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12 Great Reads for Agender Pride Day

A graphic that reads "12 reads for Agender Day" over a background in the colors of the agender pride flag (black, gray, and pale green).
A graphic depicting 12 book covers over a background with stripes the color of the agender pride flag. The 12 books are: All Systems Red by Martha Wells; Aether Beyond the Binary A Duck Prints Press Anthology; The Heart-Break Bakery by A. R. Capetta; Fortune Favors Felines by R. L. Houck; A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers; RG Veda by CLAMP; The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin; Add Magic to Taste; Land of the Lustrous by Haruko Ichikawa; The Left Hand of Dog by Si Clarke; Love Me For Who I Am by Kata Konayama; and He Bears the Cape of Stars.

May 19th was Agender Pride day, and while we are a couple days behind on posting our rec list, we are no less proud to share these books with explicit or implied agender representation! Note that as very few books have explicit agender rep, we (as we always do) have allowed our rec list helpers to suggest books that served agender vibes as well, so if you read/have read some of these, you may feel differently about the gender representation in the books…and that’s okay! All readers bring and take away different things from their readings, and we support you, as we hope you’ll support us. These recs are from E. C. and several anonymous contributors. This list overlaps a little and adds some new titles to the eleven recs we had for Agender Pride Day last year!

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries series) by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries series) by Martha Wells

How Your Garden Grows by Nicola Kapron in the anthology Aether Beyond the Binary

The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta

Fortune Favors Felines by R. L. Houck

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot series) by Becky Chambers

RG Veda by Clamp

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Breaking Bread by Beth Lumen in the anthology Add Magic to Taste

Land of the Lustrous by Haruko Ichikawa

The Left Hand of Dog (Starship Teapot series) by Si Clarke

Love Me for Who I Am by Kata Konayama

On Not Going to Parties by Stephen G. Krueger in the anthology He Bears the Cape of Stars

You can view this list as a shelf on Goodreads!

Looking to buy one of the above books? Set us as your affiliate and browse this and our other rec lists as shoppable lists!

We’d LOVE to read more books with agender representation – do you have any recommendations for us?

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A Sherlock Holmes Day Roundtable Chat

A banner graphic on a blue background. The title is "Sherlock Holmes Day," with a subtitle that reads "dpp roundtable." Beneath that is clipart of a person's silhouette bust, wearing a deerstalker hat.

May 22 2024 marks Arthur Conan Doyle’s 165th birthday and is celebrated as Sherlock Holmes Day! We’ve got a lot of Holmes lovers in the Press (including yours truly), so we thought – let’s talk detective! The people who joined in on the round table chat are: Zel Howland, Nina Waters, E. C., Maggie Page, May Barros, Rascal Hartley, Shadaras, boneturtle and an anonymous contributor

1. What is your personal opinion on Sherlock Holmes?

Zel Howland: I /love/ Sherlock Holmes! My dad is a big Sherlock Holmes fan and bought the complete works for me and my older brother, and I have very clear memories of burying myself in the nice hardcover edition of A Study in Scarlet while the rest of the house watched TV. Reading, watching, or listening to any Holmes story or adaptation to this day brings to mind that specific sense memory of the book, the wood of my desk and chair, the smell of some soap I had spilled… very evocative, and that’s before I even start on how fascinating I find the characters and plots!

Anonymous: I read an anthology of Sherlock Holmes stories back in the day and it rewired my brain. I’m not fond of mystery stories at all – I don’t really enjoy competing with the protagonist to figure things out – but I do like driven, complicated characters with complicated and sometimes toxic relationships. And Sherlock Holmes is a delightfully complicated character, and his bond with John Watson has been giving people something to chew over for [over a century]. Beyond that, it’s fun how many angles Doyle approached the mystery formula from. Even though I’m not a mystery fan at all, I still got carried along in Watson’s excitement and empathized with Holmes in the rare occasion he was stumped or fooled. And that central relationship anchored things in a very human way that a lot of mystery novels, even those inspired by Holmes, just don’t.

Then I watched BBC’s Sherlock. And the movies that came out about the same time. And the old Granada series. I got really fascinated with all the ways that different people had retold the same stories and the same characters, updating them or failing to do so, and watching the evolution of Sherlock Holmes in media has been a hobby of mine ever since. Video games, anime, comic books, and of course literature – he’s everywhere. It’s fantastic.

Nina Waters: I’ve loved Holmes since I was a kid; I grew up on Basil of Baker Street, then I read the original Holmes stories, then started watching adaptations, especially the Granada Holmes.

E. C.: Same, re: loving Holmes for basically as long as I can remember.

Maggie Page: I’m in the midst of a years-long obsession with all things Sherlock Holmes. I adore him. After reading a chunk of the canon, I became fascinated with the divide between the cultural concept of Holmes and what I saw on the page. He’s a richer character than the tropes inspired by him.

May Barros: I like his stories, it was one of his stories that I read when I was trying to get proficient with the English language (it’s not my native language). An aunt gifted me a book of his stories in English and I read it all.

2. Has Sherlock Holmes influenced you or your writing in some way? How?

Zel Howland: Starting on Sherlock Holmes so early in my life /definitely/ had a huge impact of my taste in fiction and my writing down the line. Even as we’re talking about this I’m working on the outline for a new mystery novel that began as a riff on Agatha Christie, but has quickly devolved into something much closer to Hound of the Baskervilles.

Rascal Hartley: I got the Barnes and Noble compendium of all the stories back in junior high and blazed through them. I secretly fancied myself in love with Irene Adler but the specific story that had the most impact on me was The Adventure of the Dancing Men, specifically the cipher and reading how Holmes solved it. It gave me a love of codes and ciphers and languages that has rather stuck with me to this day (and also, his explanation of the most common letters in order has helped me win many games of hangman, lol)

Nina Waters: I dressed as Irene Adler for Halloween circa 2005…

E. C.: Half-formed thought:  Sherlock Holmes and the many iterations of how his stories are told and re-told and expanded by other writers probably paved the way for how I think about fan fiction.  Laurie King’s Holmes books are an example of straddling the line between pastiche and fanfic.

May Barros: I mean, his stories taught me English in a sense. If I’m writing in this language today, it is in part because of him.

Maggie Page: Examining these differences [between the concept of Holmes and what I saw on the page], comparing portrayals, and diving into meta-analyses has developed into a hobby that’s inspired me to read and annotate the complete works as well as giving me aspirations of writing my own version of Holmes someday. To that end, I’ve learned more about queer culture in the Victorian era than I ever imagined I’d know, but that’s been fun too.

3. What impact do you think Sherlock Holmes had on culture?

Zel Howland: It is honestly hard to overstate how culturally significant Sherlock Holmes has been. From being a milestone in fannish history where popular acclaim brought the character back from the dead to the countless adaptations that have graced the pages, the radio, and the screen, down to the very formulas that we use for the mystery genre itself. Dame Agatha Christie might be the mother of the murder mystery, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the DNA.

Shadaras: I feel like Holmes is one of those characters who just permeates culture? I didn’t grow up reading Holmes, but I knew about Holmes and could understand a lot of references because there are so many stories based on it -whether they’re direct adaptations (like BBC Sherlock, the Guy Ritchie films, or Elementary) or more indirect inspired-by stories (like House). The whole concept of a consulting detective comes from Holmes, as I understand it, and I think that concept helps shape/structure a lot of procedural mystery stories in the modern day even if they don’t otherwise draw from Holmes.

Nina Waters: Some of the earliest “fanfictions” I can remember reading were anthologies of Holmes stories written in modern times. Societally, I feel like even giving a concise description of influence would be futile, that’s a dissertation topic right there, because it’s such a cultural pillar.

Maggie Page: Sherlock Holmes has had an immense impact on culture, so it’s difficult to touch on succinctly.  You can find traces of Holmes everywhere; he’s even the origin of the usage of “canon” to refer to any official body of work.

May Barros: I do not think, I know. Sherlock Holmes was such a success when Doyle was writing that several people tried to adapt his stories into other mediums even when Doyle was alive, Doyle even suggested people published their “fanfics” as original stories with the character names changed (source: FIC by Anne Jamison)

4. What is your favorite adaptation of Sherlock Holmes and what do you love about it?

boneturtle: My favorite Sherlock Holmes adaptation is the Goalhanger podcast Sherlock & Co.!  It is a delightfully character-driven adaptation of the Sherlock stories, with the premise that John Watson is a modern-day podcaster instead of a writer. From the opening monologue: “My name is Dr. John Watson, once of the British Army Northumberland Fusilier Regiment, now a true crime podcaster based in Central London.” Oh my gosh, just thinking about it makes me smile. Not only are the stories genuinely gripping, it’s also such a fun spoof on the current true-crime podcast obsession.

Zel Howland: Is it cheap to say House M.D.? If we’re talking about more literal adaptations, I definitely have to say CBS’s Elementary. While it certainly isn’t perfect, Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu bring so much to the table as Holmes and Watson, and I really can never say no to a procedural show.

Anonymous: Bit of a tangent, but I think my overall favourite mystery series is Umineko: When They Cry. However, Umineko isn’t so much a mystery story as a story about mysteries and the people they affect. And the reasons I like it so much boil down to it being a very human story about intense, toxic relationships and the struggle to understand driven, complicated characters. In other words, I like Umineko because I like Sherlock Holmes. Like I said, it rewired my brain.

Shadaras: Relatedly, I’d love to rec Katherine Addison’s The Angel of the Crows, which has an end note that talks about how it started out as BBC Sherlock wingfic (but in the original Holmes era) and then became a whole novel of its own with plots riffing off the original Holmes stories. It’s a fantastic novel, highly recommend if you enjoy urban fantasy and/or Holmes-inspired stories!

Maggie Page: 4 – If a loose adaptation will suffice, The Mentalist is my favorite show. The dynamic between the Holmes/Watson analogues, Patrick Jane and Teresa Lisbon, is the best part, naturally. Jane’s characterization (as someone playful, gentle, protective, fierce, sometimes harsh, and much more) feels truer to canon than many direct adaptations. The wonderful ensemble cast is a huge bonus. And the hook of the overarching plot reeled me in completely. Spinning theories about Red John was one of my first immersive fandom experiences, and I loved every minute.

May Barros: I love Elementary. I love Lucy Liu as Watson and the show’s interpretation of Sherlock just hits right for me as a caring neurodivergent rich man who’s doing his best but is not always understood

Nina Waters: The Granada Holmes (…) is my favorite version along with Elementary and The Great Mouse Detective.

E. C.: Jeremy Brett is definitely my favorite Holmes, because he managed to convey the analytical brilliance and focus and dismissiveness, but with a base of kindness that I think gets lost in some portrayals.  That’s why I also like Jonny Miller’s version in Elementary (I also think this is one of the best portrayals of addiction and recovery, and also of a truly healthy platonic love and mutual respect between male/female leads, I’ve ever seen on a network show).

boneturtle: Another great “Sherlock” adaptation that has almost nothing to do with the original story other than the name is the c-drama “Maiden Holmes,” starring a female detective hiding her gender to be able to work with the police in ancient China and ultimately uncover the truth about the reason her family was killed when she was young. It’s ridiculously wholesome and has really strong plotting and character development, but might not be worth including in the post just because it’s such a loose adaptation.

Anonymous: I don’t think Case Closed/Detective Conan by Gosho Aoyama is actually a Sherlock Holmes adaptation, but the shadow of Holmes and the “great detective” genre hang really thick over the series. The characters are iconic, the mysteries are clever and emotionally affecting, and the pacing is so abysmal that it’s often joked that the series is composed of episodic side stories with occasional moments of plot. And it’s still one of the greatest manga of all time.

I do want to recommend The Great Ace Attorney. It’s a visual novel, that should count as a book, right? And its take on Sherlock Holmes – I mean, Herlock Sholmes – as a goofy airhead who’s none the less both genuinely brilliant and deeply affected by Victorian-era politics separating him from his Watson is interesting. Ace Attorney as a franchise is good at swinging between dramatic storytelling and goofy nonsense, and playing Sherlock as a comedic character first and foremost without downplaying his intelligence and observation skills is a neat concept. Herlock Sholmes is arguably too observant – he sees everything and has difficulty figuring out what’s important to the case at hand, which is why he needs a partner to help him focus.

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Great Reads for Latinx Books Month!

Graphic 1 of 2. Entitled "Our Favorite Queer Latinx Books," this graphic features six book covers over a faded-out rainbow striped background. The six book covers are: Sordidez by E. G. Condé, The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes, The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl, The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas, She Wears the Midnight Crown, and Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera and Celia Moscote.
Graphic 2 of 2. This graphic features 12 book covers over a faded-out rainbow striped background. The books are: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes, Cemerary Boys by Aiden Thomas, Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz, The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older, The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz, Belle of the Ball by Mari Costa, Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier, The Last 8 by Laura Pohl, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, The Wicked Bargain by Gabe Cole Novoa, and If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich.

May is Latino Books Month, and here we are as always with some of our favorite books! We asked our usual book recommendation list contributors for their favorite books starring latinx characters, written by latinx authors, or – most often – both! The Duck Prints Press creators who contributed to this rec list are: Terra P. Waters, Sebastian Marie, Nina Waters, Shadaras, May Barros, Annabeth Lynch, Neo Scarlett, Tris Lawrence, and an anonymous contributor.

Honorable Mentions: Several of the books on last week’s Speak Your Language Day recommendation list also fit the theme for this list! These books are:

View this list as a shelf on our Goodreads account!

See a book you want to read? You can check out this list, and our other recommendation lists, on – and make us your regular affiliate bookshop!

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Fandom Lexicon: L

Moving right along, today we have a modest-sized Lexicon addition – entries beginning with the letter L! With this post, we cross more than half of all entries posted – the alphabet entries skew earlier in the alphabet – but we’re still a week off from being halfway through the alphabet.

Check out the entire Lexicon posted to date!

See a mistake? Have an addition to make? LET US KNOW!

Lexicon entries beginning with L:

LARP: Abbreviation for “Live Action Roleplaying.” An event where individuals create character profiles per a specified game system, dress up as those characters (optional), and roleplay in person over a period of time. Often includes magical and battle elements through proxies like chalk balls and padded weapons. Should not be confused with the SCA, Renaissance fairs, or cosplay. See also: Boffing. Read more about LARPing.

Lemon: See Citrus Scale.

LG: Abbreviation for “lesbian and gay.” An old abbreviation for grouping lesbian and gay people. When used in modern contexts, it’s often chosen intentionally to exclude bisexual and transgender individuals (because biphobia and transphobia).

Lik the Bred: The last line of a poem that inspired a genre of meme poetry. Read more about the meme “lik the bread.”

Lime: See Citrus Scale.

Listmom: A person, usually a women, who runs/moderates a mailing list. Read more about listmoms.

Listserv: Essentially a way to create email rings for communication. Originally the name of a specific service/program, it often has been applied and used more generally to refer to mailing lists. A primary method for fans to communicate in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Listserv is still available. Read more about Listserv.

Livejournal Strikethrough: See Strikethrough (pending).

Livestream: A real-time video stream, especially common as a way of people sharing with others as they play a video game. Twitch is currently the primarily platform where livestreams are hosted, though places like YouTube and Discord sometimes have them, and historically there have been other services for them as well.

LJ: Abbreviation for Livejournal. A blogging platform that was a popular fandom gathering point in the early 2000s. Due to Livejournal’s actions against queer works and their acquisition by a Russian company in 2012, use for LJ has significantly declined, but the webpage does still exist. Visit Livejournal.

Loaf: Originally, a term for any creature (but especially a cat) who has lain down in a way that they have come to resemble a loaf of bread. Usage has expanded from there.

Loli: See Lolicon.

Lolicon: Portmanteau of the words “Lolita” and “complex.” A Japanese genre that focused on young or young-looking female characters, often sexually. Not to be confused with Lolita fashion. See also: Shotacon (pending). Read more about Lolicon.

Lolita Fashion: A style of dressing “cute,” often involving frilly dresses, many accessories, and “girly” colors and choices (thought it can also be all black and gothic – it’s a large sub-culture with many variations). Especially popular in Japan, Lolita fashion has fans and people (of all genders) who dress in Lolita style all over the world. Not to be confused with lolicon! Read more about Lolita fashion.

LRB: Abbreviation for “last reblog.” See LRT.

LRT: Abbreviation for “last retweet” (on Twitter), “last reskeet” (on Bluesky), and “last retoot” (on Mastodon). Indicates that what is being said in a current tweet/skeet/toot is a reference to the contents of the previous retweet/reskeet/retoot on the same account. Depending on the platform, it may instead be LRS (last reskeet), LB (last blog) or any of a number of other variations.

Lurker: Someone who spends time in an online community without speaking/engaging with others. There are many reasons someone might choose to behave this way, and it’s inherently a neutral behavior despite their being some stigma against it. Read more about lurkers.

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Queer Book Recs for Speak Your Language Day!

A graphic (1 of 2) on a pale blue background. It's entitled "Our Favorite Non-English Queer Reads" and shows a stylized artwork of the globe with a swirl of rainbow colors over it, and shows three book titles. The books are: Where We Go From Here by Lucas Rocha; Guardian by priest; and The Center of the World by Andreas Steinhofel.
A graphic (2 of 2) on a pale blue background. The books are: Journey Home by May Barrows; Roze Brieven by Splinter Chabot; Modu by priest; Favorite by Mayara Barros; Amatka by Karin Tidbeck; Thieves by Lucie Bryson; Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins; Love Me For Who I Am by Kata Konayama; This Is Our Place by Vitor Martins; Heaven Official's Blessing by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu; Golden Hue by May Barrows; and The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories edited by Regina Kanyu Wang and Yu Chen.

Once a year on Tumblr on May 7th, the account spyld organizes Speak Your Language Day, a day to encourage people on such an English-centric platform to speak their native languages instead. Duck Prints Press works with creators from over the world, many of whom speak languages other than English as their native tongues (French and German are most common among our folks, but they’re far from the only mother tongues) and so we wanted to join in the celebration for the day by highlighting some of our favorite queer works originally published in languages other than English. Six people contributed to this list (half themselves not native English speakers.). Original language blurbs used when possible!

Where We Go from Here (Você Tem a Vida Inteira) by Lucas Rocha. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

As vidas de Ian, Victor e Henrique se encontram de uma forma inesperada.
Ian conhece Victor no dia em que recebe o resultado de seu teste rápido de HIV. Os dois são universitários. Victor está envolvido com Henrique. Ian está solteiro. Os três são gays.

Dois deles têm a vida atingida pela notícia de um diagnóstico positivo para o HIV. Um não tem o vírus. Um está indetectável. Dois estão apaixonados.
Henrique é mais velho e, depois de Victor, pensou que poderia acreditar de novo em alguém.

Victor têm medo do que o amor pode trazer para a sua vida.

Ian sequer sabe se será capaz de amar.

Os três são, ao mesmo tempo, heróis e vilões de uma história que não é sobre culpa, mas sim sobre amor, amigos e sobre como podemos formar nossas próprias famílias.

Guardian (镇魂/Zhen Hun) by priest. Original language: Chinese

Zhao Yunlan heads up a covert division of the Ministry of Public Security that deals with the strange and unusual, blurring the line between the mortal realm and the Netherworld. His cocky, casual attitude conceals both a sharp mind and an arsenal of mystical tools and arcane knowledge. 

While investigating a gruesome death at a local university, Zhao Yunlan crosses paths with the reserved Professor Shen Wei. Zhao Yunlan is immediately intrigued by Shen Wei’s good looks and intense gaze, and the attraction between them is immediate and powerful, even as Shen Wei tries to keep his distance. Shen Wei and his secrets are a puzzle Zhao Yunlan feels compelled to solve as mysterious circumstances throw them together, and their connection becomes impossible to deny.

The Center of the World (Die Mitte der Welt) by Andreas Steinhöfel. Original language: German

Was immer ein normales Leben auch sein mag – der 17-jährige Phil hat es nie kennengelernt. Denn so ungewöhnlich wie das alte Haus ist, in dem er lebt, so ungewöhnlich sind auch die Menschen, die dort ein- und ausgehen – seine chaotische Mutter Glass, seine verschlossene Zwillingsschwester Dianne und all die anderen. Und dann ist da noch Nicholas, der Unerreichbare, in den Phil sich unsterblich verliebt.

Journey Home (A Caminho de Casa) by May Barros. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

Amara e Luiza are two witches that live in a queerplatonic relationship. When Luiza decides to embark on a journey throught the galaxy in a quest for the lost fortress of Laura, the Dragon Queen, she ends up finding more than expected, while Amara follows her footsteps, hoping it’s not too late.

Roze Brieven by Splinter Chabot. Original language: Dutch

Op zijn verjaardag op 3 maart 2020 debuteerde Splinter Chabot met CONFETTIREGEN. Het boek werd al snel omarmd door de boekhandel en media. En daar bleef het niet bij. Sinds de verschijning krijgt Splinter dagelijks reacties op zijn openhartige verhaal over zijn coming-out. Reacties van ouders, van jongeren die met dezelfde worsteling kampen, van ouderen die zichzelf herkennen in het verhaal, van mensen uit de LGBTQ+-gemeenschap, van docenten en nog vele anderen. Ontroerende, grappige, gekke, treurige en hoopvolle reacties die Splinter stuk voor stuk beantwoordt.

In Roze brieven zijn de meest bijzondere brieven verzameld door Splinter zelf met daarbij de reacties die hij heeft gestuurd. Voor alle lezers van CONFETTIREGEN en voor iedereen die worstelt met zijn of haar identiteit zal Roze brieven een waardevolle bron van herkenning zal zijn. Een intieme en ontroerende bundeling waarin een belangrijke boodschap weerklinkt: Het wordt beter.

Silent Reading (默读/Mo Du) by priest. Original language: Chinese

Childhood, upbringing, family background, social relations, traumatic experiences…We keep reviewing and seeking out the motives of criminals, exploring the subtlest emotions driving them. It’s not to put ourselves in their shoes and sympathize, or even forgive them; it’s not to find some reasons to exculpate their crimes; it’s not to kneel down before the so-called “complexity of human nature”; nor to introspect social conflicts, much less to alienate ourselves into monsters.We just want to have a fair trial – for ourselves and for those who still have hope for the world.

Favorite (Preferida) by May Barros. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

(no blurb available)

Amatka by Karin Tidbeck. Original language: Swedish

Av ren slump har människor hamnat i en parallell värld. Det är en instabil plats, där orden hela tiden formar verkligheten. Den dagliga kampen för att överleva har skapat ett samhälle fyllt av regler, där kollektivet alltid går före individen. Vanja skickas till det avlägsna samhället Amatka. De människor hon möter där ruskar om i hennes sorg och ensamhet. Hon gör häpnadsväckande upptäckter, som förändrar inte bara henne, personligen. I en instabil värld kan en förändring spridas hur långt som helst.

Thieves (Voleuse) by Lucie Bryon. Original language: French

Arriver à l’heure en cours et étudier ? Très peu pour Ella. Ce qu’elle aime ? Regarder à la dérobée la douce et mystérieuse Madeleine et, bien sûr, faire la fête. Un peu trop, même.

Un matin, elle se réveille avec une gueule de bois carabinée : c’est le blackout. Et la panique. Chez qui a-t-elle passé la soirée ? Et pourquoi son lit est jonché d’objets luxueux qui ne lui appartiennent absolument pas ?

Here the Whole Time (Quinze Dias) by Vitor Martins. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

Felipe está esperando esse momento desde que as aulas começaram: o início das férias de julho. Finalmente ele vai poder passar alguns dias longe da escola e dos colegas que o maltratam. Os planos envolvem se afundar nos episódios atrasados de suas séries favoritas, colocar a leitura em dia e aprender com tutoriais no YouTube coisas novas que ele nunca vai colocar em prática.

Mas as coisas fogem um pouquinho do controle quando a mãe de Felipe informa que concordou em hospedar Caio, o vizinho do 57, por longos quinze dias, enquanto os pais dele não voltam de uma viagem. Felipe entra em desespero porque a) Caio foi sua primeira paixãozinha na infância (e existe uma grande possibilidade dessa paixão não ter passado até hoje) e b) Felipe coleciona uma lista infinita de inseguranças e não tem a menor ideia de como interagir com o vizinho.

Love Me for Who I Am (不可解なぼくのすべてを/Fukakai na Boku no Subete o) by Kata Konayama. Original language: Japanese



This Is Our Place (Se a Casa 8 Falasse) by Vitor Martins. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

O terceiro romance de Vitor Martins, autor de Quinze dias e Um milhão de finais felizes Ambientado e narrado pela mesma casa em três décadas diferentes, Se a casa 8 falasse é um romance sobre jovens lidando com mudanças drásticas, conflitos familiares e primeiros amores, que mostra que, apesar das gerações mudarem, algumas experiências são capazes de atravessar a barreira do tempo. Algumas casas guardam histórias especiais. A que fica no número 8 da rua Girassol tem muito para contar. 2000: Ana recebe a notícia de que vai se mudar e será obrigada a deixar para trás tudo o que conheceu até agora, inclusive a parte mais dolorida de todas: sua namorada. 2010: Enquanto os pais de Greg passam por um divórcio complicado, ele é enviado para a casa da tia, que é dona de uma locadora em tempos de internet e odeia companhia – e muitas outras coisas. 2020: Beto sempre quis se mudar e seguir o sonho de ser fotógrafo em São Paulo. Só que uma pandemia aparece para obrigá-lo a ficar trancado em casa com a mãe protetora e a irmã aparentemente perfeita. Esta é uma história sobre uma casa e seus moradores, incluindo um vira-lata de três patas chamado Keanu Reeves

Heaven Official’s Blessing (天官赐福/Tian Guan Ci Fu) by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Original language: Chinese

Born the crown prince of a prosperous kingdom, Xie Lian was renowned for his beauty, strength, and purity. His years of dedicated study and noble deeds allowed him to ascend to godhood. But those who rise may also fall, and fall he does–cast from the heavens and banished to the world below. 

Eight hundred years after his mortal life, Xie Lian has ascended to godhood for the third time, angering most of the gods in the process. To repay his debts, he is sent to the Mortal Realm to hunt down violent ghosts and troublemaking spirits who prey on the living. Along his travels, he meets the fascinating and brilliant San Lang, a young man with whom he feels an instant connection. Yet San Lang is clearly more than he appears… What mysteries lie behind that carefree smile?

Golden Hue (Aura Dourada) by May Barros. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

(no blurb available)

The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories (no Chinese title) ed. by Regina Kanyu Wang & Yu Chen. Original language: Chinese

In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the island of the gods on the backs of giant fish to ensure that the world can bloom.

Written, edited, and translated by a female and nonbinary team, these stories have never before been published in English and represent both the richly complicated past and the vivid future of Chinese science fiction and fantasy.

Time travel to a winter’s day on the West Lake, explore the very boundaries of death itself, and meet old gods and new heroes in this stunning new collection.

There are so many wonderful queer books being published in languages other than English. What are some of your favorites, available in translation or not?

View this list, and other books we’ve previously recommend that were originally published in languages other than English, on this Goodreads shelf!

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Fandom Lexicon: I, J, and K

Today’s Fandom Lexicon update is a three-for-one deal, as we introduce all our entries starting with I, J, and K!

See all the posted Lexicon entries so far!

Know a term we haven’t included? Spotted a mistake? Let us know!

Lexicon Terms Beginning with I:

IA: Abbreviation for the Internet Archive, also known as the Wayback Machine, a website that archives the internet. Visit the Internet Archive.

IG: Abbreviation for Instagram. An image-based social media platform owned by Facebook. Visit Instagram.

IIRC: Abbreviation for “if I recall correctly.”

IMHO: Abbreviation for “in my humble opinion.”

IMNSHO: Abbreviation for “in my not-so-humble opinion.”

IMO: Abbreviation for “in my opinion.”

Incorrect [thing] Quotes: Refers to creating dialogue for characters or superimposing quotes from one source material onto the characters from another. This can be done in text or visual formats. Incorrect [things] Quotes are common theme blogs/accounts on many platforms. Read more about “incorrect quotes” as short fanworks.

IRC: Abbreviation for Internet Relay Chat. A long-standing predecessor to Discord. Read more about IRC.

Isekai: A Japanese term for a genre of stories where a person from the modern world is drawn magically or technologically into another world, usually a fantasy, historical/fantasy, or future/science fiction setting. Read more about isekai.

Lexicon Terms Beginning with J:

J Drama: TV shows made in Japan, also called dorama. Read more about J Drama.

J Pop: Japanese pop music. Read more about J Pop.

J Rock: Japanese rock music. Read more about J Rock.

Jossed: When new events in a franchise refute the collectively agreed-upon preferences of its fans or “established” fanon. This may or may not be intentional on the part of the franchise runners. Named after the show runner and writer Joss Whedon. See also: Kripked. Read more about the term “Jossed.”

JPG (file format): An image file format, sometimes spelled JPEG. Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group.

JRPG: Abbreviation for “Japanese Roleplaying Game.” Most often refers to video games. See also: TTRPG (pending). Read more about JRPGs.

Jump the Shark: The moment when a show goes from being good to being ridiculous and bad, often because the creator has introduced elements that make no sense in a desperate bid to keep the show on the air instead of letting it end gracefully and in a timely manner. Originated as a reference to a terrible episode of the sitcom Happy Days. Read more about the term “jump the shark.”

Lexicon Terms Beginning with K:

K Drama: South Korean TV shows. Read more about K Drama.

K Pop: South Korean pop music. Read more about K Pop.

Kawaii: The Japanese word for “cute.” Widely adopted in Western fandoms, especially anime and manga fandoms.

KDP: Abbreviation for Kindle Direct Publishing, the self-publishing arm of Amazon.

Kemonomimi: A Japanese word referring to when otherwise human-looking characters have animal features, especially ears and tails. Read more about kemonomimi.

Kink Meme: A type of prompt event that originated on Livejournal but has since migrated to other platforms. These moderated events allow people to (anonymously or otherwise) submit a kink prompt (though most also allow non-kink prompts), and anyone who wants to may create a fanwork that satisfies the requests made in the prompt. Read more about kink memes.

Kink Tomato: Made-up pronunciation for the abbreviation YKINMKATO, which stands for “your kink is not my kink and that’s okay.” See also: YKINMKATO (pending).

Know Your Meme: A website that explains different meme formats and their history. Visit Know Your Meme.

Kripked: When new events in a given franchise unfold in a way that matches the collectively agreed-upon preferences of its fans or “established” fanon. This may or may not be intentional on the part of the franchise runners. Named after one of the original creators of Supernatural, Eric Kripke. See also: Jossed. Read more about the term “Kripked.”

KS: Abbreviation for Kickstarter. A crowdfunding platform. Visit Kickstarter.

KU: Abbreviation for Kindle Unlimited, an unlimited e-book reading program with a monthly fee run by Amazon.

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Created Works Round-Up: April 2024

A banner that reads "Created Works Round Up: April." In the upper left corner is the Duck Prints Press logo with a rainbow of duck prints around the left and bottom of it. On the right is the Dux mascot, a white duck with an orange beak and orange feet and a pleased expression on their face.

Duck Prints Press’s monthly “created works round-ups” are our opportunity to spotlight some of the amazing work that people working with us have done that ISN’T linked to their work with Duck Prints Press. We include fanworks, outside publications, and anything else that creators feel like sharing with y’all. Inclusion is voluntary and includes anything that they decided “hey, I want to put this on the created work’s round-up!”

Check out what they’ve shared with us this month…

Secret Lives, Chapter Eight: Eliot by EliotQueliot

fiction || the magicians (tv) || m/m || quentin coldwater/eliot waugh || mature || creator choses not to use warnings || 3,547 || work in progress

summary: Eliot cares for Quentin while he recuperates from the hedge witch battle. To avoid the dean’s restrictions, they decide to collaborate on one of Eliot’s ghost rescue missions. (This chapter’s short and mostly fluffy!)


Art for Mosaic Haiku, Chapter One by EliotQueliot

art || the magicians (tv) || m/m || quentin coldwater/eliot waugh || general audiences || creator choses not to use warnings || complete

summary: I’m painting watercolor sketches of key scenes in the lifetime that Eliot and Quentin spend together at the Mosaic in The Magicians Season 3, Episode 5, “A Life in the Day” (and relevant scenes that touch on this from other episodes). Part of my purpose here is to give us these important moments in full color, with good lighting and the ability to see their faces and body language clearly. I’m also just aiming to celebrate the vibrancy of their lives together. These are designed to accompany my haiku in my haiga project, “Mosaic Haiku.” The original photos with the haiku are now posted on Tumblr (links to each from the AO3 chapter), while I’m slowly adding my watercolor versions to all the chapters on AO3. The art for Chapter 1 of Mosaic Haiku is now complete, with three watercolors (and the original sketch for one of the watercolors).


Every After by MindfulWrath

fiction || kingdom hearts 2 || m/m || axel/roxas || mature || graphic depictions of violence, major character death, rape/non-con, underage || 139,484 || complete

summary: If it always starts the same way, how could the ending ever change?

other tags: Alternate Universe, Disney Multiverse, Angst and Tragedy, Dead Dove: Do Not Eat, Eye Trauma, Transphobia, Internalized Homophobia, Suicidal Thoughts


…& the Future by Rascal Hartley

fiction || damar series – robin mckinley, the hero and the crown – robin mckinley || poly (multiple genders) || aerin/luthe/tor || mature || no major warnings apply || 11,270 || complete

summary: She thinks often of Luthe as Tor and her father recover, and as she herself regains her strength; she thinks of him in his lonely castle, his blonde curls, his eyes under the glistening moon. He does feel like a dream, but a good one, as if she might close her eyes just so and re-enter it at will. As it is, she holds Tor’s hand at his bedside and waits.

(Alternate ending to _The Hero and the Crown_ where Arlbeth survives, Talat stays with Aerin, and everything is a bit more queer)

other tags: Canon divergent, getting together, homoerotic swordfighting, enemies to lovers speedrun, minor peril


The Recondite by S. J. Ralston

fiction || original work || no ships || teen & up || graphic depictions of violence || 7,029 || complete

summary: Something wretched is stirring in the Third Ward of Houston. Fisher, self-proclaimed Columbo of Los Espookies, aims to find out what it is before it finishes waking up.

other tags: Urban Fantasy, Queerphobia, Racism, Body Horror


Heat transfer by Smehur

art || baldur’s gate 3 || m/m || astarion/tav || mature || no major warnings apply || complete

summary: When a healthy, living man holds an ancient vampire


On Books and Reading by Smehur

fiction || baldur’s gate 3 || m/m || astarion/tav || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 2,495 || ongoing series

summary: Panic roils underneath Tav’s outward calm. What to do? If he outright refuses to give Astarion the cursed book, the nascent bond between them will snap. He doesn’t want that. But what Astarion asks is irrational, and to agree with it would be irrational too. Worse still, it would set a dangerous precedent. He’ll know exactly how to manipulate Tav the next time some whim takes hold of him.

other tags: Slow Burn, Disabled Character, Male Tav


Once Upon a Future Time: Saverre’s Seven Ravens by Terra P. Waters

fiction || original work || platonic or familial || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 10k || complete

summary: When Saverre finds out she had seven older brothers who were kidnapped by the government and turned into cybernetic warriors called Ravens, she goes on a quest to save them and bring them home. A sci-fi retelling of the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, “The Seven Ravens.”

other tags: space stations, space ships, vent crawling, family drama, body modification, cybernetics, confidence games


Creativity for the Love of It, Part 2: Fanworks by Max Jason Peterson

meta || original work || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 1,772 || complete

summary: An essay about some of the reasons fanworks are wonderful, from the point of view of a fanworks creator (in the universe of Lev Grossman’s series, The Magicians) who also makes original fiction/poetry/art. Includes kudos for Lev Grossman as a friend of fanworks.


Whimsical Life by May Barros

ttrpg || original work || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || complete

summary: A slice-of-life rpg about magical beings doing odd jobs to a non-magical community and growing in power and knowledge.

They sell their services, study their craft, deal with magical shenanigans and interact with the community.


There’s some really awesome stuff this month, so why not take a minute and check some of it out?

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Welcome to May Trope Mayhem 2024!

A graphic with a pale blue background. The header reads "May Trope Mayhem: A Multi-Fandom and Original Work Creation Challenge 2024 List." Below this is a numbered list of 31 items. The Duck Prints Press logo, surrounded by rainbow duck prints on two sides, with the white dux mascot on the right and the words "we print diversity" below that, is in the lower right corner of the image. The full list reads: 1. Secret Relationship 2. Mistaken Identity 3. Accidental Ownership 4. Space Western Setting 5. Marriage Before Love 6. Time Loop 7. Wound Tending 8. "This is our get-along shirt." 9. Reincarnation 10. Mutual Pining 11. Forced Proximity 12. Sentinel/Guide 13. Vampires 14. Outsider Point of View 15. Monster F*ing (censored in the image) 16. Foodservice Setting 17. Meet Cute 18. "Keep your dog on a leash." 19. Mecha 20. The Soulmate Goose of Enforcement 21. Steampunk 22. Love Requited Too Late 23. Bottom Storage 24. Werewolf/Shifter Character 25. Fake Relationship 26. Reciprocal Idiots 27. There Was Only One Bed 28. OMG They Were Roommates 29. Soul-Bonding 30. Homoerotic Swordfighting 31. Free day!

May Trope Mayhem is a multi-fandom/original creation event open to writers, artists, and creators of all kinds! We’ve put together a list of 30 of our favorite tropes (plus one free day!), one per day through the month of May, and we encourage creators to join us for this month of fun tropey mayhem.

Our goal is to promote motivation and help with habit building, so we’re encouraging authors to keep their ficlets under 1,000 words, artists to stick to making just a sketch, gif makers to only do a single image, etc., as applicable to whatever you’re making.

This event is primarily held on Tumblr, but you’re welcome to participate anywhere Duck Prints Press has an account (you can see all our current platforms here) and we’ll keep our eyes on our tag everywhere!

How can you participate? It’s easy! There’s just a few simple rules:

  • write a ficlet or a poem, create art, make a gif, or create any other content that you want, aligned with the prompt for the day!
  • post your correctly tagged fills to Tumblr, and we’ll reblog them! We’ll reskeet works on Bluesky, retoot those on Mastodon, you get the idea. Note: we do not use Twitter.
  • you must tag warnings such as gore, MCD, sexual content, etc., so that people can make informed decisions!
  • please also tag fandom and ship, so people can find what interests them!
  • we ask that you put the tags at the top of your post, so they’re easy to find.
  • if you write more than 1k words and post the whole text on Tumblr or wherever, please use a read more if the platform allows.
  • if you create something with NSFW content or potentially triggering material, please put the entire work under a read more.

Ping us (duckprintspress) or tag your creations “#may trope mayhem” and so we can find them! We’ll reblog all fills that follow the above rules and are posted between May 1st and June 8th, 2024.

If you post to AO3, you can also add them to our collection there!

You don’t have to sign up for May Trope Mayhem, just post your fills. You don’t have to be a member of the Press nor do you have to be following us. You don’t have to be part of a specific fandom. We’re open to all ships, genres, formats, etc.! You don’t have to post fills on the corresponding day, though we ask that if you’re creating for a day that hasn’t happened yet, please wait for that day to post.

Participating in May Trope Mayhem? Want to chat fandom, books, creation, and more? Join our Book Lover’s Discord Server!

This is a low-pressure event, held in good fun, and we look forward to seeing what you create!

MAY TROPE MAYHEM Prompt List, with some links and definitions for ones we were worried might be confusing or challenging for folks!

  1. Secret Relationship
  2. Mistaken Identity
  3. Accidental Ownership (Character A accidentally ends up the owner of Character B)
  4. Space Western Setting
  5. Marriage Before Love
  6. Time Loop
  7. Wound Tending
  8. “This is our get-along shirt.”
  9. Reincarnation
  10. Mutual Pining
  11. Forced Proximity
  12. Sentinel/Guide
  13. Vampires
  14. Outsider Point of View
  15. Monster F*ing (censored in the image)
  16. Foodservice Setting
  17. Meet Cute
  18. “Keep your dog on a leash.”
  19. Mecha
  20. The Soulmate Goose of Enforcement
  21. Steampunk
  22. Love Requited Too Late
  23. Bottom Storage (or however you feel like interpreting it!)
  24. Werewolf/Shifter Character
  25. Fake Relationship
  26. Reciprocal Idiots (like idiots to lovers, or however else you feel like interpreting it!)
  27. There Was Only One Bed
  28. OMG They Were Roommates
  29. Soul-Bonding
  30. Homoerotic Swordfighting
  31. Free day!
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Round Table: Poetry Month

A graphic over a pale blue background. Text reads: National Poetry Month DPP Round Table. There is clipart of a fancy green-covered book, the cover lifted, with a quill pen and a page of notes below it.

April is National Poetry Month. Duck Prints Press has to date only published prose fiction, and while some of us do write poetry on the side, it’s generally not our focus. Thus, we thought it’d be fun and interesting to have a discussion about poetry, how poetry has impacted us, and our favorite poems. The people who joined in on the round table chat are: Nina Waters, Tris Lawrence, Shadaras, Zel Howland, boneturtle, E C, Shea Sullivan,  theirprofoundbond, and an anonymous contributor.

1. What are your favorite types of poems?

Nina Waters: I tend to like either extremely free form or extremely structured poetry, with nothing in between. I always loved silly poetry (Shel Silverstein…) especially.

Anonymous: Same. I generally like either narrative poems or poems that are about a specific moment. I’m especially fond of reading haiku, though I don’t know how good I am at writing them.

Tris Lawrence: I tend to have favorite writers more than favorite styles. I love the cadence of Shakespeare. I love the imagery of Emily Dickinson (I cannot even count how many times I read the book of poetry of hers that I received for Christmas as a young child). I adored Robert Frost as a child. For modern poetry, Amanda Gorman‘s book was an incredibly wonderful kick in the gut.

Zel Howland: I’ve always had a mixed relationship with poetry – I struggle with understanding figurative language, so often the meaning of poetry escapes me, but I love the technical forms of poetry. This means that I end up being better at writing poetry than reading it. That said, I love silly poems and nonsense poems because they are more about the form than the content! Shel Silverstein and Lewis Carroll come to mind first.

E. C: I love seeing/hearing poetry read aloud. Slam poetry or Shakespearean monologue, the way the act of speaking them gives additional meaning to the words is just *chef’s kiss*. I also love poets (like Silverstein, as Zel mentioned) who use the form to play with the words. Prose can do this, too, but reading or hearing good poetry… it’s like I can feel the words rewiring my brain in real-time.

Shadaras: +1, poetry when performed is absolutely incredible. And it doesn’t need to be slam or a monologue; most poetry when read aloud is fantastic! (Shape poems might lose something, but… that’s aiming for a different style)

Shea Sullivan: I love poetry that viscerally evokes feeling with word choice and has rhythm. I love Rainer Maria Rilke first and last, but also Seamus Heaney and Mary Oliver.   I struggle with so many popular poets because the work doesn’t scan for me and I can’t make sense of the rhythm. But the poems that hit take me out at the knees.

Tris Lawrence: Coming back to this discussion this morning, I remembered I should add song lyrics to this… for me, really excellent songs are the best poetry, and some writers (like [Bob] Dylan) I remember more for the poetry of the song than the performance of it. Much like how poetry when performed comes alive, music is that taken to even further down the line. As for poetry being performed, that’s why Shakespeare is so awesome when staged. Sometimes it’s easier to hear the lyricism than to read it. I also often recommend when reading a book of poetry, take it slow, and read one poem aloud  per day. This is how I savored Amanda Gorman’s book and how I really got the most out of every poem in that book.

theirprofoundbond: I want to echo what Shade and captainhaterade were talking about with regards to poetry and sound. I took a poetry class in college and when the professor had us read “Player Piano” by John Updike aloud it awakened something in my brain. I have never forgotten that experience and the absolute delight I felt, reading that poem.

When I went to university and took another poetry class, my instructor stressed that we should try reading poetry aloud – to slow you down a bit, to experience the sounds, to get just a little more out of it. He recommended reading it a little more like prose, not pausing at the end of a line if there’s no end-line punctuation. I always do these things now and it’s made poetry feel more accessible to me, and helped me enjoy it more.

Alfred Tennyson also does some great things with sound—no standout favorites just yet because I’m still exploring, but I like “Break, Break, Break”

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman is really wonderful book of children’s poems about insects, meant to be read aloud by two or more people.

I also love poems that have some specific structure. My favorite is the haiku, but I also really enjoy villanelles, sestinas, and pantoums. Not only do they have specific rhyme schemes but some lines must be repeated in specific places; I admire the skill they take to craft. “Villanelle for the Middle of the Night” by Jacqueline Osherow is a lovely example.

And narrative poems, because it’s so cool to get a story in a small, unique format. “Letter to the Person Who Carved His Initials into the Oldest Living Longleaf Pine in North America” by Matthew Olzmann is one that I found recently that really stands out to me

Nina Waters: Maybe the “best listened to” is why I struggle with it. Understanding and processing spoken stories like that is one of my weaker tricks.

theirprofoundbond: That may be it! It’s not for everyone, but I know it helped me. And I started reading academic stuff aloud to help me focus, and then I started reading my own writing aloud which has helped me improve it in many ways (dialogue, flow, style), and I read my editing assignments aloud because it helps me pick up on little things I might not, if I read silently. But yeah, everyone’s brains work differently so it might not be the trick for everyone – just something to try, perhaps, if it hasn’t been tried before or recently

2. What inspired/convinced you to start reading poetry and did you have any preconceived notions and biases about it before?

Shadaras: as far as how I started reading poetry… well, the thing is that a lot of children’s books are poetry, right? They’re written in rhyme because it’s a good way to help kids learn! So in that way, simply by being someone who loved reading (from a family who loved reading), I was always surrounded by poetry as a kid by the nature of early reader books. I know that I was also introduced to poets who are thought of as poets as I grew up, and generally liked poetry even if I didn’t seek it out much. I wrote poetry as a kid just as much as I wrote prose!

Nina Waters: I’ll own I had some preconceived notions about poetry and reading poetry hasn’t really dispelled them? I’ve always found most “high literary” poetry quite inaccessible. Things like epic poetry (such as Homer) I love and can read no problem, and things like silly poetry (Silverstein, Dr. Seuss) I also love and can read no problem, but the kind of poetry that’s ~deep~ and tends to win accolades, I often feel like my eyes glaze over when I try to read it. I just really struggle with it.

Shadaras: I feel like that’s almost more a problem with the idea of “high literary” mode in general? Because I feel like that about a lot of different kinds of media. It’s like people think that if they struggle to understand what a piece of media is about, that means it’s ~higher art~ or something. (There’s a certain style of movie I call “award bait” and I think it is adjacent to what you’re thinking of with poetry here.) And yes, deep and thematically complex art is fantastic and deserves praise, but there’s also something to be said for praiseworthy works being enjoyable/accessible to the majority of people who encounter it? and that doesn’t seem to factor in to those “high literary” assessments.

Nina Waters: That’s definitely true, and something I used to talk about when I was still doing academic reading and writing. This idea that these ~great minds~ would write these papers, and they weren’t good, they were jargon-laden bullshit. Their sheer inaccessibility would always convince a subset of people that it must be genius, because the alternative would be to admit they didn’t personally understand it and no one wanted to confess that.

With poetry it’s harder but there’s definitely that line between “this is so eloquent and deep” vs. “this literally means NOTHING.” (And with poetry, there’s the added “sometimes the line that is eloquent and deep to one person is exactly the same line that means nothing to someone else and because of the nature of poetry that’s kinda the point and both interpretations are ‘correct'”)

theirprofoundbond: I have been, and still am, a bit intimidated by poetry. A lot of it can be really inaccessible, whether it’s classical or modern. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly grasp the meter stuff, lol. But as with any other written work, poetry can be for anyone. Even if I can’t understand a poem on all levels, it’s okay because it’s still worth exploring and I might find something that resonates with me, or teaches me something, or inspires my own (prose) writing.

3. What can a prose writer learn from reading poetry?

Tris Lawrence: It’s really all about the way the words taste, and how that evokes imagery and sensation and emotion for me. Which is also what I take from it as a prose writer – I’ve always been about the way words feel in my mouth when I write.

Shadaras: I might mostly write prose now, but the poetic instinct is still in my head; it’s very visible (audible?) in descriptive passages I write, because I think about rhythm and shape and sound all the time even in my prose writing.

theirprofoundbond: Reading poetry has inspired me to think more carefully about choice of word, pay attention to how certain emotions are evoked or impacts achieved, and to play with sounds.

Shadaras: I think that reading poetry is a fantastic way to think about metaphor/simile and descriptive language more generally. It also emphasises the rhythm/shape/sound of words and asks for a focus on specificity and thoughtful word-choice to maximize the impact of any given piece. Those elements are just as useful to prose writers as poets! Poets might be able to sustain that in-depth focus across a whole piece (since they usually work in shorter forms), but even if a prose writer only uses that specific attention at points of intense emotion where they really want to ensure there’s an impact, it’s still fantastic.

Anonymous: So I guess what I’m saying is that is that reading poetry will make you a better short story writer.

Shadaras: Yeah, the dividers between poems, prose poems, and prose is… sometimes about framing/intent?

Anonymous: Often I find short stories are structured like poetry, in that the narrative is kind of intentionally picked apart and rearranged to evoke emotion rather than straightforward understanding of the narrative.

Shadaras: And then there’s epic poetry, which is a long-form narrative as well as being poetry!

Anonymous: It’s harder to do that kind of thing with long-form fiction but it does happen occasionally.

Nina Waters: I think reading poetry can really help a prose writer with lyricism and flow.

Zel Howland: Seconded what everyone has said about reading poetry helping with lyricism and rhythm. I think having a good understanding of poetry technique can really develop how your prose manipulates (for lack of a better word) the reader beyond what is in the content – building tension in horror, for example. Great for genre work in general!

Shea Sullivan: From a writing standpoint, poetry helps me improve metaphor and simile by encouraging me to look beyond common comparisons and really dig into the question of what I want to evoke. I agree with everyone else that it helps with rhythm as well.

Anonymous: One thing I will note is that a short story can be very close to poetry and vice versa. Some of my favourite poems are in fact short stories that blur the line between stylized prose and outright poetry. Neil Gaiman has a few short stories that are especially good in this way, for example.

4. Our favorite poets

Many of our favorite poets were already discussed and linked in the above discussion, but here’s a few more…

Nina Waters: I’ve especially enjoyed Silverstein, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and T. S. Eliot. I went on a big Eliot kick when I was young cause I saw the musical Cats, and while I didn’t care much for the musical it made me curious about the poems that the musical was based on. I loved Silverstein so much that I memorized a couple of his poems for school. I also memorized a [J. R. R.] Tolkien poem and performed it at a school talent show when I was in middle school, so those plus reading Eliot because of Cats (which I was probably in early HS for?) is how I got started reading poetry for fun instead of just cause I had to.

Shadaras: Some other poets I’ve appreciated whose names haven’t come up yet: Mary Oliver, Ursula Le Guin, Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath, Robert Graves, W. B. Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, William Carlos Williams (I once wrote a short essay about “The Red Wheelbarrow” for a poetry class wherein I attempted to argue it could be about aliens/ritual sacrifice, because it was funny and I thought the professor would enjoy it, and I was correct about that).

Nina Waters: Langston Huges is i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. W.E.B. Du Bois too. (Not his focus but there are a few)

boneturtle: Seconding Rilke. I will also add Annie Dillard.

How about you, dear blog post reader? How would you answer these four questions?

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Fandom Lexicon: H

Moving right along on sharing the Fandom Lexicon, this week we present entries that start with H! And note that we’ve continued to add to the previous letters A through G, incorporating suggestions received from readers of these posts (such as Fujin) and terms we’ve encountered ourselves for the first time since we started posting (such as CCOF). Fandom is a huge world with a lot of specialized, unique vocabulary, so if you’ve got something we haven’t included, we’d love to hear from you!

You can view the whole lexicon posted thus far here!

Lexicon Terms Beginning with H:

H/C: Abbreviation for “hurt/comfort.”

H/NC: Abbreviation for “hurt/no comfort.”

Hammerspace: An imaginary storage space that exists outside of our current dimension and is instantly accessible any time an item is needed. Originates from the way that cartoon characters can produce items (such as hammers) from thin air. May be called other things depending on the object produced, such as referring it as tablespace if the characters produce a table. Read more about hammerspace.

Handle: A user’s displayed name on a communications platform. Not always the same as a username.

HC: Abbreviation for “head canon” or “hurt/comfort.”

HEA: Abbreviation for “happily ever after.” A term used to indicate that a story has a happy ending. See also: HFN.

Head Canon: Something an individual believes is true about a piece of media, regardless of whether it is supported by the media itself. A given individual’s head canons do not need to be internally consistent and can be outright contradictory. See also: canon, fanon. Read more about head canons.

Hellsite: Moniker for Tumblr. Often paired with (affectionate) or (derogatory) depending on how the person using it is feeling about the platform.

Hentai: Pornographic cartoons/anime from Japan. Read more about hentai.

HFN: Abbreviation for “happy for now.” A term used to indicate that a story has a happy ending that doesn’t necessarily guarantee “ever after” levels of happiness but is still satisfactory. See also: HEA.

Himbo: A conventionally attractive man who is well-intentioned and kind of soft, but lacking in foresight / intelligence. The classic example is the character Kronk from the Emperor’s New Groove. See also: thembo (pending). Read more about the term “himbo.”

Hold My Flower: Quote from a popular meme where an unspecified character offers to hold their significant other’s flower while the significant other gets into a physical altercation. Read more about the “Hold My Flower” meme.

Horny on Main: Behaving in an overtly sexual manner on one’s primary social media account (presumably as opposed to using a side account designed for that purpose or not posting it at all).

Horse Plinko: A rough animation of a horse falling through a plinko board and bouncing off the pegs. It’s a popular meme/reference on Tumblr in particular. What exactly it means is open to interpretation. Read more about horse plinko.

Hurt/No Comfort: Refers to a trope where the major characters experience significant pain (physical or emotional) and receives no comfort. Often paired with Angst. Sometimes called “Hurt/Hurt” instead. See also: whump (pending).

Hurt/Comfort: Refers to a trope where the major characters experience significant pain (physical or emotional) and then receives comfort in kind. “Emotional Hurt/Comfort” is an oft-used tag if the pain is specifically emotional. Read more about the hurt/comfort trope in fandom.