Tag: Queer

Some News!

So. It has been a long time since I posted here. But I have some news and some updates.

What with the pandemic rearranging my life completely, it was hard to stay focussed and write, let alone talk about what has been going on. But over the three years of various lockdowns and such, I did manage to write the next book in the Maverick Heart Cycle, titled The Infinite Heist. And on Friday, I signed the contract with my publisher to release it in 2025. Feels like forever away, but at the same time I know that it will pass in a flash.

Earlier this year, I was also inspired to write a collections of essays, just thoughts about my life and about the world. It came really easily, and after some feedback from beta readers and some revisions, I submitted it to Renaissance on Friday as well. I’ll keep you posted about that one too.

And finally, I have started work on the next book as well, this one titled Into Thieves’ Rift. It’s early days, but the ideas are coming. I’m finding the world had to cope with these days, which is making it hard to create. But I believe in the story, so I know it will come when it’s ready.

Is Call Me By Your Name Queer?

Thinking more about a post I made yesterday over on FB about the new queer film, Sublet, and it led me back to my complicated reaction to Call Me By Your Name. Which I enjoyed when I first saw it, but have cooled on since then. Because, for while it does feature around two men who fall in love and have man sex, I don’t think of it as a queer film at all. The book was written by a straight guy, the film was directed by a straight guy. And the lead actors were two straight guys. But more than that, the relationship literally comes out of nowhere. And that doesn’t jibe at all with what queerness is to me. My queerness was there pretty much from birth. I was never really in the closet as much as I was in denial. I took shit from other kids and other grownups my whole life. For the things I enjoyed, the way I talked, for just existing. I knew there was something different early on. It was there in how I identified more with women characters than little boys were supposed to. It suffused everything I was. I was even physically assaulted for it, though, thankfully, not severely. My queer identity has evolved in the ways I understand it, but it has literally always been there.

Call Me By Your Name has what they want us to believe is a grand passion literally come out of nowhere. Two “straight acting” (yes, I hate that phrase too) men, who have never thought of loving another man for even an instant fall in love.

Okay. I guess. But I want movies and stories from people who lived queerness. Who fought for it, bled for it. Lived it with every fibre of their being. Who have gone through it and are finding a way to navigate the world and their relationships and all the ways that queerness informs one’s very being. And I’m unsure most of the time if straight creators have the knowledge and equipment to tell those stories properly. I want more queer creators telling queer stories in more queer ways.

I would never shame an actor for taking a role. Acting is what they do, how they pay the bills, and it’s a fickle career that can end at any time. (unless we’re talking trans roles. No cis actors in trans roles. That promotes the stereotypes and attitudes that hurt trans people.) I just want the industry to give more and more voice and opportunities to queer voices.

Our stories matter. And how they are told, and by whom, is crucial to them being told well.

Queering AI (Part Three of Three)

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

If you know your Science Fiction, and maybe even if you don’t, you recognize the iconic line from the HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL was the artificial intelligence who, while incredibly smart, was driven to violence by the directives provided by his human creators.

Artificial intelligence is a staple of science fiction, and it’s a trope that enables writers to examine what it means to be human, what it means to create life and what our responsibility to that life we create actually is. And further, it enables us to tell stories about what that life might want to do to us in return.

There have been brilliant examples of stories in the AI genre. Colossus: The Forbin Project is a terrifying vision of what could happen if the tools of war are handed over to a machine intelligence designed to make war more efficient. The Terminator, with all it’s lean savagery, is another take on what happens when the machines come online and want control. Continue reading “Queering AI (Part Three of Three)”

Queerness is Never the Problem (Part Two of Three)

Other than in my first attempt at novel writing, which we shall speak of no more, for it is legendary in its awfulness, I write queer characters. They aren’t all queer, but my heroes are. The whole raison d’etre of both my standalone novel, Chasing Cold, and my Maverick Heart series is to write the kind of heroes I loved growing up, but make them unapologetic in whatever flavour of queerness they called their own.

In the early days of what would eventually become Soul’s Blood, I submitted to a press in Edmonton run by Candas Jane Dorsey. As it turned out, I was going to be in town, and she very graciously took me to lunch and gave me feedback on my very early efforts. And one of her comments formed a cornerstone of how the novel and series would grow.

In the initial incarnations, Keene and Daevin were initially forced apart because Daevin’s father was bothered by Daevin being in love with a man. It was the late eighties/early nineties when the novel was first conceived and I was living in a city where there were no Pride celebrations, no businesses that specifically targeted the queer community, other than the one gay bar. In many ways, we still lived our lives in shadow. Continue reading “Queerness is Never the Problem (Part Two of Three)”

Space Opera Love (Part One of Three)

I have loved Space Opera since I was three.

That was when the original Star Trek series aired on one of the only two channels that were available in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1966, and it was something we, as a family watched. I remember my mother being certain that the sight of one alien in the closing credits (Balok from The Corbomite Maneuver) would scare me too much, so she charged my sisters with distracting me so I wouldn’t see it.

Of course, when I finally did, I wasn’t bothered at all.

Star Trek truly entered my consciousness in the Seventies during first run syndication after school. When I rediscovered it, I would race home and hope it was one I hadn’t seen yet. Not that it mattered. I watched them over and over, poring over every detail, memorizing the look, the ideas, the performances. I tried over and over to build the Enterprise with my Lego. And this was back in the day when there weren’t any specially shaped blocks, just flat bits, rectangles and squares. My love for the show just continued to grow. Continue reading “Space Opera Love (Part One of Three)”