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Mini-Reviews of Historical Gay Flash Fiction by Elin Gregory

Friday, October 27, 2017 - 07:32

One of the members of the Queer Sci Fi facebook group had a clever idea of trying to match up group members who wrote similar type of fiction for cross-promotion, on the premise that our readerships might enjoy each others’ work. I wasn’t so sure about the process because I have rather marginal interests relative to the group as a whole (which is somewhat dominated by people writing m/m, sci-fi, and works with an erotic focus). But I ended up matched with the delightful Elin Gregory whose work would be an absolutely perfect mirror for mine except that she focuses on male characters.

Elin is a museum curator in Cardiff, Wales (you can hear my heart going pitty-pat, can’t you?) and writes historical fiction set across the scope of European history, but including some works focusing on Wales. She blogs at elingregory.wordpress.com which also has information on her publications.

The site includes two free stories and a free excerpt from one of her novels, which I’ll be reviewing briefly below. Her novels include:

  • The Bones of Our Fathers - Contemporary. Malcolm Bright, a museum curator in a small Welsh border town finds romance in a rescue excavation while trying to save artifacts from treasure hunters.
  • Eleventh Hour - Espionage and disguise in post WWI London.
  • On a Lee Shore - Regency-era Lt. Christopher Penrose needs work after losing his ship, but when chance throws him into the hands of pirates he struggles with whether this is the sort of work...and romance...he is willing to accept.
  • Alike as Two Bees - Historical romance in Classical Greece between a sculptor and a scarred and brusque soldier.

The two complete free stories are both very short and more in the way of character studies. Elin’s prose style and descriptions are exquisite and she has a solid sense of place and time. The excerpts of her work that I’ve read include sensual and homoerotic elements but no explicit sex.

“The Wanderer”, inspired by the Anglo-Saxon poem of the same title, is an evocative and haunting description of a man seeking his past. Has he found it? Or is the thing he seeks lost beyond recall?

“Frost on the Thorn” is an unexpected seasonal tale set in Roman Gaul where Quintus, on the verge of taking up a post in far Britannia, hears a tale of a wondrous thorn tree from the British slave he acquired to teach him the language.

If you enjoy the sort of historic fiction I write, and like reading about male protagonists just as much as female ones, I think you’d enjoy Elin Gregory’s work.

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