Different in Other Ways

Cartoon-style illustration of shrubs, roses and grasses growing against a grey stone wall. Scene is overlaid with the dark green/light green/white/yellow/gold stripes of the allo-aro pride flag. The text Marchverse sits across the image in a white, fantasy-style type.

Nevolin ein Yinne sells books, curses low ceilings, promises his father that he won’t get himself killed and looks a little too hard at pretty men. Men he wants to date, men he can’t date, men–even in Ihrne’s queer underground–who expect a comprehension of romance he doesn’t possess.

Harper Mitzin Seili serves dishes, never removes his gloves, promises his mother that he won’t get himself killed and has no idea how to comprehend an interest in people that won’t stop changing. An interest bordering on irrelevant while he keeps secret the nature of his masculinity.

Nevo isn’t good at pretending to be straight.

Harper isn’t good at pretending to be unremarkable.

Different in Other Ways is a series of sketches and vignettes, prequels to The Eagle Court, about gender, abrosexuality, quoiromanticism, customer service, working-class queerness and friendship.

All stories in this series are exclusive for patrons on Patreon. $1 a month will get you access to an ongoing collection of narratives about two aromantic-spectrum men, their friends and their families–queer people trying to navigate connection, relationships, intimacy, disability and gender against a working-class backdrop in an unaccepting city.

Lengths vary, but most entries thus far are under five thousand words.

Specific content advisories are available with each entry, but readers should expect sex references in various degrees of explicitness and depictions of amatonormativity, cissexism, heterosexism, ableism and classism.

Stories

Booksellers Who Know Things | Sample: An ordinary day of selling, shelving and mending becomes less ordinary when a mysterious stranger saves Nevo from disaster while asking questions about fairy tales.

Men Bound by Blood | Sample: Nevo learns his mystery man’s name, but Harper’s slip of the tongue forces Nevo to make a promise to his father he may not be able to keep.

Jeile | Sample: A risky disclosure at the bookstore allows Nevo to welcome another queer to the underground, but Jeile is more mystery than co-conspirator.

Logic, True and Reasoned: Harper has no doubt as to his own masculinity, but even a mother who sees him can’t assuage all the challenges of being a man in Ihrne.

The Fine Art of Prattle: Harper knows his tongue has a tendency to get away from him, but Nevo’s saving him from Ragen sets up something that looks a little too much like courting.

Eternally Mysterious, Abrasively Exuberant: The solution to Harper’s concerns about friendship with Nevo shows the cracks in Harper’s relationship with his mother–and teaches Nevo something new about Adelin.