L.M. Pierce has a new genderqueer ace/aro sci fi book out:
Andi knows being born an intersex “Transgressor” and then choosing to stay that way can have lethal consequences. After all, surgical assignment is mandated by law. But she ain’t going to spend her life hiding from the Society, hooked on Flow, and wanking tourists just to make a few bucks. She’s a member of the Trans Liberty Riot Brigade, an underground faction of Transgressors resisting the government’s war on their illegal genitalia.
But it’s not enough to tag their messages on shithouse walls and sniff down the next high. The government has found their headquarters, decimated their ranks, and they’re crushing the resistance. Though Andi might be nothing but a junktard, she embarks on a desperate dash to stay alive and send a call for help before they’re all killed—or worse, surgically assigned.
Andi, together with Brigade leader Elenbar, must get beyond the communications block preventing all radio transmission, which means crossing the seaboard Wall barricading the United Free States borders. It’s designed to keep enemies out and the citizens in, but amid increasing earthquakes and deadly pursuit, Andi will discover there’s a far more dangerous secret hidden deep within the Wall itself.
Brigade Book One
Weird and unusual things you enjoy and unpopular opinions you wish others would agree with:
I have a deep abiding love for dinosaurs, stemming from as early as “The Land Before Time” (my cats are named Petrie and Little Foot) all the way through every “Jurassic Park” movie (yes, even the third one). Did you know a lot of the dinosaur sounds were modified camel noises? Having been around a lot of them when I was in Mongolia, you can totally hear the origins! I love the “Alien” movie franchise and am too terrified to get very far in the “Alien: Isolation” videogame. Ice cream cake is the only acceptable cake for my birthday and I love cows—the lovey-dovey nickname in our house is “Moo”.
Unpopular opinions: “Alien vs. Predator” was actually super fun, cottage cheese is delicious in sweet and savory combinations, my favorite Star Trek was “Voyager” (Kate Mulgrew FOREVER!), “Lord of the Rings” was just way too fucking much world-building *snore*, sourdough is the only bread really worth eating, bros who brag about their vape rigs are no more annoying than stoners bragging about their fancy bongs and pipes, aaaaaand…. Look, Nickelback doesn’t suck that badly.
A Sorta Prologue
“Oh yah? Well, fuck off then, you cuck!”
He’s a penny pickle dick anyhow.
I walk into the men’s public shithouse and slam the door behind me. The splintered starburst of mirror glitters under the yellow lights. The reflection’s sportin’ a shaggy haircut like someone’s gone faggin’ buggers with a pair of kitchen shears. My pupils are blown black and wide with the upshot of Flow coursin’ through my veins.
That pickle fucker ripped my shirt.
I examine the ripped collar in the refraction of the broken glass. My hair ain’t too long, ain’t too short. I’m still man enough, should someone, maybe Pickle Fucker, come pokin’ around after me. Though, if I’m real honest, I’m gettin’ sloppy. Just like Elenbar’s always sayin’—keep yer head down, don’t draw eyes ta ya—but it’s a chafe to move through the world as a mere pockmark of who you really are. Yah, I’m still me, though they call me a “she,” but if I keep hackin’ at my hair, I’m gonna look more like the dangerous “Transgressor” news stations are always shriekin’ about. But underneath it all, underneath the shag, that’s what I am.
A Transgressor on a shithouse mission.
On the cracked vid screen in the ceiling there’s some report about us right now—another undercover operation arrestin’ a pack of Transgressors. They don’t wanna get the snip-and-clip, the assignment surgery that’ll turn us from who we are, into what they want us to be. They’re reportin’ two dead already—more to come, if you know news like we do. I shudder, imaginin’ gettin’ my delicates all mangled up by a doc with a blade and a twisted sense of divine providence.
I approach the urinals squattin’ against the far wall. Smell of piss cakes and wankin’ stains waft through the air, a strong reminder of this location’s dual purpose. I peek under the stall doors, but there ain’t no tourist trout loafers tappin’ a signal for a blowie or a pop-off. Though pickle fucker was a bust, I’m still hopin’ to cop some rand coins from a trout. Since I made the long trip and all. Don’t matter, though. There’s other work to be done.
I slip down my pants and jut my pubic bone and mini-man toward one of the white bowl interiors. Urine spurts, and I huff with relief. There ain’t no company to gawk at me, and unlike squattin’ in lady piss stalls, like a good li’l “she,” this is good, it’s good. Feels right somehow.
I zip up, don’t wash, and at the exit, I whip out the chubby marker I carry with me everywhere. The embossed man symbol on the bathroom door gets a scrawled-on miniskirt, a crotch sweeper hardly proper enough for street walkin’. Though after I finish the big circle and the crosshatch over him, li’l man’s got an identity problem, the blessed “he” symbol now one of those dreaded Transgressors. A s/he, they hiss in the not-so-quiet corners of the world. Well, the Society will be along to reassign h/er in short tit order, I’m sure.
I press a kiss on the new Transgressor. It’s a tough thingtryin’ to be alive these days.
I hear a whistle, the chitterin’ bird call of my hip-mate. Waitin’ for me to do what I came here to do. So I scrawl TLRB in big black letters on the door. Somehow it don’t seem enough. So I write “A riot is the language of the unheard” next to it, one of my fav tidbits by a righteous guy. A guy who got gunned down for bein’ the wrong color and bein’ of the wrong mind. The Society don’t like people of the wrong mind. Hey, I know, the message ain’t nothin’ fancy, but the truth don’t have to be. It’s just gotta show up.
The Trans Liberty Riot Brigade was here.
“Hey, but what if…?”
Music to Lindsay’s ears. She is a graduate from The Evergreen State College and bathes in the sweet liberal waters of the Puget Sound. Or she would, if it wasn’t so polluted. She is a lover of the new and the old, of asking questions and contemplating possibilities. Lindsay’s work is primarily speculative fiction and she is an unapologetic Nerd. She lives with her husband and four fur-babies in Olympia, Washington.