Honored in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes historical speculative fiction: alternate history, historical fantasy, and retrofuture science fiction, including lgbtq novels, original slash, and other types of diverse fiction. 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; romance, friendship, family affection, and faithful service are recurring themes.
Peterson is the author of Turn-of-the-Century Toughs, a cycle of alternate history series (Dark Light, Waterman, Life Prison, Commando, Michael's House, and The Eternal Dungeon) about disreputable men on the margins of society, and the men and women who care for them. Set between the 1880s and the 1910s, the novels and stories take place in an alternative version of America that was settled by inhabitants of the Old World in ancient times. One of the series in the cycle, Waterman, combines elements of the 1910s with retrofuturistic imagery from the 1960s. Dusk Peterson has also written The Three Lands, a fantasy series inspired by conflicts between nations during the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.
Note that some of the online fiction links may convert to e-book links in the future as I bring out new e-books. If that happens, you can still find the online fic mentioned below at my AO3 account.
"Then he remembered (on the edge of his memory, like a smudge of land on the horizon of the Bay) the reason that he and his father had lived alone on an island where once hundreds of people had lived."
Amidst a servant's nightmare, can a haven of hope be found?
Meredith has brought his beloved master to the island where he spent the happiest days of his childhood. But when danger descends upon them, they must seek refuge, and Meredith must confront the tantalizing sorrows and rewards of change.
Slash; servantfic; PG; online fiction; 5,000 words.
Mercy's Prisoner (Life Prison).
"'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"
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.
Runner-up in the Rainbow Awards 2014. Slash and gen; prisonfic; the collection includes a servantfic and an M/s fic; R; e-book; 90,000 words.
"Tripp leaned back against the leather. Leather reminded him of Jack, roughly masculine. That wasn't quite Tripp either. 'Al, what material are you?' he asked finally, closing his eyes.
"There was a pause before Al said, 'Ferrite, mainly.'"
Tripp has two friends in high school: a rebel without a cause, and a girl fighting the social restraints upon her. But only one human being has any real hope of understanding Tripp, and he isn't human at all.
Slash; servantfic; PG; online fiction; originally published in a Slash Pile anthology; 6,000 words.
Balladeer (The Eternal Dungeon).
"Yeslin stood irresolute. Tangling with torturers seemed the ultimate in danger."
Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out the obvious.
Once an abandoned street-lad, Yeslin Bainbridge has become a young man with a mission: to lead the commoner laborers in a fight against the elite men who exploit them. He knows exactly where to start his mission.
The Eternal Dungeon. Here elite torturers and guards force commoners to offer confessions to crimes they may or may not have committed. Here laborers aid the torturers and guards, unaware that they are being manipulated. Here, if anywhere, Yeslin can make his initial mark on the queendom.
But he faces many challenges: Officials who seek to hide the dungeon's secrets from outsiders. Dungeon traditions that foil efforts by outsiders to learn the truth. Most of all, Yeslin faces his own conscience, for he knows that, if he is to fulfill his mission, he must lie to the person he loves most.
Gen; prisonfic; servantfic (in the form of commoner laborers); PG-13; e-book; 18,000 words.
Searching (The Eternal Dungeon).
"Vito was beginning to wonder whether this dungeon's prisoners were questioned in pitch darkness. That was a matter of some personal concern to him."
Walking into a trap may be the only way to create one.
Danger runs high for Vito when he arrives at the Eternal Dungeon, escorted by guards. In this royal dungeon, prisoners are "searched" for their crimes, by torture and by more subtle means.
Vito knows that he will be searched. But he has his own searching to accomplish, and to do so he must undergo the scrutiny of the queendom's most accomplished torturer.
Gen (with a slash subplot); prisonfic; PG-13; e-book; 16,000 words.
Split (The Eternal Dungeon).
"The High Seeker surely could not know in full what Vito was thinking and planning. If he'd known, he'd have ordered Vito strapped to a rack."
It was his duty to transform the prisoner's soul. But which one?
When Vito de Vere is assigned a prisoner who is not quite what he appears to be, Vito must penetrate the mystery of his prisoner's unexpected appearance in the Eternal Dungeon, arrested for a crime that is no crime.
But Vito himself is hiding a mystery from the other members of the dungeon. Increasingly filled with tenderness toward his vulnerable prisoner, can Vito accomplish his secret mission without sacrificing his prisoner?
Slash; prisonfic; very mild R; e-book; 35,000 words.
Checkmate (The Eternal Dungeon).
"It's all about torture. That's what I didn't understand for a long time. The High Seeker has been seeking out and punishing those of us who wish to show greater mercy to the prisoners than the Code allows. Those of us who question whether it's right to torture prisoners."
The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.
Split apart from their closest loves and friends, a small group of prison-workers seek to abolish the use of torture against prisoners in the queendom's royal dungeon. Time is running out, for the deadly High Seeker has already flogged and executed prison-workers who opposed his policies.
Do the reformers have enough time and skill to bring about radical change in the dungeon? Will they be able to overcome their mistrust of one another?
Gen, slash, or het (depending on the characters); prisonfic; includes a major female character; PG-13; e-book; 60,000 words.
Commoners' Festival (The Eternal Dungeon).
"His influence over the behavior of the other dungeon-workers had never been greater. It was a responsibility that weighed upon him."
The Eternal Dungeon is celebrating the Commoners' Festival, and all the elite are feasting. Including a man who is secretly a commoner.
This is a 2015 holiday gift story to my readers. Slash; prisonfic; PG; online fiction; 3,000 words.
Lockup (Dark Light).
Deep underground lies a prison filled with idealistic men who have committed themselves to putting the best interest of their prisoners first . . . through torture. Soaring high in an adjoining nation are two "reformed" prisons where life prisoners (and a few sympathetic guards) must band together for survival.
Friendships between prisoners and guards, romance between two torturers, a young woman's appalled discovery that a dungeon-worker is courting her, desire and companionship in prison cells, a teenage guard's struggle to survive when his train is attacked by soldiers intent on slaughter . .. The two nations are broiling with events centered upon their prisons.
This historical speculative fiction volume explores with drama and dry humor the complexities of prison life in the nineteenth century, while taking a peek at the surrounding societies in the nations' alternate universe. Characters who appear in one story reappear in other stories, seen from a different perspective and at a different age.
Gen, slash, or het (depending on the characters); prisonfic; the collection includes a BDSM fic, a servantfic, and a prostitution fic; PG-13; e-book; 50,000 words.
Fan Fiction Fan (Pixel-Stained). A memoir of my first few months as an original slash author in the fan fiction community, back in 2002. Includes reminiscences, stories, and art from yaoi author/artist mdbl; Steve Berman, founder of the gay and lesbian speculative fiction publishing company Lethe Press; J. M. Snyder, founder of the queer fiction press JMS Books; and m/m romance author Emily Veinglory.
Slash references; PG-13; e-book; 50,000 words.
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