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The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy!
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The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy!

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Thirteen short stories of terror, mayhem, and destruction which offer something highly unique in a genre that demands certain characters be only heroes or victims… gay villains! Prose collection with an introduction by Lambda Literary Award winning editor Tom Cardamone.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published August 1st 2013

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Sep 16, 2013 Levi is currently reading it
Bought this at SPX last weekend and was SO FUCKING EXCITED. I've been skipping around and, would you look at that, every single author and main character is male (and so far, all white, too). It's not like the phrase "Lavender Menace" was coined by Betty Friedan to describe lesbians in the feminist movement. Not like it was the name of a famous anti-homophobia action by and for lesbians in the feminist movement. I'm going to finish it first, but I'm planning to write to the editors. Ughhhh.

I enjoyed the stories in this anthology -- after all, it contains a favorite tale of queer villainy, Hal Duncan's "The Origin of the Fiend" -- but can I just say how much I absolutely loved the introduction by Tom Cardamone? We don't say enough about introductions and how they affect a reader (the "hook" they become), or what they mean to a collection or anthology. So to give you an idea of what this great collection is about, I will quote Cardamone:

"Queer kids identify with the monsters
Oct 07, 2013 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Comic book lovers
Shelves: first-reads
I was surprised to learn that I'd won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and when it arrived this weekend, I dove right in. (The sponsor of the giveaway was Nathan Burgoine, who authored of one of the stories, and I have to admit that I giggled a bit when I saw how he'd autographed his story for me.)

On the whole, the stories were quite good, and I enjoyed the book quite a bit. As a kid, I was a bit of a comic book geek (for the record, slightly more Marvel than DC), and I'd always symp
Nathan Sims

There's a great range of stories here - from the fun and sexy to the dark and serious. The blend worked well. I had the pleasure of reading some new titles by authors I've become familiar with over the last few years and to discover some new names that I'll be looking forward to reading more from in the future.


I especially appreciated that this wasn't an erotica anthology. While erotica has its place and can be enjoyable, it's nice to see gay genre ficti
Mina MacLeod
Queer villains straight out of comic books explored in a character-focused anthology? Yes, please.
Damian Serbu
This was a SUPER FUN read! As a superhero genre fan, and a person who always loves the villain, this was right up my alley. I thought all of the stories were well written and conceptualized. Just one was a bit off to me, but in a collection that isn't bad, and more a matter of personal taste than anything. Because this was an exciting edition. Awesome.
Kenneth Ingram
A great variety of stories, by a lot of talented authors. Definitely kept me wanting to see what the next story, what the next author would offer. Highly recommended
I’m going to split this review in half and look at two different parts - one part I liked and the other I loathed.

Anthologies are consistently inconsistent I tend to judge an anthology favorably when it has more stories I really liked than more stories that were meh. As the editor explains in the introduction, this is an anthology ONLY about gay men but overall most of the stories in this collection were really well done. In this case, the weaker stories were in the front of the book but there
Nathan Burgoine
Sep 05, 2013 Nathan Burgoine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
"Light and Dark," by Damon Shaw

Speaking of two sides...

Having shared a table of contents with the wonderful Shaw before in The Touch of the Sea, I knew when I saw him listed in The Lavender Menace that I was in for a treat. I knew he had a way of making the unnatural feel plausible, and this verisimilitude is present in "Light and Dark."

Here, two opposing and powerful forces are clashing it out in the skies of nearly ruined London, and one other creature - Mirror - is present. It's through Mirro
Despite the 'queer' in the title, this collection is formed entirely of gay men- which is obvious if you look at the blurb and introduction, but I wish it had been clearer.

The stories themselves are mixed- the ones by Jamie Freeman, Ron Santos and Hal Duncan among others are well worth a look. Some disprove the notion that gay men write the best m/m content. Worth a look if you have the patience to read or skim through the poorly written ones.
Morgan Weber
I am so disappointed. And so angry.
This book claims to be "a truly diverse and challenging collection", but where is the diversity? Every story in this anthology was written by a man and every story is about a man (with the exception of "After Balenciaga", which refrains from identifying the protagonist's gender).
For crying out loud. You can't label something Tales of Queer Villainy and have such a thin representation of the queer community. Part of what makes me so sad about this is the perpet
Angel S
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I like the concept. A lot of the stories don't really feel like a complete short story, but more like a larger story unfinished. My favorite stories from it were The Plan by Charles "Zan" Christensen, The Knights Nefarious by Rod M. Santos, and Your Changing Body: A Guidebook for Super Villains -- Introduction by Mr. Positive by Matt Fagan.
Some of these stories were really fun, but even those seemed rather unpolished. I often felt that I was reading authors who were much more used to a graphic format.

This was a stretch goal for the Kickstarter, and it is pretty obvious. The typos and misprints were really distracting, which made it tough to get through. Short fiction shouldn't feel like a slog, but this really did.
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Tom Cardamone’s speculative short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Spectrum award. His work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies like So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction, Best Gay Fiction, Best Gay Erotica, Best Gay Romance, and Madder Love: Queer Men and the Precincts of Surrealism. He is the author of the erotic fantasy novel, The Werewolves of Central Park and editor o ...more
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