QSFer Wendy Rathbone has a new MM fantasy book out:
Sold by his father. Abducted against his will.
My name is Ganymede, and I have been betrayed.
Every boy my age dreams of leaving home to embark on a noble adventure, but never does any boy imagine it happening as it did to me. On the evening of my 18th naming day, when I expected no more than a chalice of wine and a few drunken flirtations to tempt my innocence, I was instead sold by my father to the god, Zeus – not because of anything particular I had ever done or said, but solely because I am considered beautiful among mortals, and my father found more value in a few gold coins than in the well-being of his youngest son.
To be honest, I never believed in the gods, but my lack of belief held no power in Olympus or on Earth. Now under Zeus’s influence, I am kept drunk on ambrosia in the sun-lit halls of the immortals, alternately amazed and horrified at the power these beings hold over others, and how darkly they influence the progress of humanity itself. How very much I want to hate Zeus for kidnapping me, and yet he shows me mostly kindness, even on that fateful night when we shared a bed for the first time. Kindness, yes, but also a godly and unyielding refusal to take no for an answer… probably because he could read my ambrosia-fevered curiosity as much as my naive, inexperienced terror. He owns me, after all, just as he owns everything else, so perhaps it never occurred to him that a captive and a slave might not make the best of lovers.
Throughout my time at Olympus – who’s to say how long I’ve been here, for time on Olympus is not the same as that on Earth – the only thing that gives me hope comes to me in dreams and visions. His name is Sable and he is a magnificent shape-shifter in the form of a giant raven. When he first spoke to me in my mind it was with a resonance unlike any I had ever known – his mind and mine sounding a single note together, a song without words, a promise of freedom, a glimpse of some distant but very real possibility of this thing we humans call Love. But now he is silent. Perhaps I dreamed his voice. Perhaps I have finally lost my mind…
This male/male romance is a sensual, fantastic and alternate myth, where captivity leads to transformation, immortality and finally love.
Wendy is giving away a copy of her Dreamspinner m/m sci fi romance “The Android and the Thief” in the format of the winner’s choosing, epub, mobi, pdf. Comment on this post below for a chance to win!
- The Boldness of the Caged
Without being guided or asked, I entered the throne room and went straight to the white-skirted Zeus, who was lounging on his throne and fiddling with a large crystal window. When I’d first arrived, he had said something about me being a cup-bearer. I thought haughtily, Why not? I handed him the goblet, then sprawled naked but for my red sash, now a scarf, on the steps at his feet.
Sable took up a position behind the throne, a steady shade of dark.
Zeus leaned forward in surprise, holding the goblet aloft as if it were hot or untrustworthy. “Ganymede?”
“I already drank my share,” I said without looking up. “The rest is for you.”
I scanned the throngs of people on the checkerboard floor. Some were openly fucking on the couches. Others played music or games. Contentment and boredom went hand in hand. But no one was complaining. Frankly, I was still in some state of awe. But I could not understand what these people did day in and day out other than waste so much time.
Zeus had continued to sleep with me sometimes, but so far had kept his distance. Except for praising my beauty in a daily ritual for all to hear, and for all to admire his impeccable taste in acquisitions of boys, he left me to myself. He demanded little.
But this day started differently. “Did the wind blow you in from some far-off balcony?” Zeus asked.
I realized my hair was still clumped and half-wet. I wore little by way of adornments, only some rings and an arm-cuff.
“Has some wild phantom possessed you?”
I replied, “If none of you ever die, how can there be ghosts?”
I heard him laugh. So what if I amused him. I felt differently today. I was tired of crying. Tired of feeling un-empowered. I wanted attention in this moment. It was heady. Made me feel like I was doing something. I liked it. Instead of hunching into myself as I had done every day up until now, I lounged with my arms and legs out-flung. Let them all look at me. Let them desire me. Let them approve. But most of all, I wanted Zeus to want me. Here and now. Why? Because I decided I was going take great pleasure in my flirting, all for the glorious fun of turning him down.
Today Eros wore a silvery robe of near-transparent cloth. It draped him in such resplendence it was difficult to look away. There was a space in the back where his wings poked through, the cool-blond feathers looking freshly oiled. His equally pale hair was pulled tightly back from his head, the ends tangling with his wings. A thin, silver-leafed semicircle crowned him.
He and Zeus were talking about things I didn’t understand and it annoyed me. Stardrives and sensors and components. And something I’d heard them talk of before: DNA. Whenever I played knucklebones with Eros I would try to remember the words so I could ask him what they meant, but they vanished from my memory, as if I were blocked from not only remembering, but knowing.
“What is DN-something?” I asked them, interrupting.
Eros looked away from Zeus and turned to me with narrowed brows. “You are eavesdropping.”
“What? I am right here. All Zeus does is have orgies and talk using funny words. What am I supposed to do? Close my eyes and ears?”
Zeus merely laughed, but he did not respond.
“Look beautiful, that’s your job at the moment.” Eros seemed to think his statement was obvious, and that it ended our talk. But I was surrounded by so many new things. If I didn’t ask any questions at all, I would burst. I didn’t care if I was interrupting something important right now. My new boldness had fueled me. Besides, they were no more than glorified criminals. Why should I be polite?
“What is it, though?”
“DNA. It stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It’s the building block of life.”
“I don’t understand.”
“It’s what makes you you. It forms you. Your program for your body, the color of your hair, your eyes, your skin, your size, your capacity for intelligence, health, even the tone of your voice.” He got a pained look. I was sure it was because I appeared completely bewildered and could not hide that fact. But in my head I kept repeating the weird word, hoping I got it right. Deoxyribonucleic acid.
Eros had leaned forward on the arm of the throne, his elbows propped on the hard marble. “If you have a book with words in it and the words make a story, it’s like that. DNA is your story inside you.”
“It’s inside me? Does it know where I’ll be or where I’ll go in the future?”
“No. Not like that. It’s the story of how your body grows, whether it gets sick a lot, or if it might have a talented singing voice, or a big cock.”
Zeus laughed again but softer, and took a drink.
“Is it the internal spirit maybe?”
He sighed. “I don’t think it’s exactly that. But you have much time to learn all these things. And by the way, your DNA is very special. It’s one reason Zeus chose you.”
“It’s because of how I look…”
Zeus rolled his eyes.
I wanted to know more. “And the other part?”
I glanced up at his dark visage. He was breathtaking to look at. A being of pure strength, it seemed. Zeus just gave me a little smile and shrugged. “You don’t know your own greatness. No one does until they try.”
It was cryptic. And a stupid answer to my mind. They were both infuriating.
I love to write. I have this thing about words and how they are used to describe beauty, love, and all the things that open us up inside to our true self, our power. Words do that for me. They make me happy. The new moon smiling, the sadness of a fallen feather at dusk, predatory eyes gazing through smoke.
The reason I write romance these days is because the overwhelming power of falling in love (which has been proven to heal even cancer) is a game-changer. It makes sad people instantly happy. It makes bleak reality look sun-warmed and friendly again.
I have written in all genres: scifi, fantasy, horror, paranormal, contemporary, erotica, romance. My poetry has won awards, publishing contracts, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart. A fiction story of mine won Writers of the Future. My fantasy/horror fiction and poetry has received honorable mentions from esteemed editor Ellen Datlow in “Years Best Fantasy and Horror”. I am a hybrid writer, publishing both indie (under my press name Eye Scry Designs) and with publishers, most recently “The Android and the Thief” with Dreamspinner Press.
All my books are available on Kindle and CreateSpace.