all at once and then keep close at hand to keep referring back to. 2016 was a great year for gay spec fic, with stories by veterans in the field such as Richard Bowes, and new-comers who are on their way to becoming the next big thing, like Sam J. Miller. The stories collected here are wonderfully diverse, from near future to the surreal. These stories were largely published in major magazines originally, so I'd read a few of them before, but this collectio This is the kind of book that you read all at once and then keep close at hand to keep referring back to. 2016 was a great year for gay spec fic, with stories by veterans in the field such as Richard Bowes, and new-comers who are on their way to becoming the next big thing, like Sam J. Miller. The stories collected here are wonderfully diverse, from near future to the surreal. These stories were largely published in major magazines originally, so I'd read a few of them before, but this collection is valuable because it is a book I'll keep going back to because I know I can find brilliant spec fic in which I don't have to be disappointed when the main character has a bromance throughout the story and then suddenly meets a pretty girl at the end. It's amazing how many brilliant stories I missed throughout the year too, such as "Imaginary Boys" by Paul Magrs, which instantly became a new favorite. This is a great resource to discover new writers (whether they're new or you're new to them) in the field of gay spec fic, and just an all-around essential book for anyone who needs more gay spec fic in their lives (and who doesn't?)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tyrannosaurus regina

    While of course there are stories I liked more than others, overall this year's crop of gay speculative fiction is very strong. "To Die Dancing" in particular is going to terrify and haunt me for a very long time. While of course there are stories I liked more than others, overall this year's crop of gay speculative fiction is very strong. "To Die Dancing" in particular is going to terrify and haunt me for a very long time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jared

  7. 5 out of 5

    Wordcatcher

  8. 4 out of 5

    Beata

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Bright

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brad Hutchinson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Edmund A

  13. 4 out of 5

    Edward

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Bradshaw

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alan Woo

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cristhian

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rick

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  20. 5 out of 5

    DZMM

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  22. 5 out of 5

    Seoung

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mark Catalfano

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andyhat

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meril

  28. 5 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

  29. 4 out of 5

    E.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  31. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Mcguinness

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