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Indie Advent Day 12: Home Within Skin by Jem Zero


One of the best things about indie books is the opportunity to take a chance on something out of your comfort zone, written by marginalized authors giving authentic voice to characters. I’ve been a fan of Jem Zero’s writing for a couple of years now, and Home Within Skin is one of zir best books to date.

The tag line: A homeless trans man and an alien sex worker ruin each other’s nights, film a porno, and fall in love definitely grabs attention, but it doesn’t really do this novel justice. Jax’s story is often uncomfortable, and rightly so. His own choices and fears keep him on the streets, something completely incomprehensible to those of us lucky enough to have a full-time roof over our heads. Alien immigrant Sei-vesz’s decision to be a professional sex worker is another glimpse into a world most people do not understand.

The relationship between Jax and Sei-vesz–the whole story, in fact–is unconventional and real and vital, beautifully written while not straying from the harsh realities of homelessness and prejudice.

And nobody writes alien-human sex scenes like this author, I’m just saying. Treat yourself to this strange and wonderful story.

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