* Gertrude Stein * Sherwood Anderson * Science Fiction & Fantasy * Selected Poems eBook * Movies * Rainbow: Lubbock * Sons of Taldra * The Bible and Gays * Twitter * QueerRomance Ink * TikTok * BookBub * GoodReads * StoneWall Society * AuthorsDen * Blogger * YouTube * Pinterest * Instagram * AllAuthor * Read a funny and free eBook that revisits the West Texas setting of The Acorn Stories.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011 Science Fiction, Part 1.

Back from cancellation, the science fiction series Primeval returns this Saturday on BBC America. The Primeval home page includes updates, prequel videos, and more about the time-bending show.

TNT’s new scifi series Falling Skies premieres in June. Noah Wyle and Moon Bloodgood star.

Axiom posted Upcoming SciFi Movies, gauging interest in 2011 science fiction and fantasy films. They also posted A Look Ahead to the Mid-Season Science Fiction and Fantasy Television Shows/Schedule.

Use the coupon code TE82T to save half off the eBook of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure at Smashwords. Expires 2/15/11.

Click the tags below for more.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Elisa Rolle has posted a review of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, exploring some of that novel’s themes.
The video Gay Love Poem has received over 200,000 views at YouTube. That video features “Home,” from my books Holding Me Together and Selected Poems. Keywords: writing, writers, poets, poetry, poems, anthologies, collections, holding me together, home, gay love, gay relationships, gay men, LGBT, marriage, long-term, LTR, men loving men, men4men, man4man, man2man.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The prolific book and movie reviewer Amos Lassen selected a list of 2010’s top 11 books (so far) for the gay site Lambda Literary. Amos is also an author and teacher.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Read about my award-winning short story collection. Keywords: small-town, West Texas, stories, fiction, comedy, satire, drama, rural, acorn, Sordid Lives, Greater Tuna, Tuna Texas, Lubbock author, Duane Simolke, Lubbock authors, Lubbock writer, Lubbock writers, Lubbock Texas, West Texas book, West Texas books, Lubbock book, Lubbock books, texas tech university alumni, football, sports, teachers, coach, coaches, African American, Mexican American, gay, ex-gay, exgay, lesbian, closeted, mayor, artists, Faust, Morgana Le Fay.
Discover West Texas fiction and more at Love Those Excerpts. Read daily excerpts for books of all genres.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Revisiting Diversity in Science Fiction.

Reposted from Tiki Hut.

Now that I’ve completed a draft to the sequel of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, I still find myself surprised by the slow but steadily growing audience Degranon finds. It’s been almost ten years since the first edition appeared. I rewrote the book two years after its publication, following an earlier idea of making some of the major characters gay.

Those changes, and some others, made the novel even more memorable to me, and it remains my favorite out of everything I’ve written. Dealing with themes of discrimination, religious turmoil, and oppression added emotional layers, but I mostly wanted to create interesting characters and exciting scenes of adventure. That revised, second edition immediately gained attention.

In Worried, the upcoming sequel to Degranon, the characters still wrestle with some of the same problems, though they have overcome weight discrimination, censorship, and some of the other specific issues they struggled with before. However, some past failings haunt the citizens of Valchondria, the human home world. Dark secrets haunt the Valchondrians even more.

Also, the first book spanned generations on two planets. Worried takes place over five weeks. Most of the action happens on the capital city of the home world, except for a few scenes set in outer space. Still, the epic scope of the first book gave me a universe, and that entire universe still affects the characters and events of the second book. I think Degranon’s new and old readers will enjoy the journey back; I’m certainly enjoying it and look forward to the next few months of revision.

Spoiler alert! Warning, mild spoilers lurk ahead. Some hints about what to expect in Worried follow.

The wedding of two male characters from the first book.

The rumors of a dangerous alien race weren’t exaggerated.

The balance of power on Valchondria remains in question.

The effects of past addiction linger.

Enemies might need each other.

(Read reviews of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure at Rainbow Reviews and I Must Be Dreaming.)

Update: Worried became Sons of Taldra.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I posted some scifi trailers yesterday. Here’s one for the new Jake Gyllenhaal movie, Source Code. It looks it might be exciting, unless the time travel scenes keep repeating in a monotonous fashion. Source Code HD trailer.
In the gay DVD Strapped, a young hustler becomes trapped in an apartment building. The tenants there affect him in surprising ways. Read my review at ThisWeekInTexas.Com.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SciFi Trailers:

Science Fiction: 1600 views at YouTube!
Cowboys and Aliens, with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.
I Am Number 4, based on the teen novel.
Green Lantern, the new full-length trailer.
Tron Legacy, the long-awaited Disney sequel.
Battle: Los Angeles, an invasion movie with a war-movie feel.

More scifi:
Falling Skies discussion at ComicCon.
Outcasts press release. The new show, with Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber, will soon premiere on BBC America.

Riese: Kingdom Falling is a new web series from SyFy. According to their site…
“Narrated by Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary), the series stars a cavalcade of talent from the world of popular speculative drama including Christine Chatelain (The Bone Collector); Sharon Taylor (Stargate Universe); Ben Cotton (Harper's Island), Allison Mack (Smallville); Ryan Robbins (Caprica); Patrick Gilmore (Stargate Universe); Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica) and Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary).”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November is Native American History Month. Visit that site for information about identity, art, history, culture, and much more. Since today is also Veterans Day, the Library of Congress’s information about Native American Veterans on the Willing to Serve home page is also timely, bringing attention to individuals from the Navajo Code Talkers to Native people currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Acorn Gathering, a fundraiser for cancer research, includes Native American themes. “Finding Acorns in Winter,” one of the stories I wrote for the collection, involves a young woman who wants to honor her Comanche ancestors while helping an elderly woman. Bill Wetzel, a Blackfeet Indian, wrote the story “Nachos Are Green And Ducks Appear To Be Blue At Town Pump In Cut Bank, Montana.” Despite a strange title, a nonlinear structure, and a sometimes comical tone, that story hits upon some hard facts about reservation life. Wetzel also contributed a sweet, romantic story called “A Morning by the River.”

Though it takes place on a fictionalized version of Earth and on a colonized planet, my novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure involves a family that we might see as American Indian, First Nation, or Native American. There is no mention of particular tribes, however.

Of course, I’m only part Choctaw and Cherokee. You can find First Nation writers and stories with Native American Authors and Native American Traditional Storytelling.

Please also visit the blog Native American News.
They should have named this TV show doorQ.

Well, some gay portal already uses that name, but the show's characters can still talk about doorQ’s reboot.

Australia’s ABC1 has announced plans for Outland, a six-part comedy series with openly gay science fiction geeks. A show about “belonging and fitting in” will feature the gay characters Rae (Christine Anu), Toby (Ben Gerrard), Andy (Paul Ireland), Fab (Adam Richard) and Max (Toby Truslove). Kevin Carlin will direct. Princess Pictures, already known for the hits Summer Heights High and John Safran’s Race Relations, will produce.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Gay Book Giveaways and a New Release.

Enter to win a copy of the new novel by Shannon Yarbrough, Are You Sitting Down?

Publisher’s description: “In his latest novel, Shannon Yarbrough explores the damaged soul of one small town family and breaks through the boundaries of love, convincing his readers that no matter how hard life gets, sometimes the support of family is often the only true foundation we have left to depend upon - whether we want it or not.”

This week only, read the blog entry AuthorIsland Tiki Hut: This Week At The Tiki Hut - Duane Simolke for a chance to win an eBook copy of the gay-themed novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure and to learn more about its upcoming sequel Worried.

Gay writer Rick R. Reed is making a departure from thrillers like IM with the story of a man coming out to himself just before his wedding. The sometimes sad, sometimes funny novel Out on the Net unfolds in the form of blog entries. That new release arrives next week.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book announcement: The Gargoyle Prophecies, Part I, The Savior Rises by Christopher C. Payne. Published by Journal Stone.

Publisher’s description:

With a tattered Raggedy Ann doll as her only companion, Stefani has spent her entire life immersed in self isolation. As a 10-year-old child she was the lone witness to her mother's murder. She vowed to find the man who robbed her of all she held dear in the world and ensure he suffers as she has before he takes his final breath.

Her childhood is consumed with training in the hopes of one day finding the scarred-face killer. But her world up-ends as her 21st birthday looms when she discovers she isn't the hunter. She is the one being hunted, and her predators are not human. Stefani finally opens herself up for the first time, allowing Dennis into her life and revealing her emotions to her hopeful protector. But her fear and confusion mount when he reveals he is a gargoyle - and she is, as well.

Dennis claims Stefani is the key to the future of the gargoyle world. She is the Chosen One, and she is in danger. Dark forces covet her imminent power and will use any means to steal it. Stefani's mind swims with peril she neither understands nor is sure she believes. She questions everything, including her grip on reality.

As Stefani battles the damned across the globe, she searches for answers about her identity. Is she truly the savior of an inhuman race or has her solitude and the trauma of her mother's death finally infected her sanity?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Return of Innocence: Glossary


Bridgeland: Small belt of land that leads to Sordem then Tekari; see below.

High Road: Main, well-worn path across Jaan and Tarra.

Jaan: Thelni kingdom where Sasha Varov was born.

Merchant Circle: Large outdoor mall near the castle, and the place where Somel works.

Semsat region: Part of Tarra where the Sherba most often roam, past Tekari. No permanent structures.

The Sordem Outpost: Marketplace at the end of Bridgeland where Tarrans can trade with merchants from Jaan and other kingdoms. Too dangerous at night. Seaports border this mountainous region.

Tarra (also known as the Tarran Isles or Tarran Islands): In truth, several islands, plus the peninsula that includes Bridgeland, Sordem, and Tekari. A place with many native inhabitants and dwellers, but also the place where King Traedon sends exiles. Jaan’s castle dungeon only houses people on trial. Few Thelni kingdoms use capital punishment, though they aren’t opposed to killing during battle. Life in Tarra can be much worse than a swift death.

Tekari (also known as the Tekari region): Part of Tarra where Sasha and her family live.

Theln: The known world, the Earth of an alternate reality. (Theln also parallels Valchondria, a world from the novels Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure and Sons of Taldra: A Science Fiction Adventure.)

People: House of Varov.

Hinter: Sasha’s father. Insol of Tekari and former general of King Traedon’s elite soldiers, the Hassekorps. A powerfully built man with green eyes and long orange braids. Usually clean shaven. It’s too hot in Tekari for beards, and most of the other men there don’t keep them either.

Raysha: Sasha’s little sister, the only member of their family born in Tekari. She’s never been to Jaan and can’t understand why they were sent away or would want to go back. Tekari is home to her, despite the harsh weather and the animal attacks. Brown, curly hair.

Rutula: Sasha’s mother. Born to the maternal lineage of Varov, a title she now shares with her spouse and her children. Her parents died when she was a child, and she’s protective of her own family. She married Hinter, who was then general of the Hassekorps. Gray haired, green eyes, with a slight build but proud walk.

Sasha (Innocence): Braided, chestnut-colored hair. Apprentice Insol of Tekari. She wants to reclaim her family’s position as nobles of Jaan. Loves sword-fighting and the theater. In Tekari, she and her brother act out the scenes they remember and the scenes their father teaches them. Her marriage will carry on the maternal Varov lineage. Weapons of choice: long sword or broadsword and dagger.

Stefent: Sasha’s brother. An avid storyteller and actor. His linguistic skills have made him an obvious representative for trading at the Sordem Outpost. Orange-haired, like his father. Stefent’s height and personality are closer to his mother than his father.

People: The Rest of the Cast.

A’lyn: Beshia’s seventy-nine-year-old spouse, who went away for cooking school in Laan. It had always been a dream of hers, but it left Beshia without a cook. Beshia’s been trying to run the inn’s kitchen, while also running the rest of the inn, and is glad for Sasha’s help. A’lyn settled down from a life of adventure after meeting Beshia. She stayed at the inn one night then never left… until the cooking school. Just under six feet tall, with short white hair and dark blue eyes.

Beshia: The innkeeper, spouse to A’lyn for the past twenty-eight years. A big, imposing woman in her early seventies. Full of advice, maxims, and concern. She believes in the rebellion against the Alera system but feels she’s too old to help. Despite her fear of getting involved, she’s unable to refuse Burshmeed or Sasha when they need refuge. Her big frame is somewhat stooped from age and a hard life, but she is happy.

Burshmeed: Soldier who becomes a mutant for opposing Tay-lii. He blames Somel for that curse. Though he never considered himself handsome before, he was a rather likable fellow, and a loving spouse to Zola. He had joined Tay-lii’s army for acceptance but turned against Tay-lii after seeing his brutality too many times. The curse turned his dark brown skin and his green eyes yellow, his black hair red and gray. It also caused a small horn to protrude just above his left eye. Weapons of choice: broadsword and crossbow.

Captain Ferik: An Easterner, captain of the ship that takes Sasha back to Jaan, a year after her battle with Wuhrlock. Brown eyes, long black hair, and light brown skin.

Captain Geeja: Sherba sea captain and former slave. She veils her long black hair, but never her face. Dark complexion, large frame. In her early thirties.

General Duhnahl: The younger of Tay-lii’s two generals. He’s blindly loyal to and fearful of Tay-lii. Still, like Koto’Ri, he feeds the Innocence legends with his tavern talk. A ruthless, powerful fighter, but also a drunkard.

General Keln: Tay-lii’s other general, but older and with his own ambitions. He trained Burshmeed. Scarred face, muscular body, and rugged voice. His presence frightens most people.

Hedra Dyel: An elderly theater owner, and a tenuous friend to General Keln. Once a friend to Rutula Varov. Loud voice.

King Traedon: Ruler of Jaan. Gray hair and long, gray beard. Frail body, often draped in ornate robes. The nobles of a Thelni kingdom elect someone as king or queen for life and can’t remove or vote out that elected official. The other members of that person’s immediate family hold royal titles during that person’s life, but then lose those titles and all privileges that go with them.

Koto’Ri: A rather smelly, obnoxious, and loud-mouthed soldier who served with Somel and Burshmeed in Tay-lii’s army and has served with both of Tay-lii’s generals.

Nalthen: An actor and director at Jaan’s most popular theater, which Noble Dyel owns.

The Sherba: Nomads. Sherba is a noun (singular and plural) and adjective. The Sherba discount everyone else as “nonSherba” or as “landowners.” Weapons of choice: long sword, crossbow, or bow and arrow.

Somel: The linen merchant, also a former soldier of Tay-lii. Enamored with Sasha. He tries to grow a beard as a disguise from his younger self. It just makes him look scruffy. He convinced Burshmeed to shoot at Tay-lii with a crossbow. Dark, beady eyes and sandy blond hair. Somewhat muscular, but his height makes him look stronger. Weapon of choice: short sword.

Tay-lii: Wuhrlock’s brother, much more powerfully built. A fierce warlord who makes his home in Jaan after several other kingdoms run him out. His soldiers agreed to help protect Jaan, but he just wanted to overthrow his brother and become Alera. He is a hulking man, with callused hands and emerald eyes. Weapons of choice: two-handed sword and dagger.

Traeda: Traedon’s daughter. He sent her to a nearby kingdom. (Mentioned briefly.)

Triz: Traedon’s son, nineteen-year-old prince of Jaan. Not a fan of the Alera system, but wary of challenging tradition or accepting Innocence. Loyal to his father and to Jaan. His father’s voice in the Senate of Nobles, during his sister’s absence.

Wuhrlock: Alera of Jaan, in the early part of the novel. He overstepped his advisory position by making laws for Jaan, including one that says no one can oppose the Alera. Most Thelni admire Alera for their deep understanding of magic.

Zola: Burshmeed’s spouse. He can’t stand for her to look upon his cursed face, but she still loves him and doesn’t care how he looks. Though she was happy in her own kingdom, her parents said she wasn’t allowed back if she was married to one of Tay-lii’s soldiers. Tay-lii had also caused problems in her kingdom, and many others. Working as a maid in the castle and the fort, she is now a spy for the Jaanian rebels who oppose Tay-lii. Weapon of choice: scimitar.

Terminology, Mythology, and Expressions.

Alera: Magical advisor to the ruler of any Thelni kingdom.

The Battle of Spiked Rim: Struggle which left Tarra desolate and many soldiers dead, in Wuhrlock’s efforts to gain more wealth by annexing Tekari. He convinced King Traedon to go along with the scheme, leading the Hassekorps general to side with the Tarrans against King Traedon.

Elder Women: Representatives from each of Tarra’s regions, they form the governing body of Tarra and work with the Insolee for the well-being of all Tarrans. They meet in Tekari. Rutula is Elder Woman for Tekari, and her spouse is the Insol.

Erran (also called Erran Valchondria): In Thelni mythology, the first Thelni. A goddess who fell to Theln and transformed into a pregnant, mortal woman. After that, several other gods and goddesses fell in the same manner, but none of the others became spontaneously pregnant, and the Thelni of future generations remained mortal. Some gods died upon impact, but their spirits (good or evil) still roam Theln’s surface. Most Thelni love those stories, even if they don’t believe them.

Erran’s fall: A common curse, referring to the pain of losing godhood.

Falon Shin: Old Thelni greeting that translates “Good spirits brought you to me.”

Hassekorps: Traedon’s special military unit, a small but efficient army. Differences between them and the Kemsans are that they’re better paid, given special quarters, and sworn to protect king and castle. After Spiked Rim, Tay-lii has many surviving Hassekorps murdered. Weapon of choice: long sword, though Hinter and the other Insolee adopt the broadsword, from among the dead Kemsans at Spiked Rim. Gold armor.

Haute-piece: Upward curving neck guard, rising from the shoulder. Two separate pieces in Kemsan armor, with the left piece showing rank for officers.

The Insol: Warrior protector of a region in Tarra. Hinter is Insol of the Tekari region. Plural, Insolee. Always uses capital I. Weapon of choice: broadsword.

Kael: Thelni dialect used in most parts of Jaan, Bridgeland, Sordem, and Tarra. However, some sailors and merchants use slight variations of Kael, because interacting with people from all over Theln affects their speech.

The Kemsans: Jaan’s army. Red armor. Black hawk on their breastplate. Tay-lii’s Kemsans have feathers painted or sculpted onto their helmets. The helmets are the only non-uniform part of their armor. Except for generals, most helmets include chin guards. The blue spot on a left haute-piece signals an ensign, orange spots a corporal, pink squares a captain, and black hawk face a general. Named for Kemsan, a legendary Jaanian soldier. Weapons of choice: broadsword and dagger.

Mudwall: Cheap yellow brick that commoners use for homes and businesses.

Nehmer Shin: Old Thelni farewell that translates “May good spirits lead you onward.”

Old Thelni: Early, unwritten language that still influences Thelni names and expressions.

Red-stone: A sturdy material made from lava rock.

Senate of Nobles: In the kingdom of Jaan, each woman who will pass down a maternal lineage title belongs to this governing body. In the past, they settled most disputes within Jaan and helped make laws or maintain traditional holidays and observances. However, King Traedon gave much of their power to the Alera.

Thelni: The only language of Theln. Looks the same when written in any area of Theln, but can sound different, because of five distinct dialects. When someone can’t understand another’s dialect, the tradition is to apologize and blame one’s ears. After all, it is an insult to imply that someone else can’t speak properly or might speak an inferior dialect. Also, adjective or noun for the people of Theln.

Treasure: A term of endearment.

Triple-vexing: When used alone as a noun, it means problems or trouble. Example: “I can’t take much more of this triple-vexing!” When used as an adjective, it means annoying or bothersome.

The Return of Innocence

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I want to use this blog entry, my 500th here, to congratulate Jean Paquin for winning a paperback copy of The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure through Author Island!

Check back here over the next few weeks for book news, movie reviews, and more. Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 11, 2010

In the imported film The String, a gay man returns to Tunisia after his father’s death. His mother expects him to stay and marry a woman. Read my review at ThisWeekInTexas.Com. Read more of my movie reviews at ThisWeekInTexas.Com.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I updated my Reactions to Homophobia page. That resource deals with hate crimes, suicide, relationships, religion, family, anti-gay laws, internalized hatred, and many other factors affecting gays and lesbians.

Friday, October 01, 2010

I’m a featured writer at Bitsy Bling's Book Review! Read my interview there about what led to the Texas fiction collection The Acorn Stories and its fundraising spinoff, The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer. The interview also includes more about my writing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Watch for the gay-themed film Violet Tendencies, starring Mindy Cohn from Facts of Life, to open in theaters on November 5. I’m looking forward to the comedy because of her, and because Casper Andreas directed it. I love his movies! Watch here for more about Violet Tendencies.
Congratulations to Juana Esparza for winning an eBook of the gay-themed novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure! See my blog entry from yesterday for another book giveaway.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Free fantasy novel, drawing October 1, 2010.

If you want to win a paperback copy of The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure, visit AuthorIsland Giveaway and follow the directions.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gay-Themed SciFi.

From Blastr, Torchwood Writer reveals the reasons why Ianto Jones had to die. The British series featured a love affair between its male lead and one of the male supporting characters. In 2011, Torchwood: The New World will bring the remaining Torchwood members, along with new ones, to the Starz network.

Monthly appointment with my Reading List puts Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure among the upcoming reads for Elisa Role, a prolific reviewer of gay-themed books. See the reviews at
Rainbow Reviews and I Must Be Dreaming.
Gay short film contest, a gay movie review, and more love.

Visit TLAgay.Com Shorts for details about a short film contest. They want original, gay-themed films, less than twenty minutes long. Submissions end November 1st, 2010.

BearCity. Learn about bear culture in a rowdy comedy from the director of Raising Heroes. A bear chaser bursts onto the scene, where he finds friendship and conflict. Read my review at ThisWeekInTexas.Com.

Gay Love Poem has now received more than 176,000 views at YouTube.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The CW has posted a teaser trailer for the final season of Smallville. The video mostly just uses scenes from past seasons, but with the addition of a glimpse at the Superman costume.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lubbock, Texas: We Think Pink In Lubbock, featuring Sweet Potato Queen Jill Conner Browne and renowned British chef Jon Ashton. Tuesday, October 5. Join the fight against cancer!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

View and share Gay Love Poem at Gay Web Channel, a social media resources site for the LGBT community.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Green Day: Stand Up To Cancer


In this live performance on Stand Up To Cancer 2010 (09/10/2010), Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong performs their hit song “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

The following paragraphs introduce “The First Few And the Last Few,” one of the stories I wrote for The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer.

The Last Few And the First Few

By Duane Simolke

Dedicated to all people who risk their lives to protect others.

We entered the twenty-first century as we left the twentieth century: with uncertainty. But everything seemed safe for a while, safe and prosperous. Then the economy started to falter. And then September 11 happened.

I arrived in New York City two days after the attacks on the World Trade Center. When I’m not in active duty with the Army, I often work as a volunteer firefighter in El Paso, where my mother lives, or in Acorn. In case you haven’t heard of it, Acorn is a little town in West Texas, population 21,001. After my family left an even smaller town called “Ropesville,” I grew up in Acorn; my brother recently became the sheriff there, and I visited him for a while before coming on up here. It’s my first time up this far north in the states, though I’ve done quite a bit of traveling in my life.

I expected a call soon, one that would again cause me to travel. And, like the one I got just after I signed up with the Army, those travels would take me to a hostile, foreign land. In the meantime, I wanted to do what I could here. Everyone knows where I am and how to get hold of me, though I actually need to go back to the hotel and check my messages.

I haven’t slept since arriving at Ground Zero. Ground Zero—that’s what they’re calling the area of destruction. My mother, always biased, has been telling everyone that it was heroic of me to come here. The New York City firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers are the real heroes. I’m just helping out where I can. I’ve seen them help countless people already while sifting through the wreckage for survivors.

I’ve seen volunteers of every kind, and I’ve seen every good trait of humanity. New York hardly seems like the cruel, unfriendly place I’ve always heard about. We’re all doing what we can.

The team I was with finally convinced me to take a break. Instead of going back to the hotel, I walked a block away and collapsed in an alley, leaning against a building.

As I sit here, catching my breath, still wearing my helmet and my protective jacket, I reach into the pocket of my jeans to find an envelope, now all folded up and crinkled.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Movie Review: Is It Just Me?

In this charming romantic comedy, a case of mistaken identity complicates a gay man’s attempt to finally meet the right man in L.A. Can a handsome Texan end his streak of failed relationships? Read my review at ThisWeekInTexas.Com.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Fruit Fly. Writer/director H. P. Mendoza celebrates fag hags in a musical about a Filipina performance artist. Betheseda sings her way into the Castro and surrounds herself with gay culture. Read my review at ThisWeekInTexas.Com.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Congratulations to Regina Ross for winning a paperback copy of The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure! Thanks to Regina and everyone else who entered the contest! AuthorIsland Giveaway includes details about another chance to win that book. Just answer the question about the excerpt.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Win a Free Fantasy Book!

Book description:
The Return of Innocence blends humor and romance with exciting fantasy action. Visit Theln, a planet of magic, dragons, nobility, and heroes. Sasha Varov was born into a noble home in the Thelni kingdom of Jaan, but Sasha’s father dared to oppose the king’s sorcerer, Wuhrlock. Sasha and her family became exiles on a desolate island.

At sixteen, Sasha left her island home to buy seeds in Jaan. She stumbled into a series of misadventures that ended with the death of Wuhrlock and made Sasha a legend, known as “Innocence.” Never mind that the legend barely resembled the truth, or that Sasha caught Wuhrlock in an unguarded moment. When Sasha returned for more seeds, the people of Jaan expected her to defeat a much more ruthless and powerful sorcerer.

Someone will win a paperback copy of The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure, today at Cyber Launch Party.

Also visit AuthorIsland Giveaway for details about a month-long contest for another paperback copy of that book.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Win a free eBook! Author interview.

My interview at AuthorIsland includes details about my writing process and how The Acorn Gathering happened, as well as an announcement about the upcoming sequel to Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure.

The AuthorIsland site features book excerpts, trailers, and giveaways. Degranon is the book of the day there, with a free eBook for the winner. Watch there for more giveaways.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nothing can stop Telius from meeting the man he will love: an enemy spy from another time and another planet. “A must read.” –StoneWall Society. “An incredible book.” –Rainbow Reviews. “A fascinating scifi excursion.” –gay author Ronald L. Donaghe.

Read about Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure. Watch here for news about the sequel!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Visit the Smashwords page for Holding Me Together to read the opening essay, Reactions to Homophobia. Just click your choice under “Available Ebook reading formats.” That page also includes the videos Gay Pride and Gay Love Poem.

Resources for Reactions to Homophobia.

More of my book excerpts appear at DuaneSimolke.Com; use the links down the right side.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Authors and other book lovers.

Bitsy Bling’s Book Reviews features reviews and interviews, in a variety of genres. Author Charlie Courtland is the blogmaster.

I've added links above for the entries Science Fiction & Fantasy Links and Literature and Writers Links: General. Those entries previously appeared as pages at my old site.

Also try the "Writer resources" and “SciFi and/or fantasy” tags at the end of this entry.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Visit Goodreads to discuss The Acorn Gathering's stories, themes, and authors, or the fight against cancer. The Acorn Gathering raises funds for cancer research.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Readers and writers can now find or promote books with the resource Rate My Book Video. That blog invites authors to post their book trailers and also invites responses to those videos.

The book trailer The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure has received over a thousand viewings at YouTube. Science Fiction, the second trailer for Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, has received over 1500 views there.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

I’m honored by my inclusion in a new book about Belmont University! The title and description follow.

Belmont University People: Belmont University Alumni, Belmont University Faculty, Trisha Yearwood, Kimberley Locke, Brad Paisley.

“Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Chapters: Belmont University Alumni, Belmont University Faculty, Trisha Yearwood, Kimberley Locke, Brad Paisley, Lee Ann Womack, Melinda Doolittle, Ronnie Littlejohn, Rachel Smith, Josh Turner, Tamara Johnson-George, Josh Mcadams, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra, Chuck Cannon, Duane Simolke, Jimmy Bowen, Lisa Williams, Sean Hetherington, William E. Troutt.”

Read more at Amazon.Com and

I’ve updated my Selected Poems listing page.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sons of Taldra: A Science Fiction Adventure.

In this stand-alone sequel to the published novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, Taldra and her twin gay sons face new dangers. Some of those dangers come from outside their atmosphere. Others come from the protectors of their world. I’m currently about three quarters of the way through writing a draft of Worried. Read Chapter 1 at Goodreads.

Discuss Degranon at Goodreads.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The video Texas Fiction has received 500 views at YouTube. That video serves as a book trailer for the The Acorn Stories.

"I found this book to be a perfect vacation companion," –A. Chandler, the #1 Amazon.Com Reviewer.

Read reviews of The Acorn Stories at Kirkus, Amazon.Com, GoodReads,, (2nd edition), and (1st edition).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Selected Poems.

“Thoughtful and moving poetry.” –Leona L Lee, author of Taxing Tallula. Read the review.

This short eBook includes the gay love poem Home, the strange story of The Gardener, and the comical Angels and Razors, as well as thirty other poems.

Complete list of poems in this book: Chasing Seagulls, Home, Album, Children in the Streets, The Gardener, Friday Afternoon Spectrum, Reception, second year, Angels and Razors, Separated, Faces, Songs In Sign Language, Forgotten, Higher Education, Family, Ex-Gay? Part I: Cocoon, Ex-Gay? Part II: The Ex-Me Movement, Ex-Gay? Part III: Who Does God Hate?, The Escape Artist, Daughter, The Same Lips, Pharisee, Anne Bradstreet, Bareback, Cycle, Cross, Two Rapes, Rainbow, Elephant on an Opera Stage, Detour, Editing, Process, Haiku.

These works also appear in my longer anthology Holding Me Together: Essays and Poems.

Keywords: Gay pride, Gay romance, Gay men, Gay poem, Gay poems, Gay poetry, Gay poets, Gay writers, Love poems, Story poems, Humor, Homophobia, Exgay, Ex-gay, Diversity, Poetry, American poets, Lubbock poets, Texas poets.

Available from (for Nook) , Smashwords (for multiple eBook platforms), and Amazon (for Kindle).

"Editing," a poem about past and present homophobia. This video contrasts the dark imagery of "Editing" with colorful, positive pictures from Toronto Gay Pride, showing a refusal to let fear, violence, or hatred silence us.

Blog entry updated 8/16/2014.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fight Cancer, the book trailer for The Acorn Gathering, has received over a thousand viewings at YouTube.

Preview The Acorn Gathering at Smashwords. This anthology takes readers across several landscapes, during times of trouble, change, hope, and triumph.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Acorn Gathering
By Writers Uniting Against Cancer

From a scandal-rocked town in West Texas to the Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana, these short stories take readers to surprising places in America and the human heart!

Join the fight against cancer by purchasing this fund-raiser by authors Jan Chandler, Huda Orfali, Timothy Morris Taylor, Shawna R. Van Arum, and Bill Wetzel. I wrote four of the stories, edited the collection, and arranged for my publisher to donate all royalties to the American Cancer Society.

“I highly recommend you go, buy copies for yourself and your loved ones, and enjoy reading this well-written book.” —W. Brian Moore, for QBliss.Net

“These are all very talented writers, and I'm glad they got together to have a compilation of their stories in one book.” —Book Review Café

“If you're looking for characters that fit the mold of traditional, you won't find them here. The book is like a warm, pleasing quilt made up of disparate, yet cohesive patches represented by characters of various ethnic backgrounds; among them, African and Native Americans, Hispanic and Anglo Americans and with a few Texans sewn in.” —L. L. Lee, author of The Sisters: Found in San Antonio


Part One: Acorn, Texas
Finding Acorns In Winter. By Duane Simolke.
The Seedling. By Jan Chandler.
Fat Diary. By Duane Simolke.
Again. By Duane Simolke.
Lynching. By Huda Orfali.
Part Two: Beyond Acorn
Nachos Are Green And Ducks Appear To Be Blue At Town Pump In Cut Bank, Montana. By Bill Wetzel.
As I Lay Dying. By Huda Orfali.
The Flamenco Painter. By Shawna R. Van Arum (formerly Shawna Chandler).
The 23rd Of August. By Timothy Morris Taylor.
A Morning By the River. By Bill Wetzel.
Dancing With the Angels. By Huda Orfali.
Gun. By Jan Chandler.
Part Three: Still Beginning
The Last Few And the First Few. By Duane Simolke.
Author Biographies

Book Reviews
News and Authors
Excerpts from The Acorn Gathering
Fat Diary, One of My Stories

Barnes & Noble,,, amazon,
ca, uk, de, fr

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Comedian Tim Hawkins: Music Spoofs


Video: Comedian Tim Hawkins spoofs some classic songs from Eric Clapton, Garth Brooks, KC & the Sunshine Band, the Who, and others by adapting the lyrics to something age appropriate for those stars today.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Readers and Writers: Discover A New Review Blog for eBooks!

Ebook Alchemy is a new blog that features reviews of books in a variety of genres. The difference is that the blogger, Archelle, only reviews works available in eBook (e-book) format.

Visit there to read a review of Archelle’s review of The Acorn Stories, my West Texas fiction collection.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Big Gay Musical. Distributed by Embrem Entertainment and TLA Releasing.

The Big Gay Musical. Distributed by Embrem Entertainment and TLA Releasing.
DVD Review for This Week In Texas by Duane Simolke.

A musical stage production within a movie helps provide the comical soundtrack for The Big Gay Musical. Adam and Eve meet Adam and Steve for an upbeat message about love and acceptance.

Fred M. Caruso produced, wrote, and co-directed The Big Gay Musical, a movie that lives up to its name by providing a staged musical within the movie and a surprisingly fresh look at coming out. Casper Andreas, the director of Between Love & Goodbye and A Four Letter Word, co-directed. Caruso also contributed to those two Andreas films, but The Big Gay Musical fully reveals his talents. He even co-wrote some of this film’s charming and humorous songs.

Daniel Robinson plays Paul in the movie and Adam in the off-Broadway play, Adam and Steve Just the Way God Made Them. Paul wants to bounce back from a relationship by going from settled to promiscuous. Joey Dudding plays Eddie in the movie and Steve in the play. Eddie goes from waiting for the right guy to engaging in unprotected sex. Both men find themselves unsatisfied by their new approaches to dating.

Eddie’s parents are as religious and homophobic as the televangelists and the ex-gay campers in the play, so they react badly when he finally comes out to them. The play, however, features a jovial, gay-friendly God replacing the rebellious Adam and Eve with Adam and Steve. The exaggerated, campy characters in the play tend to mirror their offstage counterparts, but Caruso keeps those offstage characters in a more believable reality.

Combined, the cast has appeared in nearly fifty Broadway musicals. That fact shows in their polished numbers. Those strong musical performances also help deliver some of the most touching moments on a different stage, during “Mostly Sondheim” open-mike nights at a local piano bar.

Separately or together, the two leads always connect the different storylines and locations into a single experience. Their frustrations with many aspects of both religious culture and gay culture will resonate with countless viewers.

For eye-candy and fun music alone, many of the people who purchase this movie might wear out their copy. However, The Big Gay Musical also draws strength from a positive message, strong production values, funny lines, and the universal need for love and acceptance.

Read More of My DVD Reviews.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In a supposed utopia, people face discrimination—not for race or sexual orientation, but for being overweight, using banned words, or voicing unpopular opinions.

Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure. For fans of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Torchwood, Doctor Who, or Lois McMaster Bujold. Winner of a StoneWall Society Pride in the Arts Award.

This is an incredible book about the human condition and how one person striving for the good can, in the end, be a source of change. -Rainbow Reviews, Read the full review.

In Degranon, author Duane Simolke establishes his voice in gay genre writing by combining current concerns revolving around queer culture with a world of dimensional doorways, advanced technology, and distant planets. -X-Factor, October 1, 2004 issue

It's a very good story. -HomoMojo.Com

A must read. -Joe Wright, for StoneWall Society

A reminder of the danger of fanaticism. -Mark Kendrick, author of Stealing Some Time

Duane Simolke's latest offering is a fascinating scifi excursion into a world as unique as his singular vision. -Ronald L. Donaghe, author of Cinátis

I recommend DEGRANON for its exciting, well-constructed narrative, its often intriguing characters, and its wealth of ideas both political and philosophical. -J. Clark

DEGRANON is sci-fi that warrants the attention of any serious aficionado, gay or straight, fascinated by alien worlds that mirror our own world. -William Maltese, author of Beyond Machu

Keywords: dystopia, racism, homophobia, weight discrimination, bigotry
Degranon: Kindle eBook
The Maintainers Arrive

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Andrew O’Day explores the gay themes of Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure within Encyclopedia of Contemporary LGBTQ Literature of the United States, a scholarly collection that Emmanuel S. Nelson edited. The publisher’s description of that book follows.

In this two-volume work, hundreds of alphabetically arranged entries survey contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer American literature and its social contexts.

"Edited by Nelson (English, SUNY Cortland), this two-volume set presents over 300 signed entries authored by over 125 authors, professors, graduate students, librarians, and professionals from across the United States. The articles cover topics of relevance to the field of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered/queer (LGBTQ) literature such as AIDS, seminal texts like Angels in America, and a large number of articles on mainly contemporary authors. ... Bottom Line: Geared toward high school, college, and scholarly research users, this work is free of bias, focusing on LGBTQ topics as equally as the materials enable. Recommended for all academic and high school libraries."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Videos for my books are receiving heavy viewing, especially at YouTube. All of my books include gay themes or characters.

Gay Love Poem has received more than 100,000 views at YouTube, while Gay Pride has received more than 13,220 views there. Both videos serve as book trailers for my book Holding Me Together.

Science Fiction has received more than 1100 views at YouTube, while Gay Science Fiction has received more than 4500. Those videos promote my novel Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure.

The video for The Acorn Stories has received more than 370 views, the video for The Acorn Gathering has received over 780, and the video for The Return of Innocence has received more than 580. These numbers only represent YouTube, and not the other places where the videos appear.