If you've never picked up a copy of the Lethe Press Wilde Stories anthologies, allow me a brief explanation: they're collections of the best of the gay speculative fiction for the year. Similarly, there's the Heiresses of Russ anthologies (lesbian spec fiction). Further, there's the Best Gay Stories series. Short fiction has a truly welcome home in Lethe Press.
This is to say they're fantastic, and every anthology introduces me to at least one new author I then track down compulsively.
Not in a stalker way, mind, just in a literary way. Y'know, stalking with semicolons.
There's currently a Google Doc open for those who'd like to submit a story (their own, or a loved story by someone else) for consideration in the next collection. Said document is available here for tales of speculative fiction and here for more literary gay fiction. So if you've read some phenomenal LGBT tales, go give them some love via those links.
"Wave Boys," by Vincent Kovar
Okay, this is a revisit for me, since I read this story first in The Touch of the Sea, but this story reappears - and most deservedly so - in Wilde Stories 2013. I freaking love this story, and seeing it in this collection made me nod my head in agreement. Seriously, I looked like a bobblehead. A gay bobblehead on a bus.
In no way do I mean that to be a knock against any of the other tales in the book - they're all strong (which is the point of "Best" collections but particularly well done in this series). Kovar crafts a sea and kraken world unlike any I've ever read, and encapsulates it in its own language, culture, custom and feel in the space of a short story. These boys are rough and tumble, and live on the waves. Gatherings are made of boats lashed together, and the kraken demons are to be mocked as much as they are feared. The ships are more like gangs, and the document telling us this tale is a translation from a source I won't ruin - but I loved wondering who was behind it, and for what purpose?
And, of course, Kovar is also this incredible hunk, because what fun would it be to be jealous of someone's incredible world-building skills if they weren't also freaking gorgeous? No fun. That's how much.