||At the outset, my thesis appears fairly straightforward. I'm writing a novel about a single father raising nine children on a dry farm in a small conservative town. Simple enough. But the construction of a work of fiction is far from simple, especially as I write about queer bodies that have negotiated human ecology without recognizable myths and stories to guide their life journeys. So my signpost, the focus of this thesis, is the ecological metaphor. That thing we cannot live without. That thing that always only hints at what might be real. That thing that is always subject to change. This thesis hunts for new ecological metaphors and new ways to describe and figure human bodies. How we talk about a queer body can do strange and marvelous things to the rethinking of ecological metaphor. In these stories there are metaphors old and new, religious and metaphysical, even metaphors pulled from relationships that exist but go unexamined. I don't intend for any one metaphor to stick and replace old ones. I merely explore the possibility of the queer body acting as (here comes the new metaphor) an ecotone-a place of mixing, composting, of radical interdisciplinary engagement. By opening a creative space to the rigors of scientific inquiry and the mysteries of our feral human imagination I hope to create stories couched not in any singular discursive register, but stories seething with uncertainty and a radical openness.