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Short Stories 365:165

Linda Poitevin recently blogged a question out to the 'net about pseudonyms. When I was starting with my first few short stories, and I got a call for submissions for erotica, I had a serious pause and think about the same topic. Should I tie the same name - 'Nathan Burgoine (that's a link to my author Facebook page, by the way, feel free to go like it) - to erotica that I was using for regular fiction?

Ultimately, and obviously, I decided to keep the same name no matter what I was writing, though I had a similar pause when I wrote a Young Adult short story before deciding to stick with the same name a second time. I had two thoughts on the subject. One, I'm just starting really, so if one story leads someone to another, that can only be a good thing. Two, even though I've written Young Adult, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Erotica and Speculative Fiction, they're all also gay, and it doesn't take long in the writing world to realize that Gay Horror, or Gay Romance, or Gay Mystery is seen as Gay first, and the other second. I'm absolutely writing in one genre across the board: the gay one.

Then again, when I wrote my story for This is How You Die, I kept the same name, and that wasn't a gay story. Whatever. The reality is most of my stuff will be gay, and I like trying new areas of writing, and it would be exhausting to come up with a new name for each and every genre I decided to try.

I have enough trouble naming characters and stories, let alone whole new versions of myself.

"Eye," by Felice Picano

Speaking of someone who moves through genres and keeps one name, last night I was working my way through Picano's Twelve O'Clock Tales and bumped into this gem. It's a science fiction story, about a young man who is the lowest fellow on a totem pole of four scientists who are tasked with examining a rather large meteorite that has crashed to earth. Told in a flashback after the death of all the other scientists, this young man is breaking his silence to tell the truth for the first time.

Examining the rock is not considered to be a particularly challenging or interesting task, but the young man begins, and while the rock itself seems completely normal (and boring), soon that changes, and the young man realizes there is far more here than rock. A glimmer of light, a glimpse of somewhere - or perhaps somewhen - else, and lost time begins the eerie and strange little story, which satisfied my love of science fiction completely, and still left me wondering a little bit at the end - and then what happened?

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