“The Crooked Man” by Charles Beaumont. Rainbow Snippets for September 24, 2022, selected by Jeff Baker.

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Every week we post six lines from a work of ours, a work-in-progress or published, or a recommendation of someone else’s work with at least one LGBT character. Posted at Rainbow Snippets here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/permalink/7951897221546937

Snippets this week from one of my favorite stories (not mine!) Imagine this scene: A young man named Jessie has gone to a bar for a furtive, risky hookup as his own sexual orientation is forbidden. But there are a few twists…

For openers, in this future Earth, it is heterosexuality that is the aberration and is forbidden (except for procreation) and “homosexuality” is the norm. Jessie is living a very dangerous existence in this future world.

Also: this story “The Crooked Man” was first published in the hardly Gay-friendly year 1955. If it sounds reminiscent of a “Twilight Zone” episode, it was written by the excellent writer Charles Beaumont who penned some of TZ’s most memorable episodes, but died far too young. He had a fine hand when it came to writing about dystopian worlds.

Beaumont is one of my favorite writers and his short-stories are readily available, in collections like this: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/481465.The_Howling_Man

Here’s a snippet from “The Crooked Man.”

He didn’t look like a hetero. They said you could tell one just by watching him walk—Jessie walked correctly. He fooled them. He was lucky. And he was a criminal. He, Jess Four Martin, no different from the rest, tube-born and machine-nursed, raised in the character schools like everyone else—was terribly different from the rest.

Here’s another snippet.

It had happened—his awful suspicions had crystallized—on his first formal date. The man had been a Rocketeer, the best high quality, even out of the Hunter class. Mother had arranged it carefully. There was the dance. And then the ride in the spacesled. The big man had put an arm about Jessie and—Jess knew. He knew for certain and it had made him very angry and very sad.

And that’s it for this week. I wish you all a non-dystopian week and urge you to seek out anything you can by the master, Charles Beaumont. Here’s a recent collection https://www.amazon.com/Perchance-Dream-Selected-Charles-Beaumont/dp/0143107658/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3O9CLPJDWH7FL&keywords=charles+beaumont&qid=1664006172&s=books&sprefix=Charles+Beaumont%2Cstripbooks%2C126&sr=1-1 “Perchance to Dream.”


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3 Responses to “The Crooked Man” by Charles Beaumont. Rainbow Snippets for September 24, 2022, selected by Jeff Baker.

  1. Oh, man, I almost got black and white visuals for this!

  2. janadenardo says:

    that is very intriguing

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