A powerful, often grim gathering of fiction exploring with anger and vigor the struggles waged by those who are both black and homosexual to discover and preserve their identities. Ruff has produced a deft mix of familiar and less well-known voices: There are stories by James Baldwin (``The Outing'') and Richard Wright (``Man of all Work''), and an excerpt from Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon, but there's also strong fiction by Becky Birtha (``Ice Castle''), Max Gordon (``Babylon''), and Jacqueline Woodson (``What Has Been Done to Me''). Although the themes of desire frustrated or realized weave through all of the pieces (and are explicitly celebrated in several, including Carolivia Herron's soaring ``Epithalamion''), only a few (such as Samuel R. Delany's ``The Place of Excrement'') deal with physical particulars. Most are more focused on the ways in which the intersection of race and desire casts a bright and unforgiving light on American society. A useful collection, featuring some promising younger writers.