Tor.com content by

A.J. Hackwith

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Through Doorways: Portal Fantasies and Queer Escape

Before I looked for girls or boys, I was looking for doors first.

It made sense, being born under a Nebraska sky that went on for miles: farm boy land. A dust bowl town was not a place for a queer girl-child; the whicker of wind through corn stole your breath if you tried to breathe too deeply, feel too much. It wasn’t a town for being yourself. It was a town for being farm girls, waiting for their farm boys. Farm boys, farm girls, and nothing in-between. Certainly not farm girls who crushed too hard on their best friends, and were then crushed in return. There was no escaping the endless plain. Not in a cornfield that was a kingdom and stalks rattled like dried bones in the night.

There was only one way, one kind of book, where farm kids got the kind of story I needed.

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Read an Excerpt from The Library of the Unwritten

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing—a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible. The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell….and Earth.

The first book in a new fantasy series by author A.J. Hackwith, The Library of the Unwritten publishes October 1st with Ace Books.

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Through Doorways: Portal Fantasies as a Means of Queer Escape and Queer Hope

Before I looked for girls or boys, I was looking for doors first.

It made sense, being born under a Nebraska sky that went on for miles: farm boy land. A dust bowl town was not a place for a queer girl-child; the whicker of wind through corn stole your breath if you tried to breathe too deeply, feel too much. It wasn’t a town for being yourself. It was a town for being farm girls, waiting for their farm boys. Farm boys, farm girls, and nothing in-between. Certainly not farm girls who crushed too hard on their best friends, and were then crushed in return. There was no escaping the endless plain. Not in a cornfield that was a kingdom and stalks rattled like dried bones in the night.

There was only one way, one kind of book, where farm kids got the kind of story I needed.

[Read more]

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