Friday, March 02, 2007

Lambda Literary Award Finalists Announced

March 1, 2007--Finalists for the 19th annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced on March 1 by the Lambda Literary Foundation. Awards are presented in 25 categories, and winners will be announced on Thursday, May 31, at the Lambda Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City.

Finalists were chosen by a jury of judges who come from all walks of literary life: journalists, authors, booksellers, librarians, playwrights, illustrators. In all, 87 judges participated in the selection of finalists from the pool of 381 books that were nominated.

Please note: Finalists are listed alphabetically by author. The publisher appears in parenthesis.


Carnival by Elizabeth Bear (Bantam Spectra)
Mordred, Bastard Son by Douglas Clegg (Alyson)
A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R.W. Day (Iris Print)
Izzy and Eve by Neal Drinnan (Green Candy Press)
Spin Control by Chris Moriarty (Bantam Spectra)

Nominees for ANTHOLOGY

Confessions of the Other Mother, edited by Harlyn Aizley (Beacon)
From Boys to Men, edited by Ted Gideonse & Rob Williams (Carroll & Graf)
Love, Bourbon Street, edited by Greg Herren & Paul J. Willis (Alyson)
Charmed Lives, edited by Toby Johnson & Steve Berman (Lethe Press)
No Margins: Writing Canadian Fiction in Lesbian, edited by Catherine Lake & Nairne Holtz (Insomniac)

Nominees for ARTS & CULTURE

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)
Cinemachismo by Sergio de la Mora (University of Texas Press)
Sex Objects by Jennifer Doyle (University of Minnesota Press)
GAY L.A. by Lillian Faderman & Stuart Timmons (Basic Books)
Blood Beats: Vol 1 by Ernest Hardy (Redbone Press)

Nominees for BISEXUAL

Eros by Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio (Harrington Park Press)
Affirmative Psychotherapy with Bisexual Women & Bisexual Men by Ronald C. Fox (Harrington Park Press)
Three Sides to Every Story by Clarence Nero (Harlem Moon/Doubleday)
Bi Guys, edited by Ron Jackson Suresha (Harrington Park Press)
Bi Men, edited by Ron Jackson Suresha & Pete Chvany (Harrington Park Press)
The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe, Michael Szymanski & Nicole Kristal (Alyson)


The Manny Files by Christian Burch (Simon & Schuster)
Full Spectrum, edited by David Levithan & Billy Merrell (Random House Children's Books)
Between Mom & Jo by Julie Anne Peters (Little Brown)
Tale of Two Summers by Brian Sloan (Simon & Schuster)
Erik & Isabelle's Junior Year at Foresthill High by Kim Wallace (Foglight Press)

Nominees for DRAMA/THEATER

Questa by Victor Bumbalo (Broadway Publishing Inc.)
Confessions of a Mormon Boy by Stephen Fales (Alyson)
1001 Beds by Tim Miller (University of Wisconsin)

Nominees for HUMOR

Queen of the Oddballs by Hilary Carlip (HarperCollins)
My Lucky Star by Joe Keenan (Little Brown)
Roy & Al by Ralf Konig (Arsenal Pulp Press)


Hello, Cruel World by Kate Bornstein (Seven Stories)
GAY L.A. by Lillian Faderman & Stuart Timmons (Basic Books)
Different Daughters by Marcia Gallo (Carroll & Graf)
Behind the Mask of the Mattachine by James T. Sears (Harrington Park Press)
Unspeakable Love by Brian Whitaker (University of California)

Nominees for LGBT STUDIES

Every Inch A Man: Phallic Possession, etc. by Carellin Brooks (UBC Press)
Gay Power: An American Revolution by David Eisenbach (Carroll & Graf)
Their Own Receive Them Not by Horace Griffin (Pilgrim Press)
Crip Theory by Robert McRuer (NYU Press)
Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame by Kathryn Stockton (Duke University Press)


Sex & the Sacred by Daniel Helminiak (Harrington Park Press)
The After-Death Room by Michael McColly (Soft Skull Press)
Spirited edited by Lisa Moore & G. Winston James (Redbone Press)
The Singing of Swans by Mary Saracino (Pearlsong Press )
Mobius Trip by Giti Thadani (Spinifex Press)

Nominees for TRANSGENDER

Transgender Rights edited Paisley Currah, Richard M. Juang, and Shannon Price Minter (University of Minnesota Press)
Drag King Dreams by Leslie Feinberg (Carroll & Graf)
Supervillainz by Alicia E. Goranson (Suspect Thoughts)
The Transgender Studies Reader edited by Susan Stryker & Chris Whittle (Routledge)
The Testosterone Files by Max Wolf Valerio (Seal Press)


Punk Like Me by JD Glass (Bold Strokes)
Slipstream by Leslie Larson (Crown)
Outrageous by Sheila Ortiz Taylor (Spinsters Ink)
Rose of No Man's Land by Michelle Tea (Macadam Cage)
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (Riverhead Books)


Fresh Tracks by Georgia Beers (Bold Strokes)
Wild Abandon by Ronica Black (Bold Strokes)
Finders Keepers by Karin Kallmaker (Bella Books)
Chance by Grace Lennox (Bold Strokes)
Turn Back Time by Radclyffe (Bold Strokes)


Sleep of Reason by Rose Beecham, Rose (Bold Strokes)
Night Vision by Ellen Hart (St. Martins)
The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
Idaho Code by Joan Opyr (Bywater Books)
The Weekend Visitor by Jessica Thomas (Bella Books)


Domain of Perfect Affection by Robin Becker (University of Pittsburgh)
Days of Good Looks by Cheryl Clarke (Carroll & Graf)
The Truant Lover by Juliet Patterson (Nightboat Books)
Lemon Hound by Sina Queyras (Coach House Books)
Touch to Affliction by Nathalie Stephens (Coach House Books)


Intimate Politics by Bettina Aptheker (Seal Press)
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Houghton Mifflin)
Queen of the Oddballs by Hilary Carlip (HarperCollins)
Hit by a Farm by Catherine Friend (Carroll & Graf)
Incognito Street by Barbara Sjoholm (Seal Press)


Walk Like a Man by Laurinda D. Brown (Q-Boro Books)
Glamour Girls edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Harrington Park Press)
18th & Castro by Karin Kallmaker (Bella Books)
Master Han's Daughter by Midori (Circlet Press)
Best Lesbian Erotica 2007 edited by Tristan Taromino & Emma Donoghue (Cleis Press)


The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery (Riverhead)
Black Marks by Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte (Akashic)
Erzulie's Skirt by Ana-Maurine Lara (Redbone Press)
Slipstream by Leslie Larson (Crown)
Origami Striptease by Peggy Munson (Suspect Thoughts)

Nominees for GAY FICTION

Every Visible Thing by Lisa Carey (HarperCollins)
Izzy and Eve by Neal Drinnan (Green Candy Press)
Alternatives to Sex by Stephen McCauley (Simon & Schuster)
Now Is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer (Houghton Mifflin)
Suspension by Robert Westfield (HarperCollins)

Nominees for GAY ROMANCE

Someone Like You by Timothy James Beck (Kensington)
When the Stars Come Out by Rob Byrnes (Kensington)
Two Boys in Love by Lawrence Schimel (Seventh Window)
Surf 'N Turf by Scott & Scott (Romenticc)
Going Down in La-La Land by Andy Zeffer (Harrington Park Press)

Nominees for GAY MYSTERY

Mardi Gras Mambo by Greg Herren (Kensington)
The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon (I-Universe)
The Back Passage by James Lear (Cleis Press)
Provincetown Follies, Bangkok Blues by Randall Peffer (Bleak House Books)
The Lucky Elephant Restaurant by Garry Ryan (NeWest Press)

Nominees for GAY POETRY

Gutted by Justin Chin (Manic D Press)
The Album That Changed My Life by Jeffrey Conway (Cold Calm Press)
A History of My Tattoo by Jim Elledge (Stonewall)
Other Fugitives & Other Strangers by Rigoberto Gonzalez (Tupelo Press)
When the Eye Forms by Dwaine Rieves (Tupelo)


Untold Stories by Alan Bennett (FSG)
The Bill From My Father by Bernard Cooper (Simon & Schuster)
Tweaked by Patrick Moore (Kensington)
History of Swimming by Kim Powers (Carroll & Graf)
My Father's Keeper by Jonathan Silin (Beacon)

Nominees for GAY EROTICA

Best Gay Erotica 2007 edited by Richard Labonte & Timothy J. Lambert (Cleis Press)
A History of Barbed Wire by Jeff Mann (Suspect Thoughts)
Hot On His Trail by Zavo (Alyson)


A Scarecrow's Bible by Martin Hyatt (Suspect Thoughts)
Send Me by Patrick Ryan (Dial Press)
The Zookeeper by Alex MacLennan (Alyson)
Suspension by Robert Westfield (HarperCollins)
5 Minutes & 42 Seconds by Timothy Williams (HarperCollins)

For more information, contact

Thursday, March 01, 2007

You Think You Have Trouble Writing….

This photo was taken last night and I apologize for the fuzziness -- it was dark, but I had to have Shawn snap a picture of my "helper" Miss Piggy. I'd just opened up my laptop, cracked my proverbial knuckles, and... PLUMP! She sat on my hands.

It's hard enough to motivate myself to write without the help of cats!

And, yes, Miss Piggy is a gray Maine Coone just like Garnet's cat Barney. Miss Piggy, however, is not a sneezer. That's our other Maine Coone (a black one) named Deliha.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Astro Altert: Saturn Oppostion Neptune


Last August, when serious Saturn and idealistic Neptune began the first of three oppositions in a year, it was important for you to get serious about your life -- especially about your dreams and how to manifest them. This month, a second opposition with Neptune occurs, helping you assess how far you’ve come. Over the past few months, people and events in your life have probably revealed whether you've been realistic (listen-up 'American Idol' hopefuls!) or not. Perhaps someone you know is expressing dissatisfaction with the progress of a relationship or the results of your work.

As uncomfortable as they can be, oppositions are a time of reflection, and they can provide valuable information. Make sure that you use this period to get clear about what's most important to you, and be honest with yourself about what you're willing to do to get what you want -- otherwise you may become disillusioned.

A Saturn opposition always requires hard work; it’s a roll-up-your-sleeves time. Meanwhile, Neptune encourages you to tune in to your dreams, ideals and spirituality. You have desires, ambitions and goals -- now is the time to evaluate your progress and let go of anything that's holding you back. There is still a fair amount of uncertainty in the air, so don’t worry about nailing everything down.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Personal Habits and Reader Sympathy

I’m reading a book right now, one that has a publication date of 2007, in which one of the main characters smokes, and it’s clear that the author has some working (although perhaps secondary) experience with cigarettes because a lot of the details are so accurate they cause my lip to curl. Admittedly, I’m a pretty vehement anti-smoker. I don’t smoke and I really have a hard time dealing with people who do, partly, I think, because my mother smoked the entire time I lived at home. I hated the smell, the ashes, and the ashtrays. This being said, I have no problem with the IDEA of someone being a smoker, particularly when I don’t have to smell the smoke or deal with the mess. I most certainly believe a person can be a noble and wonderful human being and smoker.

Yet, I still have a weird unconscious reaction when someone lights up in fiction. It’s especially strange because when I see someone smoking in a film (or on the street), I don’t have this kind of visceral reaction at all. Maybe Hollywood has over all this time actually convinced me that smoking “looks” cool. Conversely, it “reads” completely differently – at least for me.

I wonder if some part of my stronger reaction to reading about a personal habit I don’t much care for is that in a way that is experienced differently (I might even postulate opposite) for film, a reader becomes the characters they read. In other words, my lizard brain puts me in the room – possibly in the body – with the smoker that I read; as opposed to observing from the outside, the smoker that I see on film.

Plus, the way in which the art form of writing works, i.e. causing pictures to form in my head from abstract marks on paper, means that I’m drawing directly from my own personal experience. When the author writes about an overflowing ashtray, the one that most stuck in my mind from my own real-life interaction with a real-life version of said ashtray is what pops into my head. The things *I* remember about it (the texture and appearance of the butts, the residue smell) are what the author draws forth in me. It becomes personal, even if s/he never described those particular details.

It’s this magic – the way a few sparse words can evoke an entire image in the reader’s brain – is why writers are cautioned away from purple prose. Too much detail clogs the brain’s capacity to reach for the picture it already has stored in its own memory vaults. Of course, the converse is true also. If you don’t give enough detail, the brain fills it in anyway, and sometimes factors that may be important to your storyline like gender or race get muddled by the reader’s overcompensating (of course, every writer knows that this happens sometimes anyway, despite best efforts. It’s also been used to great effect and/or to prove a particular point by master writers like James Tiptree, Jr.)

Beyond all that, I’m still wondering how to deal with my reaction to this particular character in this particular book. Can I still like her, even though she makes me smoke with her? Does my own lizard brain’s reaction to the gory details knock me out of the story so much that I’ll have to give up on the book entirely? And, if that’s the case, then shouldn’t I wonder what odious personal habits I’ve written into my own characters that outside readers might react to negatively?

Plus, smoking has so fallen out of “fashion” as to seem almost anachronistic. As science fiction writers, we also have that aspect to consider. Will my characters tendency to drink copious amounts of organic, trade-free, shade-grown, bicycle-delivered coffee seem completely bizarre to readers reading that book twenty years from now?

Goddess knows, there are some stories where I’ve run into that time warp – there’s a Robert Silverberg story that I have in one of my Nebula Award anthologies from the Sixties, where we’re supposed to imagine we’re at a cocktail party in the future (who even has cocktail parties any more?), and the more you read the story the more its clear that the social interactions are very, very dated. The way the men treat the women, their smoking, recreational drug use, drinking, and “swinging,” all mark it as not-the-future-at-all, but a product of a particular time. I should say, however, in Mr. Silverburg’s defense, that the SF aspects of the story are still interesting and compelling, though the what-read-as-anachronisms made my reading of the story a very bumpy ride. At least with that story, I was able to remind myself that this story was written at a time when those things were the norm at parties (or possibly, the norm at parties Mr. Silverburg was invited to.) Also, it was easier for me to deal with behavior I found odd and slightly off-putting in the quick span of a short story.

Am I still reading this book? For now, yes. Am I sympathetic to the character? Less so, though I haven’t (and don’t intend to) written her off completely. Thankfully, the smoker is only one character out of five, so only a fifth of my novel “time” will be spent sharing her body and her odious personal habits. I can cope with that.... I think.

I’ll let you know.