published: Random Acts of Hatred (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004) a book of short stories; and his latest, ManBug (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2006), a novel, which was a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award (Gay/Lesbian Fiction). George was subTERRAIN magazine's 2014 Lush Triumphant Contest winner for Creative Non-Fiction.
I’ll never ignore armpits again. I’ll never feel the same way about them now either, now that George Ilsley has irrevocably associated the words “armpits” and “bonsai garden” in my consciousness in ManBug.
But throughout, a perceptive Observer with a witty way of slicing & dicing our consciousnesses into his. George Ilsley’s. Sebastian’s. Tom’s. The bat bug’s. And an exploration of connection and consciousness and love in the forms love will choose to take and how we can be conscious of the many ways that love can manifest. And how strange love is. And what happens when it stops.
Told in dreamlike fragments, ManBug unfolds as a love story between Sebastian, an entomologist with Asperger's Syndrome (similar to autism), and Tom, a spiritual bisexual who may or may not be recruiting Sebastian for a cult. They explore the world through their relationship, seeking meaning and value in themselves through the other. They also try to avoid the inevitable toxins around them, both real and imagined—like bugs avoiding insecticide—while asking the question, Just how much poison can any of us absorb?