QSFer Maria Siopis has a new queer sci fi book out:
The world where the straights are hated for hundreds of years is about to turn for the worse, and shatter to pieces. The involvement of Eliza X, a police officer, in the killing of a straight, Jeffrey Antinoro, becomes the singular event and the catalyst that sends humanity into a tailspin.
A revolution erupts and Eliza is the sole cause of it. Nevertheless, her journey forces her to rediscover herself and find love in the arms of her professor Linda Pelc. Together they’ll try to redefine the human capacity of acceptance and denounce a world that is full of lies, deception and hatred.
Are they going to save the straights or are the forces that seek their demise stronger? Who is going to be victorious when the revolution erupts between the gays and straights? Is the fiber of humanity saved at last or will the dark powers of prejudice and hate prevail?
The rain hit the glass window, making the soothing and comforting sounds that Jeffrey always loved, particularly when he was sheltered. Today he felt safe inside his home, in his bedroom, across from the two rectangular windows down which the raindrops traveled. Some moved rapidly; others stuck on the window, like some special glue kept them there. The streetlight sent a faded glow up to his bedroom, enough to illuminate the fat drops. His eyes were wide-open, and he shifted his weight under the covers, trying to find tranquility so he could go back to sleep. He looked to the side where Mary Ann rested, so content and peaceful. He wondered if he would ever be able to provide an autonomous life for her.
No, it was not about autonomy; it was about equality, and acceptance for being different from the norm. He was certainly attempting to accomplish that task, yet he felt as if he was battling the whole world. Of course he wanted things to change, but it seemed impossible, regardless of how much he tried. No, he was not giving up, not now that he was so close to a momentous resolution. He had worked too hard for it. He shifted again, as soundlessly as possible, though in the middle of the night everything was amplified. He closed his eyes, almost mad that he could not go back to sleep. Tomorrow, he knew, was important.
He was not unprepared; however, he was anxious about delivering a speech of historical proportions. Jeffrey was not only a dynamic litigator who won cases that many thought were a waste of time and talent, but he was a charismatic speaker who presented his cases with ease inside and outside the court. He could make anyone believe that the moon was square if he wanted to; yet he never used his talent in a wasteful or unfair way. Although he could sway the opinions of strangers with the slightest effort, ironically he had a tough time convincing his own parents, Tom and Joe, that he was a happy straight man who accepted and welcomed this enormous difference.
In the beginning Jeffrey had tried to conceal his imperfection. But it was to no avail. He was straight, and he did not have any interest in men. Of course his parents told him that they loved him for the man that he was, but they were tense when he brought girls to the house. Sometimes he heard them talking about his straightness and his sexual preferences, though they never brought it up for discussion with him. He had tried, more than once, and they both proclaimed that there was nothing to talk about. So his condition was a dead issue in his household.
It took him many years to make them understand that he was a normal human being with the capacity to love. He looked at his mate again and was amazed that his actions the next day would redefine and challenge the norm. He was doing it for her, his brother, and all the straights. He played his speech in his head, judged that he did an impeccable job with it, and smiled. Tomorrow he would make the whole world understand. He would make history by persuading the seven justices to support equality for all. He closed his eyes, peaceful now, and slowly descended to a place where darkness took over, erasing all the unease he had felt only moments before.
Maria Siopis possesses a MPA in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. She completed her dissertation, “Avian Influenza (H5N1): The Doctrine of Social Disassociation, Quarantine, and Emergency Preparedness,” in 2006 tackling a non-fictional theme. Other than writing she obsesses over climatic or manmade catastrophes and continuously attempts to conceptualize needed actions. The author lives in New York and is currently working on her second novel.