I can't say I'm particularly well-versed in science fiction. But I've been carrying these stories with me, thinking of them often in the weeks since I read them. Pollack is writing about gender and the legacy of queer community, and she's also thinking about how our hearts get stuck on ideas of who we are and want to be in the world. She writes with an eye to the long arc of the history of the spirit, and with much compassion for the muck of where we are now. Her writing has become a smooth little stone I carry in my pocket and reach for often.
A queer cult favorite, The Beatrix Gates is a colorful mix of science fiction, magic realism, memoir, and myth exploring themes of spirituality and transformation. Courage and cowardice contend in a literary odyssey unlike any other. Written especially for this volume, “Trans Central Station” is Pollack’s personal and political take on the transgender experience then and now—and tomorrow? “Burning Beard” is a fiercely revisionist Bible tale of plague and prophecy told through a postmodern prose of many colors. “The Woman Who Didn’t Come Back” is about just what it says. And there is of course PM Press' usual and unusual Outspoken Interview.
About the Author
An award-winning science fiction and fantasy author, Rachel Pollack (Unquenchable Fire and Godmother Night) is also an esteemed Tarot Grand Master with followers and students around the world. A progressive voice in the transgender community and a trusted guide to the ancient traditions of spiritualism, she has been for decades a teacher of writing at Goddard College.
“One of the most gifted and sensitive fantasists working today.” —Publishers Weekly
“[A] marvelous example of how sci-fi can remythologize the terms of common experience to elucidate and give new and deeper meaning.” —Lambda Book Report
“Rachel Pollack’s The Beatrix Gates is a stunning study in identity and mutability. It can be read most easily as a story about transexualism or simply a powerful examination of difference and its more positive consequences, as well as a subtle investigation of exactly what makes our identities.” —Green Man Review
“Rachel Pollack is one of the most consistently interesting and individual writers working in the fantasy and science fiction slipstream. Here be magick, real people, alternative worlds, and a fully mature creative consciousness.” —Geoff Ryman, author of WAS
"The collection closes with a powerful personal anecdote about the importance of trans representation to readers. In the essay 'Trans Central Station,' Pollack says: 'I was not trapped in the wrong body, I was trapped in the wrong universe. In order to become who I was, I had to break the world open. I had to embrace a kind of science fiction life.' Equal parts strange and captivating, this collection beautifully speaks Pollack’s truth." —Publishers Weekly
"Pollack’s stories flit from fantastical descriptions of transhumanist futures to heartbreaking depictions of young queer people struggling with their bodies and beingness... Each piece is different but equally cleverly woven...Equal parts strange and captivating, this collection beautifully speaks Pollack’s truth." —Publishers Weekly