THEY by KAY DICK is the pastoral horror that you've been waiting for nearly fifty years to read. Or, perhaps, They were waiting for you. Indeed, since its publishing in 1977, this slow-burning and experimental horror has been lost to time despite its author's adoring entanglement with her contemporary English literary and queer scene. That is until now.
Much like the book's long-awaited return, They will make you yearn for any release from the sweating tension. They are cloaked in mystery, not quite natural nor supernatural, and yet suffocatingly omnipresent. They are violently Philistinic, and stealthy too; ripping pages from books while you sleep or snatching paintings from gallery walls from the shadows. They are accepted by humanity slowly, almost mundanely (accentuated by Dick's maddening, terror inducing matter-of-fact syntax) and the genderless narrator is often left just outside the realm of greater context. Therein lies the horror, waiting just at the periphery of absolute knowing. But taming our narrator's implosion of anxiety? Friendship, connection, the fondness of memory, and for better or for worse, just keeping on...
This book asks: in the face of censorship-turned-total annihilation, should we first save the artist or their art? In a world of easily manipulated memory and televised propaganda, is the remembering of art and connection enough to sustain and honor us? - SAV
Lovers of damning, horrific, gorgeous poetry: try WOUND FROM THE MOUTH OF A WOUND by self-described transgender cripplepunk, TORRIN A. GREATHOUSE. This collection dances right on the edge of the devouring void that lives between disability, transness, and womanhood.
This is for poetry fans who enjoy the lyrical blend of the grotesque and the beautiful, the violent and the sublime, and for those who especially enjoy exploring the surreal interplay of how the Self is Perceived by the Others and how the Self Perceives Itself. Speaking of perception, I suggest holding the last poem in the collection, printed backwards, up to your dirtiest mirror and pondering what it means to have a body.
Does the violence of embodiment, of existence, make the Self irrelevant? Or is it the kindle for its own self-actualization? For disabled folks and for people of marginalized genders, perhaps it's all of that and more. Perhaps there is some greater transcendence to be found just over the violent horizon... - SAV
Have you ever yearned to ride a goth rollercoaster in space with a bunch of gay people and skeletons? Yes, yes - me too! I found exactly what I’ve always longed for in THE LOCKED TOMB SERIES by TAMSYN MUIR. Well, there are no literal rollercoasters, but Muir’s expansive, complex plot surely takes off like one. Reader, hold on tight because these lesbians and their religious trauma are waiting for no one. Enjoy a refreshingly interesting magic system, many deep space existential crises, gore, and laugh-out-loud quips of gay wit.
This series asks: what is a saint to a god? What does it mean to live and die among people who can manipulate flesh, bone, blood, and spirit? And how the heck are you supposed to ascend when your big dumb childhood nemesis is…well, you’ll just have to read and find out… - SAV
Pre-order NONA THE NINTH now!
Come play in the lively, linguistics of the worlds of the TEIXCALAAN DUOLOGY by ARKADY MARTINE. This compact, two-book series is self-contained and perfectly crafted. Political thriller meets murder mystery meets first-contact meets gay romance, and despite its brevity, Martine’s depth and breadth of linguistic and cultural exploration is really something else. Her world building is so immersive that you hardly feel its presence, which is a feat given that it affects, philosophically and literally, the very way these cultures “talk” to one another (spoiler: they don’t clash so much as angrily kiss.)
Ask yourself how language begets your own culture, your own reality, and let this book guide your own inner world of amorphous cognition. - SAV
Reader - are you a fantasy fan who is sick and tired of fictional worlds inspired only by European mythos and politics? (It’s like…haven’t we already covered that by now…?) Then you’re in for a treat with the BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY SERIES by REBECCA ROANHORSE.
This epic fantasy draws life and inspiration from the indigenous cultures of the Americas, with a dynamic ensemble and complex politics to rival even that-one-famous-series. This book has it all: Queer, gender diverse characters! Political coups! Vengeance missions! Men-becoming-gods! And giant animals! What’s not to love? - SAV