Trysts: A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird Stories
A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird Stories is a new collection of dark fantasy fiction with gay characters. Talented newcomer Steve Berman has assembled thirteen of his most evocative stories, all of which revolve around the central theme of the 'tryst.' But these passionate hookups and romantic encounters range from the eerie to the horrifying to the wondrous. TRYSTS offers readers dark and quirky tales from a distinctive new voice in gay fiction.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Trysts is a collection of thirteen short stories - gay, romantic, eerie, fanciful. They cover a range of settings, from historical to post-apocalyptic, though some work better than others. I believe it was Berman's first published work, and lacks the polish of his later short fiction. It's an interesting collection, but it didn't blow me away, either. Beach 2 - a young couple, Daniel and Hilary, visit a friend's beach house. One night, when using an old ouija board, Daniel discovers his feelings for another boy. Stormed and Taken in Prague - an American ex-pat living in Prague frequents a bar where men and women dressed as statues have sex with the patrons. This might have been my favourite story in the collection, it was different and intense in its imagery. His Paper Doll - a lonely gay teenager makes his ideal man out of clippings from magazines, and then meets him. The Resurrectionist - in Victorian London, Wallace is tasked with standing guard against grave-robbers after the uncle that molested him dies. When robbers show up, he doesn't want them to dig up the living man trapped in the coffin. Path of Corruption - a college student in New Orleans becomes obsessed with an attractive male prostitute, with ties to a shadowy horror. I felt like Berman was trying to go for a vaguely Lovecraftian-vibe with the ending, but it didn't quite work for me. Vespers - a short story from the point of view of a gay monk, interspersed with random information about the history of homosexuality in the Catholic church. Left Alone - Dave mourns for his dead lover, Jerrod, and meets with his ghost at night by the sea. Cries Beneath the Plaster - a horror story about an artist who is also a serial killer and uses the blood of male prostitutes in his twisted sculptures. Finn's Night - Dupre is a gambler and a con-man cheating wealthy passengers out of their money aboard a riverboat. If you ever wanted to read a gay Huckleberry Finn story. Didn't really work for me. The final four stories take place in a post-apocalyptic world called the Fallen. The "Fall" was a bizarre reality-twisting event, striking some cities and leaving some Talented - people with superpowers - and some Afflicted - people transformed into something not-quite human. In Resemblances a twenty-two year old artist finds himself alone in his deserted apartment building since the Fall, but visited in his dreams each night by the living embodiment of a boy he drew in a picture. Tea Time with Corn Dolly has a New Weird flavor to it, focusing on some of the "Afflicted" - people changed by the Fall, especially a girl who's body has become eerily similar to a "corn dolly." In The Anthvoke a young nurse named Marie follows her girlfriend, Jess, into a Fallen city because Jess is obsessed with developing her new supernatural Talent through the teaching of an "Anthvoke." Marie is creeped out by the ruined city and the crazy old man with power over antiques and other old junk who is the "Anthvoke." As Jess studies under him, she becomes more obsessed with the past and loses her grip on reality. Then they get reunited by a man (Caleb) who features in all of the Fallen stories. Hair Like Fire, Blood Like Silk - Zane is a young man lost in a Fallen city, broke after a mugging, and with nowhere to go, he is befriended by the handsome Saj. I wanted to like this collection, because I've really enjoyed some of Berman's later short fiction that I have come across, but I never really connected with the pieces here.
Review: Trysts: A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird StoriesUser Review - Goodreads
A bit of a patchy start but by the end I was totally sucked in to the gritty fantasy world that is the setting for many of the stories. left me wanting more!
STORMED AND TAKEN IN PRAGUE
HIS PAPER DOLL
HAIR LIKE FIRE BLOOD LIKE SILK