…for making me aware of the BDSM possibilities of space opera at an impressionable age. Of course, I didn’t know what BDSM was in those days, I simply knew there was something in the way the crew of the Liberator interacted with one another went beyond simple shipboard relationships . All that sneering sarcasm making a deep, simmering tension. Now I know Avon was a full-on dom, with Vila as the submissive in their buddy-buddy relationship. Blake? He certainly had the potential to switch. Indeed, there are realms of slash fiction devoted to a Blake/Avon coupling. As for Supreme Emperor Servalan, with her severe haircut and tight-fitting outfits – well, a lot of men of a certain age must have gained their introduction to the concept of female domination whenever she strutted into view.
So maybe it’s no surprise that my debut short story for top m/m e-publisher Torquere Books is a slice of sub/dom-themed sci-fi. Trickster, in their Sips range, is the tale of bounty hunter Rufus Trayner. He’s in hot pursuit of hacker and con artist Jobi Wade, but when he finds Wade chained up and in apparent distress following a firefight on Wade’s ship, the urge to bring him to justice merges with a desire to become more intimate with him. Things get more complicated from there, as this extract from Rufus’ personal journal I wrote as an author extra for the Torquere site may make clear:
Another day and still no sign of Wade. We’ve been tracking him for so long, so fruitlessly, I’m sure the others must be thinking we should cut our losses and just admit defeat. But I’ve never given up on my prey once I’ve been in pursuit, and I’ve no intention of doing so now. Some might call me obsessed; I prefer to call myself single-minded. Believing in justice, and the part I can play in keeping the colonized worlds safe, is what sustains me on these long voyages. Recently, I’ve caught myself thinking I should have done what my folks wanted, stayed in the military and kept on a steady career path. The fact I could have got my head blown off at any time never seems to occur to them.
It’s different for Abel and Ruby. They have their own little codes and private jokes, the things only brothers understand, and Abel will always know he can walk into a bar in any spaceport and have some woman eating out of his hand in minutes. Ruby teases him about it, but I know he’s as jealous as I am of Abel’s ability to find a lover wherever he goes. Not that I’m looking for a woman, of course, but at times I feel like I’m going to spend the rest of my life alone. I’ve built up a pretty sweet relationship with my right hand over the years, but it’s not the same. I need to feel a lover’s lips on mine, his stubble scratching my cheek as we embrace, our arms tight around each other. Then there are the other fantasies, the ones where I’m made to strip naked, to worship the man I’m with as my master, to take whatever he cares to hand out in terms of pain and pleasure and thank him for it when he’s done. Of course, I never share those with anyone – this is the only place I can write them down, thinking about the feel of a firm hand on my ass, something tied around my wrists to keep me safely restrained as I do exactly as I’m told.
Does Jobi have those fantasies, too, I wonder? Does he think about controlling, or being controlled? I know I shouldn’t have these thoughts about him. I should only care about making him pay for what he did. For betraying all those innocent souls and causing all that loss of life. My anger should be fueling my pursuit, not my desire. Things would be so much easier if that were the case.
Sounds like I hear Abel calling me. We can’t be far off the orbit of another world. Maybe this time Jobi will be down there. Maybe this time I’ll get lucky. I can only hope…