Uranians: Stories by Theodore Mccombs
I have been waiting for this sumptuous, prismatic collection for literal years. Theodore McCombs is a poet of queer pasts, presents, and futures, and Uranians is a formidable debut. -Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties For readers of Ted Chiang and Karen Russell, a genre-defying debut story collection that explores the essential role of queerness in this and every other possible world. At the end of the Victorian era, a handful of forward-thinking public intellectuals advocated for societal tolerance of the Uranian-a man who loved other men-wondering if these intermediate sexes might in fact constitute totally different beings, even hopeful guides toward the future. The six stories in Theodore McComb's kaleidoscopic debut span several possible worlds, teasing the boundaries between coexisting realities and taking up the question of queer difference from one surprising vantage after another. In Towards a Theory of Alternative Lifestyles, a heartbroken young man stands in line at an exclusive underground gay nightclub promising visions of parallel lives across the multiverse. In Ora et Labora, an adolescent novice at a Gothic monastery is forced to labor slavishly over math problems for the good of society entire. In Boston, at the turn of a very different 20th century, a domineering matron-cum-hangman feels that if you want things done right, you'll just have to do them yourself. Finally, in the titular novella Uranians, an expedition of queer artists, scientists, and one transgender priest are on a lifelong interplanetary voyage that requires them to renegotiate their connections to a remote and hostile Earth, while keeping their ship's biome alive in the harsh void of space.