Book Review: Project Unicorn, Volume 1: 30 Young Adult Short Stories Featuring Lesbian Heroines, Sarah Diemer & Jennifer Diemer (2012)

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Monstrously Beautiful

five out of five stars

Project Unicorn (“A Lesbian YA Extravaganza!”) is a ya fiction project created by the wife-wife writing team of Sarah Diemer (Love Devours; The Dark Wife) and Jennifer Diemer (Sappho’s Fables). Though the project is currently on hold, the idea is this: every week they post two free short stories on their website; these are gathered in a monthly zine, along with two previously-unpublished titles, which you can buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords. There’s also a quarterly edition that includes the contents of the previous three ‘zines, which is also available on etsy. As of this writing, there exist six zines and two volumes.

I first discovered Project Unicorn by way of “The Witch Sea,” an enchanting story about a witch named Meriel and the unexpected love she feels for a sea creature named Nor. A multi-generational feud has placed Meriel in the heartbreaking position of denying Nor that which she most desperately years for: the depths of the sea. I loved it so much that I promptly added all of Sarah Diemer’s titles to my wishlist.

The stories found in Project Unicorn, Volume 1 are every bit as magical as “The Witch Sea.” Beautiful, glorious, rainbow-hued magic. Accompanied by a menagerie of fantastical creatures – Kelpie unicorns, werecats, Victorian mermaids, kind-hearted witches, demons, even trees made human – the authors invite us to find and embrace the weirdness, the alienation, the darkness within ourselves. Those monsters staring at us through the glass of a magical compact? They are different from us, but…also the same. And that’s a wonderful thing. There’s light in the forest, yo.

(More below the fold…)

Diversify Your Shelves!

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Recently there’s been quite a bit of discussion about the lack of diversity in children’s and young adult literature (and, let’s face it, literature in general). This discontent inspired a 3-day campaign, We Need Diverse Books, which runs from May 1st through the 3rd. (I know, I know; I am forever late to the party!)

Day 1 involved tweeting, tumbling, instagramming, etc. pictures of yourself (your friends, your kids, your library patrons, etc.) holding a sign that says “We need diverse books because [fill in the blank].”

On Day 2, there was a Twitter chat using the hash tag #WeNeedDiverseBooks (which is still going strong and includes some really rockin’ recommendations!).

Today, the Diversify Your Shelves initiative encourages people to buy diverse books and share pictures of their shiny, newly diversified book piles. (Or, if you’re short on cash, borrow some books from the library, or request that they carry more diverse titles.) There are even some cool contests to sweeten the deal; see, e.g., Oddly Blogless and We Need Diverse Books. Like I needed an excuse to buy another book!

2014-05-03 - Diversify Your Shelves Order

In honor of the event, I downloaded a copy of Project Unicorn, Volume 1: 30 Young Adult Short Stories Featuring Lesbian Heroines. It’s a new addition to my wishlist; after reading Sarah Diemer’s short story The Witch Sea (free on Amazon!) earlier this week, I hopped on Amazon and added most of her oeuvre to my to-read list.

Project Unicorn (“A Lesbian YA Extravaganza!”) is a ya fiction project created by Sarah and her wife Jennifer Diemer. Though the project is currently on hold, the idea is this: every week they post two free short stories on their website; these are gathered in a monthly zine, along with two previously-unpublished titles, which you can buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords. There’s also a quarterly edition that includes the contents of the previous three ‘zines, which is also available on etsy.

(More below the fold…)