Sunday, July 27, 2003

Press release about award Degranon just received!

Simolke Wins Another Pride in the Arts Award

Texas-based author Duane Simolke has received his third Pride in the Arts literary award from StoneWall Society (, a resource for gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered artists. Simolke received the 2003 Imagination Award as author of the science fiction thriller Degranon.

Simolke was also honored recently by the LGBT resource website Antny’s Place ( He was the Poet of the Month there for both June and July of 2003.

Born in New Orleans on May 28, 1965, Simolke now lives in Lubbock, Texas. Majoring in English, he studied at Belmont University (B.A., 1989), Hardin-Simmons University (M.A., 1991), and Texas Tech University (Ph.D., 1996). He has always loved books and movies, especially science fiction and fantasy.

Simolke wrote the earliest drafts of Degranon during the 1980s, then revised it for its eventual release in 2002. Before Degranon’s publication, Simolke wrote and released three non-genre books: The Acorn Stories; New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio; and Holding Me Together: Essays and Poems.

Degranon was his first novel, and first work of science fiction. The Acorn Stories and Holding Me Together: Essays and Poems both received StoneWall Society Pride in the Arts awards in 2002.

While revising Degranon, Simolke edited and co-wrote The Acorn Gathering. That mainstream fiction anthology is a spin-off from The Acorn Stories, with all author and editor royalties going to fund cancer research.

The alternate universe Simolke created for Degranon features characters that his readers might think of as Native American, African American, Latino, Asian, or gay. In fact, white characters receive only passing references, while gays seem idealized.

Simolke stops short of calling Degranon a “gay novel,” since he wrote the book for a general audience, and since the main characters are heterosexual. However, he uses some of those non-gay characters to explore gay themes, as well as wider themes of diversity, freedom, and violence.

Though primarily a high-concept adventure, Degranon challenges every reader’s views, perceptions, and prejudices. Everyone who reads it will find it disturbing at times, exciting at times, and ultimately optimistic. In fact, many people will interpret certain scenes, characters, and events in differing ways.

The prolific author already has the next decade or so planned out in terms of his books. He is co-writing a fantasy novel, polishing a second edition of The Acorn Stories, and developing ideas for two Degranon sequels.

Readers can visit http://DuaneSimolke.Com to learn more about Simolke and his award-winning books, or to find a variety of writing resources and LGBT resources. His site also includes Rainbow: Lubbock, a frequently updated online guide that he created in August 1997 for other gays in the West Texas city that he calls home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

More about StarGate SG-1

In February, I wrote here that I love the TV series Stargate SG-1, but not quite as much as Babylon 5 or Star Trek: The Next Generation. After seeing the first few episodes of SG-1’s seventh season, I really think it’s now as good as those science fiction classics!

Scifi fans who didn’t like SG-1 in the past might give it another try. Current season episodes air Friday nights, on the SciFi Channel. Earlier episodes air Monday nights on SciFi, as well as various times and channels in syndication.

It’s rare for a show to keep getting better over time, but this one accomplishes that rare feat, year after year! SciFi has already ordered an eighth season, which will put it behind only the X-Files as the longest-running science fiction series ever! Plans are already underway for an SG-1 movie, and for an SG-1 spin-off series.

If you like StarGate SG-1, you might also enjoy my science fiction novel Degranon; it involves doorways through space and time and how those doorways cause various lives to intersect in dangerous ways!

Monday, July 21, 2003

More gay websites.

The new website, started by some of the founders of, is an effort to stop politicians from adding anti-gay language to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Click here to read my Showcase page at The Gay Read, a UK site for learning about gay books and writers.

QueerWriters.Com, online resources for Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans readers, includes my profile under “Authors.” (The site is frame-based.)

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Book Review: All Over Him by Ronald L. Donaghe.

While the first two books in The Continuing Journals of Will Barnett focused on young gay love in an anti-gay setting, this longer, more complex installment uses that relationship to explore the difficulties of lasting gay relationships and the challenges of a growing gay civil rights movement. Setting the book in Austin and San Francisco during the 1970s gives author Ronald L. Donaghe many opportunities to examine those changing times, while still keeping the focus on Will and Lance.

The young lovers now find themselves split between those two cities, because of college and life-long ambitions. As with any long-distance relationship, theirs becomes tested in many ways. However, unlike their heterosexual counterparts, they lack role models for their relationship, since even Will’s beloved Uncle Sean has not maintained the lasting love he sought.

This book’s epilog closes the journals out for now, with Donaghe giving some clever winks and nods to his many loyal readers. We know we can expect at least one more visit with Will and Lance, and that we can expect many more unforgettable characters from the ever-creative mind of Ronald L. Donaghe.

(Note: I wrote an earlier review of this book; that review appears on its back cover. I also wrote the preface to the second book in this series: Lance.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Webpage, book

Here’s something that might raise some eyebrows: Why Can’t Our Son Be Gay?

On a totally unrelated note, I’m now reading Dragonworld by Bryon Preiss and Michael Reaves.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Book Review: Stealing Some Time, Book III: Journey’s End by Mark Kendrick.

Mark Kendrick brings his Stealing Some Time trilogy to an exciting and romantic conclusion with Book III: Journey’s End. Fortunately, Kendrick plans to write more gay science fiction novels.

With Book I, we met Kallen Deshara, a young hero in a dark, homophobic future. With Book II, Kallen’s time-traveling mission into the past brought him together with Aaric Utzman, a handsome young man who quickly stole his heart.

Book III winds up the trilogy with an even deeper romance between Kallen and Aaric, and with much more adventure. Mark Kendrick explores the possibilities of time travel, while also exploring the possibilities of gay love. Even though Chapter 24 of this book resolves the conflicts, Kendrick adds a touching Epilogue that will give readers an even greater sense of closure and satisfaction.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

I’m now reading Stealing Some Time, Book III: Journey’s End by Mark Kendrick. I’ll post a review soon. I hope everyone is having a great July 4th Weekend!