[Review] Choco Strawberry Vanilla [チョコストロベリー バニラ] by Delico Psyche (manga)

Choco Strawberry Vanilla
Choco Strawberry Vanilla

Delico Psyche

What rating would you give it?
5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

Hiroi always shared what he liked, things and people alike, with his childhood friend Take. Take always returned Hiroi’s affections. Mine, who because of his deep love for Hiroi, accepts both of them. The relationship of these three classmates was in a good balance, but because of a subtle change in their feelings, this balance slowly gets unhinged…?!

What did you think of the book?

That was delicious. I am so glad I decided to read this. I’m not one to read threesome stories, but this one was DELISH. The relationship between the three MCs is not one of love per se, but it is addicting to watch unfold as the chapters progress. Abusive at times, tender at others, twisted throughout.

I totally get Hiroi’s need to “share” his things with his best friend Take, although I can understand why other people don’t. That’s actually the most fascinating part of this story, the relationship between Hiroi and Take. How they see themselves and how they see themselves fitting into the world and WHY this sort of relationship and behavior for them is natural. Also like parasitic or even conjoined twins, except in verse. They almost share one mind while inhabiting two bodies and somehow navigating through life in this manner. For them, “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours and you are me and I am you” is just their perpetual state of being.

Mine is also a strangely complex character, namely for being able to not only put up with this bizarre relationship, but also for eventually finding his own rhythm in it — one which he even finds to “dislike less” than he once did (which is actually his tsundere self saying he’s lovin’ it, freak that he be, bless his soul. <3)

Such great storytelling without getting into too much. Letting us see into each character’s mindset, getting to know their very different, but also similar personalities. Seeing how important each one is in different ways and just… UGHHH

This was good. This was SO. GOOD.

All the stars. ALL OF THEM.

Delico Psyche you haven’t failed me yet. Another great job!!

PS – For those of you planning to or already giving this a one star rating b/c you were looking for some sappy lovey-dovey shit, go elsewhere. This story has a HEA ending of sorts, but it’s not all roses and butterflies and puppy dog tails. There’s a reason it’s called “CHOCO STRAWBERRY VANILLA.” Choco = sadomasochist, Strawberry = Sadist, Vanilla = Masochist. I’ll let you all decide who’s who in this savagely beautiful throuple.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

God, if you only knew. XD I can’t even begin to describe what to warn about. Umm… let’s just say there isn’t anything like… torture or anything like that. It’s just REALLY messed up with SO MUCH EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION GOING ON. LORD.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Just the two…

Would you recommend this book?

OHMYGOD

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GO GET IT.

(Just keep all the warnings in mind before you read it. That’s all. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: —
Publication Date: September 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 190
Genre & Themes: Yaoi, Erotica, M/M/M Threesome, Romance,
Slice of Life, Smut, Dubcon,
LGBTQUAI+, Polyamory, Bisexual, Jealousy, Group Intercourse, Emotional Manipulation
Age: Adult (18+)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge: 2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge, 2019 M3W2 Reading Challenge 

[TBBReview] @Full Moon series by Sanami Matoh (manga)

Although I’m categorizing this as a Totally Biased Book Review (TBBR), it’s actually much more like an angry chapter-by-chapter reaction rant rather than an actual review.

SPOILERS ABOUND!!  You have been warned…


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@Full Moon (Vol. 1 & 2)

Sanami Matoh

What rating would you give it?
1.5/2 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
VOLUME 1
After ten years apart, aristocratic vampires and childhood friends Marlo and David are back together– as fiancés! Being half werewolf and half vampire, Marlo undergoes a peculiar transformation, becoming a woman rather than a beast under the full moon. So there’s no problem for a wedding and David’s womanizing fangs– right?

VOLUME 2
CAN’T MAN UP!
Half vampire, half werewolf, Marlo is a bit of an anomaly. When exposed to the light of the full moon, HE becomes a SHE! To make matters worse, it seems as though his rivals have plans to keep Marlo trapped as a woman – FOREVER! Join us as this epic vampire romance reaches its dramatic conclusion in this final volume of At Full Moon!

What did you think of the book?

Lord.

The weirdly misogynistic, toxic masculinity, homophobic bullshit of this series. =A=

Let me just start by saying, JUST HOW PROBLEMATIC this whole series (Until The Full Moon and it’s sequel @Full Moon) is TO BEGIN WITH.

Then I’m gonna say how — EVEN THOUGH IT’S PROBLEMATIC — I still, at least, liked the first series, Until The Full Moon.

But this one…

But thing here….

WHAT THE eFF EVEN DID I READ

WHY DID IT–

HOW—

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Okay… Okay…

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Lemme just explain something before I get into my “in-the-moment-thoughts-while-reading-this” commentary.

This series COULD have been REALLY cool and interesting and breaking gender boundaries and empowering towards the LGBTQUIA+ community. Or at least, I dunno, ACTUALLY MADE SOME COHERENT SENSE IN TERMS OF GENDER IDENTITY AND HOW YA DEAL WITH IT AND THE SPECTRUM OF SEXUALITY AND ALL THAT.

But no.

Nooooooo.

It was SO CAUGHT UP IN KEEPING WITH THE “NO HOMO” VIBE THAT IT COMPLETELY MISSED THE MARK ON ALL REGARDS – SAVE ONE.

David continually makes it clear that he doesn’t care which version of Marlo he’s with. He loves him regardless of whether or not he’s in his male form or his female one.

WHICH IS AWESOME.

Except he insists he isn’t gay. (Which he’s not. I’m not concerned with that.)

And Marlo’s “an exception”. (Which I suppose IS true, but not in the way you’d think, or at least hope he’s indicating.)

And Marlo loves David. And David loves Marlo. In fact, here’s where the BIGGEST PROBLEM LIES:

They’ve BOTH HAD THESE FEELINGS SINCE THEY WERE CHILDREN AND DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MARLO BEING ABLE TO CHANGE INTO A GIRL ONCE A MONTH.

SO WHY DO THEY INSIST THEY’RE NOT ATTRACTED TO “MEN”? They’re AT LEAST attracted to each other, even if they don’t necessarily find other men attractive or sexually appealing or whatever. And they’re attracted to each other WHILE BOTH BEING IN THE MALE FORM. They both get aroused with each other. There’s no woman in their bed or superimposed their heads when they’re being intimate or kiss.

AND THEY BOTH LOVE EACH OTHER.

HAVE SINCE FOREVER.

SO WHAT IS WITH THE OVERBEARING NO HOMO THEY KEEP PUTTING UP LIKE IT ACTUALLY HAS ANY VALIDITY WHATSOEVER IN REGARDS TO THEM?!?!

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I…. I…..

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Okay… Let’s get on to my chapter-by-chapter reactions before I honestly couldn’t keep them up anymore and was just left with a big “WTeffingF?!”

THOUGHTS AFTER CH.1

Okay, so I’ll be totally honest. It’s weird getting used to the new art style. I LIKE it… like AT LOT. But it’s sooooo different from the previous style that it’s really throwing me for a loop.

Outside of that, I’m surprisingly enjoying it so far. Definitely looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Also, I like that the first kiss scene we see between Marlo and David is with Marlo in his male form, because back then there was A LOT of censoring going on and it was like the mangaka or publisher or whoever was trying to make it a very exclusive “They only kiss when Marlo’s female” kinda thing. I’m glad I’m seeing more of a reverse of that now, this many years later.

THOUGHTS STARTING CH.2

NEVERMIND. Not even 3 pages in and they’re wholly sticking to the whole “we’re not gay” blah blah blah bullshit again. *SIIIIIIGGGHHHHH* Such a disappointment. Ya’ll ARE gay or at least bi or sumthin’, because long before you could transform into a woman, Marlo, you were in love with him and he was in love with you. Suddenly being able to change into a woman only makes it convenient for the world to accept you better (I GUESS????!?) but that’s really about it. Marlo is STILL A GUY SOME 27 DAYS out of EVERY MONTH. He’s not trans or doing this for drag. He still SEES HIMSELF AS A MAN… So then, WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM?!

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THOUGHTS AFTER CH.2

OKAY… so after reading chapter 2 completely I’m even MORE confused. I mean, it’s not like he only started liking Marlo AFTER he found out he could become a girl. He liked him since THEY WERE CHILDREN. In fact, the reason he was always only “playing” with the girls he went out with was because he was already in love with someone he thought he couldn’t have AKA Marlo. So… I mean… what gives? Why do you guys keep saying “Oh Marlo’s a special case” and all that, when it really doesn’t mean a damn thing since you were in love with him (and him, with you) since ya’ll were children? I DON’T UNDERSTAND and quite frankly, I don’t think the writer or translator does either.

Like… I don’t know if this is just bad translating, westernizing, censoring, or something… but this is someone trying TOO FUCKING HARD to say “NO HOMO!!!” because I’m just like…

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…over here. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE SO FUCKING COMPLICATED. You’re a guy who likes girls, but fell in love with another dude who happens to become a girl once a month for like 3 days TOPS. Even if your preference is still basically females, it really doesn’t apply to THE DUDE YOU’RE MARRIED TO, now does it? I mean, after all, it’s not like you don’t love him when he’s a guy. That’d be like a guy saying to a girl that he can’t love her or have sex with her unless she’s wearing makeup or looks a certain way or something. And if that’s actually what he’s saying, then that’s some serious denial shit going on there LEFT AND RIGHT. (It’s fine if it arouses you or you like the way they look dolled up, BUT ACTUALLY SAYING YOU CAN’T LOVE A PERSON BECAUSE UNLESS THEY LOOK A CERTAIN WAY IS REALLY… I mean… WOAH.)

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God… I was SO hoping this series would be better than the first. Now it’s looking just a problematic – perhaps EVEN WORSE (even if I *DO* actually really like all of the characters)… *SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH*

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THOUGHTS AFTER CH.3/BEGINNING OF CH.4

What even. This is getting ridiculous (And I don’t mean in a good way either…) Why the fuck is Marlo mad at David if he wanted him to be jealous in the first place? This is just plain dumb.

THOUGHTS ON CH.4 – DATE

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Awwwwww… okay. So even if the rest of it is a bit of a tragedy, I REALLY like Chris. He loves his momma and he’s awkward AF and adorable AF and I’m diggin’ him. (Any man who loves his mom and isn’t ashamed to admit it is a good man. Means he’ll treat his woman right, too. <3)

I will say though, I’m curious to find out how he reacts to finding out that Marlo is married (since I kinda think he actually doesn’t know yet and this is all the butler’s doing giving him bad advice… he seems like the really innocent, socially awkward type, y’know?). How he reacts to this news is really how I’ll judge him.

AFTER READING CH.4

Okay… so I don’t know how I feel about reading this chapter. If *I* were writing this, then I know I’d have nothing to worry about, especially in regards to how things are shaping up with Chris’ personality (and the fact that he DID know Marlo’s married but still wants to make him his wife??? Waaaah???). But since I’m *not* the one writing this, and I’ve already seen the HIGHLY questionable life choices the writer/translator/mangaka has been going with in regards to this series and its characters… I’m concerned. I really don’t want to hate Chris (because he’s super adorbs) but I have a feeling I’m going to regret saying anything good about him because this writer is just…

DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW TO CREATE AND DEVELOP CHARACTERS AT ALL?!

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THOUGHTS FROM CH.5 ONWARD

UGHHHHHHH….

SOMEBODY SHOOT ME NOW

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FINAL THOUGHTS

I sort of want to scratch my eyes out after reading this. I’d actually been fine with never knowing this sequel existed.

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Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Dun read it.

Especially if you ACTUALLY LIKED the first series, Until The Full Moon. This sequel series literally ruins it, like you have NO IDEA.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Just the two…

  • 2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge

…and my own self-imposed one. Guess I should give it a name or something, huh? Hmm….

  • 2019 M3W2 Reading Challenge

Y’know… M3=Manga, Manhua, Manhwa; W2=Webcomic, & Webtoon

Sounds doable. Maybe I’ll add parentheses or something to it to explain it. Whatevs.

Would you recommend this book?

Like I said before… I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. It seriously does NOT portray a good picture of… anything. And the fact that it also tries to lay on comedy to mask some of the serious issues going on in it really doesn’t help.

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Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  Kodansha Comics
Publication Date: Nov 2011 & Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384 (192+192)
Genre & Themes: Fantasy, Romance,
Gender Bender, Bisexual/Gay Sexualities,
Comedy
Age: Teen/OT
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge: 2019 GoodReads
Reading Challenge, 2019
M3W2 Reading Challenge

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 4

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read Last Month (April)

Print ikenai otoko 16159888 12461407 124614191737706410386406 10386503

Haito Diamond 1 Haito Diamond 2 Haito Diamond 3 Haito Diamond 4

  1. Songs of the Earth (Sumeria’s Sons, #2) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  2. Ikenai Otoko by Hiroi Takao  [Review]
  3. Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda by Kou Yoneda [Review]
  4. Jigoku Meguri #1 & 2 by Siam Kuju  [Review]
  5. Dark Prince (The Dark Earth manga, #3) by X. Aratare & T.Wolv  [Review]
  6. Haito Diamond #1-4 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]
  7. The Abyss: Upon A Midnight Clear by X. Aratare  [Review]
  8. The Erl-King: Jealous Sons and Mistletoe by X. Aratare  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About Songs of the Earth… that everything was STILL NOT OKAY, NOT OKAY MAN!

About Ikenai Otoko… nothing actually. XD That is until I saw the cover and then one thing led to another and I ended up reading the whole thing in one go. No joke – the title does NOTHING to jog my memory of the story. Only the cover art brings the comedic escapades back in full swing.

About the Jigoku Meguri series… that I… I read it before… but somehow I felt like I hadn’t finished reading it or something? It’s possible that I started this series when it was being scanlated and never got back to it, which could very much so explain away why at least the ENTIRE SECOND BOOK and, maybe… the second-to-last chapter in the first book was such a blank to me.

Either that, or I have shit memory.

S’toss up between the two, fer sure.

About Dark Prince… that I had read most of it when it was being serialized but hadn’t finished it because 1) wasn’t completed yet and 2) membership ran out. Now that both of those things have been rectified, I decided it was about time to catch up on my favourite series.

About Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda… that… once again THE TITLE GAVE AWAY NOTHING TO ME. xD Just like with Ikenai, the only thing that helps is the cover art. Once I got a glimpse of that I had the same sort of feeling as I did with Jigoku, knowing that I HAD read it, but not ALL of it, so… yeah. *needs to get a physical copy of this one SOON* Anyone know where I can get one? xD

About the Haito Diamond series… that it will forever be one of my favourite fucked-up series that will live on in infamy till the end of time, because

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About Upon A Midnight Clear (A short holiday tale from The Abyss)… that it was fuckin’ cute and I wanted to re-read it. END OF STORY.

About Jealous Sons and Mistletoe (A short holiday tale from The Erl-King)… that it was EVEN MORE FUCKIN CUTE, AND I WANTED TO FUCKIN’ RE-READ IT. GOD 

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think I made myself clear with Jealous Sons and A Midnight Clear, so I won’t reiterate.

For Haito Diamond, I was actually dusting off my ATF (All-Time-Favourites) bookshelf and ended up picking up one book, dusting it off, reading it. Picking up the rest of the books, dusting them off, and reading all of them one after another. Then upon putting down my dusting cloth, went over to my computer and looked through my scanlations of all four books to compare and contrast the horrible “translating” to the original raws.

It was a gloriously entertaining afternoon. ❤

The rest were basically spurred on by random, “Oh! What’s that title? I don’t remember reading this—OHHH. Yes I do. Yup. Yes, I doo~ooh——fuck, I’m actually already halfway through this one, aren’t I? Might as well finish reading it. 8DDDD”

Only Songs of Earth was re-read again for the sake of refreshing myself for the next book.

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

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And I think that was pretty much for each and every book on this list. Nothing disappoints. XD

WOULD I Re-Read Again

I think the answer for all of them would be…

can i get a hell yeah

Repost “Kinda” Mini Review – KONOYO IBUN (March 25, 2014)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Supernatural, Yaoi

Volumes: 7 (complete)

Released in English?: Only up to Vol. 3

In the immediate family of the story’s protagonist everyone seems to die early, and other relatives talk about a curse. When soon after his grandfather’s death he comes down with an incurable disease, and is overwhelmed by grief and loneliness, in desperation he remembers his grandfather’s last words — that somebody was watching over them. He can only find an odd fossil tooth where his grandfather had pointed, but when he picks it up and accidentally gets some of his blood on it, that summons a guardian spirit, who promises to cure him. Maybe he should be pleased, but said guardian has some strange methods for healing.

Side Story (about director Keiichiro & Tetsu-chan): “Konoyo Ibun Sono no San”

Source: MangaUpdates

Alternative Names:  A Strange and Mystifying Story (English); My Demon & Me (French)


My thoughts: I have always loved this story from the very first book. Sadly, however, it would seem that whoever the publisher was here in the States publishing it decides to bail and leave us all hanging at the 3rd book – which, by the way, I thought we were merely up-to-date and waiting for the managaka in Japan to finish making the next book already! @A@;;; I really don’t know what the say in terms of how I’ll get the rest of this series, but somehow or another I will. Basically I’m stuck with either buying it in French – since they finished their publication of it eons ago – or in the original Japanese. I’d probably want it in the Japanese since it’ll be in its completion that way, but I have very few options on where to purchase it. I’ll probably check out BookOff and YesAsia and even Amazon.jp but… I get the feeling I’m going to be hunting for this one for awhile. -A-;

That aside, I really loved this series. Don’t ask me why. It had something to do with the strange nature of the story being told, the genuine yet still fanciful qualities to the characters and their problem/solution to said problem. I’m 100% on how they eventually decide to work things out though. That much is entirely okay by me.

Rating:
5 Stars (for the 3 books I’ve read thus far)

[Mini Review] Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales

21413938Myth and Magic: Queer Fairy Tales

edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman

What rating would you give it?
4 of 5 Stars

What did you think of the book?

Pretty good considering. Any time I get to read an anthology or collection where half to 3/4 of the compiled stories I like is a sheer miracle! This one fits the bill so 4 stars! A fun and delightful weekend read! :3

Would you recommend this book?

I would definitely recommend, because there can never be enough queer fairytales out there!

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication Date: December 2014
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 264
Genre: Fantasy, M/M Romance,
F/F Romance, QUILTBAG / LGBTQUIA,
Fairytales,
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge: 2014 Good Reads Reading Challenge (100)

 

Just finished reading more books than should be legal in the last hour…

Honestly. I have NO idea why I just read that many books in a row, like marathon-style. XD

And they were all manhwa, too. Except the first book that started it, “Claymore, vol. 20,” which is obviously manga instead.

But after reading that one, I just pulled a stack of books off the shelf and started reading. Ravenously. (Oh. Did I mention these were all rereads? Yeah. I generally don’t do rereads, but occasionally I’ll pick up my manga and consume a few hours reading, especially if there was something I wanted to have refreshed for the next book or chapter release.) Here’s the ridiculous list I went through, front to back, in under 60 minutes:

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(c) MIIIINE. 🙂

Yeah. That many.

And I don’t just look at pictures or skim over images when I read them, either. I really recreate and analyze everything I see (and quality check everything for mistakes/errors/transition and dynamism in storytelling and artwork, etc). So it’s pretty much like reading a 150-page novel for me, each and every time I pick up one of these.

Which means… six books. (BOOKS I TELL YOU!)

In an HOUR.

The. Hell.

I mean, who even does that?

*tiny voice shouts “You do, fool!” XD *

Anyone else thinking of marathoning this weekend?

I have the feeling I’m going to go through more of my manga and manhwa…

But then again, it’s just a feeling. 😉

Omorphi by C. Kennedy

I’ve been interested in this book for some time now, but I just haven’t gotten around to buying it. Anyone know where I can pick up a dirt-cheap copy somewhere? XD

Fabulous Fictions

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Action

Themes: High School, Abuse, Bullying

Queer Level: Gay & Queer Main Characters; Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

What an exciting, heartbreaking, powerful, and motivating story this turned out to be! Omorphi a long one, but it’s so consumable and I’d happily read hundreds of pages more if given the opportunity. This story is guaranteed to pull at your emotions while it boldly tackles the heavy topic of abuse …yet is surprisingly hopeful, despite this.

The tension and drama build up as details are revealed. It sort of plays out like a mystery in a way. …It certainly has the depth of one! The foundation is strong and the results make for a gripping read. The information itself is paced out very evenly – enough that you are constantly asking questions but…

View original post 310 more words

10 Fantasy and SF Books with QUILTBAG Themes

I feel it important to state that the books compiled for many of my booklists are not necessarily personal recommendations, as I often have not read them all myself. Unless stated as personal favs, or as reviewed material, just presume the books I share are simply intriguing titles I’d like to read or that I’ve recently found and decided to share with you based on the theme, topic, or (most likely) my own random spur of the moment decision.

If anyone has actually read the titles, let me know! Comment or share your opinion. I’d love to hear what you have to say~ 🙂

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan (YA, Fantasy)

Book description: Ten short stories about bisexual, half-Asian warlock Magnus Bane from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices trilogies.

The Culling by Steven dos Santos (YA, SciFi)

Book description: Recruitment Day is here…if you fail, a loved one will die

For Lucian “Lucky” Spark, Recruitment Day means the Establishment, a totalitarian government, will force him to become one of five Recruits competing to join the ruthless Imposer task force. Each Recruit participates in increasingly difficult and violent military training for a chance to advance to the next level. Those who fail must choose an “Incentive”—a family member—to be brutally killed. If Lucky fails, he’ll have to choose death for his only living relative: Cole, his four-year-old brother.

Lucky will do everything he can to keep his brother alive, even if it means sacrificing the lives of other Recruits’ loved ones. What Lucky isn’t prepared for is his undeniable attraction to the handsome, rebellious Digory Tycho. While Lucky and Digory train together, their relationship grows. But daring to care for another Recruit in a world where love is used as the ultimate weapon is extremely dangerous. As Lucky soon learns, the consequences can be deadly…

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (SciFi)

Book description: Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender–or both–this is a broad gulf indeed.

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (Fantasy, Parallel Novel)

Book description: The Wicked Years continue in Gregory Maguire’s Son of a Witch—the heroic saga of the hapless yet determined young man who may or may not be the offspring of the fabled Wicked Witch of the West. A New York Times bestseller like its predecessor, the remarkable Wicked, Son of a Witch follows the boy Liir on his dark odyssey across an ingeniously re-imagined and nearly unrecognizable Land of Oz—a journey that will take him deep into the bowels of the Emerald City, lately abandoned by the Wizard, and into the jaws of dragons. At once a grim fairy tale and an uplifting adventure, Son of a Witch is a true wonder.

The Elemental Logic series (Fire Logic, Earth Logic, Water Logic, Air Logic) by Laurie J. Marks (Fantasy)

Book description: The Elemental Logic series by Laurie J. Marks is set in the world of Shaftal. The series tells the story of Shaftal in four separate but chronological novels. Book 3, Water Logic, is published by Small Beer Press and released June, 2007.

Fire. Earth. Water. Air.

These elements have sustained the peaceful people of Shaftal for generations, with their subtle powers of intuition, healing, joy, and truth. But now Shaftal has been overrun, and the ancient logic of the land is being replaced by the logic of hatred.

Hero by Perry Moore (YA, Fantasy Superhero)

Book description: The last thing in the world Thom Creed wants is to add to his father’s pain, so he keeps secrets. Like that he has special powers. And that he’s been asked to join the League the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. But the most painful secret of all is one Thom can barely face himself: he’s gay.

But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, who can control fire but not her anger; Typhoid Larry, who can make anyone sick with his touch; and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide; but they will have to learn to trust one another when they uncover a deadly conspiracy within the League.

To survive, Thom will face challenges he never imagined. To find happiness, he’ll have to come to terms with his father’s past and discover the kind of hero he really wants to be.

Cloud Atlas by David Moore (Fantasy, SciFi)

Review From Publisher’s Weekly: At once audacious, dazzling, pretentious and infuriating, Mitchell’s third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives. Like Mitchell’s previous works, Ghostwritten and number9dream (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), this latest foray relies on a kaleidoscopic plot structure that showcases the author’s stylistic virtuosity. Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book. Among the volume’s most engaging story lines is a witty 1930s-era chronicle, via letters, of a young musician’s effort to become an amanuensis for a renowned, blind composer and a hilarious account of a modern-day vanity publisher who is institutionalized by a stroke and plans a madcap escape in order to return to his literary empire (such as it is). Mitchell’s ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the “novel as puzzle” will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work.

Pantomime by Laura Lam (Fantasy)

Book description: R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera  is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan (Fantasy)

Book description: A dark lord will rise. Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.

The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan (YA, Fantasy)

Book description: India Morgan Phelps-Imp to her friends-is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth-or from something far, far stranger…

Shadowman by Melissa Scott (SciFi)

Book description: In the far future, human culture has developed five distinctive genders due to the effects of a drug easing sickness from faster-than-light travel. But on the planet Hara, where society is increasingly instability, caught between hard-liner traditions and the realities of life, only male and female genders are legal, and the “odd-bodied” population are forced to pass as one or the other. Warreven Stiller, a lawyer and an intersexed person, is an advocate for those who have violated Haran taboos. When Hara regains contact with the Concord worlds, Warreven finds a larger role in breaking the long-standing role society has forced on “him,” but the search for personal identity becomes a battleground of political intrigue and cultural clash.


These look pretty interesting (some of which I’ve already started or finished reading!) Ahhh~ So many books! So little time!

[Booklist] 15 Favourite Anthologies

 

1. Bending The Landscape (themed series: “Fantasy”, “Horror”, and “Science Fiction”) e.b. Nicola Griffith and Stephen Pagel
2. The Best of Horror of the Year (annual) e.b. Ellen Datlow
3.The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (annual) e.b. Paula Guran
4. The Weird: A Compedium of Strange and Dark Stories e.b. Jeff and Ann VanderMeer
5. The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (annual) e.b. Rich Horton
6. High Risk e.b. Amy Scholder & Ira Silverberg
7. Stories: All New Tales e.b. Neil Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio
8. Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous e.b. Tim Marquitz
9. Doubletakes e.b. T. C. Boyle
10. The Best American Nonrequired Reading (annual) e.b. Dave Eggers
11. A Constellation of Cats e.b. Denise Little
12. Men Undressed: Women Writers On The Male Sexual Experience e.b. Stacy Bierlein, Gina Frangello, Cris Mazza, and Kat Meads
13. Supernatural Noir e.b. Ellen Datlow
14. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction e.b. Richard Bausch
15. Tokyo Stories: A Literary Stroll translated & e.b. Lawrence Rogers

TIL — Wikipedia, Thou Art Friend To All!

On today’s episode of TIL, I’ve found some great online resources and references for potential book reads with my sort of interests in mind!

List of LGBT-themed speculative fiction

Probably my new favorite page on the internet. I’m going through the list and seeing so many titles I want to read, and a few I managed to find over the years using all my finite resources at the time. Seeing this mega-list, however, really lifts my spirits. I cannot begin to express the joy it brings (and the tears my wallet will shed upon coughing up the funds to purchase everything in here).

LGBT themes in mythology

 I believe, highly self-explanatory. Why in hell’s name this wasn’t taught in school — or at least hinted at so any of us interested could go look it up ourselves — I’ll never know.

List of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender-related films

This is one HECK of a long list! Interested in movies for a change? Want to find something with a QUILTBAG theme or presence in the film? You’ve come to the right place… Can’t tell you which one’s are good or not. But at least, you have a basis to start your search.

Sex and sexuality in speculative fiction

Some titles included in this article refer to favorites of mine like Ursula K. Le Guin’s, The Left Hand of Darkness and Robert A. Heinlein’s, Time Enough for Love; as well as some I have yet to read or even hear about like Venus Plus X and The World Well Lost both by Theodore Sturgeon.


 

This last link isn’t actually to a Wikipedia articles, but still in the same vein as the links above. Lethe Press is a publisher I’ve long since stalked, for their books often hold many of the key themes and elements I like to read in them. Genres: horror, science fiction, speculative fiction and the supernatural. Themes: QUILTBAG, alternative sexualities, and gender identity and study. Their titles come as parts of series, stand-alones, anthologies, and author collections.

So, frankly? What more can I ask for?