FOOL FOR LOVE - An Anthology Of New Gay Fiction
Edited by Timothy J. Lambert and R. D. Cochrane
Published February 10, 2009 -- Cleis Press
As a kid I was always a fan of short stories. They were like little treasures you could read in a single sitting. Sometimes a bit of sci-fi, or a mystery or something humorous. You could pick and choose, and the best writers like O. Henry and Bradbury always left you coming back for more.
Unfortunately for me in gay short story genre, fiction, love and romance have become synonymous with quickie M/M erotica as more and more one-handed anthologies have crowded out real gay fiction on the book store shelves. Now, I'm no prude and I readily admit that many a lurid pulp paperback served as my fantasy handbook when I was first coming out. But admit it, once you've got the basics down the stories become the same old same old. How many pages of hot, pulsing sex does a book really need?
So these days I approach all gay books labeled love or romance with extreme caution. So when started reading FOOL FOR LOVE, I was pleased to discover real two-handed fiction, love and romance ... sixteen stories to be exact written by both established gay writers and some equally exciting new talent. The anthology is edited by Timothy J. Lambert and R. D. (Becky) Cochrane who are half of the Timothy James Beck writing team responsible for several outstanding gay novels. And they have selected the stories for their anthology with care and high standards.
FOOL FOR LOVE is about love. Gay love. Love lost. Love found. Love searched for. And love dreamed about.
Where to find love is the theme of several of the stories. David Puterbaugh's Kama finds and delivers it in a Thai restaurant in THAI ANGEL. It hits Felice Picano's hero like a ton of concrete in GRATITUDE. Jeffrey Ricker's dog walker finds it AT THE END OF THE LEASH and Rob Byrnes on a blind date at HAPPY HOUR AT CAFE JONES.
How the hero finds love is considered in Shawn Anniston's MATCHMAKER where he's living with two lesbians and a baby, in Trebor Healey's TRUNK where he's searching for salvation in New Orleans, or in Joel Derfner's DE ANIMA where he's busy knitting while his lover is at a cure-a-homo conference.
Others show that love has no age limits moving from teens in Josh Helmin's LIKE NO ONE'S WATCHING and Rob Williams' PARTY PLANNING to seniors in Andrew Holleran's TWO KINDS OF RAPTURE.
The question of falling for your future boss is at hand in Brandon M. Long's A VIEW. In LOVE TAPS Mark G. Harris wonders if the romance is over when your lover puts coat hangers in your bed. While Greg Herren's EVERYONE SAYS I'LL FORGET IN TIME considers finding love after losing it. And 'Nathan Burgoine's exploration of what you'd do for love is sure leave you misty eyed in his moving HEART.
Finally Paul Lisicky offers his observations on love in TWO TALES, and John H. Roush contemplates love on heaven's doorstep in ANGELS, WHAT YOU MUST HEAR ON HIGH.
Sixteen first class examples of new gay fiction on a common theme of LOVE, sixteen little treasures that will have you craving more from their authors. That's what has earned this volume a place on my bookshelf between the O. Henrys and the Bradburys. *****