Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Rainbow Duo Comic: iPhone obsession

Our latest Rainbow Duo comic is out. This time it's all about obsessively using your iPhone, something that might be familiar to many of you. Go here to check it out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lists are hot: 8 Lesbian and bisexual authors you should know

Lists are hot is a monthly column for all those who love lists. This time I've put together a list of 8 out authors I think you should know.

I've always been an avid reader, reading pretty much anything and everything in the fiction category. I prefer good books (well written, with a good story) above anything else, but of course I appreciate if the novels are more relatable, especially if it involves a queer storyline or the novel is written by a queer author. Here are 8 lesbian and bisexual authors you might like to check out.

These are by no means the best, although they are all great writers, but I tried to make a selection based on the kind of novels they write. I'm just a book lover, not an expert, so don't bite my head off if I might have gotten some of the genres wrong. It's just intended to give you a general idea of the sort of novels each author writes.

 1. Sarah Waters (England) – Historical fiction

Years ago I was flipping the channels one night, when I stumbled upon the BBC's adaptation of Sarah Waters' novel Tipping the Velvet. I remember how much I loved the story and I couldn't believe they could just broadcast something like that without my knowledge. Since then I have read all of Waters' books, most of which I loved. I'm not normally a fan of historic fiction, but Waters made the era appeal to me. Must be all those lesbians.

2. Val McDermid (Scotland) – Crime/Suspense

I have always had a soft spot for crime novels, and probably half of my book collection consists of crime and suspense books. Scottish author Val McDermid has written many, many great crime novels, and some of those even inspired the awesome crime TV series Wire in the Blood. Her latest novel is Trick of the dark, which you should definitely check out if crime is a genre you enjoy.

3. Emma Donoghue (Ireland/Canada) – General fiction

Emma Donoghue's novels are widely known both in the queer and mainstream world. If you enjoy reading, chances are you have read one of her novels like Landing, Room or Slammerkin. I particularly enjoyed Landing, which is about a lesbian long distance love story.

4. Nicola Griffith (England/US) – Suspense/Science Fiction

I'm a big fan of all of Nicola Griffith's work, but I especially love her novels about hot and dangerous queer PI Aud Torvingen. The second novel in the series, Stay, made the most impact on me. She's also written different genre books like Ammonite, that tells the story of a world without men.

5. Manda Scott (England) - Crime/Historic Fantasy

If you are intrigued by ancient Rome and enjoy a good fantasy novel or thriller, British author Manda Scott might be the author for you. She's written, among other things, a series called Boudica, about a historic fantasy world where ancient Romans spend a lot of time in battle. Don't worry if you prefer less ancient stuff, as she's also written some crime novels set in the near future.

6. Caitlin R. Kiernan (Ireland/US) – Science Fiction/Dark fantasy

I've enjoyed the dark and mysterious writings of Caitlin R. Kiernan ever since I picked up a copy of Silk at a book fare. Her latest novel The Red Tree is even better than Silk, which is really saying something as that novel has always been my favourite. Both novels also have queer main characters, which is always a plus.

7. Malinda Lo (US) – Young Adult fantasy

Long before Malinda Lo published her debut novel Ash, I already loved her writing. The former managing editor of After Ellen could always have me reading all of her articles and columns. So I was really excited when I found out she was going to be a fulltime novelist. If you enjoyed Ash, you're in for a treat, because her second novel Huntress will be released soon.

8. Ali Smith (Scotland) – General fiction/Short stories

Scottish write Ali Smith has written a number of great novels you might not have heard about yet, including Like, Girl meets boy and The Accidental. Of interest might be Girl meets boy, which is a modern retelling of the Ovid's myth of Iphis. When she's not writing novels, Smith is a writer for newspapers like the Guardian and the Scotsman


So what do you think of this list? Are your favourite queer authors listed or are they missing? Did you discover some new names? Let me know in the comments.

This post was first published on eurOut.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book review: Kill Chain by Meg Gardiner

I'm happy to announce I will be reviewing books for the great book blog Book after Book. Here's a preview of the first one:

 Book review: Kill Chain

By Meg Gardiner
Reviewed by Natazzz

I'm a big fan of crime novels. In fact, it's one of my favourite genres when it comes to books. Over the years I must have read hundreds of crime novels and I have a pretty good idea of what they usually entail and what I like and dislike about them. I picked up the paperback of Kill Chain by Meg Gardiner (2006) at a book fair last year because the cover appealed to me and I thought I would enjoy it. The book didn't disappoint but it also did not stand out much.

Read my entire review here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Book review: The true deceiver by Tove Jansson

"In the deep winter snows of a Swedish hamlet, a strange young woman fakes a break-in at the house of an elderly artist in order to persuade her that she needs companionship. But what does she hope to gain to gain by doing this? And who ultimately is deceiving whom?" (From the back cover).

Background story:

When I was in London last year, I visited the only gay bookstore there called Gay's the word. I was really excited to be there and my girlfriend and I spent a while looking around. Unlike many other gay bookstores, they had quite a broad lesbian section and among those books was The true deceiver by Tove Jansson. In fact, the novel had a recommended sticker on the cover. I thought I couldn't go wrong with this book. How wrong I was...

The plot:

The plot is pretty much summed up by the blurb I posted from the back cover of the novel. It's about every day life in a little village in winter, and two unusual women who's paths cross, and they get to know each other, unaware of the other's true intentions.

The verdict:

I was hoping the story of the two women, their intentions and their relationship would be an interesting and intriguing tale. Unfortunately, I found the whole storyline, and pretty much the entire book, rather boring. Perhaps it is because I'm used to reading suspense novels or the fact that I do not really care about all the details of life in a small village. Nevertheless, the book, which I read in a couple of hours, left me very disappointed. Unless simple village life fascinates you, I would give this book a miss.

The gayness factor: 
 Scandinavian author Tove Jansson

There is absolutely nothing gay about this novel, besides the author.

This book was reviewed as part of the LGBT reading challenge 2011 and the GLBT 2011 challenge.