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T. Aaron Payton

T. Aaron PaytonT Aaron Payton is a pseudonym of author Tim Pratt. Tim Pratt was born in Goldsboro, NC, and grew up in various places in the American South. He relocated to Northern California in 2001. His fiction has won a Hugo Award, and he’s been a finalist for Sturgeon, Stoker, World Fantasy, Mythopoeic, World Fantasy, Scribe, and Nebula Awards, among others. His other books include three short story collections; a volume of poems; contemporary fantasy novels The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl and Briarpatch; gonzo historical The Constantine Affliction under the name T. Aaron Payton; fantasy roleplaying game tie-ins; and, as T.A. Pratt, eight books (and counting) about sorcerer Marla Mason. He occasionally edits anthologies, including the Rags and Bones anthology co-edited with Melissa Marr. He works as a senior editor for Locus magazine, and lives in Berkeley, CA, with his wife Heather and their son River.

The Constantine Affliction: A witty gender-bending romp

The Constantine Affliction by T. Aaron Payton

T. Aaron Payton’s The Constantine Affliction (2012) is a witty gender-bending romp through Victorian London as it never was. Most of us will call this “steampunk.” Payton prefers “gonzo-history.” I say, “whatever works.”

Ellie Skyler, who is assumed to be male, makes her living as a journalist using the pen name “E. Skye.” She plans to go in male attire into one of the city’s clockwork brothels, where the prostitutes are nearly perfect simulacra of human women, to write an expose. Clockwork “comfort houses” have become even more popular since the rise of the Constantine Affliction, a sexually-transmitted disease that changes the gender of those who survive it. Even though Albert, the Prince Consort himself, has survived the disease and been transformed into a “horse-faced woman,” London has made surprisingly few social changes as a... Read More