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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Tales From The Dystopia: Training The Toxic Dog

woman walking man

Image: YouTube

Carl Jason had been wandering in the woods for three days when he saw the lights through the trees. He’d gone for a hike away from the camp and became disoriented. He had a knife, so he cut fir branches to cover himself at night so he didn’t freeze as he slept. He knew something about the local plants, so he at least got some small amount of nourishment.

The lights, it was near sunset and he might have missed them in full daylight. As the trees thinned and he stepped out onto a grassy field, he saw it was a complex of buildings, like a business park or something. He hoped there was still someone around. He needed to phone home. His brothers and Dad must have gotten frantic when he didn’t return to their camp.

It was an annual tradition. Carl and his brothers Mike, and Dave, all lived in different parts of the country. The only time they could be sure to reconnect with each other and Dad was during their yearly autumn camping trip.

Carl was stiff and cold. He’d tripped yesterday and collected some scrapes along with a twisted ankle. He could walk on it, but he limped and he was slow.

“Hey!” Carl saw a few people in the distance walking between two buildings. “Hey there! I need help!”

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