Hello RGR followers, we hope you are enjoying RGR’s Trans Aware Event so far. We have had some pretty amazing guest post, spotlights, interview, and giveaways. Today we bring you a guest post & giveaway from Angel Martinez, author of the Brimstone series. We also have a review of her ‘Potato Surprise’ with review links to ‘Hell for the Company’ & ‘Fear of Frogs’ for you to check out. So let’s give a warm RGR welcome and a big thank you to Angel Martinez for stopping by today.
The world needs transition stories just as we need coming out stories. People born in the fifties and sixties didn’t have these—there was no young person in fiction they could encounter and say, That’s me. That’s what I’m going through. There should be more stories of journeys and self-discovery for queer young people. We certainly don’t have enough.
However, (you knew one was coming, right?) when I started to look at romance with transgender main characters, the majority of what I found were stories of characters in transition. Where were the post-transition heroes in m/m fiction? The cops, mercenaries, firefighters, and starship captains who just happened to be transgender? There are heroic trans characters, in science fiction especially, but not enough. Because representation in fiction should mean more than characters pigeonholed into one narrative role, just as we need gay, lesbian and bi villains and heroes in varied professions, roles and narrative journeys, we need this diversity of narrative for transgender characters as well.
Determined to create a transman character I hope is perceived as heroic, I wrote Julian Parallax for my science fiction humor series. Brimstone. A secret agent and government assassin, Julian is good at what he does, a feared and shadowy figure in the galaxy’s underground. He’s not a large man, no bulging muscles or two-meter tall frame here, but he’s skilled, strong, quick, and damnably clever. Not a traditional heroic figure, you say? On the contrary, Julian gets to be the interstellar version of James Bond for his era without the glaring misogyny.
He’s also post-transition, which means vastly different things to different people from hormone therapy to surgeries. It was important that Julian reflect this as well—that there isn’t one right or complete way to be post-transition, and that one doesn’t necessarily need phalloplasty to be a man. He’s comfortable and confident in who he is.
Full disclosure—I’m not transgender, something much with me in writing Julian. But I refuse to be an author who won’t include characters who are not me because it’s too difficult. More and more, the worlds we write should reflect the world around us, a world that includes people of different races, queer men and women, transgender men and women, people of different shapes, ages, and sizes, different abilities. That said, I won’t pretend there weren’t any anxious moments writing Julian. Research, research, research, not only medical and biological matters but fears, issues and preferences. Nor is research ever enough since I ran the story by a friend and fellow author who is transgender and who let me know, in the nicest possible way, that I still botched some things.
Julian Parallax—secret agent, demon lover, transman—appears first in the Brimstone series prequel, Potato Surprise and again in the fourth Brimstone story, Beside a Black Tarn, as well as several of the Brimstone Journal flash fiction pieces published on the Mischief Corner Books blog every Tuesday.
Potato Surprise: A Brimstone Prequel
By Angel Martinez
(M/M Science Fiction Humor)
When a steel trap of celestial and infernal politics threatens to close around them, Shax and Verin flee Earth’s system in a stolen ship, leaving everything behind. It’s an elegantly simple plan, with a new ship and a new life as carefree brigands among the stars.
But the ship seems to hate them, and in order to have any sort of life they need funds. A frightened man offering them a contract to deliver three mysterious crates comes just in time, and Shax is sure their troubles are over. Out of his environment and in over his head, Shax scrambles to understand the players and the consequences of his new life. With cargo that’s not what it seems, shadowy motives around every turn, and a gorgeous rogue named Julian for a dash of added confusion, Shax’s grand schemes of a new start may be his demise before he can even begin.
Wendy reviews ‘Potato Surprise: A Brimstone Prequel’ by Angel Martinez. Published by Mischief Corner Books on August 27, 2015, 93 pgs.
NOTE: We were provided a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I have the rest of this series in audiobook and was just about to start when I saw this come up as a choice for our Trans Awareness event. I was so excited because I didn’t even know there was a prequel. I absolutely jumped on the chance to read this story!
WOW… just WOW! I don’t know if I have enough words to tell you all how much I loved this book. It’s one of the most engaging and well thought out stories I’ve read in the sci-fi genre.
From the start, I loved Shax. He’s a great character! A demon prince who’s recently made a hasty retreat from his home planet Earth. He’s charming, sexy and engaging, and has just the right amount of a bad boy side to keep him from ever being able to find reputable work. Seriously, I was invested in him and his plight right away. He has a real sweet side too which we see during his interactions with his cargo and Julian (his love interest). He always seems to find himself in some kind of trouble and has a real bad a$$ side kick, Verin, that has been with him for centuries. These demons are TOUGH but not infallible and I had so much fun reading about the situations they find themselves in. I love that the ship is (or has) a sentient being that is a Drag Queen who has a crush on Shax. The relationship that they develop is one of my favorite parts of this book.
Back to Julian… the reason that this book fits into our RGRTransAware Event. He’s so well written. I love the way the author lets us know that this character has transitioned and that it does affect him in some ways, like when he’s in an intimate situation for instance. He doesn’t let his transition stop him though, he’s brave enough to put himself out there but he’s also ready for a let down. That’s the only time that being a trans even affects this character. It most certainly doesn’t stop him from anything and I felt that his character was very realistic.
This story is fast paced, full of the best adventures and I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series.
Check out Marc & MtSnow’s review for ‘Hell for the Company: Brimstone #1’ here: ‘Hell for the Company’
Check out Tanja’s review for ‘Fear of Frogs: Brimstone #2’ here: ‘Fear of Frogs’
Comment below to enter for a chance to win an ebook of ‘Feral Dust Bunnies’ by Angel Martinez.
You need to be 18 years or older to participate. Void where prohibited. Etc.
This giveaway will end on September 3rd, 2017 at 11:59 PM CDT.
While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of queer fiction – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.
For more information on Angel’s work, please visit:
Website: Angel Martinez
Facebook Group: Angel Martinez – Building Worlds, Constructing Fantasies
Newsletter: Angel Martinez – Writing News