Tony has been a supporter of Fox Spirit since it beganand has consistently given us honest, largely positive reviews. He’s also on occasion hosted interviews with our authors, artists and even Aunty Fox. I have attempted to collect all his reviews so far here.
Ren Warom’s novella The Lonely Dark will be out before Christmas and here is the fabulous cover art by Dani Serra.
The Lonely Dark is an exquisitely written sci fi from an exceptional writer.
‘Irenon and the Cerenauts aboard her will be the final hope of thousands of colonists deserted after the failure of the AI deep space programme. The burden falls on Ingmar and Yuri, orphans both, chosen for their ability to cope with isolation and innate mental strength. But how to anticipate what level of strength might be needed when only one creature, the AI Danai, knows what waits for them out there in the darkness? Danger that cannot be seen, quantified, or understood. That will find them in their worst and best memories, the sanctuaries and horrors of their past and, eventually, the corridors of the Irenon herself.
This is where Ingmar will finally understand the last words Danai said to her, a warning: Stay away from the lonely dark.’
Two things happened at once. I saw the call for submissions for Drag Noir in a Short Mystery Fiction Society newsletter and a young lady announced to me that she was transgender. Pretty soon her long, curly blonde locks were gone. She swore off wearing dresses. All she wore was men’s clothing. Sports jerseys, mostly. She asked to be called Paul. It gave her a sense of control. She openly pursued a couple of young women at work. She showed up at a wedding with a very cute young woman. Paul wore a vintage three piece, pin stripe suit. Paul had a black eye. I didn’t ask her about it but I knew I had the start of a story. I have no idea if Paul ever played blackjack in her life or if she even went to any of the Detroit or Windsor casinos.
What Drag Means to Me
I have a very good friend who operates a very successful stage theater here in Detroit. When we were kids, we did a Saturday Night Live type of variety show at our high school. I wrote sketches that put Joe in drag quite often. He seemed very comfortable in a dress. Now, thirty years later, he’s graced his stage several times in shows like Die, Mommie, Die and Fatal Attraction: A Greek Tragedy where he out Close-s Glenn Close. When I think of drag I think of my good friend Joe and his campy, hilarious performances. He’s so comfortable in that skin you forget he’s Joe and not actually Joan- as in Crawford. I put on a dress and just look ridiculous. Joe comes alive.
A port stop during a cruise disembarked us in Mexico, facing a row of tour vans and buses. Most of these were staffed by sign-wielding native folks with weary, worldly-wise faces; obviously they did this job for the living it provided and not because they found it fun. One of the tour guides was a lesbian, white-skinned, aging none too gracefully, and it was evident from her accent that she’d begun life as a North American Midwesterner. She looked and clearly felt, however, more akin to her brown-skinned career associates than to the flocks of North American tourists who surrounded her. We wondered what, or who, had led her to this path. And of course, romantics that we are, we wondered whom she went home to when her day of tourist-wrangling was over.
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets — faboo artist S. L. Johnson tells us how she came up with her latest eye-catching design for the cover of Drag Noir:
When I was asked to create a cover for the “Drag Noir” antho, it was quite a challenge. “Drag” is a full-on gender-bending costumed performance role, meant to be seen and heard, while “noir” is dark and nefarious, and hidden. Resolving these two ideas in visual form led to a lot of dead-end ideas, and my desire to represent both male & female gender conventions in drag further muddied the creative waters. After several false starts, I decided I would take one face and split it down the middle, with the idea of that the face could be seen as the woman or the man in drag. I felt this was the obvious solution, but in such a graphic, flat form, it would work well. It’s shadowy, a la noir, but with bright red half-lips, and a green face that represents the very made-up faces of drag queens, yet could also be corpse-like in the pulpiest way.
It works, for sure!
Be sure to check out Johnson’s other work which runs the gamut from book and CD covers to posters and more! Including her other noir covers for us.
Va-va-va-voom! Here’s the fabulous cover art for the forthcoming noir novella by Graham Wynd, Extricate. Isn’t that Sarah Anne Langton something? I hear the author has been inspired to get right to work on a new novella just to get another gorgeous cover! I’m not saying you can tell everything about a publisher by the great cover artists they pull, but you can sure tell a lot!
‘EXTRICATE is a twisty- turny noir tale of dishonor amongst thieves that is skewered with hot lust and cold blooded murder.’
‘Crime meets erotica in a fevered novella. Graham Wynd has written a fluid and tight story with vivid characters in situations that are inextricably charged with a sexuality from which you will find it hard to extricate yourself.’