We have to admit to being rather proud of our charity anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES, which features modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War. So we've been tickled pink to find the anthology mentioned in end-of-year dispatches.
Kazza of On Top Down Under reviews listed the anthology as one of her Books of the Year for 2015.
One of the best anthologies I've had the pleasure of reading. Every single story is well crafted, well edited, and fascinating. Some stories were so good I’d love to see them longer but there is not one story that misses a beat. ... If you like a good LGBT historical, you like queer fiction of a literary quality, then this anthology covers all the letters and is beautifully written. Oh yes, the proceeds of sales go to The Royal British Legion.
(We were also pleased to note that one of the POPPIES contributors, Barry Brennessel, came equal first in Kazza's list with his SIDEWAYS DOWN THE SKY.)
Meanwhile, the indefatigable Elisa Rolle asked her friends to name their favourite LGBT books of 2015. POPPIES was nominated by not one but two people: Manifold Press stalwart Chris Quinton and POPPIES contributor Charlie Cochrane.
Charlie: At the Gate (Jay Lewis Taylor) ... In my reading notes I used one word for it: stunning. It's the sort of story that made me think, "Well, I might as well give up writing because I could never produce anything this good". You can almost smell the sea and feel the roll of the ship as you read it.
Chris: Quite apart from the sheer quality of the writing across all the entries, and the eye-catching cover, every one of the stories brought something memorable to the reading. Poignant, gut-wrenching, uplifting, all of them wonderful portrayals of the human spirit, of people not only coping with the ravages of the First World War, but also the difficult life of homosexuals in the early 20th century.
Thank you so much, Kazza, Elisa, Charlie and Chris! We're delighted that you enjoyed this volume - and we hope that you, Dear Reader, will enjoy it likewise.