elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Red Envelope & Herc and Pyotr by Atom Yang (133-06-05-2016)

1) This author was new to me, and I was very pleasantly surprised by these two novellas, particularly Storming Love: Meteor Strikes ~ Herc & Pyoter. I am an avid science fiction reader and particularly love the works of Connie Willis, whose shorter fiction often combines hapless but sincere protagonists, screwball comedy and speculative storylines to great effect. I do not think this author's novella is in any way derivative of Willis' work, but I find that I love it in the same way I love Willis' stories - for it's sense of humor, it's down-to-earth protagonists and it's abiding sense of humanity - not to mention great pop culture references and apocalyptic meteorites. Red Envelope was also a strong slice-of-life story. I am, myself, a first generation Korean American and read with great amusement and sympathy the depictions of Clint's Chinese family. With spare prose - which I admire, especially in a first person narrative - the author clearly conveyed Clint's inexperience and hurt over his interactions with Weaver. The red envelopes and the holiday provided a nice framework for the events during the story. I often find myself dissatisfied with novellas and short stories as seeming incomplete, but both Storming Love and Red Envelope did a nice job in presenting three dimensional characters who experience growth and find resolution in this shorter format. I look forward to reading more by Atom Yang.

2) Red Envelope is a sublime short story written with gorgeous prose and infinite care. I was so impressed with this story because a good novella is difficult to write. Even the best ones can leave you wanting more. This one was perfect. There was enough detail to give realistic glimpses into the characters lives to make them appealing and sympathetic. I appreciated the cultural and historical references as well. The author balanced the nuances of a simple love story with perfect precision and a beautiful use of language. I was extraordinarily impressed with Mr. Yang's work. Herc and Pyotr was a very good short story by a gifted storyteller. I enjoyed this but I didn't love it. Unlike Red Envelope, it left me wanting more details about the apocalyptic nature of Earth and the supporting characters. I don't love fantasy, but I was willing to go along for the ride. I just would have like to have known more about the year and the setting. On the other hand, the writing was impeccable. Atom Yang has a beautiful way with words. I look forward to reading more of his work.

3) I adore Atom Yang's character's. They're so personable and easy to connect with. I cared about them from the first page forward, quickly becoming invested in the story.

Red Envelope & Herc and Pyotr by Atom Yang
Gay Contemporary Romance

Red Envelope
Publisher: MLR Press (December 4, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Red Envelope

The Chinese New Year is a time for saying goodbye to the past and hello to the future, but Clint doesn't want to bid farewell to his cousin's handsome American friend, Weaver, after they share an unexpected passionate encounter.

The Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar, a time for family reunions, and for saying goodbye to the past and hello to the future. Clint, however, doesn't want to bid farewell to what happened after last year's celebration, when he and his Cousin Maggie's handsome Caucasian friend, Weaver, shared an unexpected but long-desired passionate encounter. East is East and West is West, and Weaver seems to want to keep it that way, but maybe Clint can bridge that great divide this coming New Year, and show Weaver what it means to be loved and accepted.

Herc and Pyotr (Storming Love Series: Meteor Strikes #5)
Publisher: MLR Press, LLC (March 24, 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Herc and Pyotr (Storming Love Series: Meteor Strikes #5)

Herc thought he had the perfect life: a great partner and a meaningful career as a psychotherapist--until his partner left him a week ago and Herc became too depressed to see his clients. When a random meteorite punched a tidy hole in his car's engine, it seemed like the world had it in for him, but bumping into Pyotr, the handsome older man who's moved in a couple of doors down and happens to study things like falling stars, things might be looking up for Herc--and more may be falling than the skies in this light-hearted, apocalyptic romance.

Rainbow Awards Guidelines: http://www.elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/rainbow_awards_2016.html

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