Dusk Peterson (duskpeterson) wrote in playfulpain,
Dusk Peterson
duskpeterson
playfulpain

Love in Dark Settings Omnibus: 700,000 words of gay fiction, gay love stories, and gay erotica

Cover for Love in Dark Settings Omnibus

For the price of a hardback, you can buy Love in Dark Settings Omnibus, a zipped HTML e-book with all of Dusk Peterson's fiction: 700,000 words (3 novels, 10 novellas, 4 novelettes, and 12 short stories) of suspenseful fantasy, historical fantasy, contemporary fiction, friendship fiction, heterosexual love stories, original gen, original het, original slash, hurt/comfort, darkfic, gay fiction, gay erotic love stories, gay erotica, and leather fiction. It's the equivalent of a 2000-page anthology.

As a bonus, the e-book also includes 28 collections of fiction recommendations and nonfiction, including annotated lists of hundreds of novels, short fiction, and memoirs, online and in print: friendship fiction, gay fiction and erotica, original slash and yaoi, leather fiction, Victorian and Edwardian writings, science fiction, fantasy, historical fantasy, and historical fiction.

Sample passage from the historical fantasy novel Whipster:

When Michael had finished, Hasan was silent for a long time. The young man was staring out the window of his old room, which faced the river. Normally his north-facing window was in shadow at this time of year, but the river angled patterns of light onto his face, so that his skin shone like an autumn leaf under the sun.

Without looking at Michael, he said, "I was drunk that day."

Michael wished that Hasan would turn around. He always had a hard time reading Hasan's expression; reading his body alone was next to impossible. He said carefully, "I figured. Or that what you did was only a final kiss from a boy to his whoremaster. I didn't have mind 'twas anything else."

Hasan turned; his face was puzzled. He put his hands behind his back to steady himself against the window ledge and contemplated Michael a moment. Then his expression cleared. "Is Janus hot in heart that you're trussed to a man?"

"Aren't you?" Michael's mind was sending out a warning of disrupted logic, a pattern that Michael had long ago identified with the word "disconcerted."

Hasan gave a small, incredulous laugh. "Michael, I'm a whore! For the lasting of my life, no matter what I do, that is what most people will keep in mind about me – that I was once so corrupt that I gave my body over to men. Do you really have mind it matters to me whether people despise me because I slept with a man when I was twenty, or whether they despise me because I slept with a man when I was twenty-one?"

"Then . . ." He tried not to let his thoughts go any further. Hasan had just compared him to the patrons. That was not what Michael was seeking to achieve.

Hasan spent another minute examining Michael, who was standing by the door. Michael examined him back. The younger man was wearing the suit Michael had given him, but his collar was torn in two places. The fact that he had not replaced the collar was a bad sign, Michael knew. Whatever else happened during this interview, Michael should check to see whether he could help Hasan in any way concerning his future.

Hasan settled himself down upon the windowsill, balancing perilously between safety and a long drop. He said quietly, "See now, I have mind I was sixteen when I first began to wake from dreams of you and find I was pressing stiff against you. At start, I was worried you would take note. Then I began to be figuring whether you *had* taken note. Then I began to be figuring why you didn't give tale to me about it. I had mind that you would at least have me knowing your feelings toward me, if only to make plain you weren't trussed to me that way. . . . It took me some days to figure out that you couldn't have me knowing. It just wasn't possible. I'm right about this, aye?"

This would be the month, it seemed, for him to learn that everyone knew him better than he had guessed. He checked his face, discovered that it was blank, and tried to decide whether he should change that. "Aye," he heard himself say.

"I saw you at start when you came to Outram's," Hasan said, his voice still soft amidst the tooting of the steamers passing each other. "You were crying, though Outram hadn't yet gone and touched you. You looked scared. And when I saw you next, after you'd been with Outram . . . Nothing. Nothing to see, except for that wooden strut in your hand, swinging down, and down, and down."

His mind grasped upon that sentence as the clue he needed. "I'd not do that to you."

Hasan sighed as he stood up. "Michael, if I had mind it would help you to manacle me and use that weapon you're ever holding .. ."

Michael looked down. The crop was there. He hadn't noticed it, even when he redressed himself.

"If I had mind that would help, I'd gladly let you do it," Hasan continued. "But I've seen you after you've been with patrons; doing that has never made difference to you. Has it?"

"No." His voice sounded far away, like a departing steamer.

"For all these months since you came of age," said Hasan, "I've been holding for you to realize what Outram drew from you, and to draw it back. To return to what you were before."

He wondered whether he should explain to Hasan just how long he had been trying to do that. But already Hasan was saying, "It took me some days to realize I was the reason. Me being here gave mind to you of Outram."

"No!" It was one of the few times at which his thoughts had been able to move quickly enough to tell him the appropriate way to react. A breath that caught short. A raised voice. A tensed body. He ran quickly through this list to be sure that he had chosen the right reactions. Finally he said, with a voice framed to be choked, "Hasan, it has never been like that. You were the only part of my life then that was good."

Hasan smiled faintly, as he might have smiled at a skilled performance. "Not just me. There was Janus."

He thought then he had found the key to the mystery he was pursuing, of trying to figure out what response Hasan wanted from him. He said, "What I feel for Janus is entirely different from what I feel for you. Janus is—"

"Oh, Michael!" Hasan gave something between a laugh and a sob and sat down on the bed. Gazing up at the whoremaster, he said, "Michael, some days giving tale to you is like giving tale to a person from an exotic foreign land. I give tale and tale and tale, and then I find you've not understood half of what I've gone and said. Sweet one, I'm not jealous of Janus. I may have felt a bit resentful-like to him at start, 'cause you were craving his company in a way you'd never craved mine. But after some days, I could see how Janus was changing you. Making you closer to what you'd been. Even if 'twas only a change at the surface, 'twas something. I figured from that time on that Janus would ever be the main person in your life, and any love-mates you might have would be second in place."

It was as though Hasan had looked into Michael's mind and seen what lay there, and shaped what he saw into the words that Michael had been unable to speak. Hasan had always been able to do that. Only Michael's memory of his recent conversations with Janus caused him to reply, "That's not how things go most times in the world."

"So?" said Hasan with utter simplicity. "Michael, if you've got any hope for finding yourself, 'tis in Janus. But me, I'm your past. I'm the one who was there when Outram reshaped you."

"But I—" He struggled to find the words that Hasan had not pulled from his mind. "I love you. I have mind I do."

Hasan rose and came forward then. As Michael stood motionless at the door, Hasan leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.

"And it means riches to me to finally catch tale you saying that," Hasan said softly. "But I can't abide with you if me being here means your words will never be more than 'I have mind.' That would break my heart. The only way I can yield you my love is by yielding you your freedom, as you yielded me mine. If I abide away from you, it may be that you can find yourself." He stepped past Michael and grasped the knob of the door. . . .

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