I cannot recommend enough this fabulous superhero novel by friend and colleague Joseph D. Carriker Jr., a force in the gaming world. Everyone with an interest in superhero and queer fiction owes it to themselves to pick up and devour Sacred Band immediately. This is an expanded version of my review on Amazon.
Sacred Band follows the journey of Rusty, a young super who discovers that an online friend of his from the Ukraine has gone missing. Rusty must team with idols, friends, and former lovers to learn what happened, and in the process, exposes hypocrisy and truth.
The novel is a revelation in queer fiction. Joe has been writing wonderful games for many years and now we are all very fortunate that he has lent his voice to fiction. There is not nearly enough fiction with strong queer characters on the market today, especially in the area of speculative fiction. While there is a great deal available in the MM romance market, and that has its place, we need more fiction written by queer writers about queers characters, but where romance is not the sole focus.
This book delivers a story that is timely, entertaining, emotional, funny, and well written. Joe is on the front lines of the queer gaming and geek communities, fighting the good fight for representation and diversity, and his efforts are on display in full force here. He has a sense of what we want to read and what is at the heart of our struggles and delivers those things on the page. I can’t wait to see future installments (crosses fingers) in the world of Sacred Band and look forward to Joe’s other fiction endeavors.
I know I’m a little late to the game, but here’s my Gen Con schedule for this year. Anything in the green indicates free time. I have the most time free on Wednesday and Sunday as I arrive early on Wednesday and depart very early Monday morning. I am looking for a little crash space late Sunday night as I have a very early Monday morning departure. It’s not a necessity as I can find something to do for a few hours late Sunday night, but if someone has space in a hotel Sunday night for a few hours, dinner is on me.
I am still plugging away at my novel. I realized that I was hasty in my initial editing estimate. There is still a ways to go before I will be ready for beta reading. Every day things get into better and better shape. I hope to be finished by the end of the summer.
The first draft of my urban fantasy novel with strong diversity and LGBTQIA+ elements is complete. Clocking in at 121,000 words, I’m going to need to do some heavy pruning, or hope that some generous publisher (assuming I find one) is willing to accept a novel that long.
Of course, the fact that I’m finished doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing. I have a long list of things I have long intended to go back and change, edit, improve, or add to. So that word count may get bigger before it gets smaller.
After I finish this round of substantive edits, I need to put the novel through several passes of trimming, pruning, and copyediting. Then, beta readers can tell me what they think.
I’m really excited because this is the first piece of writing I’ve ever taken to this stage. Of course, I’m still nowhere near finished. But there is an actual readable manuscript. Someone could read it and get an entire story from it. The final product might be substantially different from what it looks like now, but not entirely so.
My urban fantasy novel is at 100,000 words. The end is definitely in sight, but it’s amazing how rapidly that word count starts to inch up as I start to close in on the finish line.
My urban fantasy novel is at 67,000 words. I think my first draft should be finished in a few weeks. Woot!