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edited by Nicola Griffith & Stephen Pagel

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 1-56504-836-9

 From the Seattle-based Griffith (Slow River, 1995, etc.) and White Wolf publishing executive Pagel, the first of a gender- bending series of anthologies (a volume of sf stories and another of horror are projected) whose purpose is to have ``some queer writers write fantasy for the first time, and for some genre writers to explore queer characters,'' not to mention a table of contents set in a typeface so bizarre as to be almost indecipherable. Here, then, are 23 fantasies with gay/lesbian characters or themes. Carolyn Ives Gilman's splendid ``Frost Painting'' explores ancient spirits, love, and dazzling new forms of art. Leslie What's ``Beside the Well'' describes a Korean family's implacable clash of wills. In ``The King's Folly,'' James A. Moore pursues the downfall of a foolish and arrogant monarch and the strange fate of his faithful advisor. Two stories derive from the shared-world setting of Thieves' World. Others feature ghosts, folktales, why things fall from the sky, singing whales, a diner with immortality on the menu, a vampire painter, the Magicians of Fez, noblesse oblige, vengeance, Japan, lighthouses, mysterious deaths, Louis XIV, Pearl Harbor, and more. Well and confidently crafted and often sexually challenging, but in other respects neither particularly original nor surprising.