REVIEW: Broken Metropolis: Queer Tales of a City That Never Was edited by Dave Ring

Review of Dave Ring, ed., Broken Metropolis: Queer Tales of the City That Never Was (Mason Jar Press, 2018) — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

I first learned of this anthology late fall 2017, when the call for submissions went out. The concept immediately caught my interest:

We are looking for stories that explore the edges of urban fantasy through queer stories. While the city these stories are set in should be vast and unnamed, highly specific neighborhoods and landmarks are encouraged and sought after. We welcome a broad interpretation of the genre that is inclusive of postmodern folk tales, future/ancient noir, and stories that happen both behind closed doors and in plain sight. Throughout, we’re looking for rich, varied and nuanced understandings of gender, family and ethnicity.

I loved the idea of a series of stories that are all connected, but the ways in which they are connected are left to the reader, and not the writer, to specify. So I was extremely delighted to be offered a review copy of the anthology, because now I get to see how that original conception came to fruition.

The 10 stories in this collection spam the gamut of gritty to sweet to sensual to sad. As a whole, they give a sense of a complex and rewarding city, some place I’d like to visit, some place I’d like to set a story of my own in. In his editor’s note, Ring points out the important power of fiction “to bear witness”, and the importance of witnessing queer characters in the forefront of stories, not on the sidelines. These stories come together in a powerful way to bear this witness, and I highly recommend this collection.

As usual, we’ll review each story individually, and link the reviews back here when they are posted:

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