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Honored in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes historical speculative fiction and lgtbq novels. Suspense plays an important role in many of the tales; the conflict in those tales is both external and internal. Peterson's stories are often placed in dark settings, such as prisons or wartime locations. The mood of the stories, however, is not one of unrelieved gloominess: romance, friendship, and faithful service are recurring themes.
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to the e-mail version of Love in Dark Settings ¶ By Dusk Peterson
NEW E-BOOK: Tour (Life Prison)
"'How have any folk here managed to survive so long? These are killing conditions!'"
He has taken his first step to being accepted by the other prisoners. But what is the secret of the missing prisoners?
As Tyrrell is granted a tour of Compassion Life Prison, he realizes that the truth about his new home is both more horrific and more wonderful than he could possibly have imagined. An intricate network of protection, service, and love is enabling the prisoners to battle against harsh living conditions. As Tyrrell begins to penetrate the mystery of a massive affliction of pain and death within the prison, the question arises: Who is to blame for the suffering? And how can they be stopped?
This suspenseful novel can be read on its own or as the second story in the "Hell's Messenger" volume of Life Prison. Friendship, desire between men, and the costs of corruption and integrity are examined in this multicultural speculative fiction series, which is inspired by prison life at the end of the nineteenth century.
¶ Available as a multiformat e-book (epub, html, mobi/Kindle, pdf, doc): Tour.
Tags: crime fiction, friendship, comradeship, romance subplot, bisexual and gay characters, couples and poly, multicultural characters, prisoners, guards, wardens, rebels, spies, servants, slaves.
The "lads," the prisoners who were required to offer their service, fell silent. There were about two dozen of them – just enough to make a tight line across the length of the wide gate. Tyrrell moved closer into his corner, until all the lads merged in his sight, and then he peered cautiously around the corner toward the guards.
Pugh spoke briskly. "Medinger?" He looked up at the balcony, where Medinger had just walked into view.
"Pass," replied the guard, leaning onto the balcony railing.
There was light laughter from the other guards. One of them said, "And you'll keep passing till the magisterial seats send us female prisoners."
"I know that you're not interested in claiming a lad," Pugh said in an annoyed voice. "You're not eligible, anyway. I'm asking about Keeper. It's his turn."
Medinger shook his head. "Our Keeper is passing as well. He's already left for town – didn't you hear the riot doors ring the alarm half an hour ago? He left when I came in from the auxiliary wing."
"What in Hell's name is wrong with Tom Keeper?" asked one of the guards, to nobody in particular. "Is he planning to act like a lovelorn man for the rest of his life?"
"He'll recover," said Pugh. "Whose turn is it next?"
"Yours, as you very well know," said Landry. "I don't think you've forgotten that you're second in rank here."
"Maybe we should wait until the night watch arrives," suggested another guard.
"They're not eligible to claim," said someone else. "They're on duty during claiming hours."
"Yes, but they always seem to arrive for duty at the same moment that the lad is brought out for his claiming. If we waited till they entered the outbuildings, then we wouldn't have the riot doors screeching just when the taking starts. The first few minutes are always the best."
"If you think I'm going to take a lad in front of you lot, you're mad," rejoined Pugh. "I don't put on performances. Medinger, is the claiming room clean? It was a pigsty the last time I used it."
"Bed-sheets were changed today," said Medinger, his voice clipped short. "New toiletries as well. And Keeper told me to remind everyone that this prison's regulations require the use of a sheath whenever there is penetration—"
The rest of what he said was lost in loud laughter that came from the other guards. His voice rising above the others, Landry said, "Fifteen drilling years he's been going on about that. It's like living with a schoolmarm."
"Oh?" said Medinger. "Well, you're welcome to drill naked if you like, Landry. What's the name of that lad whom Chambers gave the Damnation to, a few weeks before Chambers died?"
The laughter cut off abruptly. Starke, who had lit another cigarette, smiled as he said, "Medinger, you're wasted as Keeper's orderly. You should be in the army. They need soldiers who can shoot straight into the belly."
"The issue is moot." Pugh's voice had returned to his usual tone of boredom. "I always use a sheath. I wouldn't trust myself inside one of those filthy lads otherwise. Landry, are you and Starke ready?"
"Ready and willing," replied Landry, pulling himself back from the parapet in order to take hold of his machine rifle.
"Medinger, take charge of the switch."
Medinger remained motionless. "I'm on the night watch. I don't take orders from you, Pugh."
Pugh muttered something under his breath, and then said, "Niesely."
"On my way." Niesely mounted the right-hand stairway, taking two steps at a time. Pugh turned his head toward the gate.
Tyrrell ducked back in the brief second before Pugh's gaze swung in his direction. He looked over at the lads. He could only see the one closest to him, an older lad with lines of experience on his face. The lad's expression was set, but his hands were white-knuckled on the bars.
"You." It was Pugh's voice, flat. "The one with the rag on your leg."
The claimed lad's shout of rage was overwhelmed by the scream of the gate alarm. The other lads scurried back, leaving an open space next to the gate that was filled now only with two prisoners: the claimed lad, who was shaking his head over and over, and his mate, who had his hands on the claimed lad's arms as he spoke to the other lad.
Whatever he was saying, it was not reaching his mate. "No!" shouted the claimed lad, so loudly that he could be heard over the alarm. "I won't do it again! Not with Pugh!" He pulled himself away from his mate at the same moment that the alarm ended, taking a dozen rapid steps away from the gate.
"Wild lad!" The shout came from Ahiga, somewhere beyond Tyrrell's view. "All back! All ba—!"
The rest of his words were broken off by the sound of machine-rifle fire as bullets blazed thick into the prison.
¶ Available as a multiformat e-book (epub, html, mobi/Kindle, pdf, doc): Tour.
FREE FICTION: What Slaves Do When They Aren't Cleaning Toilets: A Tale of Web Accessibility in the Cybersex Era (Rebels)
"'What I want from you is quite simple. I want you to design a Website that's compatible with Section 508— Stop sobbing, damn it!'"
What Slaves Do When They Aren't Cleaning Toilets is the first story in the world that presents web accessibility information for the disabled in the form of gay leather erotica.
¶ For adults only. Available as online fiction or download FREE as a multiformat e-book: What Slaves Do When They Aren't Cleaning Toilets.
Tags: contemporary erotica, gay leather master/slave, disability
issues, W3C, geek humor.
Click on the covers for more information.
RECENT CATEGORY BESTSELLERS
Twenty-nine Love in Dark Settings Press e-books were category bestsellers at Amazon during the past month; below is a small sample of the bestsellers. Click on the covers for more information.
RAINBOW AWARDS 2014
Mercy's Prisoner (Life Prison) has received an honorable mention in the Rainbow Awards 2014, indicating that a judge gave a rating of 36 or above out of 40 to the e-book). The book bundle has also become a finalist in this annual awards contest for lgbt literature. A judge's comment:
"Dusk is all about subtlety and shades of meaning. The details of the plot were slowly revealed, and often by reading between the lines of what a character says, rather than having motives laid out clearly before us. Sex does not dominate the plot, it is about relationships, companionship and the unexpected development of love. I also liked that the [five] stories linked to each other because I was so immersed in the world Dusk had created that I didn't want to leave it."
My congratulations to the other authors and artists who have been honored; I was pleased to notice the names of some of my blog readers.
On my awards page, you can see
e-books of mine that received honors in previous years.
"If you like Dark and brooding and BDSM, I would highly recommended it . . ." —Amazon (Roger G. Grace) on Love and Betrayal (The Eternal Dungeon).
"I don't quite understand why Elsdon suddenly is crushing hard on Layle. . . . It seemed to turn into a romcom. Heroine's gossiping with her bestie about omg I can't figure this guy out at ALL, and bestie's like, 'well, I mean he seems to respect me because I don't fawn over him, so maybe he's looking for that,' heroine's like 'well, he does seem to like it when I'm assertive; maybe he wants me to assert myself more.' They do this as the bestie sorts through her clothes. (Okay, fine it's probably for laundry in this one, but close enough.)" —Goodreads (Ayanna) on Love and Betrayal (The Eternal Dungeon).
"The only reason [I kept] glued to the text was the text. It
flows. I don't know how else to put it. It's like listening to music that's
so translucent and harmonic you barely notice it's there; instinctively
you just bathe in it. The style of writing, the whole world created by
the author . . . Elsdon, his timidness and hesitance which grew into something
so magnificent, and Layle, who just took my breath away and made me want
to scream at the same time." —Goodreads
(Jaz) on Love and
Betrayal (The Eternal Dungeon).
NaNoWriMo & HOLIDAY GIFT STORY PROMPTS
I'm seeking Writing Buddies at NaNoWriMo
(this is my first year doing NaNo), and I'm asking readers for prompt
requests for my holiday gift story this year.
BORROW MY BOOKS
On my fiction series pages, I've added links to my
e-books at Scribd (my other Scribd books are here) and
At either of these e-book subscription services, you pay a flat monthly
fee to borrow as many e-books as you'd like. (To those of you who are wondering:
I get paid the same for a borrow at Scribd or Oyster as I do for a sale
at most online bookstores.)
Turn-of-the-Century Toughs is a cycle of speculative fiction series about disreputable men on the margins of society, and the men and women who love them. The novels are set in an imaginary version of Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic states between the 1880s and the 1910s. One of the series in the cycle, Waterman, combines elements of the 1910s with retrofuturistic imagery from the 1960s.
The Eternal Dungeon. In a cool, dark cavern, guarded by men and by oaths, lies a dungeon in which prisoners fearfully await the inevitable. The inevitable will be replaced by the unexpected. ¶ The Eternal Dungeon is a speculative fiction series set in a nineteenth-century prison where the psychologists wield whips.
Life Prison. They are imprisoned until death, and their lives cannot get worse . . . or so they think. But when an unlikely alliance forms against their captors, the reformers risk losing what little comforts they possess. ¶ Life Prison is a speculative fiction series about male desire and determination in nineteenth-century prisons.
Commando. The nautical nation is backed by the military might of an empire. The mountainous republic is populated by farmers and shopkeepers, and it has no standing army. The nautical nation is about to make the mistake of attacking the mountainous republic. ¶ Commando is a speculative fiction series that imagines what the South African Boer War could have been like if it had been fought on American soil.
Michael's House. In a world where temples are dying and sacred theaters have been replaced by brothels, what will happen when a hard-headed businessman joins forces with an idealist? ¶ Michael's House is a speculative fiction series set in a Progressive Era slum.
Waterman. How can a youth from a bay island boarding school survive when he is sent to a futuristic prison? ¶ Waterman is a speculative fiction series inspired by the Chesapeake Bay oyster wars, boarding school rivalries in the 1910s, and 1960s visions of things to come.
Darkfics. Only in the dark can one truly see the light. ¶ Darkfics collects side stories from Turn-of-the-Century Toughs.
Turn-of-the-Century Toughs series
Yes, My Liege is a cycle of speculative fiction novels on bonds of affection in service, friendship, and romance.
Princeling. In a world 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? ¶ Princeling is a speculative fiction series set in a world where war has lasted for generations.
The Three Lands. He vowed himself to his god. Now the god is growing impatient . . . ¶ The Three Lands is a fantasy series on friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace. The series is inspired by conflicts between nations during the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.
Darkling Plain. Separated in time and place, these young women and young men are united in their goal: to protect those they care for from the destruction of battle. The odds are against them. ¶ Darkling Plain is a collection of speculative fiction tales about young people in times of conflict.
The Three Lands series
Sweet Suffering is a cycle of fantasy and science fiction series on friendship, romance, and faithful service amidst hardship and transformation.
Master/Other. Masters come in many forms. Some don't even know they're masters. ¶ Romantic and poignant, Master/Other offers speculative fiction stories exploring the dangers and sweet bonds of power.
Slaves of the Northern Corporate
Dominion. When humans are seen only in terms of profit and loss,
what happens to humanity? ¶ Slaves of the Northern Corporate Dominion
is a shared-universe science fiction series on exploitation and love, set
in a time when a nation's corporate government has institutionalized slavery.
Unmasked. Behind the screaming news headlines, behind the hype and the sensationalism, lies the quiet but dramatic tale of people whose actions may change the lives of the next generation. ¶ Unmasked is a contemporary fiction series on a challenging topic.
Main Street Leather. Leather
is a world of rich pleasure palaces and endless sensual delights, where
dreams can be pursued without limit, provided that a man has the strength
to stand the test. . . . But in the rural town of Mayhill, population 32,000,
leather life is a little different. ¶ Main Street Leather is
a cycle of contemporary series with gay love stories and satire on transgressive
sexuality in past decades and the present.
Pixel-Stained: a documentary memoir of the electronic publishing revolution in gay genre fiction. The Pixel-Stained series publishes Peterson's memoirs in the form of e-mail, posts, and other documents. These accounts depict life at several electronic literature communities connected with gay genre fiction, as witnessed from the inside of those communities.
Narrative Nonfiction. Narratives and other nonfiction about religion, literature, gender, sexuality, and other topics.
Online nonfiction. Just click on
the link. It's a long list.
Subtext. My fan fiction (rare litfic), as well as a list of the novels that inspired my original works.
Shared Universes. More fan works! Stories and art set in my worlds by other authors and artists.
Buried Treasure. My recommendations of online male homoerotic stories and male friendship stories (and anything else that catches my interest).
Beta readers for my stories. My
editors, editorial assistants, proofreaders, and technical consultants,
with links to their websites.
List of published writings, positions, and honors: Divided by date.
List of published writings, positions, and honors: Divided by subject.
Word counts and progress report. Includes a list of the stories I'm currently working on.
Updates e-mail list, blog, and social networking
Cover designs: Dusk Peterson. Permission is granted for the reposting
and reprinting of the banners, covers, and story summaries (blurbs) for
the purposes of providing information on Dusk Peterson's writings. Please
link to duskpeterson.com if possible.
Constructive criticism, enquiries, and idle chit-chat may be sent to
Peterson, if you wish to be formal) at
duskpeterson(at)fastmail.fm. When I take breaks from the Internet, my e-mail
inbox is monitored by my assistant; please mark any urgent e-mail with
the subject heading "Time-sensitive."