Back in early 2012, I met one of the founders of TruLOVEstories, a publishing company that had, in addition to its line of original romance fiction, acquired the archives to True Love and True Romance, dating back to the 1920s. When I got a chance, I poked around their website, especially a section where they reprinted a few stories from each decade. One of the stories they selected from the 1970s was so outrageous (“My Mother’s Lover Is My Husband!”)—and the other headlines on that month’s cover so equally lurid—that I joked on Twitter that they should let me loose among the back issues and I’d put together a wild anthology.
Well, they saw that tweet.
Bedroom Roulette collects 13 stories from the early 1970s, and the sexual revolution is in full swing, from “Free-Love Farm” to “The Night My Husband Demanded an Orgy.” (The confessional tale that gives the anthology its title is helpfully subtitled “The Game Suburban Housewives Play.”) The entertainment value is fantastic, but as somebody who’s written about the cultural upheavals of this decade—in my ’70s Hollywood retrospective, The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane!—I was also interested in what these stories could tell us about reactions to those upheavals. Putting this anthology (and its sequels) together, I sometimes described the archival search as like taking a core sample from a glacier; you get to see through the years what issues and concerns were deemed to be most resonant with the magazines’ readerships. And the way the stories address those concerns was complex: Yes, some of these stories have dirty hippies, but there are other stories of feminist awakenings, and the attitude towards gays and lesbians was a bit more tolerant than I’d expected.
The link above will take you to Powells.com, where you can get the trade paperback edition; if you’re interested in a digital version for the Kindle or Nook, or you just really like to order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, visit the TruLOVEstories Bedroom Roulette page, where you can also find the story “Why Not? We Used to Be Married.” And keep an eye out later in 2013 for the ’80s anthology Women Undone, as well as some holiday-themed collections that will be appearing in the spring.
Oh! For the rest of January and on through February 2013, TruLOVEstories is also running a “Bad Boyfriend” contest, where you can share your short-short stories about awful beaus—because you just know some of the entries are going to end up on the site—and be in the running for a $350 prize. They’re also accepting short videos as well as prose stories, so if you’re ready to tell the world about your awful boyfriend, and how you turned him around or turned him loose, you might want to give that a look.
29 January 2013 | read this |
I’ve known John Scalzi since the days when we were both kicking around USENET back in the 1990s, and it’s been really cool to see his career as a science fiction writer blossom over the last decade. He recently launched a new serial novel, The Human Division, which is being published by Tor Books in weekly digital “episodes,” and when the folks at Tor.com asked if I’d be interested in leading a read-along discussion, I jumped at the opportunity.
Well, the first installment just went online, to mark the early release of “The B-Team” to members of the Human Division mailing list. Here’s what I can tell you upfront: The story is set in the universe of Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and its sequels, with a storyline that builds off the implications of the ending to The Last Colony—but the way Scalzi’s framed this “pilot episode,” newcomers can pick up the relevant information as they go along. If you click through, you’ll see how Scalzi answered my own questions about how this serial brings back Harry Wilson, who first appeared in a short story at Tor.com back in 2008, and how Harry exemplifies a certain type of Golden Age science fiction hero…brought up to speed for contemporary audiences.
I’m looking forward to talking with Scalzi and his editor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, about The Human Division in the weeks ahead, and I hope you’ll join us.
8 January 2013 | read this |