I've read this book several times now and I'm still not sure how to describe it... A mix of poetry, fiction, non fiction, diary entries and a couple of writings by another author, it defies explanation.
But you want to know whether to buy it or not? The simple answer is yes because whatever your tastes, you will find something in here to delight you.
There are short poems, short fiction, erotic scenes, and longer pieces plus a description of Pride in 1993. The writing is sometimes strong, sometimes beautiful and on several occasions, beautifully strong. There might be a few triggers here so be careful.
The book is in four parts (1) Innocence, (2) Identity, (3) Love and (4) Lust. Lots of clues there about what to expect and the content gets more graphic as the book progresses. There are a few weak pieces, especially poems where Jett Nyx is trying to make words fit a context or shape and some of the emotion is lost but there are some extremely good pieces where the emotion is so strong it is pushing off the page.
This is from a poem called "Dem Girls" in Identity section.
She looks in the mirror and sees no reflection,
She does not know where she belongs,
With her heart on her sleeve and her mind wide Open,
she sees dem girls but they do not see her,
She grows like a flower toward the sun,
Alone in a glass on a window’s ledge.
How moving is that? In a story called Love Conquers All, we get:
Ruby visualised a stampede of wild stallions trapped on a battlefield, dodging bullets and cannon fire in search of a meadow. She wanted to be at home with her parents laying the table for a Sunday roast, or at the National portrait gallery with Liana, analysing a Guido Rene painting, or back in Sighisoara visiting the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. In fact, she would rather have been anywhere but wherever she was now.
This is a story of kidnap and manipulation by a brute who tells innocents to perform for him! What a contrast from War Grrls, a sci fi short about a transporter pilot going back to the 1940's to rescue a woman she's in love with.
There really is quite a collection here and it is the sort of book you can dip into for contrast when you're reading something heavy and technical or dip into for heavy when you're tired of reading fluff. This has bullying, homelessness, transphobia, and it has a huge heart.
Short, Sharp Shocks
A Collection of LGBTQ Short Fiction, Prose & Poetry
Published in 2016 by Beggars Belief
Short, Sharp Shocks is an eclectic collection of short fiction from the LGBTQ spectrum, with particular attention paid to the female of the species. Sometimes funny, sometimes dark, sometimes erotic, occasionally painful but always heartfelt.
The stories and poems in this collection explore the diversity of Queer lives through the innocence of childhood, self-discovery, identity, loss, lust and love.
Jett Nyx is a writer with a passion for telling the stories that happen on the roads less travelled. In previous incarnations, Jett has published poetry, erotica, short fiction and a sci-fi adventure for children. Jett lives happily-ever-after in leafy London with a devoted wife, a golden child, and a rescued Staffordshire bull terrier named Pixie. www.jettnyx.rocks