A deep space catastrophe strands Sub-captain Micah Starion in a strange land where he is stripped of all rank and used as a plaything by his brutal captors. Micah, now known only by a number, is gradually transformed. Gay male erotica.
Ahh, where to begin. I loved this book. I loved it when it came out. I still love it today. PB500 and the sequel “The Citadel” have been called Cult Classics! Well, I don’t know about the cult part, but it’s very definitely a classic! If you like Sci-fi, BDSM and muscular long haired blond men who are forced through a variety of ordeals designed to bring about capitulation and submission, that’s what you’ll find in this book.
Now, it’s nowhere near as dark as the books I typically like. I’ve noticed some people commenting on how brutal the story line is – how Micah is captured and abused by aliens until he becomes a pet, plaything and sex slave for his alien master. How they imagine that might come about without some degree of brutality is beyond me. I think it may be likely that those reviewers may have forgotten the SM part of BDSM, but I don’t want to digress into a rant about that here, after all there’s room for that in future posts.
The simple truth of the matter is that this book was published in 2001, which means it was written earlier, and considering the story in that context is important. It was a part of a significantly avant garde movement in the genre. Prior to to this movement -right up and through the eighties in fact – it was expected that even a character who was simply a gay character, would die at the end of the story. Suicide was commonplace for these characters, and for the masochist, the ultimate destruction was death, oftentimes by abandonment or through the very tortures they sought. This was true of explicit gay male erotica through-out the greater part of the end of the 20th century.
But Kyle Stone and Aaron Travis and Tony Deblase,, and Larry Townsend and a number of other highly talented writers helped bring about a transformation in the genre, and they did so without losing the hard edged brutality and without compromising the sweaty muscular darkness that make this genre worthwhile. They did it with skill and talent, so much so in fact that it seemed effortless -natural- and in fact it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always this way.
So buy this book and read this book and enjoy this book. It’s a full novel, so you do get the whole story in one purchase, but when you’re done, you’ll be glad there’s a sequel. You’ll be glad that there is a whole second novel to take you deeper still.