cover image A Boy Called Cin

A Boy Called Cin

Cecil Wilde. Less Than Three (, $5.99 e-book (181p) ISBN 978-1-62004-558-9

Wilde (No Straight Boys), the author of several sweet trans and genderqueer romance stories and novellas, takes much the same tack with their debut novel, which has a fairy tale setting and only quick cameos from its parental villains. Tom, a software billionaire, spots Cin, a transgender art student, huddled outside a lecture hall. Twice Cin’s age and far less socially confident, Tom nevertheless approaches the young man with a gift of coffee and gets a scathing dismissal for his pains. Tom is charmed, and soon he’s neglecting his business as he jets repeatedly to campus, gently wooing Cin and learning to articulate his own feelings of dysphoria and shame. The story is not plot-driven; Wilde’s focus is on showing a relationship in slice-of-life developments and demystifying the aura of exotic otherness that has clung to popular depictions of trans characters at least since The Crying Game. Cin’s adept verbal wit adds to the pleasure of this low-key, enjoyable novel. (July)