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Duane Simolke

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Mind Travels
by B. B. Riefner

This is a collection of short stories about misfits, geniuses and intellectual snobs always seem to find their way to their heavens or hells. Each story is preceded by a ..  
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Secrets and Scandals in West Texas
Wednesday, September 24, 2003  1:41:00 PM

by Duane Simolke



Gay/Lesbian/Bi
Just released in a second edition, Duane Simolke’s collection The Acorn Stories involves secrets and scandals in the fictional West Texas town of Acorn.

With a tone that ranges from light-hearted humor to barbed satire to sweet romance to devastating tragedy, The Acorn Stories offers a frank and sometimes troubling view of West Texas life. From a brilliant artist who can’t stay focused on everyday tasks to a closeted gay mayor who strikes out against his one-night stand, these characters get under the skin of readers everywhere.

Some people take exception to the sometimes scurrilous events Simolke chronicles in this collection of interrelated tales. However, Simolke points out that public scandals happen fairly often in West Texas (many of them involving elected officials), though they quickly find their way under the proverbial rug.

In the book’s concluding story, “Acorn Pie,” the eccentric businesswoman Aragon Carson sums up that sentiment while discussing her family background: “Those are all very ordinary events: life, death, reproduction. You probably expect to hear about those, but not much else. Now there’s lots of things that you’d think only go on in big cities, but think again. Those things just happen more quietly here.”

For the book’s second edition, Simolke found ways to polish up the language even more, adding more description and dialogue where needed. The other major differences are that the book is now available in hardcover—instead of just paperback—and that bookstores will receive a deeper discount that they can pass along to their readers. Starting in late October, Bookstores and libraries can order The Acorn Stories through Ingram Books or Baker & Taylor, while readers can order it at most local or online bookstore.

Simolke also edited and co-wrote the spin-off The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer, donating royalties to the American Cancer Society, a charity he trusts and admires. That second Acorn collection starts with characters and settings from The Acorn Stories, then introduces new characters and settings, concluding by bringing one of Acorn’s characters across America, the country that Acorn encapsulates.

With a major in English, Simolke graduated from Belmont University (B.A., 1989), Hardin-Simmons University (M.A., 1991), and Texas Tech University (Ph.D., 1996). Stein, Gender, Isolation, and Industrialism: New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio was his doctoral dissertation at Tech.

He also wrote Holding Me Together: Essays and Poems and the science fiction epic Degranon. Readers can visit DuaneSimolke.Com to learn more about the author and his books, and to find related resources.
The Acorn Stories

 More News about Duane Simolke
Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure Reviewed at The Blogger Girls - 6/23/2014 6:01:00 AM

Captain Laaron misses his boyfriend... - 4/16/2014 12:43:00 PM

Degranon in LGBT Top 10 LitPick - 3/17/2014 12:45:00 PM

Extended Fantasy Adventure - 2/22/2014 8:47:00 AM

Dare2Care List of Top 100 LBGTQ Teen Novels - 1/21/2014 9:47:00 AM

New Gay-Themed SciFi at Goodreads - 11/18/2013 5:00:00 AM

Featured Writer, Interviews - 10/2/2010 6:22:00 AM

Win a Free Fantasy Book! - 8/30/2010 4:26:00 AM

Author Interview. Book Giveaway. - 8/29/2010 10:43:00 AM

Read an E-Book Week, March 7-13 - 3/7/2010 7:23:00 AM

Gay-Themed Book Trailer Receives 100,000 Views. - 1/5/2010 4:03:00 PM

The Acorn Stories Reviewed by Top Reviewer - 12/29/2009 4:07:00 PM

Holding Me Together is # 1! - 2/26/2008 2:56:00 PM

Trailer for Fantasy Adventure - 2/21/2008 10:44:00 AM

Gay Science Fiction at Amazon Kindle - 1/26/2008 8:04:00 AM

Another Gay Love Video - 1/7/2008 7:38:00 AM

Gay Pride Video - 11/19/2007 12:58:00 PM

Cancer Fundraiser - 11/2/2007 9:53:00 AM

Texas Fiction: The Acorn Stories Book Trailer - 8/29/2007 1:31:00 PM

Fantasy Art Contest - 8/14/2007 11:06:00 AM

Kirkus Discovers Texas Collection - 8/1/2007 7:25:00 AM

Book Trailers - 7/18/2007 11:57:00 AM

Gay Pride, International - 6/22/2007 1:51:00 PM

Gay Activist Reviews The Acorn Stories - 6/18/2007 7:51:00 AM

StoneWall Society reviews gay-inclusive fantasy novel - 4/6/2007 2:34:00 PM

Gay author wins another award for his work - 1/12/2007 11:56:00 AM

Fantasy novel covered in Texas newspapers - 12/25/2006 5:12:00 PM

Nomination for 2007 Allbooks Award - 11/30/2006 5:47:00 AM

StoneWall Society Events - 11/5/2006 7:34:00 AM

New Fantasy Release  - 4/23/2006 10:37:00 AM

Nominated for two 2005 StoneWall Society Awards - 8/28/2005 12:28:00 PM

Revised version of award-winning gay book! - 8/19/2005 12:13:00 PM

Scifi novel joins gay marriage debate - 11/10/2004 7:51:00 AM

Degranon Rewritten for Gay Audience That Embraced It - 6/28/2004 7:14:00 AM

My essay quoted in new book. - 12/16/2003 2:14:00 PM

Simolke Wins Another Pride in the Arts Award - 7/27/2003 4:27:00 PM

June and July 2003 Poet of the Month! - 6/4/2003 2:42:00 PM

Cancer Fundraiser Book Made All Consuming’s 2002 List - 1/18/2003 8:25:00 AM

Science Fiction Novel Relates to Real Life. Revised 2004. - 11/23/2002 8:43:00 AM

BookCrossing Benefits Readers and Writers - 11/19/2002 1:26:00 PM

Degranon Excerpt at SFFWorld.com. Revised 2004. - 9/17/2002 6:22:00 AM

Simolke Wins StoneWall Society Pride 2002 Awards! - 8/7/2002 6:29:00 AM

Duane Simolke Featured in SciFi Database. - 7/15/2002 1:12:00 PM

Authors Unite To Write Against Cancer - 6/6/2002 2:57:00 AM

Duane Simolke's SciFi Novel Embraces Diversity, Freedom. Revised 2004. - 5/1/2002 12:33:00 PM

West Texas: Land of Basketball, Prairie Dogs, and Strange Acorns! - 3/9/2002 10:30:00 AM

Science fiction for all people who dare to be themselves. - 2/20/2002 8:55:00 PM

Duane Simolke's Holding Me Together counters homophobia. - 2/4/2001 4:18:00 PM


Books by
Duane Simolke



The Acorn Stories (West Texas Fiction)

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Degranon: A Gay Science Fiction Adventure

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The Return of Innocence: A Fantasy Adventure

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Holding Me Together, featuring Reactions to Homophobia

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Selected Poems

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The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer

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Fat Diary: Free Texas Humor eBook

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