Thursday, April 23, 2020

New release: a final chapter for Kyler Fey's JACE serial

During this age of the COVID plague, when it feels like the world will be forever changed no matter what happens, it seems like a particularly apt time to present the final installment of Kyler Fey’s strange and outlandishly erotic science-fantasy “pulp” serial Commander Jace and the Unsuitable Boys. This last of the serial’s ten volumes ushers in what will be a whole new world for its inhabitants, and then leaves us on a somewhat melancholy yet greatly hopeful note. 
This final episode jumps back and forth through time, and it opens with a scene set one year after the events of Episode #9. It’s not much of a spoiler to reveal—since it’s made clear during the first few pages—that Commander Jace has disappeared and left his cadre wondering what their future holds. Young Patrick, now the nominal Commander of the lads, is determined to find their leader. After this opening scene, the story flashes back to the final moments of the previous episode, when Braden was in deadly peril, and we get to see what happened to him next. 
The ten books in this series have each had their own peculiar structure and even their own genre flavors, ranging from techy sci-fi to supernatural horror to planetary romance—and there was even a “pandemic” story in Episode #4. This final volume is quite unlike its predecessors in the sense that the front half of the book is quite plot-heavy and is concerned mostly with conducting a lot of long-overdue “housecleaning” with regard to the Unsuitable Boys’ arch-enemies. Readers of the series who are there not so much for its long story arc but just for its pornographic gay sex scenes may find this section of the novella somewhat trying on one’s patience as one waits for a proper jerk-off scene. But one should not worry too much: the book’s second half rewards patience by moving the story along to its conclusion through a series of explicit sex set-pieces as good as many of the great ones from the earlier volumes.
Also of note, Kyler says in a short afterword to this final Jace story that, while he does not intend to write any sequels involving these characters and their storyline, he would be delighted if other writers felt inclined to play in his fictional universe.

Below is the blurb from Amazon and a link within it to the new release. Consider checking out Kyler’s author page, too. In addition to the ten-episode Jace series, he has several other standalone titles, including a number of weird and wild “auto-fictional” fantasies, an erotic memoir and a collection of short pieces. We will also have another thick paperback omnibus collecting the second five installments just as we did for the first five, but its release is still a couple weeks away. 

The book, like all the others in the series, warrants a content advisory for explicit sex and continual references to recreational drug use and alcohol consumption. 

When last we saw the so-called Unsuitable Boys, Braden was in peril—caught in the claws of their arch-enemy and running out of time to complete his mission. Meanwhile, Commander Jace is busily gathering allies among the winged men of Mars and their prince…and also the bizarre vampire lord of the Moon and his preternatural sons. In the background of all this tumult is the deadly fact that very soon the transaetheric blast from the A-Star, prophesied in drawings and paintings by Ethan, will rip through the solar system. There is so much at stake all at once—so much existential threat—that one would assume that these famously lusty lads would have no time at all to spare upon indulging their ravenous and insatiable libidos. That would be an incorrect assumption. Here now is the final episode of COMMANDER JACE AND THE UNSUITABLE BOYS. Their world will be changed forever.

THE QUEER INVADERS FROM SPACE brings to a close the strangest and most gay-erotic science-fantasy pulp serial ever. Check out Kyler Fey’s author page to find the first nine episodes of this story and several other items of speculative gay male literature from his capaciously libidinous imagination. 

This book is a novella of about 21,000 words and is the tenth in a series.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Fey's JACE series continues with a bizarre possession tale

In this new "episode" of Commander Jace and the Unsuitable Boys, Kyler Fey compounds his usual mix of elaborately wacky science fiction and dirty-hot gay erotica with supernatural creepiness in a way that makes his whole universe strain raucously and kinkily against its walls and hinges. In this volume, while some questions are answered, new mysteries are indicated, and one gets the sense that this series is headed toward an incredible and wholly unpredictable climax. The Dirty Punk Exorcist, a novella of about 30,000 words, is the seventh of ten planned episodes.

Summary: For months, Ethan has been transfixed by a terrifying vision of awesome destruction from the core of the galaxy, dreaming of it and rendering it in ink and paint hundreds of time. Now it has overtaken his mind and body, possessing him utterly. Desperate to rescue his young husband from this horrifying fugue, Zane falls back on his old faith and summons an exorcist from the Cult Cthulhu. Meanwhile Braden undertakes a dangerous telepathic experiment, pulling his own consciousness and Ethan’s into the distant past. Against this background of preternatural possession and exorcism—and dark lust—Commander Jace Dekka faces the possible end of their world as they know it, and he makes first contact with his family’s lethal arch-enemy.

This one has been a long time coming, over six months after episode #6 of the series, when we had intended publication for last October. The author had some major interruptions of his writing time, however, due to life events, and he also decided to rebuild the thing almost from scratch, taking most of what had been written a long time ago and making that the framing story for a trippy riff on the founding document of demonic possession fiction, William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist. As Zane and a priest from the Cult Cthulhu try to pull Ethan out of the grip of a mysterious cosmic force, Braden goes at the problem from another angle, using his uncanny telepathy to pull a piece of Ethan's consciousness with him into an hallucination of the distant past...the year 1973 in Saint Louis. Meanwhile, Jace confronts the larger strategic situation of his world and has a hitherto unheard of direct encounter with the leader of his deadly arch-foe, the Tong Tiphon; and Timothy struggles with the primal nature that was awoken in him during his recent mission to the Moon. 

While we feel that the books in this serial can be enjoyed separately as stand-alone novellas, this new one is more of a direct sequel to its immediately preceding volume than has been the case with the others, and it picks up some threads going back to episodes #2 and #5. In order to help readers who have not read those installments but who still want to read this one, I decided to include a little recap of the end of #6 as a prologue to this installment, and I edited in a handful of pieces of information from past episodes here and there in a hopefully non-intrusive way.

This links to a preview on Amazon...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Live today, Kyler Fey's new novella

The new installment of Kyler Fey's gay-erotic science fantasy serial Commander Jace and the Unsuitable Boys is available now on Amazon. Episode #6 The Devious Boy-Ka-Wang of Mars continues the lusty and sometimes lurid and bizarre adventures of Jace Dekka and his coterie of talented young men as they work to unravel and defeat a baroque scheme by a once-defeated but now-resurgent foe, a scheme that may threaten the entire future of humanity. For some comments on this installment's creation and an excerpt that you won't see in the Kindle preview, check out my post from yesterday. This episode includes Trace's return to Mars to seek an alliance with his old lover Prince Carthoris and the prince's army of winged men, as well as a trip by Ando and Timothy to the wilds of the Moon where they meet some of the strangest and possibly most dangerous denizens of the Solar System. Meanwhile, at the Home for Unsuitable Boys, Commander Jace and the remainder of his group are fascinated with a weird game that has appeared on their phones and which is affecting their minds and their libidos. Some threads from earlier episodes are drawn together and the stage is set for the remainder of the saga, which will play out over four more installments. All of this is conveyed by way of a nearly-relentless but highly literate pornography that I have seen few other writers achieve, at least in the mode of "pulp" science fantasy. This is a novella of about 40,000 words, and only $2.99 on Amazon. It will not have a standalone print edition, but it may get one in the form of a "double" with another of Fey's books, and it will most certainly be printed in a second five-volume omnibus after the remaining four books are done (sometime in 2019). The whole series and several unrelated books by this author can be found via the Kyler Fey Amazon Author Page link over to the right of this post.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Kyler Fey's The Boy-Ka-Wang of Mars releases tomorrow; excerpt

As I look ahead to some kind of future for the semi-revived M-Brane Press, I am considering some new projects other than Kyler Fey’s queer speculative erotica—which has been the whole focus since the start of 2017. But for right now, Kyler’s hot, gay and sometimes super-transgressive shit is still what I am all about as we release the Kindle ebook of Episode #6 of his science fantasy serial Commander Jace and the Unsuitable Boys. This new one, which should be live on Amazon by tomorrow, is titled The Devious Boy-Ka-Wang of Mars, and it launches what we have come to think of as the second half of what is intended to be a ten-part serial. 

Anyone who follows Kyler on Twitter may have seen about a thousand tweets about this volume, his nearly incessant raging about the difficulties of its revision. And he was wholly justified in that because this one was a serious pain in the ass to put into its final form—much more so than its five predecessors—because it ended up merging into one narrative most of the pieces of what were originally intended to be two different episodes of the serial, and it was necessary to “retcon” a couple things as we discovered irreconcilable inconsistencies between it and what had already been established in earlier episodes. It also ended up being a novella of about 40,000 words, longer than any of the previous episodes by a few thousand. If this series were planned to run longer than four more books, I might be tempted to assemble some kind of concordance or “bible” for it so that we can easily look things up because this is one seriously fucking complex and (possibly over-) world-built piece of pornographic gay science fantasy. I have, for example, requested no further references to any main characters’ eye colors because I am pretty sure some of them have changed but I can’t figure out where. 

On the other hand, the method of assembling these stories from characters’ journal entries and other found texts within the story’s universe makes it easier to credibly have disagreements one from the other, and this a tactic that has been consciously employed by Kyler since Episode #1 where he shows a backstory for the character Braden but it’s presented as a piece of pornographic fan fiction about him. In the new episode, he extends this notion a bit further and includes a passage that is a prose description of one of Ethan’s comic books, which itself is derived from a piece of fan fiction about these very characters on an alternate universe Archive of Our Own. That segment is followed immediately by the following excerpt, which refers to a series of the clairvoyant Ethan's delirious artwork. I was not sure if I wanted to share this piece here because I think it’s a small and lovely dark jewel late in the book that I’d like readers to find on their own. But it appears that Kyler posted a slightly different draft of it on his Tumblr a while back anyway. This will make zero sense to anyone who has not read of any of the previous episodes, and it is not even typical of what to expect in this new book, but it seems to me to scream the underlying tone of The Boy-Ka-Wang of Mars

From Episode #6...

But that comic book-like set of drawings is just a distraction, something to stiffen the dicks of some of those readers who have dicks, or perhaps dampen the pussies of women who like images of cartoonish male-on-male fucking, but with no major impact on our story. But this one is quite different:
It’s another comic book of sorts, but this one is richer with its paints and pencils and charcoals and glitter, and the panels are enormous. Also unlike the previous one, it does not tell an obvious story. Its panels have the look of things that go together, but each one is its own statement:
The dorsal spines of a reptilian monster, like a gargantuan dimetrodon the size of a hill, cast lance-like shadows on a grey marshy field, but the shadows don’t quite match the spines because they show something in silhouette that does not appear to be part of those spines. If one view these shadows through a magnifier, one can see the black shapes of naked human males with curved arm-length penises, and they are probably impaled on the shadow-spines. In the sky above them dark haze-forms remind one of bat wings.
A naked male form with enormous erect wings, like a Martian angel, kneels on a shiny floor, his impossibly long penis lying in coils on that floor between his knees as if it is several feet of sausage, its head emerging like that of a snake and spilling a foaming froth of juice. Testicles the size of fists depending above it, squeezed forward by the man’s thick thighs.
Perhaps a self-portrait, a nude boy that looks a lot like Ethan, but his nipples are rendered as pink spirals that wind out over his chest and his navel appears to contain a cat-like eye. What at first looks like an illegible mess of paint where his penis should be, on closer examination, gives the viewer this horrible impression: that his penis has been severed but then re-inserted head-first into a makeshift hole carved into his pelvis. His head floats detached above the stump of his neck and from that neck erupts a murky speech balloon, more like a cloud, and the tiny text inside it says “Can you hear my song? A-STAR!”
Another portrait with a recognizable figure in it: Trace stands like a colossus astride what may be Kasei Vallis on Mars, but he has four arms—his real ones plus another pair that extends from his back and reaches around his body like they could be wings if they were feathered. He has two penises, side-by-side, bowing out away from each other and so long they would be over a meter long if they were in proportion to real Trace’s body. Each leaks a rain of slime, and in the pool that this supernatural cum forms, swim dozens of tiny naked lads, each with Martian angel wings erupting from their backs and long sperm-like tails writhing from their asses.
A trio of naked white boys, solid black eyes so closely set that they nearly touch, ears that look like lilies, arms that terminate not in hands but in the foreskin-shrouded heads of penises, while where their penises should be one sees instead what looks like a clawed finger. Their torsos are studded from their Adam’s apples to their pubic thatches with tiny stakes, each one drawing a rivulet of blood, a dozen or more stabbing the chests and bellies of each of these strange lads. But after a few moments of examining these details, it starts to seem like at least some of the blood rivulets are curling into letters, spelling out words. If one were to look long enough—though one never does—one might see these phrases: Aaron Fruit Demolition Sucks My Fat Dirty Cock, Fuck and Kill the Boy-Ka-Wang of Mars, Ethan Sucks the A-Star Into His Cunt, Brother-Fuckers K and K Have Poison Cum for Blood, Zane Must Eat My Hot Faggot Heart with Only His Bare Fingers and Soft Lips, Tiphon Tong/Tong Tiphon/Tong SHIT! Will Eat Jace’s Log, Stake the Dirty Draku Cocksuckers in Beds of Their Native Soil, Ethan’s Super-Cum Makes Angels, Twinky Terran Teen Fag Ass-Raped by 6 Martian Frat Angels on Cam LIVE!…and even more. In fact, if anyone had ever to this day studied this image closely enough and for a long enough time, then they’d probably have found hundreds of these messages embedded in it. But because no one ever did, neither did anyone ever divine any of their meanings. 

And this one: three-d fruit shapes, craggy versions of the icons from a phone game float in a yellow space and among them drift penis-hammers: the shafts are the handles and the ballsacks are the hammer heads. At the bottom of the panel lies a cartoon male who looks passably like Jace Dekka. He lies on his back and grips in both fists a livid purple erection taller than his body is long. From this cock erupts a silvery flow of jizz that winds upward through the image, as if solving a maze among the fruit blocks and the penis-hammers until it reaches a hazy spacey patch near the top of the picture where a sphere clouded by coppery wires seems to absorb the cum-flow. A diffuse ring of wriggling sperm cells seems to encircle the sphere and within it is more of Ethan’s tiny text: Welcome to Asteroid Sperm-X, Commander Cum-Factory!”

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New today: DANNY versus JAUSTIN! by Kyler Fey

Today we let out this bizarre little one-off by Kyler Fey, the “omegaverse” novella Danny Versus Jaustin: An Alphas Awakens!  This is not part of his Jace serial, which is the main project my press has been involved with for the past year or so, but it contains a few tie-ins to those books (such as the presence of a “Cult Cthulhu” and the existence of drugs like “narcowhirl” and “Erec-T” and “Arou-Z”). This is perhaps unseemly of me as the editor and publisher of this book, but I am going to just go ahead and claim for myself a fair amount of what one might call “creative credit” for Kyler’s work in this one instance.
The day after Easter Sunday, he sent me a very fragmentary short story with a bunch of notes, which he'd spun out from a Tumblr post about an actual sex hook-up with a young man whom he'd met at work and took home to his husband on Easter. I thought about it for much of the day, not really thinking this was a project for the press, but then I decided to give him some notes. I told him that if he was serious about telling such an outlandish story about himself and his spouse, then he needed to give up whatever hesitancy was holding him back from really telling it. “Make Danny—not you—the real protag,” I said. “Because I can fucking feel that this is what you want. You want him to fucking dominate it—and you. Also, this is not anywhere nearly dirty and lurid enough for the promise of its premise. You need to open the gate a bit.” I suggested that he needed to make the child-birth event a lot weirder, and I also gave him the idea for the little set-piece that makes up the end of the story. He amazed me with what he came up with for that part of it, in its hot and slightly cheesy--yet somehow spare--garishness. Though he took my advice to make Danny the true protag, he did give himself the pre-climactic sex scene, and it’s pretty hot (and filthy). 
I don’t know this alpha/omega premise as well as Kyler apparently does, but I did read up on it a bit via Archive of Our Own where there’s a shit-ton of fan-fiction set in that kind of universe, and a lot of it is perhaps edgier in its intent than Kyler’s story, but I didn’t read anything that was anywhere near as engaging story-wise, and most of it is not even ten-percent of his quality in its writing. Also, here he has let through a good deal of his sense of humor, by turns wicked and wry and self-effacing. This is not as often evident in most of the Commander Jace stories, but when it does show up, it’s a bright spot and I hope that he will be freer in its deployment as we get into the second half of that serial. Speaking of that serial, the other titular character, “Jaustin Moss,” is a recurring figure in the Jace serial and he is a thinly-veiled reimagining of someone from real-world pop stardom. In this new story, the veil is so thin as to be nonexistent, and I wondered if he should just drop it altogether. But since Kyler had already established Jaustin as a character in The Lust-Virus of Krampack (and he is soon to appear again in forthcoming episode), we decided to let his appearance here be yet another alternate universe version of him. 

I’m not promising some kind of revelatory literature for the ages with this rather wacko new item from my press, but I do assert that you have not read anything quite like it today. We have made it available for free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, and for a mere $2.99 for regular Amazon customers. It runs about 21,000 words.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

JACE giveaway at QueerSciFi

Check out this post at the QueerSciFi site for a giveaway. We are awarding a paperback copy of the Jace omnibus as well as a bonus ebook detailing the lead character's origin story and a teaser for the second half of the series. All one needs to do to qualify to win is comment on the post.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Thoughts on paperback books and relative reading comfort (like, literal physical comfort)

Kyler Fey was pretty impressed with the physicality of his new omnibus edition from M-Brane Press, a book of just over 600 pages collecting the first five "episodes" of his gay, weird and very erotic science-fantasy serial. The previous post has the details. He took a bunch of pics of it to share on Twitter, and seeing those reminded me of the decisions that I made in preparing this paperback version and why I made those decisions (and I figured I'd share for no special reason.). It has to do with two things: being a reader who is aging deep into his forties, and my recent purchase of a Kindle a few months ago, the first dedicated e-reader device I have ever had despite having done fair amount of electronic publishing.

First, I found--as my eyes have aged from simply being near-sighted like I was most of my life into a situation where I need more complex lenses so that I can see both far away and up close--that I no longer find it comfortable to read mass market paperbacks with tiny fonts. This means that the old pulp sf novels and Ace Doubles that I love as objects are not really readable anymore, at least not with ease and pleasure. The Kindle solves that. But my project was still to make a nice paperback book. I never considered a trim size of less than 5x8 for Commander Jace and the Unsuitable Boys. I considered 6x9, but that seemed too big. When I read a paper book, I like to do it on my back on a couch, sometimes with cats lying on me, and the biggest paperbacks and most hardcovers are less comfortable to hold upraised over one's face for very long, and they can cause pain when one falls asleep and loses one's grip on such a book. Due to its sheer weight, I ended up reading Danielewski's House of Leaves a few years ago mostly while seated at a table or lying on my belly with the book opened on the floor in front of me. Again, the Kindle can solve that kind of problem sometimes. I recently bought Samuel Delany's journals collection In Search of Silence on the Kindle rather than in hard copy in part because I knew it was going to be a lot easier to lie around on the couch with it that way. But, again, for the Jace book, the goal was to make an object that is easy to read and not too difficult to hold despite being a fairly hefty book.

To achieve this goal, the first decision, aside from the page size, was a font and font size. I settled on Book Antiqua 11 point. Nothing too exciting about that choice, but the font is to my eyes very readable and presentable without drawing a lot of attention to itself. I used to favor Garamond, and used it for a couple projects for a few years ago. I still like it, but I think it's legibility is a hair less good when the Italics version is used, as it needs to be periodically in this book. The great and amazing publisher Two Dollar Radio uses that one a lot (maybe always? I noticed in the front matter of for a few of their titles they note that they use Garamond and laud it as the greatest font ever. By the way, go look for Two Dollar Radio titles--they really have some astounding stuff). I played around with 10-point versus 11-point. If I had gone with 10 then I could probably have shrunk this book by several dozen pages and reduced its cost to print and its retail price a bit. But...ease of reading. It's just a little nicer for my eyes in the slightly bigger font. But was that decision going to make the final product too thick and heavy? Fortunately I have like a thousand other books around here to compare it to, and this is where Kyler's pics also illustrate something.

One of these fun pictures shows this book flanked by two thick Delany novels. One of them is the Vintage edition of Dhalgren, which runs to 800 pages. It's spine is actually a hair thinner than Commander Jace's, which only runs to 609 pages, but its font is slightly smaller and the paper it's printed on is very slightly thinner as well, almost but not quite like the thin paper of a Bible. (This is appropriate as Dhalgren is basically "The Bible" as far as I am concerned.) The other one is the Magnus edition of Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. This book is also about 800 pages, like Dhalgren, but note that it's a lot taller, and that it is probably about fifty percent thicker than Dhalgren or Commander Jace. Through the Valley is set in what looks to me to be an 11-point font like Jace, and on paper of that same thickness. And it's just a really long novel.  If its page-size were the same as Dhalgren, it would probably be at least a thousand pages. But as it is, it is right at edge of no longer being a lying-on-the-couch book due to its page size and sheer weight. When I last read it, I sat up with it most of the time, resting it in my lap.

I have produced probably about a dozen paperback books for M-Brane, plus a couple for other publishers, and I feel like I know what I am doing when I am formatting on the screen, but I still always feel some anxiety about a new project until I have in hand a physical copy. In particular with this book, due to its thickness, I was worried that the gutter margins weren't generous enough despite what my screen was showing me, but it opens nicely with the text where I wanted it and without having to pull it open too wide once you get the middle, so all is well. Also, I am very pleased that the finished Commander Jace and the Unsuitable Boys omnibus can be read comfortably for a decent period of time while holding it up in the air. It can even, by the way, be held open for a time with just one hand should one wish to do so for some reason. It is, after all, chockfull of explicit erotica.