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Inside Issue 4: Shawn Syms, Vladimir, Vladimir

Shawn Syms - Plenitude

Shawn Syms

Picture it: 1990. Vancouver. The Gay Games.

Shawn Syms takes us on young Erik’s quest to interview Vladimir, a famous AIDS activist. But Erik is hoping for more: “He wasn’t afraid to fuck a person with AIDS.”

With characteristic gritty humour and refreshing candour, Shawn Syms evokes not only a time in history, but the all-too-frequent queer experience of desire mixed with equal measures of apprehension.

Shawn Syms has written about culture, politics and sexuality for over 25 years for more than 50 publications. His short story collection, Nothing Looks Familiar, is forthcoming in September 2014 from Arsenal Pulp Press. He’s also the editor of Friend. Follow. Text. #storiesFromLivingOnline (Enfield & Wizenty, 2013). For more information, visit

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