Between the Firmaments
J. Y. Yang's writing is always beautiful, and this novella about gods and imperialism and power exchange is no exception. Between the Firmaments is unique and action-packed and lovely.
Yang is a hard writer for me to review. Like them, I'm queer and genderqueer, and so I always have this forlorn hope that I'll see myself in their stories. Unfortunately, its not that simple. We're different kinds of queer, and this novella shows that rather starkly. I was mostly bored by the power play in the sex scenes, and a little weirded out by talk of one person owning another--even as gods who are cosmic, divine hunters and hunting hounds. It was interesting, but it didn't grab me by the heart.
However, I liked it well enough, and thought other aspects of the story were really vivid and well done, and I think many people will really love it. Yang builds a unique world full of vivid life with economy of prose, and leans hard into the action-packed, heroes-are-making-impossible-choices parts of the plot.
I got the eBook as a supporter of Yang's Patreon, which also gets you access to monthly short stories at the $3 level. If you do like the kinkier parts of Between the Firmaments, I strongly recommend becoming a supporter. It's rare to find kinky, queer stories written to a high literary standard, because almost nowhere publishes that kind of thing--and you can get that from Yang. So. That's a lot of fun.