LOVE IN DARK SETTINGS: prisoners, slaves, and soldiers ¶ Historical speculative fiction on power, friendship, faithful service, and gay love ¶ By Dusk Peterson

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Imprisonment. Slavery. War. Love.

Honored in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes fantasy and science fiction with historical settings, as well as contemporary fiction and narrative nonfiction. Suspense plays an important role in many of the tales; the conflict in those tales is both external and internal. Peterson's stories are often placed in dark settings, such as prisons or wartime locations. The mood of the stories, however, is not one of unrelieved gloominess: friendship, gay romance, and loyal service are recurring themes. Visit for e-books and online writings.

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In (non-)celebration of the continued Great Recession: 8 free stories

Cover for 'Wax / Broken'

I've made some price changes on my e-books, mainly in the downward direction. Among other things, most of the e-book versions of the side stories in The Eternal Dungeon and Life Prison are now free at my store at Gumroad, and at other bookstores where possible. If you download the e-book from Gumroad, voluntary donations can be made before or after downloading. Whether or not you donate, reviews (pro or con) are always welcome.

The Eternal Dungeon free stories are as follows. Click on the titles for longer blurbs and download links.

Never. She was attending the ball at the palace to dance. That was all. Which made it annoying to face a proposal of marriage from a guard who was distinctly not the sort of man she would ever consider marrying. Certainly not.

Hunger. Some hungers can only be satisfied by reaching out. As a prisoner struggles to find the right path, a foul-mouthed guard and an uncommon torturer will open a door . . . but stepping through a doorway with blackness beyond requires courage.

Wax / Broken. "All in all, he held a satisfactory position, one where his talents were properly appreciated. But the Record-keeper, rubbing his bleary eyes as he began his shift, could not help but wish that the High Seeker had chosen a love-mate who was less loud."

Green Ruin. Three guards and a mysterious substance provide a temptation too great to be missed . . . especially when two torturers add their skills to the mix. Soon three very different men a married man who is committed to respect and honor, a bachelor harboring secret desires, and a soldier with an unfulfilled ambition will find themselves caught in a trap. Their rescue will come from an unexpected quarter.

The Life Prison free stories are as follows. Click on the titles for longer blurbs and download links.

Torture (crossover with the Eternal Dungeon series). When the High Seeker of the Eternal Dungeon visits a foreign prison, he discovers that his dark reputation has preceded him. So has the dark reputation of his dungeon. The host is eager to show him that matters are run very differently in Mercy Life Prison. The High Seeker has his own suspicions about what he will find in that prison, but even so, he is not prepared for what the prison has to teach him about man's nature . . . and his own nature.

In the Silence. He can't speak. He can barely see. He experiences only fear and the faint whispers of something he had once known. But an intruder into his secure retreat from danger will pull him into awareness of what stands before him. What stands there is renewed danger . . . and the hope of something more.

Cell-mates. Sentenced to life in prison, Tyrrell didn't have many opportunities for bed-play . . . unless he could count what the guards did to him as "play." So his future seemed brighter when he was paired with a cell-mate he'd been eyeing for a long time with affection and lust. If only Tyrrell could keep from becoming his cell-mate's latest murder victim . . .

Reviews: Master/Other and Slaves of the Northern Corporate Dominion

"I admit, I was ready to dislike this novella as soon as I started it: a young man in prison for a nefarious crime (killing children) has to pay his debt becoming a whore, first raped by the prison guards, and then sold to the relatives of the children he killed. . . . I [came] to deeply care for both the young man and the young lord [who was one of the relatives]; towards the end, it seemed almost a fairy tale, a tragedy turned [into] romance . . . but that wasn't surprising, cause, [from] what I remember, the best fairy tales are indeed tragic love stories." My Reviews and Ramblings (Elisa Rolle) on Debt Price (Master/Other).

"Slightly different in comparison to other serials I read by the same author due to the sci-fi/futuristic setting instead of an historical one, there is in any case a common thread. The primitive and passionate nature of human beings is tamed by the force of intellect or by the ability to dominate their own emotions. . . . The bond between Egon and Halvar is there, and it was real, I [came] even to see it turned from captive to protector, with Egon caring for [his captor], and dreading the time when he will die, cause it will deprive Egon of his mainstay, the reason why he managed to find a balance in his own existence as a slave." My Reviews and Ramblings (Elisa Rolle) on Pleasure (Slaves of the Northern Corporate Dominion).

New Stories archive



Turn-of-the-Century Toughs

     ¶ Historical speculative fiction novels on friendship and gay love. Includes bisexual, trans, and heterosexual characters.

A cycle of speculative fiction series about disreputable men on the margins of society, and the men and women who love them.

The Eternal DungeonLife PrisonMichael's HouseCommandoWaterman

The Three Lands

     ¶ Fantasy novels on friendship, romance, and male romantic friendship (bromance). Includes heterosexual, gay, and trans characters.

He vowed himself to his god. Now the god is growing impatient . . . A fantasy series on friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace.

The Three Lands

Sweet Suffering & Subtext

     ¶ Speculative fiction on friendship, heterosexual love, and gay love.

A soldier courts a young woman on the eve of battle. An aircar chauffeur tests the boundaries of his enslavement. A despairing captive in a Renaissance prison must choose whether to obey the deadly command of a lord. . . . Speculative fiction on friendship, romance, and faithful service amidst hardship and transformation.

PrincelingDarkling PlainMaster/OtherSubtext

Here and Now

     ¶ Contemporary stories on friendship and gay love. Includes bisexual, heterosexual, and trans characters.

The hidden secrets underlying ordinary contemporary life.

Whisper of SecretsMain Street Leather

Just the Facts, Ma'am

     ¶ Memoirs, journalism, and writings on literature, history, and other topics.

Pixel-Stained: a documentary memoir of the electronic publishing revolution in gay genre fictionNarrative NonfictionOnline nonfiction



All writings, images, and videos by Dusk Peterson are copyright © 1981-2014 Dusk Peterson. For more information, see: Policies on Copyright, Sharing, Derivative Works, and Fan Works.

Cover designs: Dusk Peterson. Permission is granted for the reposting and reprinting of the banners, covers, and story summaries (blurbs) for the purposes of providing information on Dusk Peterson's writings. Please link to if possible.


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 nit-witted 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) While I'm offline, my e-mail is monitored by my personal assistant, Jo/e Noakes; please mark any urgent e-mail with the subject heading "Time-sensitive."