Sci-fi – Pure Genius
By Talo Segura
This is no definitive look at Sci-fi, for one thing it focuses on gay Sci-fi and on the what I like to call pure Sci-fi – pure genius! Which means it’s about the future, on earth, out in interstellar space, with or without aliens, but not fantasy Sci-fi with magic. No, it’s much more the classic stuff, although the examples I’m giving cover a wide variation in the Sci-fi genre.
You might call this, some of the good stuff I happened across. And you know how it can be on the internet, one thing leads to another. Or what I should say here is one author leads to another. So I’ve put the books in chronological order of publication and given intros and reviews (where I found them).
2007 – Space Ship Boys by Erik Ritler. This story is on an obscure site and I found it via William King. What is important to know is the story isn’t completely, complete. I know, that is odd to say. Read the author’s intro: “Hello readers!
What follows is the first chapter in a story entitled Space Ship Boys. What’s it about? I’ll leave most of the discovery to you, but what I can tell you is that it’s an epic character-driven science fiction story set aboard a spaceship that has escaped a dying world. It features mostly 17-22 year-old guys, and in the coming chapters you will find adventure, love, sex, uncertainty, humor, angst, more sex, hi-jinks, and possibly a whale or two.
As a writer, I can make a couple of promises. This is a story about all of the things above, but at its core it is an erotic story. Unless something unforeseen comes up, there will be sex in every chapter, I promise. It is my purpose to arouse as well as entertain, and if a chapter fails to do both I will have fallen short of my goals. At the time I am writing this new forward I am completing chapter 15, and it is my intention to take the characters you find below to a satisfying end.”
Well he does take the story to an end of sorts, then continues for a few more chapters, but sadly Erik Ritler vanished, there was an unconfirmed report he met with an accident, went on holiday and never returned, but that is entirely speculation, a comment retrieved somewhere from the net.
Here is what William King said about the story (we’ll get to Mr King’s own writing later).
The story tells what happens after the sirens sound for real – it is not a practice drill – this is it, the evacuation is on. Earth is dying, and those who can, those who are accepted, find a place on one of the massive space ships that have been prepared waiting ready for this day.
Devon and his friends, along with most of the high school boys end up on EV5995 starting an 18 year voyage at near light speed to find a new planet. What follows is a vivid description of coming to terms with life onboard a huge biosphere shared with 5000 other boys. And coming to terms with who they are themselves, how will they live in a world with only boys!
There is intrigue and romance, joy and sadness. The characters are very real and each have their own personality, they are brilliantly written and you will fall in love with them. You will laugh and you will cry along the way.
These are all teenagers, Devon is 17, there is plenty of sex, but that is just one part of their lives, and one part of the story. There are some interesting observations about how life onboard works, and detailed descriptions of the biosphere and how it functions. The story is very well researched, and very well written. The author writes notes with each chapter, setting a particular piece of music to parts or the whole of a chapter. He explains how certain bits came to be written.
It is not often I would recommend a book that is unfinished, but I loved this story and became very attached to the boys. Chapters 1 to 15 are themselves a complete book, which finishes appropriately, but nevertheless does not resolve everything going on in the plot. The story continues with another seven chapters which really do take things forward and develop the story. The final published chapter is a bit of a cliff hanger – and that unfortunately is where it ends.
I should mention Devon – the principal character – becomes a cook onboard, and that results in some interesting recipes. Charlie – a very close friend – gets to work on manufacturing clothes, and this starts with what seems like the easiest place to start – underpants!
I don’t think that the author intentionally left the story in mid-air, but rather that something happened to prevent him continuing. Don’t be put off by it being unfinished – you will live every moment and the boys will become your close friends!
SPACE SHIP BOYS by Erik Ritler.
Let’s get to William King now, jumping forward a few years, I found this story on Royal Road, a site dedicated to Sci-fi and fantasy.
This is what the intro says: “In a future where it never ceases to rain, Joel finds himself alone on the streets after curfew. How he got there is not clear, his memory is fragmented. Is it being rescued to find yourself in a sex club? Past, present, and future are interwoven, somehow there must be an answer? Perhaps, he is the answer? And what about the other boys? What about the planet? Is there a future?”
And to give you an unbiased view, here is the review by one reader (keep in mind Royal Road is not a gay story site).
A new experience for me. – REVIEWED AT: Diencephalon – Part III : Vasovagal Syncope – BY Apocryphal 8/5/2020, 6:52:07 PM
As a heads up, this story is LGBT and the MC is gay (or bi). Saying this so that people are aware of what they’re getting into so they aren’t surprised (which shouldn’t even be an issue in the first place cause it’s 2020 but whatever).
This is the first story I’ve ever read that featured a gay MC along with immediate (yet tasteful) smut off the bat. It was a new experience for me and was completely out of my comfort zone (being a straight guy) HOWEVER I was still very much able to appreciate the descriptiveness, delivery, and character interactions of this story altogether without issue. This reading experience was something different, and could possibly open other people’s eyes up to the concept that a characters sexuality should not alter a reader’s appreciation for a story overall.
Thoroughly enjoyed the writing abilities of the author. This was a pleasant review to make.
Okay, another good gay Sci-fi story, and better still, cause I liked it, it finishes with: The End of the Beginning. So perhaps there will be a sequel?
Here’s what Mr King says himself: “This was my first sci-fi story which I wrote back in 2017. As it says at the end, this is the end of the beginning. I started a second book in the series, titled – Split – but real life stepped in and I had no time to progress it beyond a couple of chapters. I cannot say when I may pick up that book and have the time to complete it.
I am sorry to leave unanswered questions and issues unresolved, but I also feel it is an appropriate place to leave the story. The planet is looking good and it may even have survived, it seems that is a distinct possibility. Everyone is back together and they all made it through to here.
Reading should be enjoyable and entertaining, I hope that has been your experience with this book. It is fairly quick to read a book, but takes much more time to write, especially if, like me, you do some research and planning. This wasn’t simply thrown together, but took easily six months to complete.
Anyway, for now, thanks for reading. Any likes, comments or communication is always appreciated.
So, until the next time…”
2017 – Neon by William King
Now, like I said, one author leads to another, and good old Mr King also led me to Geron Kees.
This is the story that kicked off the Doorways series, but I admit I haven’t yet, yet… Read the whole series. My spell check misinterpreted Geron as Baron, quite appropriate, because he could well be considered the Baron of Boys Own Sci-fi mystery and adventure.
Here’s what Mr King had to say about it…
“Perhaps you remember those old Sci-fi adventure books from the days before everyone had a computer and mobile phone. That bygone time when boys set out on fantastic adventures that were at once scary, always carrying a hint of danger, and also something that was a challenge not to be missed.
In this super tale from Geron Keys two close friends (boyfriends, this is after all a story brought up to date) discover something incredible, something long since buried, and something they have to explore. We follow the duo as they prepare to embark on their journey into the unknown. What they find holds promise, sadness and danger, but our two heroes have their ingenuity to help them succeed and each other to rely on.”
The story is so well narrated that you are right there with them and might find yourself reading faster just to see what happens as the suspense builds and we don’t know if they will make it back. The author conjures up in our imagination a remote old farm in the middle of rural America that holds an incredible secret, and both need to be protected.
At the end you will come away feeling that was a great adventure, but wondering what might happen next? Well that is left open for a possible continuation and sequel, which I would bet a lot of readers would like to see!
You can’t say it better than that. For me, Geron is like Erik Ritler without the sex! They are both good in their own styles, and equally good stories.
To bring us right up to date, I discovered this book and author for myself, and can’t believe he doesn’t have a bigger following. I was inspired so much by the story I reviewed it (I don’t do that much, I just read what other people say!).
2017 – The Odd, Onward Door by Geron Kees
Every once in a while you stumble across a great book and a brilliant author. Sometimes, by accident, as in this case. It has been some time since I read Sci-fi, but right from the start I was drawn into this intriguing story. The characters grab a hold of you, the storyline leads you on, and the tension and action are as gripping as any Hollywood blockbuster.
Our hero, or should that be, anti-hero, Danni, becomes an unintentional terrorist when he discovers some family truths about the most powerful family on Earth, his family. The price he will pay is exile to the cold wasteland of a prison planet somewhere in the far reaches of space. As if that in itself were not punishment enough he has other terrors which he must face.
Danni has his own inner turmoil, he has a unique ability, which is a benefit, but also a curse. We slowly learn through some flashbacks to his life on Earth, what went wrong and how he ended up exiled. We also stand at his side as the nail biting tension mounts with an important unimaginable discovery on this frozen planet. A discovery that threatens not just Danni, but the whole of humanity, because it could change everything.
The story is excellent, the pacing is sublime, keeping you reading, keeping you attached to the characters, keeping you on the edge of your seat with tension. It packs a powerful punch and a turmoil of emotions. The descriptions are superb and conjure up the whole scene in your head, it’s so well done that you live the story.
I honestly couldn’t wait for each new chapter and couldn’t put it down when reading. Do yourself a huge favour if you are into Sci-fi and read this first book. And even if you are not such a fan of the genre, or like me haven’t read any Sci-fi in a while, pick this up, because it’s a classic. It could be the book of the next Hollywood blockbuster movie, which would be a first, a Sci-fi movie with a gay theme. Read it please, you won’t be disappointed, I’m certain.
2020 – Cold Hell by Valentine Davis
Finally, I have to leave this look at Sci-fi with the story I’m currently almost finished reading. I will prob review it at the end, it’s good, it gave me the idea to title this article – Pure Sci-fi.
The Enigma of Flatness by Devon Keene
Despite a few criticisms this is a great story and conjures up a whole universe of deep space with great characters and some very clever and interesting ideas. It’s a story you lose yourself in, and if you like Sci-fi, I think you will like this. It is quite an achievement by the author, something that impressed me, he has been writing this story for sixteen years! It is, as far as I know his only book, and unfortunately I know nothing more about the author. Some great stories and authors are simply a one off, but they do certainly leave their mark.
2004 – 2020 The Enigma of Flatness by Devon Keene
That’s my look at the world of gay Sci-fi, with my likes and recommendations, add your own comments and links if you want to mention a story in the pure Sci-fi genre that was a particular fave! Happy reading…