I also read extensively in those genres, because a) it’s good to keep abreast of changing tastes in story lines and b) I groove on a well-told story about two guys coming to terms with life. Notice I specify “life,” not just relationships, because isn’t a relationship really just a part of the experience of living?
I’m not hung up on alpha males or HEAs. I like a story about “just guys” who learn to step up to the plate, who dig deep and do more than just show up. I also get hot and bothered about characters with moral flexibility who do right for the wrong reasons.
Bring me your damaged, your conflicted, your bad boys and badder men. But don’t give me girly men, men with an overabundance of estrogen, men whose über-sensitive side dumps them solidly into the chicks-with-dicks category.
Hates that, I do. With a passion.
Which is why I’ve been on a search for male writers tackling homoerotica and the M/M genre in all its manifestations. And lately I have hit literary gold with some of the finest writing around, from writers who are fearless, who write with elegance and style, who dazzle me with a turn of phrase at the same time they rip my heart out and hand it to me on a platter, still beating.
These men take me places that are uncomfortable, that challenge all my preconceptions, and plunk me on a razor edge of suspense and emotion. They, to a man, understand and describe the human condition with perception and depth of feeling that truly staggers me.
So here, in no particular order, are your next must reads. And forget these are M/M. This is great literature, folks.
Dan Skinner: I’ve read his short stories that tore me apart (The Art of the Heart and Bible Boys). I recently finished The Price of Dick. His writing is intelligent and accomplished. He has rapidly become one of my favorite authors.
Brandon Shire: His Cold is emotionally draining and complex and told from a very different perspective.
Hank Edwards: His Repossession is 9/10ths of the Law is sweet and laugh-out-loud funny with a main character who will capture your heart.
Edmond Manning: I read Filthy Acquisitions (review soon at GGR-Reviews) and fell ass over teacups in lust with his prose, his command of the language, and his astute observations about people. He is a true wordsmith of the first rank. I immediately hit the Zon for King Mai which I am savoring right now. My question for Edmond—where have you been all my life?
Edward Dutton: His Norceuil’s Garden: Queer Fiction and Erotica is a dazzling exploration of what it means to be a gay man. The prose is intelligent, wistful and armor-piercing.
Rafe Haze: His The Next is a stunning debut novel. It’s a homage to Rear Window, rife with insightful, penetrating, gut-wrenching observations of the human condition. That one book shot Rafe to the top of my leader board for favorite author.
Jake Biondi: His Boystown, Season 1 & 2, are cheeky, engaging, gripping and addictive M/M dramas with a cast of characters reminiscent of Dallas, Brothers and Sisters, and all our favorite evening soaps.
Kol Anderson: His Broken Series follows the current fad of story-as-screenplay, with “episodes”, cliffies and hard-hitting drama. It is wild, imaginative, uncomfortable and another guilty pleasure.