Grab Bag 21 is a sixteen-story collection in habu’s eclectic anthology series of active gay male life and tribulations short stories. These stories, presented in the order in which they were written, were composed during the spring and summer of 2020.
As is often the case with habu anthologies, half of the stories have locations outside of the states in locales as varied as Canada, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Jordan, India, Thailand, and Singapore and Macao. Two of them have historical settings, from reminisces of habu’s own past in 1970s Bangkok to another inspiration from habu’s family’s past in the post-World War Two period. Most of the stories, though, are contemporary and half of them are set in the United States.
As an insight into habu’s process, he notes that several of the stories were triggered by memories from habu’s own past life; two are stories from the ongoing, loose CIA Candy Store series, featuring Sam Winterberry; four stories relate to books habu was reading during this period; and one, written for a writing contest, stems from the pandemic that was raging during this writing period.