Crooked Words

A young transgender magician travels the world on a quest for a mystical talking sword. A witch wonders why her would-be lovers can’t date her the old-fashioned way. A cross-dressing man meets a suit-clad soul whose gender defies definition. A non-binary zombie wonders why ze is not the hero in science fiction stories. A genderqueer manservant tries to save her mentally-ill lover with a deck of tarot cards. A boy looks at himself in the mirror and ponders the fear of telling his family that his name isn’t Susan.

Crooked Words is an eclectic collection of short fiction in pursuit of the many different shades of what it means to live queer.

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Please note that this was written several years ago now, and some of the stories use slightly-outdated terminology (queer language has gone some major shifts over the last few years) while also showing instances of my unquestioned white privilege (for example, treating naming conventions based on my experiences from a white migrant family with a non-English-speaking background as though they apply equally to folks of colour). I might, should I ever have the time and spoons, rework some of the stories and republish, but it’s fair to know that there are issues with some of these pieces.

Additionally, these stories were written before my autism diagnosis and before my understanding that I am aromantic, so several of these are not written how I would write them today. “Old Fashioned” is really a story about an aro-spec woman and not a mockery of romance tropes, and “Certain Eldritch Artefacts” has an unfortunate-in-retrospect conclusion about a very-clearly-autistic-and-dyspraxic character deciding to try and become more allistic. (Many of my works have this uncomfortable combination of my unknowingly expressing my lived experience while struggling in my own life to repress and deny it.) Much better aro-spec and autism representation is available in the rewrites, published as individual stories: Certain Eldritch Artefacts and Old Fashioned.

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