| (282 pages; Illustrated)
By Mark Simpson & Steven Zeeland
A chance letter sparks off an hilariously doomed transatlantic literary romance involving Marines, glory holes, cats, intellectuals, transsexuals and a bizarre love-triangle rivalry with gay serial-killer and Gianni Versace's assassin Andrew Cunanan.
If you believe the old adage that something is funny because it's true and true because it's funny, The Queen is Dead will kill you. Or at least make you laugh and cry until you wish that you'd been lied to instead.
Forget about new-fangled self-help books - try some old-fashioned self-destruction. It will do you good.
Praise for The Queen is Dead:
"Something of a masterpiece.... One of the most congenial, winning, intelligent and original 'gay' publications for many years."
"The best gay book of the year." - Time Out New York
"Simpson and Zeeland resurrect the lost art of letter writing with this engaging collection of correspondence....Compelling, moving and frequently hilarious. 5/5 Stars" - Metro
"So appealing... highbrow porn combined with a thoughtful critique of masculinity and the urban gay lifestyle, scattered with witty epigrams that are pure entertainment."- Guardian
Packard (Copyright Steven Zeeland)
"Marvellous, witty, dry... Quite why a pair of cynical armchair philosphers writing about trannies, miitary men's bottoms and cats should make an enjoyable read is a mystery, but it does."- Big Issue
"Clear and sharp... the wit of a broken champagne bottle pressed against your neck." - Hot Press
"Some books rock our world, so pull up a barcolounger, turn on that good reading light - since it turned up in our postbox we haven't been able to put down The Queen is Dead. Zeeland and Simpson's correspondence is maximum juicy." - San Francisco Bay Area Reporter
Andrew Cunanan laying claim to Steve's 'psychomarine' boyfriend
"Profound and hilarious... Simpson and Zeeland analyse love, loss, cats, killers, and the joys of military trade through a three-year long, transatlantic correspondence... Simpson playing the detached, amused Voltaire to Zeeland's Rousseau.... A wealth of insight, wit and warmth"
"Brilliant. Wry, darkly comic, a brutally honest correspondence, constantly engaging and entertaining, with a perverse ingenuity that manages to plumb the depths of joy and soar to the heights of despair."
Simpson taking his research a little too seriously.
Review by Nathan D Tipton in Lambda Book Report:
"Dear Mark and Steven,
'Wannabe startin something?' Simpson after a night in the barracks at USMC Camp Pendleton, Ca.
Glenn Belverio in Dutch magazine:
"What makes the sex appeal of soldiers, sailors and marines eternal? 'They can iron. Some, of course, can kill with their bare hands, which is also useful,' says Mark Simpson, co-author of The Queen Is Dead. 'This is especially true ,' he adds, 'if like Genet you believe that every time you have homo sex, you are kneeling before your executioner. But mostly - and most tragically - the appeal is neither sexual nor suicidal, but friendly.' The book is a series of transatlantic correspondences between gadfly essayist Simpson, who edited the anthology Anti-Gay, and military devotee Steven Zeeland, author of The Masculine Marine, Barracks Buddies And Soldier Lovers and other titillating titles. As QUEEN unfolds, a colorful cast of characters weave in and out of the writers' lives: 'Wormcan', a famous military-chasing heavy metal singer; Michelle, a ballsy male-to-female transsexual who was formerly a buff male stripper; and Andrew Cunanan, the infamous Versace assassin who was once involved in a messy love triangle with Zeeland.
Through his letters, Zeeland, who earned the derisive nick-name 'Meatgazer' from a Marine who caught him lingering at a piss trough, regales us with tales of bathroom blow-jobs near military encampments and shares some of his bawdy soldier snapshots. Simpson, on the other hand, attempts to satiate his jarhead lust by joining the British Territorial Army (undercover as 'a poof and a journalist'). Sex itself does seem to be a dodgy minefiled for the two authors, theory-heads who seem to have spent more time reading Freud and Foucault than jerking off to Soldier of Fortune. QUEEN stands apart from typical gay wank books for its humour and intelligence, but even more so for its practical lessons in male anatomy: 'Mark once suggested that the fatal flaw in masculinity is a man's anus,' says Zeeland. 'I say it's his mouth.'"
Queen serialised in Attitude
Interview with Steven Zeeland in Attitude.
ALL RIGHTS IN THE QUEEN IS DEAD HAVE REVERTED TO SIMPSON & ZEELAND (Spanish rights are currently unavailable as QUEEN is to be published in Mexico later this year)