Dusk Peterson

Historical speculative fiction on friendship, romance, and danger

Captivity. War. Disasters. Love.

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Welcome to all visitors! This website links to my e-books, serialized web fiction, exclusive pre-releases, series resources, and notices of new releases.

My bio: Dusk Peterson writes award-winning historical speculative fiction: history-inspired mythic fantasy, alternate history, and retrofuture science fiction. Amidst dangerous events, love often occurs in the stories: family affection, friendship, platonic life-companionships, and romance. A resident of Maryland, Mx. Peterson lives with an apprentice and several thousand books.

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FICTION

Chronicles of the Great Peninsula

Honored in the Rainbow Awards for its portrayal of gender, Chronicles of the Great Peninsula presents an epic tale of gods, adventure, friendship, romance, and betrayal.

Koretia, Emor, and Daxis were all founded on the same day, but as the centuries have passed, the Three Lands of the Great Peninsula have become increasingly divided by religion, government, and culture. If a god were to appear in the Three Lands, would his appearance bring an end to the fighting between nations? Or would he merely help to spark an inferno of war?

While tensions mount, friendship and romance bloom as the people of the Three Lands struggle to survive.

A cycle of mythic fantasy series about a battle between cultures, Chronicles of the Great Peninsula is set at a time when a centuries-old civilization is in danger of being destroyed. The cycle is inspired by conflicts between nations during Late Antiquity.

Turn-of-the-Century Toughs

Honored six times in the Rainbow Awards for LGBTA literature, Turn-of-the-Century Toughs presents an epic tale of adventure, friendship, romance, and class struggles.

Turn-of-the-Century Toughs is a cycle of alternate history series about disreputable men on the margins of society, and the men and women who love them. Set in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as in a future that never existed, the novels and stories take place in an alternative version of America that was settled by inhabitants of the Old World in ancient times.

Now the Midcoast nations of this world have reached a turning point: the old order is about to be overthrown. Brought together in friendship and romance by the danger of rising events, the people of the Midcoast nations must learn to adjust to a new world.

Yes, My Liege.

A soldier courts a young woman on the eve of battle. An aircar chauffeur tests the boundaries of his enslavement. A despairing captive must choose whether to obey the deadly command of a lord.

Yes, My Liege offers speculative fiction and contemporary fiction on friendship, romance, and faithful service amidst transformation.



NEW & UPCOMING


New releases || Upcoming releases.



New releases

Chronicles of the Great Peninsula

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Death Mask (The Three Lands novel). For eighteen years, he has survived in an army unit where few soldiers live more than two or three years. Now he finds himself in circumstances where his life is a living hell. Will the soldier who defied death find that life is too great a challenge? ¶ Soldiers, spies, slaves, rebels, assassins, gods, and men who set out to break him . . . The Lieutenant of the Border Mountain Patrol will learn that his greatest test is himself.

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Breached Boundaries (The Three Lands novel). The boundaries of rank declare that Serva can be a princess or she can be a slave. But for the baseborn daughter of the King of Daxis, life is not that simple. ¶ Forced to be a tool in a battle waged by her land's unstable King and his dangerously devious heir, Serva cannot even find refuge among her fellow slaves. Instead, she secretly explores the hidden portions of the palace. In this way, she meets an imprisoned spy who is scheduled for execution. ¶ But when a simmering war bubbles to the surface, Serva must choose where her loyalties lie. She must also solve the mystery of the spy's past, and of her own future.


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Hidden Blade (The Three Lands novella). His father is a dull farmer. His mother is a dull farmer's wife. He seems destined for similarly dull life. ¶ But then a stranger appears in their village, and suddenly the talk is of soldiers and spies and secrets and gods. Will he be able to break free of his father's legacy and make a bold dash to a life of his own?

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Free-man's Blade (The Three Lands short story). Free-men are the backbone of Emor: the men who run and protect the empire. But when a young servant finds himself unexpectedly vaulted into manhood, he must decide how he will use his power, and who will pay the price of his decision.

In the Spirit (The Three Lands novelette). Prince Richard has a high office in the army, a ruler who trusts him, and a loyal subordinate. ¶ He also has a murderer who is likely to kill him one of these days. Amidst the many uncertainties of his life, can Richard count on love, or will that become yet another treachery?

The Fire Before (The Three Lands novella). The god's fire is fierce, but not as fierce as the god's wrath if you turn away. ¶ Tristan is the King's heir, destined to rule the Kingdom of Koretia. His nephew Robin has taken Tristan's place as baron of their town. Now both young men are about to face the worst crisis their land has ever known. And neither of them understands what the true crisis is. ¶ As Tristan struggles to find the courage to follow his god's command, and Robin tries to find a middle ground between piety and disloyalty to his uncle, the two noblemen will be forced to confront the consequences of war . . . and the consequences of their own inaction.



Turn-of-the-Century Toughs

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Sweet Blood (The Eternal Dungeon novel).  The Eternal Dungeon has been split by a civil war, with the division clearly marked by a quarrel between two Seekers (torturers) whose faithfulness to each other has already become legendary. Into this explosive situation arrives a new Seeker, one who is determined to see that past evils do not continue in the dungeon. But can he keep control of himself when assigned a prisoner who falls in love with him? ¶ Honorable Mention in the Rainbow Awards 2017.

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Forge (The Eternal Dungeon novel). The capital city of the Queendom of Yclau has a restless population of oppressed commoners, a queen determined to keep control of the rabble, and a hidden killer stalking the streets. ¶ It's an explosive combination. Into this world will come a man nobody expects, least of all himself.

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The Breaking (The Eternal Dungeon novella; reissue). The prisoner knew that the Eternal Dungeon was a place where suspected criminals were broken by torture, and he was prepared to hold out against any methods used against him – except the method he could not anticipate. ¶ Arrested on the charge of committing a particularly horrendous murder, Elsdon Taylor arrives at the Eternal Dungeon in fear of the harsh methods used by the torturers, called Seekers, to draw confessions from their prisoners. ¶ But the dungeon's methods are for more devious than Elsdon had expected. Elsdon finds himself in a bewildering prison where his guard seems reluctant to punish him, the healer appears to have a vendetta against his employers, and Elsdon's Seeker is a mystery whom no one can penetrate. ¶ Now Elsdon is faced with a choice that will shape his future . . . as well as the future of his Seeker.The end owes its existence to the beginning. ¶ As part of the omnibus The Eternal Dungeon, three honors in the Rainbow Awards 2011: Honorable Mention, Best Gay Novel/Book. Winner, Best Gay Fantasy. 2nd Place, Best Setting Development.

Escape (The Eternal Dungeon novelette). The end owes its existence to the beginning. ¶ When a youth escapes his captivity, he starts a dangerous journey on a long road that leads to the future. But will his future self remember what brought him to that day?

Patience (The Eternal Dungeon flash fiction). There are patients, and then there are patients who require patience. The world's most famous dungeon-keeper has a cold.

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The Awakening (Dungeon Guards novel). Barrett Boyd has awakened from death to a new and baffling life. He knows that he is a guard in the queendom's royal prison, the Eternal Dungeon. But why do the prisoners matters so much to him? Who are these other guards who appear to have claims over him? And how will he survive while he finds his new place in this world? ¶ As Barrett seeks to make sense of his surroundings, he must contend with a would-be love-mate, a grumbling rebel, deadly enemies, and the challenge of how to wield his expanded skills.

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Mercy's Prisoner (Life Prison novel; reissue). A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy. ¶ All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies. ¶ Three honors in the Rainbow Awards 2014: Honorable Mention. Finalist. Runner-up, Gay Fantasy.

Lockdown (Life Prison short story). Having other folks flaunt their winter festival celebrations is bad enough, when you're a prisoner locked down for the rest of your life. ¶ The only thing worse is having a cell-mate who is determined to join the celebrations.

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Hell's Messenger (Life Prison novel). In Mip's most notorious life prison, Death appears in a strange disguise. ¶ It had seemed for a while that the plan would work: a bold conspiracy by a group of idealistic prisoners and sympathetic guards to stop abuse at Mercy Prison. Then betrayal occurs, and Tyrrell finds himself in a new life prison, with new rules to be learned. No longer is he in a position of leadership; now he is surrounded by men who question his most fundamental values. ¶ He has new allies as well: fellow prisoners who like what they see in him, a healer who refuses to accept current conditions, and guards who may or may not provide the help that the prisoners desperately need. But Hell's messenger, Death, visits Compassion Prison, keeping his face hidden until it is almost too late for Tyrrell to recognize his touch.

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Liegeman's Service (Waterman novelette). Bereft of his liegeman, Pembroke is forced to cut short his education in order to serve his liege-master at the Third Landstead University. War upon the waters seems imminent in their bayside landstead. But Master Rudd, who will soon rule over their landstead, is interested in nothing but food, games, and his most recent passion, women. ¶ With his own bed now cold, Pembroke must decide how far his loyalty extends to his liege-master. The answer may lie in long-remembered tales from Pembroke's boyhood.

Duties of a Second-Ranked Master (Waterman short story). Studying at boarding school is hard enough. Balancing the needs of your liege-master and liegeman is impossible. ¶ As Davenham struggles to be both loyal and protective, he finds that he must consult the most despised student at school. But what use is it to seek advice on duties from a boy who seems incapable of mastering his own duties?

Runaway (Waterman short story). Bat is in trouble. Again. ¶ The only way out of the trap this time is to take a leap into the future, into a world of wonders that his mind can scarcely grasp. ¶ But trouble awaits him at the border to his refuge. How Bat handles that trouble will determine his own future . . . and the future of what he is leaving behind.

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Danger (Dark Light collection). Soon after they were born, they were tattooed with the signs of their ranks: master or servant. Now, in the time between past and future, the youths of the Midcoast nations find themselves in predicaments and even high danger. Unable to flee their troubles, they face a thick, unyielding barrier . . . until the power of friendship breaks through. ¶ Two honors in the Rainbow Awards 2018-2019: Honorable Mention. 3rd Place, Best LGBTA Anthology / Collection.



Yes, My Liege

Recent releases in Ragbag, a collection of early creative efforts:



Upcoming releases

Chronicles of the Great Peninsula

Law-Lover (The Three Lands novella). "Being the Army and Palace Records of Carle son of Verne."

Empty Dagger Hand (The Three Lands novel). Dolan is a quiet young man who spends his days working as a scribe. So why does he have a dagger hidden within his clothing? ¶ When Dolan's hidden life turns to disaster, he must make his way through a warring world of many enemies and few allies. Figuring out which men are his allies will take time, and not much time is left. ¶ As an empire crumbles and civilization is threatened, Dolan must use all his wits to survive, for only he can bring to safety the greatest treasure in the Three Lands.

The Night Watch (The Three Lands novella). They are the elite unit of the Northern Army, and their power is growing. But what they need is more than power: they need wisdom. ¶ Xylon is the conscience of the Home Division Patrol. Everyone says so. But when his conscience fails him, Xylon must find the courage to help his fellow patrol guards through the greatest danger that the Great Peninsula has ever faced.

Search for the Jackal (The Thousand Nations novel). When a young man named Dolan flees from the north, he finds danger on all sides. The Northern Army wants him back. The Empire of Emor wants him dead. His native homeland of Koretia may not want him at all. And his only protection is a man with motives that are mysterious and possibly deadly. ¶ To remain alive, Dolan must forge alliances, cement friendships, break and heal a killer, and seek a lost god. Most of all, he must decide what his goal is and how high a price he is willing to pay to achieve that goal.

Stream of Dying (The Thousand Nations short story).

Large Talk (The Thousand Nations short story).

All Alert (The Thousand Nations short story).

The Morning After (The Thousand Nations flash fiction).



E-MAIL

If you send me pretty compliments, I will print your letter out and frame it above my computer. (This isn't much of an exaggeration.) If, on the other hand, you send me a letter that begins, "What kind of nitwitted writer are you? You gave your character blue eyes in scene one and green eyes in scene two!" then I will raise up a shrine in your honor and burn candles upon your altar.

Constructive criticism, enquiries, and idle chit-chat may be sent to Mx. Dusk Peterson at duskpeterson(at)fastmail.fm. Or stop by my social networks. My emergency contact is Mr. Joe Noakes at lemurjoe(at)gmail.com.



See Copyright, Licenses, and Fanworks for information on sharing or adapting my writings.

Copyright notice for the home page:

Creative Commons License: Some Rights ReservedThis text, or a variation on it, was originally published at duskpeterson.com.  Copyright © 2002-2021 Dusk Peterson. Some rights reserved. The text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0). You may freely print, post, e-mail, share, or otherwise distribute the text for noncommercial purposes, provided that you include this paragraph. The author's policies on derivative works and fan works are available online (duskpeterson.com/copyright.htm).

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