Two queer spec fic novellas about boys, betrayals, and... bees.
Set in a future where humanity has been driven underground by “bad air,” Inkweed tells the story of Niko, a young factory worker at a utensil manufacturing plant. Uneducated and unskilled, Niko assumes his life will continue on course, the monitoring tensile strength of forks and spoons until he dies. Then Niko’s acquaintance Bill introduces him to inkweed, an elusive and powerful drug. Enticed by both Bill and the drug, Niko gets into the dangerous business of selling inkweed.
In The Mellification, Holly—a young transgender man who is a vampire—seeks a new name. In an underground society that values patience as their principle virtue, awaiting and receiving a vampire name is a vital rite of passage. Betrayal takes many forms, but what lurks in the dark passages of the catacombs might be the greatest threat to both Holly, his lover Cain, and his coven.
“Buchbinder debuts with an inventive and intimate duo of queer, fantastical novellas bound by a common theme of escape from oppressive communities supposedly designed for their denizens’ protection […] Though both novellas are complete enough on their own, readers will wish they got to see more of these worlds; each of these settings could easily sustain a complete and more complex novel. There’s lots to chew on here.” – Publishers Weekly
“Well worth a look for any readers interested in queer genre fiction.” - Booklist
Cover art by Nicolae Negură.