Contemporary Gay Romances is the third collection of short fiction by legendary novelist and memoirist, Felice Picano (The Lure, Like People in History, Ambidextrous). It is also his most diverse in terms of the times, places, themes, characters and situations he writes about. Filled with the unexpected, the true, and the amazing, Contemporary Gay Romances moves with ease from gas-lit, upper class London, to a future, climate-altered Bay Area; from semi-rural Florida to Southern California beaches, to an extrasolar planet where people have surprising existences. His characters range from ordinary American suburban housewives to extraordinary children, from grieving young geologists and memory-haunted middle aged men, to British Midlands soccer stars and 22nd Century war heroes. Picano subtitled this collection of stylish, unique, and moving works "Tragic, Comic, Mystic & Horrific," and they are all that and more. The ten tales include prize winners as well as stories published...
Cousins Roger and Alistair become lifelong friends when they meet as boys in 1954. They discover their homosexuality and their lives intersect against the backdrop of 20th-century gay culture, from the beachboy surfer days of the 1960s, to Greenwich Village AIDS activism in the 1990s.
From Publishers Weekly
Though Picano's latest may lack the significance implied by its subtitle, his memorable characters and wonderfully dishy dialogue evoke changing gay sensibilities with affecting measures of both tragedy and comedy. The novel opens in New York City, 1991, with literary maven Roger Sansarc, who narrates, and his current boyfriend attending a 45th-birthday celebration for Roger's flamboyant second cousin, Alistair Dodge. Alistair is suffering from AIDS, and Roger has brought the requested pills to hasten his demise. The action flashes back to 1954, when Roger and Alistair first meet, as fourth graders; subsequent sections alternate between the present?detailing Alistair's fate, as well as a heated ACT UP demonstration?and assorted professional and amatory episodes in the lives of the conservative Roger and his ever-outre relation. Comparisons with Ethan Mordden's similarly themed How Long Has This Been Going On? are inevitable: both books portray America's evolving gay culture during the past few decades. Picano's tale is the more traditional in style and structure, while Mordden brings greater scope and sweep to his freewheeling, in-your-face novel. Despite the dramatic events and requisite period references here (e.g., mentholated Kent cigarettes, Mary Renault's The Persian Boy), the historical perspective Picano brings seems somewhat forced. Nevertheless, his finely crafted prose makes these People consistently absorbing.
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Picano's big new novel is the story of two cousins, Roger Sansarc and Alistair Dodge, from their boyhood through Dodge's death in his forties from AIDS. The two live through several major cultural moments in later-twentieth-century America: Woodstock, San Francisco in the days of Harvey Milk, Fire Island's heyday, and recent AIDS activism and gay militancy in New York. Both manage to have incredible (literally!) lives--managing expensive stores and art galleries, inheriting fortunes, editing highfalutin opera magazines, having long-term relationships with Adonises, and generally making Lives of the Rich and Famous look like middle-class America. Picano fills the dialogue with humor and the plot with interest, yet his characters lack the depth and genuineness of Armistead (Tales of the City) Maupin's. So, ultimately, the book doesn't work all that well as a serious chronicle of gay America. Rather, being both gay and an epic (i.e., it's campy and it's long), it succeeds as a story that doesn't take itself too seriously and will be much in demand as a beach book. Charles Harmon
A telling novel about gay life after Stonewall, Late in the Season is one of the finest novels in the long career of one of the founding members of the Violet Quill Club. Set on Fire Island in late September, this is the story of an unlikely pair of friends—a gay composer in his late thirties and an eighteen-year-old schoolgirl—both of whom are trying to make sense of their complicated lives. But much more than this, it is a compelling portrait of a magical time and place, after the Stonewall riots opened up so many possibilities and before AIDS forever changed the face of the gay world.
The 20th Century is over and done with and nothing can be changed. Or is it? Felice Picano's two short novels take delicious what- if peeks at outwitting Time's (seemingly) unbending Arrow.
In Ingoldsby, a handsome graduate student finds himself caretaking a Midwestern architectural treasure in which not everything or everyone is what they seem—or when they seem either! But a sexy newcomer challenges him to change all that, for himself, and for a gay youth way out of his own time.
In Wonder City of the West, a man too young in spirit to be at retirement age takes a leap back to Golden Age Hollywood. He encounters youth, friendship, a movie star lover, and talents he never knew he possessed. But as he succeeds beyond his dreams, he must ask—is he merely a tool for a shadowy group with a far larger purpose?
Provocative, mind-bending, sensual, and entertaining, 20th Century Un-limited is an unexpected addition to an established body of work by an...
Noel Cummings’s life is about to change irrevocably. After witnessing a brutal murder, Noel is recruited to assist the police by acting as the lure for a killer who has been targeting gay men. Undercover, Noel moves deeper and deeper into the dark side of Manhattan’s gay life that stirs his own secret desires—until he forgets he is only playing a role. Reprint.
Twelve O'Clock Tales is the fourth collection of short fiction by legendary novelist and memoirist, Felice Picano (The Lure, Like People in History, True Stories). A personal homage to the storytellers of his youth, Edgar Allen Poe, E.F. Benson, and H. P. Lovecraft, as well as his acquaintances, Arthur C. Clarke and Harlan Ellison. Eleven dark tales, eerie, bizarre, and dreamlike, the tales will thrill and disturb, discomfort and titillate, enthrall and leave you wondering. Picano ranges across time and space, from tribal West Africa to the American heartland, to a lab in Venezuela, and a California Highway fifteen years from now. His characters range from a teen accident survivor with a secret, to a far-future scholar forced to travel to a galactic backwater, to a retired L.A. cop who dabbles in astrology, and a peasant girl in B.C.E. Israel encountering the strangest of strangers. The thirteen tales include brand new stories and acknowledged Picano masterworks...
Gay romance is coming into full bloom in the wake of the Defense of Marriage Act's fall, and the literary world is giving this full expression. New series editor Felice Picano is one of the top gay writers in the world with many awards and much critical acclaim to his credit. Picano has written novels, plays, and major nonfiction works and he is at his finest when it comes to the subject of love. In Best Gay Romance 2015, he gathers a sweepingly romantic collection of short fiction that is long on love (and sex).