I always look forward to reading this yearly collection edited by Richard Labonté. Sometimes the collections are simply amazing while others can be hit or miss. As with any anthology, reader tastes can vary wildly and it’s hard to obtain a perfect combination. Unfortunately the judge for this year’s collection has very different tastes from mine as I didn’t particularly like many of the stories. Several I’d read before and the others have similar themes – it’s easy to see what gets Kevin Killian off – but the writing and themes didn’t work for me personally. Depending on your tastes this collection will either score big or not be for you.
When I reviewed the uber popular Mr. Benson, I was struck by the author’s writing and voice more than anything. So my next foray is into I Once Had a Master, a collection of short stories set in the same bald BDSM world. This collection is a stunning glimpse into the author’s mind and personal life. The writing is unembellished and in some ways clinical yet there is a wealth of subtle emotion available to the right reader. The focus is graphic sex, the beginning of gay erotica genre and incredibly successful at that. However there is infinitely more to the stories as well. If nothing else, this collection is incredibly compelling and fascinating as it depicts a lifestyle that is still relevant decades later.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Title: Skater Boys Gay Erotic Stories
Edited by : Neil Plakcy
Publisher: Cleis Press
Length: Anthology 210 pgs
Buy the book: Amazon
Two words describe the appeal of skateboarders: barely legal. It takes a tough and independent young man to find the best places to shred, so it’s no wonder skaters have become the object of fantasies by gay […]
Special Forces edited by Phillip MacKenzie Jr.
Wherever a man slides into his BDU’s and shoulders an M16, there’s another man looking to take both off him ~ and people who want to read about it. These sexually charged stories show military men in every branch of the service getting down. Special Forces is set in the heat of battle, public or private, where fear, urgency, and uncertainty lead to unexpected intimacy and release, where anger and terror fuel desire and attraction. The seasoned authors here, some of whom served in the military themselves, do not shy away from the hard realities of the fight, but allow it to heighten the eroticism.
The collection includes Jack Fritscher ("Wild Blue Yonder"), T. Hitman ("To the Victors Go the Spoiled"), Simon Sheppard ("Stockholm Syndrome"), Jay Starre ("Between Shots Fire"), and many more.
Riddle of the Sands by Geoffrey Knight
The clock is ticking! Blackmailed by Jake’s nemesis ~ the vengeful Pierre Perron ~ Professor Fathom’s team of five horny gay adventurers is sent on a seemingly impossible mission to uncover the legendary Riddle of the Sands in order to save one of their own from a rare and deadly poison. But what is the Riddle of the Sands? Where are the long-lost clues and hidden maps that can lead to its whereabouts? Is it a myth, a mirage, or the greatest engineering feat in the history of ancient Egypt? From the icy plains of Siberia to the shadowy bathhouses of Cairo, from the scorching valley of the Nile to the heart of the Amazon jungle, readers join these hunks ~ treasure-hunter Jake, Brazilian biologist Eden, Texas cowboy Shane, art expert Luca, and quarterback Will ~ in a search that blends nonstop action and high-octane sex!
Divas Las Vegas by Rob Rosen
What happens when you find out that Grandma’s vase mistakenly sold at a yard sale is worth tens of thousands of dollars ~ and somebody else is about to cash in on it on Antiques Roadshow? Of course, you hop on a plane with your best friend and race off to Las Vegas to get Grandma’s vase back! Filled with action and suspense, hunky blackjack dealers, divine drag queens, strange sex, and sex in strange places, plus a Federal agent or two, Divas Las Vegas puts the sin in Sin City. "Divas Las Vegas" is a fun, new take on the murder mystery genre.