Book Acquired Recently: Stephen Beachy’s Gonzalo Vega and the Portal Down Below

Beachy, Stephen. Gonzalo Vega and the Portal Down Below. Amish Terror Book 3. San Diego: Vapor Books, 2019.

Queer Mennonite writer extraordinaire Stephen Beachy’s third Amish science fiction novel came out in December, and I just finally got my copy yesterday. It was originally supposed to be the final book in the Amish Terror series, but according to the series page in this volume there will be at least two more volumes forthcoming, Hadi Hamed and the Quantum Egg and Emma Beyond the Singularity. I began reading Gonzalo Vega last night and am really enjoying it thus far.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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