Quickies 3: Short Short Fiction on Gay Male Desire


240 pages
ISBN 1-55152-144-X
DDC 808.83'108353





Edited by James Johnstone
Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is librarian emeritus and former assistant director of
libraries at the University of Saskatchewan Library. He is also
dramaturge for the Festival de la Dramaturgie des Prairies.


From the cover of the third volume of this anthology series, there is no
ambiguity as to its target audience. The well-muscled man, with one hand
provocatively lifting his dark T-shirt and the other strategically
lowering his jeans, virtually beckons the gay male reader in search of a
quick erotic fix. And he will not be disappointed. The
subtitle—“Short Short Fiction on Gay Male Desire”—says it all.
The editorial introduction (a captivating nostalgia trip through the gay
byways of Vancouver) is the longest and most sustained piece in the
volume. The selections (each about two-and-a-half pages long) are the
equivalent of an erotic literary postcard, none exceeding 1000 words.
Although shorter than the classic short story, the pieces are far from
simply a compilation of orgasmic “money shots” or first-time
narratives. Many will surprise the reader with their complete
construction, imaginative perspective, or final twist of plot. Certain
fantasies, while familiar, have a well-honed lyric quality in their
description. Others may give pause: for instance, a piece by Billy Cowan
describes fraternal incest at a clever virtual distance, whereas one by
Marshall Moore is slap-in-the-face tragic. The compiler, James
Johnstone, editor of the two previous anthologies and co-editor of the
series Queer View Mirror, has assembled some 72 pieces from a pool of
worldwide contributors, a good number of them Canadian. His contributors
range from the well known and celebrated (such as Daniel Curzon, Darrin
Hagen, and Andy Quan) to those with their first publication here.
Snippet-sized biographies of the contributors are included.


“Quickies 3: Short Short Fiction on Gay Male Desire,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/17867.