Friday, February 12, 2010

Dark Days: The Christian States of America

Over the past year I've been working on a series of alternate history stories in which gay men are intimate witnesses to the demise of the American republic and the creation of two separate states:  The USA and the CSA (Christian States of America).  George Bush is the evil mastermind behind the series of events that culminate in a violent division of the country, an escalation of hostilities and eventually the conduct of a Holy War.  The Reds and the Blues take up arms and all hell breaks loose.

My intent was to explore the ways in which public political and criminal policies directly affect the lives of outlawed minority groups.  In this case, President Bush issued a series of Executive Orders called the Levitican Code that revive the traditional death penalties associated with adultery, homosexuality, cross-dressing and rebellion against parents, community and God.  As the stories evolve, the new nation is in the process of transforming from an open society to a closed autocratic theocracy.

It seems an odd choice of subject matter for Gay Erotica, but we have long been a tribe of outlaws, living out our passions at the edges of a world that has only recently (and only in some places) begun to embrace us.  Cruising, bathhouses, public sex, bondage -- all of these are part of our heritage of oppression.  As hot or exciting as they may be, they are also forms of political rebellion and expression.

And of course, evil sometimes wears a beautiful face.

I've sold several stories in this series to date:
Shane Allison (poet, writer, artist, editor, Renaissance man) has been very encouraging about these titles.  He urged me to consider weaving them into a novel length manuscript.  I've been tossing some ideas around and working on some outlines for future stories and/or chapters.  There's more of this world to come.

I just ran across this review of Special Forces by Vincent Diamond in which he spotlights "The DC Blues."  Here's an excerpt of the review.  Read the whole review at the Erotic Readers & Writers Association.
Another strong and unsettling story is "The DC Blues" by James Freeman. Set in the not-too-distant future in the Christian States of America, 2011, the story has references to Homeland Security, President Bush (in office again, gasp! The horror!), and occupied D.C. It's not fully explained in a neat, little package, and it's clear that Freeman wants readers to push a little to keep up. Joshua Davidson is the hero, injured in a bomb blast, captured by the Christian government, and fitted with an ID chip that will never let him go underground again. After a consensual sexual encounter with a fellow "patient," he's betrayed, and the reader is left with a creepy ending and the image of a black doctor's bag. It's a downer ending after the scenes of hot sex, but it fits the piece and the universe Freeman created.
Thanks Vincent for a great review, and for those of you who liked the Blues, check out my other CSA stories and know that there are more coming down the pike.  They are dark, erotic, hot, scary, sad and sometimes hopeful.  Just like life.

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