Things Invisible to See: Lesbian and Gay Tales of Magic Realism

Lawrence Schimel, Editor Circlet Press $12.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-885865-22-9
Best known for his story collection The Drag Queen of Elfland, Schimel has edited many anthologies of fantasy and homosexual erotica. According to his introduction to this latest, the 11 stories here bend the usual definitions of magical realism by ""looking for--or inadvertently finding--something more, exploring the many layers of life as we know it and the hidden realms of the spirit that underlie our own mundane experience."" In the striking ""The Story So Far,"" Nebula-winning author Martha Soukup creates a world where peripheral characters rebel against the constrictive frame of their own story to search for love and happiness. Soukup's second piece, ""Absent Friends"" (she is the only author appearing twice here), is less original but still powerful; like Brian M. Thomsen's ""Reunion"" and Rand B. Lee's ""The Pearl,"" it reunites gay friends lost through time and death. Nancy Springer likewise succeeds with ""Elvis Lives,"" a thoughtful tale about two women united and ultimately divided by the King's magic. Kerry Bashford's ""Angel Droppings"" links a female novelist and a gay man whose guardian angel is determined to overturn the man's dull life. ""Shayna Maidel,"" by Laura Antoniou, adds a dark comic twist to its tale of a lesbian whose sexuality isn't the only secret she's hiding from her parents. The stronger stories far outnumber the weaker ones here, and while most readers will see little, if any, difference between these stories of ""magic realism"" and genre fantasy, the anthology holds plenty of magic for readers of any sexual persuasion. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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