REVIEW: Wilde Stories 2018 edited by Steve Berman

Review of Steve Berman, ed., Wilde Stories 2018: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction, (Lethe Press, 2018) — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Last year, I reviewed the 2017 edition of this anthology (read the review) with a bit of trepidation, as it’s not exactly my place as a het woman to be offering my opinions on gay male fic. But I loved so many of the stories in that anthology so much that when pre-orders for the 2018 volume went up, I immediately signed up.

With the same caveats as last year in place, I decided to review this volume as well, and it did not disappoint. The breadth of stories is amazing, which means that there were a few that didn’t tick my buttons, but that’s okay — many, many more did, and I am sure that other readers will find the stories that didn’t speak to me do speak to them. Overall, what struck me about the stories in last year’s anthology struck me about these as well: And that is how beautiful they were. Beautiful stories, told in beautiful words. These are like a pile of precious gems, to be treasured and kept close. I’m only sorry that Berman has announced that this will be the final year that he edits these anthologies; though perhaps this means next year I’ll have to start working through the back catalogue.

As usual, I’ll review each story separately, and link them back here when the review is posted:

(I also adore the cover, which is just gorgeous. Many kudos to Inkspiral Design, who designed it.)

REVIEW: Wilde Stories 2017 edited by Steve Berman

Review of Steve Berman, ed., Wilde Stories 2017: The Year’s Best Gay Speculative Fiction, (Lethe Press, 2017) — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

As a cis woman who is in a happily monogamous het relationship, I am probably the least qualified person to review this collection of stories. But, oh, it has a story about Turing in it, and as a logician who sometimes flirts with computer science and AI, I feel eminently qualified to read about Turing, and for that story alone I bought the book.

As a “best of” collection, it draws upon stories published the previous year, so all of these first came out — in various venues — in 2016. Many are thus things I would not have otherwise come across, which is one of the advantages that collected volumes have — they provide a different type of exposure for the stories and the authors that wrote them. And this particular volume is a physically lovely one — beautiful cover art by Dmitry Vorsin, attractive typesetting, and a suppleness to the pages which reminds me, as if I needed a reminder, of why I love print books so much more than electronic ones.

Each story is prefaced by a short quote from the story, bound to spark the reader’s interest. The tales included are the following:

Each of the stories will be reviewed individually, and linked back to this post when the review is posted.

Overall, the collection is powerful, beautiful, and sad. Every single story is steeped in emotion, and lovingly crafted.