Bisexual Books, Review - Diverse Energies edited by Joe Monti and Tobias S. Buckell
Bisexual Books

Review - Diverse Energies edited by Joe Monti and Tobias S. Buckell

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I picked up this collection of deliberately diverse dystopian futuristic YA short stories because someone told me that Malinda Lo had a bisexual story in here.    Lo’s story “Good Girl” featured a same-sex love affair between two women in a world where race mixing is strictly prohibited.   It was a solid story but there was nothing specifically bi about it.  The main character Kyle never mentions any attraction to anyone male or female before she is falling hard for this girl, Nix.   I wonder if I wouldn’t have liked it better had it not been hyped to me under false pretenses.   

"Solitude" by Ursula K. Le Guin was the most well written and the most bisexual.  In her story a human species from a spacefaring race observes another race of ‘savages’ living in gender-segregated clans.  It’s a bit of anthropology turned on it’s head as the children of the anthropologists initially bond more with their adopted culture then their own, to various results good and bad.   At one point the main character approaches a native man for sex, making sure to politely inquire if he only likes sex with men since she knows he set up a home with another man in the past.   He assures her that is not the case.   Overall the story reminded me of reading narratives of white people (mostly women) who were taken by Native American tribes during Colonial American times and then didn’t want to be ‘rescued’ later.    It was very interesting and well done.

There are other queer stories in this collection too.   “Next Door” by Rahul Kanakia features a pair of homeless boys in love and Cindy Pon’s story "Blue Skies" has buttloads of girl-on-girl sexual tension.   So even if you’re not mining the book for bisexuality, I would recommend this collection to lesbian and gay readers looking for more quality sci-fi.   

The other stories in the collection were quite good too, even if they were not LGBT.   The collection is focused on diversity in lots of different ways and I particularly enjoyed “The Last Day” by Ellen Oh where a Hiroshima-like bomb devastates a small Japanese town and “A Pocket Full of Dharma” by Paolo Bacigalup where a Chinese street beggar finds a mysterious data cube.   

Overall a solid book of sci-fi short stories with queer, people of color, and especially queer people of color characters and themes.   



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