Showing posts from June, 2022

A Conversation with Craig Laurance Gidney

  Craig Laurance Gidney is a longtime friend of mine, a past contributor of book reviews here at The Mumpsimus, and a participant in our Delany roundtable in 2014 . I also had the pleasure to work as one of the editors for his story "Black Winged Roses" at The Revelator . It has been a joy to watch his career develop from his first short story collection, Sea, Swallow Me (Lethe Press, 2008) through to the success of his novel A Spectral Hue (Word Horde, 2019) and now his new story collection, The Nectar of Nightmares (Underland Press, 2022). About his work, Elizabeth Hand has said, "Sublime in the purest sense of the word, Craig Gidney's gorgeous stories evoke beauty, terror, and wonder, often — usually — on the same page. He uses words the way a master artist employs paint, creating lush, hallucinatory worlds as beautiful as they are treacherous." Craig's previous collections have all been nominated for the Lambda Literary Award, as was A Spectral Hue

Some Queer Books

The clickbait site Book Riot just released a list with the ridiculous title "The 100 Most Influential Queer Books of All Time" — as if such a thing could ever be determined. Influential how? For whom? Measured with what criteria?  The list itself is fine if you're looking for some new reading material, particularly from recent years (like many such lists, this one pays token attention to the past but is fundamentally interested in what's recent), but it's not much good for anything else — it does not include Gertrude Stein, Samuel Delany, Judith Butler, Edmund White, Dennis Cooper, Jean Genet, William S. Burroughs, Michel Foucault, or Kathy Acker, the exclusion of any one of whom renders the title meaningless. Such lists aim for a kind of objectivity that predestines them to be bland. What would be far more interesting would be lists from readers and writers of the books they themselves feel most affected by. Good lists pay no homage to the false gods of objectiv