The debate over Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) continued to rage in the United States when I picked up this anthology. By the time I had finished reading and was ready to begin writing this review the U.S. Senate had already voted to repeal DADT opening the door for the U.S. to join the grouping of liberal democracies around the world that had rid them selves of such anachronistic, ridiculous and harmful policies and laws years ago. I am ecstatic that what was only a few short weeks ago an anthology of, for the most part, contemporary stories about some of the impacts of DADT on gay service men, is now a compilation of what used to be with DADT thankfully passing into history.
When I began writing this post I had the intention of listing ten of my favourite books in gay fiction for 2010. But it quickly became apparent that it would be impossible to restrict the list to only ten. Despite the fact that my reading time was more limited over 2010 due to the demands of real life and work and I read much less than in previous years, there were too many reading gems that I did read and could not omit from the year’s best.
Over the course of the year I made several wonderful discoveries in new-to-me authors, finally got around to reading books that had been sitting on my shelves for years, I received some great recommendations from online friends, some of my favourite authors released incredible stories and I gave myself permission to re-read some past favourites without guilt.
In the end, twenty books (novels, novellas, anthologies and short stories) made the final cut of my best in gay fiction for 2010 across several genres – contemporary, erotica, horror, historical, mystery, romance and young adult. Some were weighty stories, others lighter fare with happy endings, and several had unforgettable characters that continued to haunt me long after I was done reading their stories. But all the books listed as my best of 2010 in their own way dealt with the stuff of life and fed my mind, heart and soul.