cover image Burly Tales

Burly Tales

Edited by Steve Berman. Lethe, $15 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-59021-084-0

For this delightful, sexy anthology, Lambda Award winner Berman (His Seed) brings together 12 fairy tales reimagined to showcase large, hairy queer men. In James K. Moran’s “Three, to the Swizz’!” three friends channel the Billy Goats Gruff to get past a lecherous bouncer during their first post-Covid trip to a club. Traveling via dream brings Justinian to the kingdom of a young prince cursed to spend his days as a wild bear in John Linwood Grant’s “The Red Bear of Norroway,” written in winningly old-fashioned prose. Charles Payseur flips “Jack and the Beanstalk” on its head with the tale of a vegetarian giant who hires a dreamy exterminator to nonlethally expel human vermin from his home in “A Giant Problem.” A father locks his libidinous son in a tower in Rob Rosen’s “Lesson Learned,” a bawdy riff on “Rapunzel” that features a lush beard in place of the usual flowing tresses. A delicate young man follows his butch, sharpshooting sister into her marriage to a bulky Duke in Jonathan Harper’s impressive reworking of Bluebeard, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.” The result is a charming celebration of burly bodies and the men who love them. (Aug.)