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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gay Pride Event

Walton, West Virginia, June 16-18. The first StoneWall Society Pride in the Arts Festival will include spoken word artists reading passages from my books The Acorn Stories and Holding Me Together. This gay pride event will take place at Longfork Campgrounds and Resort. I won’t be able to attend, but I’m honored by the inclusion of my works, and I hope some of my readers can go. The event also includes movies, music, and visual arts. According to StoneWall Society’s founder, “The Pride In The Arts Festival is a direct offspring of the Annual Pride In The Arts Awards presented by StoneWall Society. The goal of the PITA Awards and Festival is to provide support and to help create an awareness of our community artists.”

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Vote for The Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Award (the SESFA), 2006.

Torchwood, the Dr. Who spin-off, involves a bisexual con-man from the future. The character has appeared in a few episodes of Dr. Who.

Will the Aquaman TV series happen? Watch for details at AquamanTV: Mercy Reef.

Read about The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure at Locus Online, the online companion to science fiction publication Locus Magazine.

Discuss The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure at The Dragon Page: Podcasts, reviews, and more of fantasy works.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Read about The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure at the science fiction fantasy site SFRevu.

“SFRevu is a monthly fan/webzine focused on Science Fiction and Fantasy, which features reviews of books, films, and other media, Interviews with top authors and notable newcomers, and columns with the latest releases in books, DVDs, and comics and upcoming films. Our aim is to find the best SF out there and share it with other fans of the genre. SFRevu has editors in both the US and UK and regularly includes coverage of SF from around the world.”

Monday, May 01, 2006

Unveiled

Movie review by Duane Simolke, author of the West Texas fiction collection The Acorn Stories, for This Week In Texas.

(German with some Persian. English subtitles.)

Named one of the Top Ten Films of 2005 by The Advocate and endorsed by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, this acclaimed political drama stars Jasmin Tabatabai (Bandits) as Fariba, an Iranian lesbian.

After Fariba flees persecution in Iran, she finds it difficult to find permanent asylum in Germany. In desperation, she assumes the identity of a deceased man and accepts a factory job. While constantly working and plotting toward citizenship, she falls in love with Anne, a female coworker played by Anneke Kim Sarnau (The Constant Gardener).

The entire cast gives quiet but powerful performances. Clearly just trying to live their lives in a thankless job, the people in Fariba’s new world cannot grasp the fear and injustice she faces. Instead, they leave it to the viewers to witness the sad plight she faces for loving a woman.

Without speeches or platitudes, Unveiled harshly criticizes any government that would abuse people over their gender, politics, or sexual orientation. That criticism—that indictment—relies on the compelling way director Angelina Maccarone and a talented cast share this story. While some politically charged American films from 2005 provoked discussion and won awards, this new import should draw more attention to the international abuse of gay and lesbian people.
Adam & Steve

Movie review by Duane Simolke, author of the West Texas fiction collection The Acorn Stories, for This Week In Texas.

Adam & Steve gives a decidedly gay and decidedly irreverent twist to the romantic comedy. Obviously and defiantly mocking anti-gay clich├ęs with the title, writer/director/star Craig Chester delivers an enjoyable tale of budding love.

The film’s opening sequence, set in the 1980s, is tedious and unfunny, ending with a gross-out scene. Fortunately, the movie gets better when it jumps to the present, and it keeps getting better.

By the time Adam and Steve fall in love with each other, audiences will fall in love with them as well. The scene where the two lovers confront a gay-basher makes this comedy worth the price of admission. However, it offers much more.

Good casting propels the story. Malcolm Gets stars as the Steve who wins the heart of Adam (Craig Chester). Both actors are openly gay and play reluctant, nervous lovers convincingly. In a role that takes advantage of his goofy appeal, Chris Kattan of Saturday Night Live plays Michael, Steve’s straight roommate. Michael seems fine with Steve’s sexual orientation until Steve falls in love, but then acts betrayed. Indie film queen Parker Posey is Adam’s best friend, Rhonda; not surprisingly, she plays the gay-friendly gal pal with charm. Julie Hagerty has a small but amusing role as one of the members of Adam’s supposedly cursed family.

Part of the movie’s strength comes from how it shows that people can be such a contradiction and so self-defeating. For example, a nameless twink (Noah Segan) keeps making the most profound observations about people he barely knows, yet he seems totally shallow in every other respect. In the same way, Rhonda is funny and likeable with her friends, but bland and humorless in her attempts at stand-up comedy. Most of all, though, Adam and Steve keep failing to see how perfect they are for each other, while letting their fear of imperfections threaten their relationship.