My short story “Kiss and Kiss and Kiss and Tell” is available today in the anthology Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories!
I’m honored to be in this collection with amazing authors Garth Nix, Karen Healey, Sean Williams, Ken Liu, Sofia Samatar, Vylar Kaftan, Amal El-Mohtar, William Alexander, Shveta Thakrar, and many more. From the flap copy:
What do a disabled superhero, a time-traveling Chinese-American figure skater, and a transgendered animal shifter have in common? They’re all stars of Kaleidoscope stories! Kaleidoscope collects fun, edgy, meditative, and hopeful YA science fiction and fantasy with diverse leads. These twenty original stories tell of scary futures, magical adventures, and the joys and heartbreaks of teenage.
I think this is an important book, and I also think “Kiss” is one of my best stories. (See an excerpt below the fold.) I wrote a bit more about the anthology and diversity in YA over at the League of Extraordinary Writers today, and there have already been a couple of very favorable reviews that offer deeper glimpses at the stories within:
I hope you’ll check out this collection and enjoy my story. It’s available now in eBook and print (available Oct. 1 in Australia) wherever books are sold. You can also enter to win one of ten free copies at Goodreads through Aug. 20 and enter another giveaway at the Book Smugglers (and read an interview with the editors) through Aug. 9.
“Kiss and Kiss and Kiss and Tell” by E.C. Myers
Everyone leaned forward to watch the animated beer bottle spin on the iPad in the center of their circle. Everyone but Rene. She tilted back slightly, as though that would help the bottle pass her by.
She wrapped her hands around a warm can of PBR, open but still as full as when Cedric had handed it to her at the door. Dad had insisted she take her medication before she left the house; he’d even watched her swallow the white and yellow capsule. If he’d known there would be alcohol—and worse—at this party, she wouldn’t be here at all. She was beginning to think that might have been for the best; thanks to her medication, she didn’t really feel like part of the group anyway.
Braden reached around Yasi’s waist and pulled her into a tipsy kiss. Whatever they’d seen together during their turn in the closet must have been good because they had been all over each other since.
“Hey, you two. Save it,” Cedric said. “Respect the bottle.”
The animated bottle slowed, wobbled, and settled on Rene. The iPad emitted a tinny chorus of “Oooohhhh!”
“Finally,” Jenny said. “You’re up, Rene.” She reached across the circle and handed Rene a battered Altoids tin. Jenny’s peach lipstick was smeared suggestively on the right side of her mouth after her turn with Kell two spins ago.
Rene wondered what it would be like to kiss Jenny Trinh—not in a dark closet in Braden’s basement rec room, but after they had enjoyed dinner at Norton’s and seen a romantic movie, when they were saying good night to each other in Jenny’s Prius.
Rene put down her beer and opened the creaky lid of the tin. There were two tiny blue pills inside.