Here's a full list of the gay and male friendship stories I've posted/reposted/published in the past year that have dark settings (imprisonment, slavery, prostitution, or war), or feature servants or liegemen. As the boilerplate warning for all my stories puts it, "All of the stories feature love or respect, though sometimes it takes a while to get there."
With one exception (marked below), all of these stories are available free online. If you'd like to buy an HTML e-book containing all of my writings as of April 2009 (700,000 words of fiction and 28 collections of fiction recommendations and nonfiction), visit Love in Dark Settings Omnibus. If there are any topics you prefer not to read about, be sure to read the warnings.
Rebirth. In the queendom of Yclau lies an underground royal prison that embraces the worst of the past and the best of the future. The Eternal Dungeon is old-fashioned in its equipment and ahead of its time in its treatment of prisoners, seeking to put their best welfare above all else. Torture is part of the process of assisting the prisoners.
The High Seeker, Layle Smith, embodies this contradictory institution: a man of deadly impulses, the head torturer binds himself strictly by the dungeon's code of conduct. His efforts to maintain this delicate balance are altered, though, by the introduction into his life of Elsdon Taylor, a vulnerable prisoner who is coming to terms with his own darkness.
This historical fantasy series explores dark aspects of erotic life and includes themes of gay love. But the series goes far beyond that by considering the deeper issues faced by all those who find that their friendships and desires are in conflict with their duties.
¶ Warnings. R. Male/male erotic attraction and male/male platonic feelings.
Transformation. The Eternal Dungeon, a royal prison where criminals are transformed, has lost its leadership. The duty of returning the dungeon to normal falls on two Seekers (torturers) who are already burdened with their own problems. One Seeker is struggling to understand why an old love affair continues to gnaw at him. The other Seeker is faced with his greatest challenge: whether to risk that which is most precious to him in order to save his own abuser.
¶ Warnings. R. Male/male erotic attraction, male/male platonic feelings. E-book, with sample chapter online.
Hell's Messenger. It had seemed for a while that the plan would work: a bold conspiracy by a group of idealistic prisoners and sympathetic guards to stop abuse at Mercy Prison. Then betrayal occurs, and Tyrrell finds himself in a new life prison, with new rules to be learned. No longer is he in a position of leadership; now he is surrounded by men who question his most fundamental values.
He has new allies as well: fellow prisoners who like what they see in him, a healer who refuses to accept current conditions, and guards who may or may not provide the help that the prisoners desperately need. But Hell's messenger, Death, visits Compassion Prison, keeping his face hidden until it is almost too late for Tyrrell to recognize his touch.
Friendship, erotic desire between men, and the costs of corruption and integrity are examined in this multicultural historical fantasy series, which is based on late Victorian prison life.
¶ Warnings. PG-13 for the first two novellas; R for the third. Male/male platonic feelings and male/male erotic attraction, with a dash of male/female erotic attraction.
"'Sentenced to sixty lashes of the leaded whip. Sentence commuted to a transfer to Compassion Life Prison.'" Keeper raised his eyebrows. "That's the first time I've ever heard a transfer to this prison described as a commutation. We'll assume that that particular phrasing was meant as a joke."
SOLDIERS AND PRISONERS
Bard of Pain. In the battle-weary lands of the Great Peninsula, only one fate is worse than being taken prisoner by the Lieutenant: being taken prisoner if you are the Lieutenant.
As the world's most skilled torturer struggles with his change of fortune, he finds that his fate is intertwined with the destinies of an idealistic army commander, an affectionate prisoner, and a protégé who reveres the Lieutenant's art . . . but is on the wrong side of the conflict.
This novella is part of The Three Lands, a fantasy series set in a multicultural world where conflicts over law and spirituality provide opportunities for friendship, and for betrayal.
¶ Warnings. PG-13 for violence. Male/male platonic feelings. Includes a booktrailer video. Now also available in free braille and DAISY editions.
Pleasure. Egon had a position that won him respect, friends who raised his spirits, and lovers who gave him pleasure. Then a man came into his life who would take all that away from him. If Egon was lucky.
¶ Warnings. R. Male/male erotic attraction.
Re-creation. What can you give a slave who, by law, can own nothing?
A 2008 holiday gift story for Dusk Peterson's readers.
¶ Warnings. PG-13. Male/male platonic feelings, with references to male/male erotic attraction and male/female erotic attraction.
He could not leave this room without his father's permission. And he could not imagine going to his father and saying, "Please let me go gather moss so that my slave can have a proper New Year for once."
Whipster. Michael is an ex-prostitute, which means that nobody in polite society wants anything to do with him. He believes that the only way to help other male prostitutes is to make their working conditions bearable. His friend Janus is an upper-class gentleman who believes that his duty to the gods requires him to fight against sexual immorality. Now Michael wants Janus to help him run a house of prostitution.
Male friendship and gay love intertwine in this multicultural historical fantasy series based on the Edwardian Era, a time when society seemed as stable as ever, though it was about to be turned topsy-turvy.
¶ Warnings. R for subject matter. Male/male platonic feelings and male/male erotic attraction.
SOLDIERS AND LIEGEMEN
Princeling 1: Noble. In a world where war has lasted for generations, in which only the pitiless nobles who wage war hold power, and those who cannot fight must suffer or seek slow death . . . What would you do if you were a noble, and you lost the ability to fight?
¶ Warnings. PG-13. Male/male platonic feelings and male/female erotic attraction.
Queue. Depositing money in the bank was always the worst problem.
¶ G. Male/male platonic feelings.
New recommendations of online writings, e-books, print books, and media have been posted at the following sites.
True Tales: An Erotic E-zine of Masculinity and Power (adults only).