Finalist, 2013 USA Book News Book of the Year Awards
Finalist, 2012 Foreword Book of the Year Awards
A small French city. A park near Tokyo. The Czech countryside. London at night. Lost loves and found loves. Fear and courage. Reflections. Rejections. Reconciliations. Romance.
These interconnected stories follow the adventures of Brian, Ondrej, Yuji, Jason, and others as they navigate the tumultuous path of life and love.
Shin-Kiba Park (Pushcart Prize nominee; from Gival Press’s ArLiJo)
Nagasaki (Dana Award finalist; from Polari Journal)
Unfinished (from SNReview)
Ficelle (from SNReview)
“Reunion is set in Tokyo and this is important in that we do not get many gay stories set in Asia and with Asian characters. But even more than that, the novel changes locales and we go to France, to London and to the Czech Republic and we get a series of interconnected stories that all follow the themes of life and love. Something else that is special here is that no one or two stories stand out. Each and every story is a wonderful read and not just the plots make them so good but the gorgeous prose and the way the writer uses emotions to draw us in.”
–Reviews by Amos Lassen
“Brennessel shows his mastery in crafting a surface story that is delightful on its own, yet also resonates with each of the other stories in the collection.
Each story is so intricately entwined with the others that it is difficult to point to any one as being a favorite, although the third story, ‘Nagasaki,’ came closest to earning that superlative[…]
This complex story within a story within a story is a beautiful experiment that succeeds on every level. ‘Shin-Kiba Park’ in this collection was nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in 2008, and this completed collection deserves many more critical accolades.”
—Lambda Literary, Book Lovers
Modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War
Ten authors – in thirteen stories – explore the experiences of GLBTQI
people during World War I. In what ways were their lives the same as or different from those of other people?
An anthology featuring authors:
- Julie Bozza
- Barry Brennessel
- Charlie Cochrane
- Sam Evans
- Lou Faulkner
- Adam Fitzroy
- Wendy C. Fries
- Z. McAspurren
- Eleanor Musgrove
- Jay Lewis Taylor
65,000 words/TBC pages
Publication 1 May 2015
Please note: All proceeds will be donated to The Royal British Legion.
A Pride of Poppies is a quality anthology. There isn’t one story I didn’t enjoy. The editing is superb and the writing exceedingly good to sublime. I had only previously read Barry Brennessel and Charlie Cochrane and I could not believe the depth and breadth of storytelling in each individual story. Only a couple have more length, the rest are quite short, but the word count meant absolutely nothing, other than a few of these stories would make even better novellas/books. Each story above is listed in order, and even if you aren’t interested in all of them the money spent on this anthology will be worth it, such is the quality. 5 Stars!
Barry Brennessel was the only author who wrote a story that was set outside Europe. It’s very fitting because many people from French Indochina were conscripted to fight in Europe. The author has a way of capturing innocence juxtaposed against something darker, and Minh and Thao definitely fit that scenario. The whole anthology shows innocence lost in a (modern) war. In Anh Sang it’s not only the War, but the sentiments of the people about that war and the French subjugation of their land and its people. While I would have loved a longer story of these two characters, this region, I’ll take what I can get, it’s beautiful storytelling from a wonderful author.
–On Top Down Under Reviews
For Jeremy Saura, a song by Kate Bush holds all the answers. Pushes him onward. Sends him running up that road. Up that hill. Up that building.
Jeremy gets chills as he listens to the lyrics. The song, a beautiful powerhouse of determination over despair, only gains in impact as he replays it. Seven times. “I adore you Kate Bush,” he whispers to her photograph. For Jeremy, “Running Up That Hill” gives him the momentum he needs to navigate the trials and tribulations of a new job, a complex friendship, and a budding workplace romance.
This story is also available in Mixed Tape Series Volume #4 .
Barry so eloquently captured the rhythms of the mid-80s – the big changes that were beginning in the role of technology and media in our lives in new ways, the tentative steps being taken by many towards living an authentic life and the horror and fear surrounding the AIDS epidemic. Listening to Jeremy’s inner dialogue and slightly sarcastic nature literally felt like I was stepping back in time. I loved his voice in this story. Once again, I am in awe of Barry’s talent in bringing to life characters in what I can only describe as movie-like story. Read this story. You won’t be disappointed.
—The Armchair Reader
I have a fondness for this author’s books as they often manage to blend the serious with gentle humour. This book was no exception.
Overall, this was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me but was intertwined with a nicely written romance and I’d definitely recommend the story to those who remember the 1980s.
—Jenre for Brief Encounters Reviews
“If you are looking for a quality short read that delivers humour, a bit of sexy, thoughtful moments, and a positive outlook, then I suggest you go no further than Barry Brennessel’s Running Up That Hill.”
–On Top Down Under Reviews
Love and lust through the annals of time, from ancient Israel and Greece and Rome, to the Vikings, the Wild West, Woodstock, and all points in between.
About “1909 A.D.”:
This is a sweet sexy story of friends to lovers and love lost and reunited. I loved it! ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
–MM Good Book Reviews
A really sweet coming-of-age short about eighteen year old Jesse Ostermann reconnecting with a best friend, Newton ‘Fig’ Brabinger. The story is sweet, charming, and warm.
—On Top Down Under Book Reviews
Also worth mentioning [is] Barry Brennessel’s turn-of-the-century “1909 A.D.,” which features two snowbound boys keeping themselves warm as best they can.
—Out in Print