Things Invisible to See: Lesbian and Gay Tales of Magic Realism - Lawrence Schimel, Rand B. Lee, Sarah Schulman, Lesléa Newman, Brian M. Thomsen, Michelle Sagara West, Laura Antoniou, Martha Soukup, Nancy Springer, Kerry Bashford, Mel  Odom
The first story in this volume unfortunately gave me unrealistic expectations for the rest. "The Story So Far", by Martha Soukup, is really very good indeed. The protagonist is a character in a story -- unfortunately for her, it’s a story about somebody else, and a really lousy story at that. Is there nonetheless a way for her to have space for herself? The result is quite well-developed.

From there, though, we sink to one of the worst stories in the book, nearly unreadable, and it’s by the editor himself. That’s not a good sign. Indeed, most of the rest of the collection is betrayed by a painful lack of originality and/or writing skills. I won’t dwell on the problems, except to note that I’ve read a number of anthologies like this one and have noticed that some themes and plotlines come up over and over. Martha Soukup, in her second contribution to this volume, chose such a well-worn premise, but I have to credit her with perhaps the best-written version of it I’ve seen (and she wisely kept it short). Otherwise, let me note a few that were a bit above the rest: Kerry Bashford’s story was odd, and Lesléa Newman’s was sexy, but I’m not sure if either was particularly profound. The amusing "Penis Story" by Sarah Schulman was told with verve. The book ended on a very pleasant note with "The Vision of Men" by Michelle Sagara West. Interesting to end a collection of fantasy stories with a clear-sighted rejection of magic.