I have been a fan of Rick R. Reed's work since his Dell/Abyss releases PENANCE and OBSESSED and have followed his career ever since; yes, because he is a gay author but first and foremost because he's just a damn good writer! Recently, thanks to social networking, I became a "friend" of his, first on Myspace and now on Facebook and Twitter. And it was through Twitter that I really started a correspondence with him and,much to my excitement, got the opprotunity to review his story "Superstar".
As I said, I've always loved Rick's work and this story was no different. It's a beautifully written and beautifully sad love story. Or maybe unrequited love story would be a better way to describe it. It starts with the narrator, Leon, getting ready to jump from a "suicide bridge" in Seattle, Washington. But before he jumps, he wants to relive what has brought him to this point of no return.
Told in flashbacks, he tells us the story of how one October night he met and made love with the lead singer of an up and coming band. The sex was amazing and the unnamed singer,as he leaves in the morning, tells Leon he loves him and that he will return. Three years pass through which Leon has never been able to get over their one night stand and soon he finally comes to realize that for the singer it ended the night it began, "more a haiku than an epic."
I really felt for Leon, especially as the story got closer to its climax; his memories of that night and what had happened since are very emotional. Who hasn't had that one lover that didn't return their affections, or phenomenal sex that didn't flower into a relationship? Rick's writing made Leon's despair very real to me and made me want to be there for Leon as he stood there on the bridge, to hold out a hand and save him.
If you get a chance to read this story, I can't recommend it enough; and I was excited to find out it's going to be included in a collection of Rick's due out Summer 2010 called ON THE EDGE. This collection includes several of Rick's stories that have only been available in an electronic format, so don't miss out on this book, either; I know I will be hot on it's tail!