Tuesday, May 25, 2010

“Knowing Mars” a 2007 queer superhero story by Tycho Garen

Tycho Garen, a LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Intersex) speculative fiction writer and an active member of The Outer Alliance, recently posted his science fiction novella “Knowing Mars” (2007) online for all to read. Here’s how Garen described his novella in a recent interview for Outer Alliance Spotlight #35:
Outer Alliance: You describe your novella, Knowing Mars, as a reluctant queer superhero story. Can you tell us anything more about it?

Tycho Garen: I suppose it’s less that the story itself is reluctantly a queer superhero story and more that I’ve been reluctant to call it a queer superhero story. Nevertheless, particularly in retrospect, it’s very clear to me that’s what it is. I wrote a quasi-cyberpunk story about a group of exiled telepathic people arriving on Mars to get away from a sticky political and social situation on Earth. Separately, and after the fact, I was talking about the superhero sub-genre with someone, mostly in terms of how I didn’t really get superheros, and they said “so what about the telepaths, in those stories that you wrote,” and I realized that of course they were right. It’s a superhero story of a certain sort.

Having said that I’m not sure how this story fares in the final analysis. I’m ambivalent about it: the story needs to be set free, and I think it’s an admirable attempt but I’m acutely aware of the flaws, but then isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?
In the interview, Garen also discusses his decision to post “Knowing Mars” online.

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