It’s Saturday, so time for the weekly SSS blog hop where authors showcase bits of their work to share with each other or, in my case since I don’t have anything appropriate to share, recommend excellent reads in LGBT fiction.
I missed last Saturday because I had to go to London *gulp* a very big thing for this country mouse. But I survived [duh]! and the good thing about the trip as that I was able to read all the way there and all the way back.
Last week I recommended the Falls Chance Ranch story cycle and am delighted to hear that at least one person has checked it out and found it as delightful as I do. Warning – approach this story with extreme caution because one reading is never enough and you’ll find all your writing plans and good intentions going right out of the window.
This week I’m going for another extreme – a jewel-like, sharply edited, historical short story – Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov. Set in the last few days of World War 2, this unusual tale concerns the relationship that develops between Felix, one of the Schwartzmannen ground crew who help fuel and maintain the aircraft of the Luftwaffe, and Baldur a fighter plot exhausted from flying mission after mission as the Allied forces close in on their airfield. The language is precisely judged, not a word wasted, every phrase significant. It’s not a book to read while half asleep. Felix, a calm and efficient lad, wistful for the kind of loving brotherly relationship he admired so much in the Old Shatterhand books by Karl May that he devoured as a youth, is content to admire Baldur from a distance, showing his devotion in the care with which he fine tunes Baldur’s Messerschmidt. When Baldur shows how much he values that care, as the one bright light in the gathering darkness, Felix grabs for what they both know can only be a brief moment of happiness.
This may make it sound as though the book is very soft and lachrymose – and I admit to having a lump in my throat a time or two while reading it – but it isn’t. There are some very exciting action scenes, amusing dialogue, almost philosophical musings and a denouement that is both exciting and heart wrenching. Honestly you won’t regret reading this – it was one of my top reads of 2012.