Non-binary authors to read: 2021 July

The non-binary authors to read are the usual AC Wise column, which highlights non-binary authors of speculative fiction and recommends starting their work.

Untitled design

Welcome to non-binary authors to read! To my great shame, I allowed the first half of the year for both this section and its siblings ‘Women to Read’ to disappear. I really don’t have a good excuse. I still read a lot of fantastic fiction that I want to get people’s attention, but somehow I blinked and it’s been half a year. But, better late than never! So here are four new recommendations for reading pleasure.

Richard Ford Burley is a speculative author and poet of fiction, as well as a deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine Ledger. My recommended starting point is “The gift of theft“, Published in 2021. In the summer room Kaleidotropic.


Thea is a war hero, or a story about her claim. Now she has retired, but once used her gift to stop the bombing of projectiles and bombs, saving hundreds of lives, albeit at the cost of her vision. Max, a former friend and journalist who contributed to her legend, and Esme, an army engineer whose gift allows her to use technology to replicate the gifts of others, came to ask Tea to explain how she did what she hoped would save more lives and possibly even end the war. .

She closes her eyes again, remembering what she had done that day with her Gift. She can still see the wall of flickering, golden light, a wonderful incendiary explosion from which she could not be distracted – from which she will never be able to look back. And she remembers how Max and the other embedded press reported it. “Thea White, national hero,” the newspapers reported. But the headlines were just as accurate in subsequent stories. By arguing about heroism and the national war effort and its great sacrifice, they were never able to come close to the truth.

The story is immediately beautifully written and painful to the heart, examining the cost of war and the stories surrounding it, which convey the image of heroism while denying individuals the truths of sadness, guilt and suffering they have experienced. Thea has already given up everything she can for the war and has lost so much, but the world wants more from it. From the side, her refusal seems like selfishness or cowardice. The popular story of her heroism only reinforces her own sense of helplessness and guilt, as if she should be able to stop the war, save more lives, and protect those who are important to her, but she can’t.

Contrary to Thea’s suffering, Esme could easily have been a flat character caught up in idealism and hoping for propaganda. But Burley gives us something more nuance – a character who still holds hope, sincerely wants to help others, sees Tea’s pain and wants to help her. None of them are wrong, and the understanding they create through history adds another layer of wealth. While the subject is painful, related to the loss, guilt of the surviving man, PTSD, and the horrors of war, the darkness is balanced by characters who care about each other and sincerely desire to do good in the world.

Kel Coleman | are the author and editor, and my recommended starting position for them is a bit deceptive because I recommend. ”The study of sage”, Published at Diabolic plots in February, paired with “Delete your first memory for free,” published Fiyah Magazine # 17. As I have already reviewed “Erase your first memory for free2021 May. In the “Words for Thoughts” section Apex Magazine, Here I will focus on The Studio of Wisdom and touch on why stories allow for excellent reading in pairs.

The Sage Study opens when the main character simulates a simulation to practice parting with his girlfriend Sage. But no matter how many times they try, nothing seems to work – they feel clumsy, guilty, apologizing, wanting to take Sage back and sort things out. All the while, Sage makes passive and aggressive comments and haircuts, distorting the main character’s words and making them feel small.

I don’t remember the exact words as she explained that I needed her more than she ever needed, but every syllable was pounding and gnawing until I was crushed. I tried to snatch the script from a lot of simulations, answer something smart and insightful, but the real Sage was more angry than the designers could from her social media profiles or the description of my relationship. I didn’t see it clearly, either after six years or near the end.

The story fits in perfectly with “Erase Your First Memory for Free,” as both showcase Coleman’s talent for stories with incredibly personal action, where technology is innovatively used to solve one person’s problem. There is no apocalypse on the horizon; humanity is not in danger, and perhaps no one else will even notice the changes brought about by history, but for the characters in both fairy tales, change is very important. It’s an intimate story that we don’t always see in science fiction. Stories where heroes use technology to save their community or even the whole world are also beautiful, but it’s nice to see a story where one person’s life has changed and that’s enough. Coleman conducts small-scale campaigns very effectively, emphasizing that stories whose events affect only one person are still worth telling.

FF4 Cover Screenshot

MB Hare are the author of bizarre fiction, and my recommended starting point for their work is “You robbed me on stage“Published in m Merge fragment # 4.

Terry Weldon is a pop icon, forever young, looking with various enhancements, and forever beautiful. All aspects of his life, image and career are highly manageable.

Brand consistency is what sells me. Two-week hormone inhibition. Luxurious iris configuration. Hair shine, liposuction, selective liquid tablets. Carefully curated pseudo-portrait in the meat space and digital, which retains a wide demographic appeal, but doesn’t seem to change significantly over the years.

A celebrity no longer attracts any attraction, but not real life. Terry makes movements every night and plays as if watching someone else. Then one night he gets an invitation to the club on a shadow server. Even knowing it’s a bad idea, he looks only at the fact that it’s something different and new, and only learns that the club’s feature is virtual celebrities, including John Lennon, Britney Spears and himself, who die and / or break up. on stage. bloody and real fashion in front of a madly gratifying crowd.

It’s a short and powerful story exploring the dark side of celebrities and the idea that their bodies and lives are public property. Photos leak and the celebrity herself is blamed. The paparazzi follow them everywhere, and if they dare to complain, they are called ungrateful. They have been paid fame and recognition, so they owe the public access to every aspect of their lives. Hare takes this line of thinking to extremes because Terry’s image is literally cut out for the pleasure of the crowd, and of course it does Terry for himself, because to whom is he other than himself? Being famous, he asked for it. To his fans it has become a commodity, to whom would he object when consumed? It’s an effective way to figure out ways to blur the line between public and private, product and manufacturer, and the unhealthy relationships that can develop between fans and content creators.

Anathema May 2021

Woe is the author of dark, speculative fiction, and my recommended starting point for their work is “Against which evil trembles“Published in m Anathema Magazine.

This story fits in perfectly with Hare, which shows the other side of the celebrity, and the darkness – both metaphorical and literal – can lie behind the public figure. The main character is a ballerina, relentlessly driven and very successful, but behind the facade of her success, her life is deplorable. When she was a child, her mother was murdered and turned into a “dead prostitute” in the headlines. Her mother’s profession, murder, and the fact that she is an Arab lead a ballerina to childhood bullying, which means she has to work at least twice as much for every piece of success.

Even now, those around them first perceive its value in terms of the dancer’s skills; she is still treated with suspicion, she wonders if she belongs when she stays in a hotel with the rest of the company, is considered an outsider and possibly a criminal because of her skin color. She is not seen as a human being, but as a dancer or a threat, depending on who perceives her, until it finally becomes clear that she can actually be something more than a human being.

The coat begins to sprout around your neck and face while you stand in the center of the scene, shaken. I don’t know. The fingers that form the basis of your grace are smashed, beaten, black under satin slippers. Black with and without blueberries.

The story is full of spectacular images and beautiful, poetic language. Like Hare’s story, Nham explores public and private identities, but also the question of human value and how people are too often judged by what they can do for others rather than be judged for themselves. The story also examines the ideas of monsterism and beauty and what is considered acceptable in society (terrible ballerinas and their treatment of the main character) and what is not (the supernatural nature of the main character and her mere presence as a brown woman).

I will try not to repeat everything until the next column comes, but for now I hope you enjoy this story. Have fun reading!