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Book Review: All Out ed. by Saundra Mitchell

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 07:00
book cover

I had much more to say about this collection right after I read it, but unfortunately that was about a year ago.  The stories cover historic eras from the 14th century up through the 1990s, with almost half falling in the 20th century, more than half set in the USA, and none set outside Europe + North America. Based on my own experience of soliciting queer historical fiction (and collections my work has been included in) these statistics aren’t at all surprising but are worth noting.  The themes and flavors of the stories are all over the map, including fantastic fairy-tale type settings, slice-of-life memoir, adventure, and a good sprinkling of romance, some of it erotic though to the best of my recollection, none explicit. The writing quality and historic grounding are similarly varied. There are some well-known names among the authors that are enough to make the collection as a whole worth reading, but chances are that for any given reader, only a handful of the stories will hit your sweet spot. Definitely a worthwhile endeavor but maybe a bit too unfocused to find a clear audience.

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