Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Guest Post: Finding the GLBTQ Voice in Speculative Fiction by Joshua Skye

Today I'm welcoming author Joshua Skye to my blog. He's here as part of a tour to promote his new release, The Angels of Autumn. His post today talks about something that interests me a great deal, the need for sympathetic gay characters in Speculative Fiction. Over to you, Joshua!

Mainstream publications certainly lack a respectful, sentimental, honest portrayal of gay people, romance, and sexuality. It’s practically unheard of in speculative literature. The road has been paved by brave contemporary authors like Anne Rice and Clive Barker, so there has been some, but it is few and far between. I know when I was growing up; if I encountered a gay character in a novel or short story he or she was usually the butt of a joke or the brutalized outcast. Another thing to note was that any homosexual sex was portrayed in a negative way; the prejudice of the author only too obvious. It has been blatantly so in speculative fiction. This wasn’t long ago, this was the eighties and even into the nineties.

Most of my characters are GLBTQ, and my goal is to portray them in a raw and honestly flawed way, but with respect and sentiment. Perfect, politically correct characters are not interesting, they just aren't. They’re not realistic either. My characters wrestle their demons openly and wear their emotions on their sleeves, none more so that Kincaid in The Angels of Autumn. He is perhaps my favorite character in all my writing. He’s extremely raw, candid, and beautifully damaged. And better, he’s unapologetically gay. He’s quite the reflection of me, I must admit.

The sex in The Angels of Autumn, like Kincaid, is direct, frank, and audacious. It’s imperfect yet realistic. I love exploring sex in more truthful ways than most erotic fiction does. It’s not always romantic. It’s not always clean. And there are times when it’s not very fun. Sometimes it’s just primal, bestial, and magnificently sordid. There’s beauty in that and it should be celebrated just as much as the nice, wholesome romantic sex is… but without any bigotry-laced judgment. Sometimes people have sex for sport, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Sex can also be intimately involved with characterization. As I mentioned, it’s primal and can be a revealing trait. There are moments when someone will disclose deeply hidden things to strangers that they wouldn’t dare expose to cherished lovers while in the throes of ecstasy or the search for gratification. I’ve explored this in my writing; it’s subtle in The Angels of Autumn but it’s there. So much can be said of a character, so many connotations aroused simply by having him make an observation. Even at my most brazen, I can be nuanced.

The Angels of Autumn is an honest, brash, and bold supernatural thriller and the sex in it is equally as honest, brash, and bold. It is for every open-minded reader, but specifically it’s for every gay fan of speculative fiction that wanted just a little more to identify with while enjoying the story. The wonderful world of independent publishing gives us these opportunities now. We don’t have to wait for the mainstream to recognize us. We have a voice. And our time is now!


Joshua Skye was born in Jamestown, New York but predominantly grew up in the Texas Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He is a graduate of K.D. Studio Actor’s Conservatory of the Southwest and has worked on indie/underground films and on stage. He lives in rural Pennsylvania with his partner Ray of sixteen years and their eight year old son, Syrian. His short stories have appeared in anthologies from STARbooks Press, Knightwatch Press, Sirens Call Publications, Rainstorm Press, JMS Books and periodicals such as Blood and Lullabies. He is the author of The Singing Wind, Bareback: A Werewolf’s Tale, along with the forthcoming Midnight Rainbows, and The Grigori.


Blurb for Angels of Autumn

Kincaid Kingsley returns to the town of his childhood after the death of his twin brother, Xander. Believing the crime to be motivated by hate and prejudice, Kincaid sets out to discover why the police are no longer actively investigating the case and hopefully uncover his brother’s killer in the process.

Things in Wren are not as they seem, however, and the closer that Kincaid gets to an answer, the more danger he encounters. Why are all the townspeople so afraid to share what they know?

As the mystery surrounding Xander’s death unravels, the town becomes increasingly blind to what is actually going on. Can Kincaid discover who killed his brother and save the town from evil?

Buy links:

Find all the buy links at publisher Pink Pepper Press.


  1. Great post Joshua - I've been following your blog tour and I'm really enjoy the breadth and width of your opinions and thoughts. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for having me. I very much appreciate it. And thanks, Julianne. Its nice to hear kind words from a fellow author I have so much respect for.

  3. Hi Joshua

    Thank you for writing such an informative post. It certainly lets potential readers know what to expect from the relationships in your book. I have to admit, I prefer it when sex scenes show us something of the characterisation, otherwise it's just bodies - which can be titillating but also a little dull.


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