I recently purchased this novel along with a few other titles in my Holy Grail-like quest to find decent speculative fiction featuring queer males. I love this cover. Here’s hoping the novel is just as good.
This post was actually inspired by a conversation I had with sparkindarkness regarding queer male media. The following is what I personally own in my library. They feature queer males either as the primary protagonist or in a kickass role. I thought some of these titles might be of interest to some of you.
When I get a chance, I may try to give these a more comprehensive review but for now here are my recs:
For the month of May, Prism Comics has done a spotlight on Milestone Comics, which was founded by the late Dwayne McDuffie. Not only did McDuffie fight for better representation of blacks, but other POCs as well as women and LGBTQs.
What’s more is that the founder of Milestone Comics was doing this during the early 90s and was decades ahead of many comic book publishers. Donner and Blitzen, a lesbian couple and prominent members of the superhero team the Shadow Cabinet.
There’s an excellent review on the gritty critically acclaimed miniseries Deathwish: one of the first comics to feature a trans person as the main character. I highly recommend you give it a read.
Today my analysis on the impact of Gear, Static Shock’s best friend and crime fighting partner, is up as well. Check it out.
Also check out the other excellent articles on the site.
The first time I watched Fushigi Yuugi was in undergrad, when anime was one of the things I used to keep up with. Since the demise of Suncoast, that has waned, but I still like to visit my old favorites every now and again. I’ll spare you the details (or rather, force you to suffer with me by encouraging you to watch the English dubbed series online) to get to the point.
I remember loving this series. The ensemble cast, the humor, the fantasy – it hit all my soft spots. But I had a chance to watch it again, and . . . well, I’m not loving it so much anymore. Although I love the story and themes, the series has some serious gender issues. A short list:
- The main character, Miaka, exhibits virtually no signs of intelligence or agency unless it revolves around Tamahome. No, really, you have a potential End of the World scenario here, and what’s most urgent and important to her is what her boyfriend is doing. As a matter of fact, she screams “TAMAHOME!!!!!” almost every five minutes for the first 40 episodes of the show.
- For priestesses who will eventually decide the fate of the world, Miaka and Yui spend a lot of time being threatened with rape, escaping rape, and/or thinking they’ve been raped.
- Nuriko – aka, the REAL star of the fucking show no matter what anybody says – got fucked over. At first it was all, “Wow! A fabulous trans woman with super strength! Yay!” Then it was, “Nuriko is a man who dressed up like a girl to take his dead sister’s place then got confused.” And my face was like: :-/.
- Hotohori, the motherfucking emperor of the Good Guy Kingdom and supermodel^25 (often mistaken for a girl), is absent for most of the action and dies a stupid, meaningless death. Hrm. That’s another person who blurs gender lines who bites the dust without their heroic moment. Noticing the pattern here?
- And of course the bad guy had to do what he did because he was forced into sex slavery by the emperor of Bad Guy Land. That makes so much sense as his primary motivation. As opposed to, say, the oppression and genocide of his people.
- Yui fares a bit better as an antagonist. As a character, she’s more three-dimensional than Miaka; she undergoes a lot more growth, and her motives and actions make more sense in the context of what she experiences. Nevertheless, her characterization plays into the petty, jealous, catty stereotype of women.
That’s not to say that the series is bad. It’s just not as great as I remember it being. Do you have something that’s like that for you?
Stacy Whitman goes beyond orcs and elves in this two-part analysis of diversity and inclusion in sci-fi and fantasy for young readers. Be sure to watch the video for Tu Publishing. As you read, you may recall a bit of what I talked about in “Representing Heroism,” but Whitman’s piece really digs into how the lack of inclusiveness and diversity affects young readers and their education. Austin’s story is all too common, and what’s sad about it is that it’s so easy to fix and prevent.
Dear Editors @ Marvel,
And yes Stephen Wacker, this is aimed at you. When fans call out the legitimate issues of the treatment and portrayal of women, POCs and LGBTQs in your Spider-Man comic book such as the following:
“In some ways, I’d actually be LESS offended if the myriad unfortunate implications brought up by the current Marvel crew’s inept storytelling were actually consciously intended, because at least then, even if I disagreed with the worldviews that they were promoting, it could still be a self-aware debate on both sides, whereas the attitudes that Dan Slott and his peers in the “brain trust” have demonstrated, with regard to the attitudes that unconsciously saturate their portrayals of women and race, are pretty much the definition of unexamined straight white male privilege. If you’d bothered to read the comments in the one blog post to which I invited Wacker, you would have seen women and gays and people of color expressing (all in VERY civil ways) how much Marvel’s modern standards of storytelling and audience interaction are HURTING those would-be fans, from Norah Winters’ racist jokes at Michele Gonzales’ expense (a “rice and beans” and “ensalada” line? REALLY?) to the casual slut-shaming of Carlie Cooper implying that any woman who has a “tramp stamp” is indeed a tramp.”
The response NOT TO MAKE is:
“I work with women, gays and people of color who like the book (and even work on it). Now what do we do?”
like i said, wacker than wack
So for the past few weeks, I’ve been searching for quality gay sci/fi fantasy fiction where 1) the gay male is the primary protagonist. 2) the story is not a romance and/or a straight woman’s fetish 3) it’s devoid of heterosexist bile.
At this point I’m convinced that I’d sooner have an easier time finding the Holy Grail. But I bought a few books which piqued my interest and seem promising so we’ll see how they play out.
During my quest, I happened upon the title The Martian Child. The title caught my eye because a movie of the same name was released a few years back and I was thinking about checking out the film.
you already know the fail is about to be out of this world
Boosting the signal here at Ars Marginal for some exciting new developments happening right as you’re reading this post.
HOLLOWSTONE IS OUT ON JUNE 17!
First and foremost, Hollowstone – the debut novel by our own Neo Prodigy – will be released on Amazon and Kindle on June 17! This is also the day that RVCBard will turn 25 again – for the 6th year in a row.
Here are 12 reasons why you need to pre-order that shit right now. And here are 10 questions answered about Hollowstone.
TULPA, OR ANNE&ME PREMIERES IN NYC!
June is also the month that RVCBard’s Tulpa, or Anne&Me is being presented at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. If you live in NYC or know someone who knows someone who does, let them know about the show!
Did you know that Tulpa, or Anne&Me is going paperless for marketing and promotion? And don’t forget to check out this interview with the playwright and director! Follow the main character of the play on Twitter (@Afrodyke) for updates and interesting conversation.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Spread the word about these amazing projects in exceptional minority media. Blog about it, tweet about it, Facebook about it, e-mail about it. Every bit helps, and you’ll get to say that you discovered us megastars when we were just starting out.
So last week I reported how Marvel Comic’s Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort explained how an All-Black Avengers was far too contrived and not salable.
Well since that time, Brevoort continues to defend his racism which by the by Brevoort, at this stage, please….just…..stop.
Hat tip to Mr_Cynical who forwarded me the following article which made some excellent points. A few of which I’m embarrassed to say even escaped my memory.
So an All-Black Avengers team is contrived, defies the laws of averages, and is pushing a PC agenda? Really Tom Breevort?!!! REALLY?!!!!
It never ceases to amaze me how every time someone poses the idea of an all black or a POC (persons of color) super hero team, suddenly a PC agenda is being pushed. Inclusion of women and LGBTQs, we can’t have that. But when we see countless all-caucasian superhero teams, we never hear about a supremacist agenda being pushed.
So Breevort isn’t capable of creating a salable and compelling all-black superhero team? Fine, I’ll take that challenge.
My All-Black Avengers Lineup:
Storm- Co Leader
Luke Cage- Co Leader
Photon (Monica Rambeaux)
Ult. Nick Fury
And this team here could more than handle most of the Avenger and Justice League lineups.
And regarding POC content not being salable, I’m just gonna leave this right here.
We can all agree, I think, that a woman’s reproductive choices and freedom belong to her and her alone, and that she has total autonomy over her body.
Why, then, is it so rare to find a woman in fiction who:
1) has had an abortion
2) is completely okay with the fact?
(Warning: possible rape, abuse and sexual assault triggers.)