Title: Queerly Loving #2
Editors: G. Benson and Astrid Ohletz
Category: Short story anthology (LGBTQIAP+)
Publisher/Date: Queer Pack/15 February 2018
In part two of Queerly Loving, our authors bring you short stories with characters across the fantastic queer spectrum, with endings that will leave you warm and smiling. Trans love interests, demisexual characters trying to find their way in the world, bisexual characters dealing with a heartbreak in the best way, and lesbians on escapades.
Dragons roar into life, dystopian futures unfold, mermaids enjoy space voyages, and modern-day adventures will curl your toes and make you cheer. There are first kisses, friends that are like kin, and aromantic characters discovering their place among a queer-normative family.
Get ready for your queer adventure.
I received an eARC from M. Hollis, one of the authors in this anthology.
This book promises queer, and it gives you queer. Every single story in this anthology was wonderful for me; a few stand out for me more than others, but I loved every tale here. You get a cute mix of genres in this anthology; there’s fantasy, post-apocalyptic, contemporary… There’s a little bit of something for everyone here.
There is a huge variety of types of queer characters throughout these stories; I loved how there were several nonbinary characters who used gender neutral pronouns other than they/them, and I loved how there were clearly-transitioning trans people as well. There are gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and asexual characters, among others; if you’re queer, chances are that there was at least one character somewhere in this anthology you could relate to. Because the authors themselves are all queer, a lot of care was clearly taken to make the queer representation in this book as wide as possible.
Though I loved all the stories in this anthology, I had a clear favorite: “Kin, Painted” by Penny Stirling. This story uses body painting as a metaphor for asexuality; the characters in the story all regularly adorn their bodies with painted designs, but the main character had tried many types of paint and could not find something that worked. Despite the paint not feeling right to them, they have to deal with people who do paint themselves telling them that they just haven’t found the right paint yet, and this leads to them experimenting with other types of art forms. The metaphor in this story really worked for me and the writing here was rich and detailed, and I just loved it.
Other highlights of the book include, dragons, pirates, mermaids, and supportive friendships (not all at the same time). There is so much to work with here, and all of these stories are excellent. I loved this anthology, and I’d really recommend it.
Final rating: 5 of 5 stars