Saturday, February 25, 2017

New queer science fantasy titles released; more forthcoming

The first new titles in several years from M-Brane Press—The Intersex Boys of Venus and One Hundred Times, both by Kyler Fey—are now available as ebooks at Amazon, iBooks (find with in-app search), and Kobo, and also in a lovely print edition in “double” format, available February 28 at the major online bookstores. 

Cover flat of the print edition.

The first volume, The Intersex Boys of Venus, combines elements of pulp SF and planetary romance and with explicit gay erotica. Though it stands on its own, it is actually the fifth “episode” of a proposed twenty-one-part serial detailing the adventures of an enigmatic character named Commander Jace Dekka and his cadre of lubricious young men, the so-called “Unsuitable Boys.” The premise of its universe is described like this…

A thousand years from now and in another history, the Solar System teems with life. Ships sail the aether, linking humanity’s thousands of disparate nations and clades on all the planets and their many moons. Wars flare and fade, conspiracies thrive and then die, loves and lusts burn hotter than the sun. It is the age of the apex of the children of Earth, but in the deep background of the affairs of sprawling humanity, sinister forces, preternatural phenomena, ornate evil, and bizarre schemes reach everywhere. Standing against these, on the side of light, is the super-powerful Commander Jace and his elite (and lusty) cadre of astonishing queer young men…the so-called “Unsuitable Boys.”

Ideally, the rest of the episodes will appear in something like their intended sequential order, but Fey designed this serial so as to make it comprehensible wherever one starts with it, kind of like the Doc Savage serial novels or original-series Star Trek. You can pick it up wherever and get oriented. 

From the product description of the print edition as it appears on Amazon…

Side A: In Episode #5 of the “Commander Jace and the Unsuitable Boys” saga, THE INTERSEX BOYS OF VENUS, Jace sends telepathic Braden and brilliant Patrick to the lush and humid world Venus, hiding even from them the fact that their real mission is to pursue clues to a mystery, clues gleaned hazily from a bizarre clairvoyant fugue experienced by two of their teammates. Meanwhile, Jace investigates a lead among the randy students of an exclusive academy. Little does Jace know that the lithe and ardent Braden and the young rakehell Patrick will uncover a startling piece of information about the real machinations of their enemies while on Venus…while in bed with scores of that world’s extraordinary and amorous inhabitants. 

Side B: ONE HUNDRED TIMES…In this frank and rather humid erotic memoir, Unsuitable Boys author Kyler Fey tells of a summer fling with a young man who came to be a sort of muse, the living template for one of Fey’s lusty fictional characters. Fey shares in a series of graphically detailed anecdotes the events of that summer, and he opens a window into the creative process behind his erotic science-fantasy tales.

That second book, One Hundred Times, is not part of the Commander Jace series, but it offers some insight into it in the way that it details the author’s short sexual partnership with a guy who was the real-life template for one of the major characters in the series. It was written originally in a series of journal entries more or less concurrently with the drafting of Intersex Boys, and the two books occasionally echo each other. Like its companion book, One Hundred Times is quite sexually explicit throughout (there's even a brief sex scene in the author's foreword). Because it is not set in the other volume’s fictional universe (though there are some intrusions by that universe into its “reality”), it might find its own audience among readers who are into writers' memoirs (with lots of queer sex in them) but maybe not so much into the Intersex Boys’ genre.

These books are not, by the way, short stories like a lot of the erotica titles that one finds for the Kindle. Intersex Boys runs to about 140 pages in print form, and One Hundred Times to nearly 200 pages. The fact that Intersex Boys ended up being as hefty as it is, makes me wonder a little bit about the rate at which I am going to see finished manuscripts of the other twenty episodes. When the concept of this serial first came up, the plan was to roll out very quickly—possibly all at once—all of the installments and then possibly make an omnibus of them in print form. But that was when I thought that each installment was going to be a typical five-thousand-word short story like most of those erotic “books” in the Kindle store. When Intersex Boys came in at thirty-five-thousand words, I was kind of dumbstruck. If they are all going to be that long—the author says they won’t all be—then this is whole different publication project than I’d originally imagined. 

Even though Intersex Boys ends with a short preview of Episode #6 The Royal Rentboy of Kasei, I think the next title out will be Episode #1 The Case of the Tattooed Twink. I’ll put updates here as they happen.