|Cover Art by August Li|
By Brandon Witt
One of the reasons I jumped at the chance to be part of this Faery Anthology was for the opportunity to do something different. The idea of this book was two fold. Center around fairies and LGBTQ themes. When I was asked to take part, I wrote back quickly and asked, “Does that mean it doesn’t to be a romance?” The second they said that was exactly what it means, I said yes. I’ve grown to love romance, but I wanted to explore a different side of things. A side where everything doesn’t work out, where there isn’t a pretty red bow to tie it all together. (Disclaimer: I’m talking about my own story in this book, not the other authors. If what I’m saying scares you, please don’t let it scare you away from the other three authors and stories of this book.)
I wanted to explore a character who was beautiful, rich, powerful, elite, and who then lost it all. Quay is the eldest prince (of two). He was next in line to rule over the fairy kingdom, and he was all of those things. Gorgeous, privileged, meant for greatness. Then he transitioned to adulthood. In my fairy world, during their teen years, a fairy enters into a chrysalis and transitions to an adult. It’s when their wings take their final form, and their body goes through a sudden maturing. Quay exits his chrysalis during his transformation ceremony and his wings are flawless and beautiful. The rest of him, is not. Part of his face is malformed and his skin is mottled.
Fairy royalty and social standing is determined by physical beauty. Quay not only loses his place in line for the throne, but becomes an outcast and pariah. He looses everything—family, standing, privilege, hope to be loved, basic rights. The one aspect of his life he holds onto is his relationship with his younger brother, but even that is kept secret. And, when another fairy claims to have fallen in love with Quay, he knows it’s too good to be true, but can’t resist the pleasure and hope the illusion provides.
If you’re already a reader of mine, I do hope you give this other side of my writing a chance, if it sounds intriguing. However, if I’ve scared you, don’t fret, that’s the beauty of anthologies. There are three other beautiful and varied stories about the captivating world of fairies!
Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril.
In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him.
Welcome to Faery.
Review to follow
The Pwcca and the Persian Boy, by Gus Li
Despite beauty and luck, something about Glyn makes everyone uncomfortable. Homeless on the streets of Cardiff, he has nothing to keep him going but his friendship with Farrokh. Through stealing and fortune’s occasional favor, Glyn keeps them alive. But then homeless youths begin to disappear, and when Farrokh goes missing, Glyn begins to discover the reasons behind both his luck and the way people react to him. Determined to save his friend from a danger he never imagined, he enlists the help of Lleu, who might be an ally, or might be manipulating Glyn to achieve his own goals.
The Other Side of the Chrysalis, by Brandon Witt
In a species that values beauty above all else, Quay looses both his freedom and his birthright as prince of the fairies. Lower than an outcast, he watches over his younger brother, hoping against hope that Xenith’s rebirth will provide safety and positions that has slipped through Quay’s grasp. Though he expected kindness from no one, Quay gradually starts to trust that there is more to life, even for the likes of him, as sexual encounters with Flesser, a fairy barely accepted himself, turn from lust to love. Quay knows having forbidden relationships will be his undoing, but he is powerless to turn away.
Changeling, by Skye Hegyes
With his pointed ears and a tail, Tyler’s always been different than the other children, but until Marsh, a brownie tells him he’s a changeling, he never thought he wasn’t human. Now he will discover what faery life is like, and just how being a changeling could change his life. On the way, his ties with his mother will be pushed and prodded even as his friendships grow and his love life blossoms. However, in a village of God-fearing people, those who are different are spurned and Tyler will discover how much trouble a fledgling changeling can get into.
Through the Veil, by J. Scott Coatsworth
In the not-too-distant future, San Francisco has been swamped by rising sea levels caused by global warming, and has only survived by building a wall to keep the water out of the heart of the City. Colton is a trans man barely getting by on the canals outside the wall. Tris is an elf who has come to the human world on his journey to become a man. Fate brings them together, and everything changes for Colton when he sets out with Tris to find the elf's missing brother, taking Colton behind the Wall for the first time.
August (Gus) Li is a creator of fantasy worlds. When not writing, he enjoys drawing, illustration, costuming and cosplay, and making things in general. He lives near Philadelphia with two cats and too many ball-jointed dolls.
He loves to travel and is trying to see as much of the world as possible. Other hobbies include reading (of course), tattoos, and playing video games.
Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities.
Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about…
Dragons, wolves, and sharp objects are commonplace in Skye Hegyes’s home in North Carolina. She spends most of her time between writing and working. When not doing either of these things, you may find her making crafts or adventuring with her family, which consists of her husband, two daughters, two birds, and three cats… and a partridge in a pear tree…
J. Scott Coatsworth
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.