The Last Hunt: A Short Story Review

to be men

Cover image of the soon to be published book “To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity.”

I’m in the process of reading for review the Superversive Press anthology To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity. I plan on writing both an Amazon review and a much more detailed one on this blog when I finish.

But I can’t wait. I’m going to create a wee preview highlighting one of the short stories enshrined therein.

But first things first. Why an anthology about “celebrating masculinity” when so much of what has been traditionally defined as masculine (for good or for ill) has been deemed toxic, not the least of which by third wave feminists and progressives?

Here’s an answer I found in the descriptive “blurb” for the book on Amazon:

Tired of stories about men as bumbling idiots? Of fathers as incompetents? Of masculinity as “toxic”? Tired of misandry? Ready for some real masculine role models? Stories about heroes and men who do the right thing? Stories about real men? The kind that provide for their families, love their wives and children, and make sacrifices. And save the world. A collection of seventeen stories and two essays, To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity pays homage to men and masculinity. Fun. Action-packed. Thought-provoking. Whatever your tastes, you will find enjoyment in these pages.

In other words, as I wrote about here almost a year ago, Not All #menaretrash.

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Anticipating the Anthology “To Be Men”

to be men

Cover image of the soon to be published book “To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity.”

I’ve become aware of a book soon to be made available through Superversive Press called To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity. It’s an anthology and actually the sort of project I’d have loved to contribute to. The theme is based on a premise currently popular in speculative fiction and in certain social perspectives, that traditional masculinity is considered toxic or otherwise undesirable or harmful.

Actually, the issues are more complicated than they seem on the surface, but they are also very polarizing (like so many social issues are these days).

I came across the term Beta Male in relation to this, and depending on your perspective, it’s either highly denigrated or highly celebrated. If traditional masculinity is “toxic,” then “beta maleness” seems to be the goal in some circles.

In response to Disney’s current “take” on the “Star Wars” franchise, I’ve decided to “take back” Star Wars by re-watching the original trilogy (“Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Return of the Jedi”). To me, those are the only three films that truly embrace “StarWars-ness”), even though “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi” (the latter film I have yet to see) feature some of the original actors.

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The Days of Noah

off the grid

Image found at the “Off Grid Path” blog – No photo credit given

“What are you doing?” Helen poked her head into Glenn’s office.

“Just programming the behavior of the irrigation system behind the house. The collectors have amassed enough rain water, and I want to test the valves before we plant.”

“Well don’t forget you have to do the firmware upgrade for the chicken coop alarms.”

He turned and winked at his wife. “You’re not worried about the deleterious effect our local woodland predators could have just because we’re absent two of our hens, are you?”

“Keep the acerbic comments to yourself, and Henrietta and Goldie were dear friends. I don’t think other hens will ever get over it.”

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Koi no Yokan

man on beach

Man on a beach – free stock photo

The sky was a brilliant cyan when she first saw him on the beach. He was staring out at the ocean as if witnessing a tragedy and in spite of her vow of utter celibacy, she experienced an overwhelming sense of Koi no Yokan. Whispering a curse and then immediately regretting it, Merilyn continued her run across the shoreline leaving the solitary young man behind.

The hostel was serving thin Miso soup and fish again that evening when he walked in. Merilyn tried not to roll her eyes as Donn, at the head of the table, was again vaunting about his prowess with the Shinai and how he was sure to win the Kendo games which would begin the next week. They heard a noise at the door and she recognized the man from the beach standing at the threshold. Tradition demanded that even an ego as big as Donn’s cease pontificating so they could greet the visitor.

They each in turn stood and bowed to the stranger, introducing themselves and welcoming him to the competitor’s hostel. He bowed in return in a gradual manner which she would learn was his way in social settings, though most certainly not during battle.

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