Berman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in an affluent suburb in southern New Jersey. Berman realized by junior high school he was gay. Years later, Berman chronicled his first homosexual experience, which occurred while he was away at college, in the creative essay "Coming Out 101: Final Exam." Despite the title of this piece, Berman remained closeted from family and friends until after he graduated with his first undergraduate degree.
He attended first Tulane University, earning a Bachelor's degree in English literature, then later studied History at Rutgers–Camden campus in Camden, New Jersey as well as a Master's degree in Liberal Studies in 2006. He worked in the publishing industry, both as a senior book buyer at an academic and then trade wholesaler, and in the marketing department of the Jewish Publication Society, a small religious press in Philadelphia.
One of the most influential relationships in his life began through d8 Magazine, a shortly-lived periodical devoted to roleplaying gaming culture, when he met Holly Black. A few weeks later, Berman took an editorial assistant position with the medical publishing company Churchill Livingstone in New York City, where Black also, coincidentally, worked. The two developed a long and abiding friendship and remain critique partners to this day.
Berman is a former member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and one of the few lifetime members of the RPGA (many of his early publications involved roleplaying games, notably the second edition of Dungeons & Dragons). Most of his short fiction could be considered dark fantasy or urban fantasy.
In 2001, Berman founded Lethe Press. The first few titles included his first short story collection, Trysts, and several books in the public domain. In 2004, he met author Toby Johnson through an online newsgroup devoted to queer writers. He offered to reprint Johnson's award-winning book, Gay Spirituality. In the years since, Johnson's role with Lethe Press has grown.
He attended the Clarion East 2006 class, the last year that workshop was held in East Lansing, Michigan. Unlike many graduates of the program, Berman has noted that his experience there was detrimental to his career and that the workshop hampers creativity and can be emotionally damaging to writers who are neither fast nor skilled at first drafts. He was a participant in the now-defunct Nameless Workshop, based in the Philadelphia region, which included such writers as Judith Berman, Victoria McManus, John Schoffstall, and Ann Zeddies.
Though raised Jewish, Berman wavers in his belief between secular Judaism and Atheism.
As of May 2013, he has sold nearly 100 articles and short stories, many of them dealing with queer speculative fiction. Several of his urban fantasy stories are set in the Fallen Area. Berman has been a finalist seven times for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards and four times (as editor) for the Lambda Literary Award. His first novel, Vintage: A Ghost Story was released in 2007 and was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award. In June 2009, he launched the quarterly publication, Icarus, the Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction, which ended in October 2013.
When I was editor at Harrington Park Press, I was proud of every book I published—but Vintage stands out above all the others. When I first read the manuscript, I was stunned by the strength and simplicity of the authorial voice, and before I was even finished with the first chapter I knew I had to publish this. A gorgeous story about a troubled teen who falls in love with a ghost and then has to uncover the truth about the ghost’s life, it is still one of my favorite gay novels, and one of my favorite ghost stories of all time. Steve is an exceptionally gifted story teller; one I wish would publish a book every year, and that still wouldn’t be enough for me. It is to be savored, cherished and enjoyed, and should be required reading for every teenager. --Greg Herren
Vintage is a haunting Young Adult novel about a gay, Goth teen boy haunted by the ghost of a High School athlete killed in the fifties. The Goth characters were true to the culture without being caricatures. The ghost story was subtle and vivid and had that “vintage” feel from the Twilight Zone. Plus, being a young adult novel…it felt right. It didn’t preach or feel pretentious as a lot of young adult books written by adults do. It got the whole how do I deal with my gay love and attraction and how do I solve this old story of gay love and attraction just right. I don’t know how to describe it other than, this book works. --James BuchananFurther Readings:
Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman
Perfect Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (March 1, 2008)
Amazon: Vintage: A Ghost Story
Amazon Kindle: Vintage: A Ghost Story
A lonely boy walking along a highway one autumn evening meets the boy of his dreams, a boy who happens to have died decades ago and haunts the road. Awkward crushes, both bitter and sweet, lead him to face youthful dreams and childish fears. With its cast of offbeat friends, antiques, and Ouija boards, Vintage is not your typical romance but does offers readers a memorable blend of dark humor, chills and love.
A finalist for the Andre Norton Award and Gaylactic Spectrum Award!
More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
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