Haunted pasts, haunted houses, trans bodies haunted now and in the future by the controlling reach of society—the fiction of Gillian Ybabez breaks with reality and takes us into high-tech futures and fantasy worlds, brings us in touch with extraterrestrials, but it is always grounded by a profound emotional core.
Each strange tale evokes a series of questions which tear open our hearts. In the title story “Homeward Bound,” for instance, it might be: what if we can’t find home again, what if we remembered it wrong all along and that home never existed, what are we without a past to build the remainder of our lives upon, what remains possible now? While the final story, “Forget Me,” hints at perhaps not a resolution but a return: that even without a past, setting aside all that we’ve done and all that’s been done to us, that it is possible to start again.
The worlds Ybabez describes, like our own, are largely worlds that cry out to be utterly torn apart: heavily industrialized, based on exploitation, profoundly violent and alienating. But it’s heartening to see Ybabez point out the cracks in the walls holding up these worlds just as in ours. In the presence of these caring ghosts, hidden trees, and lesbians that gloriously live and live again we find the empathy and love that might save us all.
- Flash fiction collection; has stories about trans women and lesbians
Where to Find
- Published May 18, 2018 by the Trans Women Writers Collective (now River Furnace)
- Trans Women Writers Collective booklet series #1