Drag Noir - Various,K A Laity
Drag Noir, A Noir Anthology by K.A. Laity (Editor) is an anthology that contains many short stories. I gave it four stars.
The Introduction by Dana Gravesen and Bryan Asbury was interesting but a bit too long. I almost stopped reading. "For many scholars drag is a tool of parody that is used to dismantle the gender binary. Men are not always men; women are not always women. In drag, anything goes."
The Meaning of Skin by Richard Godwin was intense! It was a very thought provoking story. "The first time I got a tattoo, I thought, this is the real meaning of penetration. The needle's entering my body, but it's leaving something beautiful behind."
My favorite was Wheel Man by Tess Makovesky where Justine is a car thief who worked for a long time with Freddie when the person he sells to won't deal with him because she's a "bird". Then along came "Danny" with the soft beard, gruff voice but who reminds Freddie of Justine to work with him.
No. 21: Gabriella Merlo by Ben Solomon is a story about a girl on the run finds defenders in an unexpected place. "She clamped her hands on the curve of her hips. Her valentine lips pouted. The dark eyes gave me a once-over like reading an advertisement in a magazine."
Geezer Dyke by Becky Thacker is about a lesbian expatriate who has lost loves and is just living day to day. "Nowadays she retains her t-shirt and shorts in bed; years ago she had no trouble baring her body before a woman. Trim, compact, smooth of skin, it hadn't occurred to her or any of her friends to try to protect their bodies from the long-term effects of sun, smoke, or alcohol,"
Lucky in Cards by Jack Bates had a totally unexpected ending. "It doesn't take much to put me in the tortoise shell as I call it. It's actually a total withdrawal from civilization. It's a safety mechanism I've been told."
Trespassing by Michael S. Chong is a story about early gender confusion. "'At the end of the day, you have to be able to live with yourself.' To this day, it is my own personal mantra bequeathed to me by this queen, my beacon of light in the early darkness."
Chianti by Selene MacLeod was about a group of performers who practiced prostitution. "It seems comical, getting stabbed in the fake boob, but if you watched the talk shows from way back, there's nothing funny about it."
The Changeling by Tracy Fahey was about an old tradition of dressing infant boys as girls. "My eyes glazed over as I stared at my infant face which seemed to shrink, smaller and smaller, until I felt a strange vertiginous dizziness that this tiny image had contained the seeds of the rheumatic old man I am today."
Straight Baby by Redfern Jon Barrett is about genetic optioning for offspring.
Kiki Le Shade by Chloe Yates is about a has-been performer waiting to meet his son.
Protect Her by Walter Conley is a violent tale.
King Bitch by James Bennett is about the brutal leader of a mob.
A Bit of a Pickle by Paul D. Brazill describes a man in need of assistance. "The pursuit of excellence has been replaced by the aspiration toward mediocrity."
Stainless Steel by Amelia Mangan was a confusing and surprising story. "'The recurring dream. Deja vu. Neurons misfiring. Wires getting crossed.' 'Bad connections,' she said. 'We all make those from time to time.'"
The Itch of the Iron, The Pull of the Moon by Carol Borden was about Fey, an 'unmaker of problems'. "...she loved rusty metal, broken glass and cracked pavement. And she loved the little plants that grew in all the cracks, just like her."
I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Fox Spirit Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.
Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Drag-Noir-K-Laity-ebook/dp/B00P0MW2R2