Rec: Fallen Hero: Rebirth

Title: Fallen Hero: Rebirth
Author: Malin Rydén
Format: Online text-based Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game
Published/Free: Published
Length: 380,000
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Possible mentions of past abuse, suicide, alcoholism
Link: https://www.choiceofgames.com/user-contributed/fallen-hero-rebirth/
Summary: Become the greatest telepathic villain Los Diablos has ever known! Once you were famous; soon you will be infamous. That is, unless your old friends in the Rangers stop you first. Juggle different identities and preserve your secrets as you build new alliances and try to forget the friendships you’ve left behind.

Review: In terms of interactive fiction, Fallen Hero: Rebirth may be the best one out there. The intricate and seamless writing introduces a world where superheroes are more than simple ‘do-gooders’ and where everything may not be as it seems. The characters you can romance are fully fleshed out and are truly living and breathing in the city that you may very well destroy…

Rec: Strings of Fate

Title: Strings of Fate
Author: rez-zie
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: ~50 pages currently up, will be several hundred by the time it’s finished
Status: WIP
Rating: Everyone
Warnings: Depressed character, illness mention
Link: Tapastic: tapas.io/series/StringsofFatecomic 
Tumblr: stringsoffatecomic.tumblr.com
Summary: STRINGS OF FATE is an angsty story about a naive boy who tries to find his place in the world. His fated path is a long one, where he experiences the joys of first love and adventure, but some aren’t so keen on where it’s taking him.

Stay with him as he unravels the bittersweet truths of the world.

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This story focuses on a POLY ship! But there will be many twists and turns, seeing as life can throw you in unusual directions.

Review: Very upbeat and gay, so there’s no shortage of fun, but there are hints of disabilities and issues that will greatly impact the series later ! I wanted to give a face to depression and abandonment issues to give the reader something to relate to, but also happy themes like security and friendship. Strings of Fate is an LGBT+ coming of age story that i’ve dedicated well over a year to and i hope that people find comfort it !

Rec: A Normal Lost Phone

Title: A Normal Lost Phone
Author: Accidental Queens
Format: Videogame
Published/Free: Published
Length: 1-1.5 hours
Status: Finished
Warnings: Homophobia, arson
Link: http://accidentalqueens.com/
Summary: You find a phone. A normal, lost phone, in the street. It is still working. Will you find the truth?

Review: It was a surprise to find a game like this on Steam. At first it did not look special, but then you began to explore, and oh, girl, boy, person, the story then fits its pieces. You have to look at the messages, the forums, the Tinder-like app, the calculator, the photos, and some more, to understand it all. It is refreshing to see such an experience in clear therms to understand how SPOILER ALERT trans people feel when they face family rejection before coming out END SPOILER ALERT

Rec: Artistic Process

Title: Artistic Process
Author: Red-Vaporeon
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: So far 17 pages
Status: Wip
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Smoking of cigarettes and weed
Link: red-vaporeon-draws.tumblr.com
Summary: It’s a story about teens in highschool that lead with things like hyper-masculinity, being disabled, being lgbt, and racism. We follow the characters as they individually deal with their struggles and start expressing themselves in new ways, and slowly accepting themselves.

Rec: In & Out

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Title: In & Out
Director: Frank Oz
Format: Movie
Published/Free: Published
Length: 90 minutes
Status: Complete
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Silliness?
Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119360/
Summary: Howard Brackett is a high school teacher in a small town in Indiana with everything going for him; a nice job, an attractive fiancé named Emily and respect from everyone. Everything changes in one night when a former high school student of his, named Cameron Drake, now a famous actor living in Hollywood, makes an acceptance speech after receiving an Academy Award for his portrayal of a homosexual army soldier and ‘outs’ Howard Brackett as his inspiration for his role. The media circus immediately begins as Howard desperately tries keep his life from falling apart by protesting that he is not gay and that the whole thing with Cameron’s speech is a simple misunderstanding. While most of the townspeople want to believe Howard, Peter Malloy, an openly gay TV reporter who arrives in town to cover the story, suspects that the teacher is in denial.

Review: I found this movie after accidentally stumbling over a clip from it on youtube. At first I thought it was just gonna be a funny movie, but it is so much more then that! It’s hilarious! And sweet! And everything posetive you can come up with!

Even if Supposedly-Straight-Man-Outed-Through-Misunderstanding-Tries-To-Deny-Everything-But-Fails-In-Hilarious-Ways isn’t your cup of tea, I reccomend you watch it anyway. It’s truly a classic and bound to at least make you chuckle a little.

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Rec: Crosscurrents

Title: Crosscurrents
Author: Adam Phillips
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 266,000 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains m/f as well as m/m; some angst.
Link: https://www.gayauthors.org/story/adam-phillips/crosscurrents
Summary: Andy and Matt, best friends and teammates from childhood, grow together, learn together, and struggle to remain friends when their evolving relationship outpaces their ability to understand it.

Review: A high school story with some autobiographical elements, this is one of the few stories out there that addresses bisexuality in a realistic, honest way. Andy is in many ways the quintessential high school jock, and can come across as arrogant at times, but he’s also remarkably self-aware.

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Rec: Fence Sitter

Title: Fence Sitter
Author: Alex_deMorra (Ergo_Sum)
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 100k +
Status: WIP
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Child Abuse
Link: AO3
Summary: Micah Swaeler doesn’t fit in. Anywhere. His family hardly speaks to him, his friends come and go, and he can’t quite figure out how to love somebody. Or how to be loved.

Until he does. And when he does, he learns how much support he’s had all along.

Micah’s story is told in a series of short stories that take place from the time he is four until the time he is thirty-four. While the stories go back and forth through time, each one reveals something more about things that have happened to him, things that he’s done, things that he’s told himself. Each story explores identity through family, athletics, friendship, sexuality, of one man’s transition from being a victim to being a survivor.

Review: I started reading it when I looked up for new things to embrace into my subscription list- and stumbled upon one of the parts of the story (the story is divided into a series of short ‘chapters’ in the main character’s life). I decided to give it a chance before I skip over it. I chose to ignore the awfully low number of notes the story got, because I realised it made me miss on so many beautiful stories in the past. (Like, seriously, if you find a story that sounds interesting and has hardly any notes to it- click it before you regret it)

This story is so sincere and honest that you can’t help but fall in love with it. even though there is mention of abuse, and the main character is dealing with it- I found myself wanting to be stronger and shoulder up to whoever tried to harm little Micah. Micah is a wonderful narrator, he explains the world around him in a way that doesn’t need a lot of details in order to feel whole. Alex DeMora made a successful attempt at writing both from a child’s perspective and from an adult’s point of view without it being unnatural and weird to read, in fact, Micah remains in the reader’s head as both the child he was and the adult he is while all this time he is Micah as a soul and as a character. 

It’s true, it’s in your face, it makes your heart squeeze really tight, and it eventually finds its way into your heart. 

It was the first time in my life that instead of feeling frustrated with what happens in a story that deals with Drama, Abuse and Growing Up- I only felt that I simply wanted to read more and more (and more) of it. the little pains in my heart the comes with the what’s written in the story makes it all the more sweeter.

Oh, and as a side note- the smexy scenes of totally smexy.  

Rec: Daron’s Guitar Chronicles

Title: Daron’s Guitar Chronicles
Author: Cecilia Tan
Format: Webserial / Novel
Published/Free: Free / Published (the books are regularly compiled and published)
Length: 1,074,459 words and counting
Status: WIP
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Homophobia, drugs, violence, angst,
Link: http://daron.ceciliatan.com/start-here or get the published books here: http://daron.ceciliatan.com/shopping-cart
Summary: Tells the story of Daron Moondog (né Marks) from about the time he was eighteen onward. He arrives at RIMCon (Rhode Island Musical Conservatory) in the mid-1980s, desperate to leave behind a dysfunctional family in New Jersey’s suburbs and discover himself. It’s the advent of MTV, AIDS, and punk versus metal, all of which would affect his journey searching for fame, artistic expression, and the courage to seek out the sex and love he needs.

Daron’s Guitar Chronicles is a bildungsroman, which is a fancy word for a novel where the coming of age process is long and gradual.

Review: This is an other long running series and favourite of mine I was surprised to see had not been recced before (maybe it was, back on livejournal?). Anyway, I’m a sucker for well-written, long, regularly updating WIPs, and this one is one of my favourites. It’s been running since 2009 and it just keeps growing as does the main character and his career and relationships. It has a great balance of action, romance, music industry business, friendships, family problems… And it has a very good path too, doesn’t get too slow, but it doesn’t really gloss over anything. Might be a bit slow for some people, but I assure you, none of those 1000k words are the character rambling just to prolong things. A lot of things happen and the story has been staying interesting all this time. That in itself is worth checking out 🙂
(Sorry if my review is a bit vague, I am a bit new at this reviewing business.)

Rec: Radio Silence

Title: Radio Silence
Author: Vanessa Stefaniuk @radiosilencecomic 
Format: Webcomic 
Published/Free: Free
Length: 92 pages so far
Status: WIP updated twice weekly
Rating: Teen
Warnings: This comic explores mature themes, such as domestic abuse, self harm, sexism, sexuality, neglect, and life threatening medical conditions. It will also contain swearing and the occasional sexual themes, albeit avoiding being explicit.
Link: http://radiosilencecomic.com or tapastic mirror: http://tapastic.com/series/radiosilence
Summary: Hitting the road on a journey of self discovery and acceptance, this coming-of-age tale gives a backstage look at friendships and the plights of fame as experienced by a modern British rock band.

On the fast track toward fame, the five members of the fictional British rock band, Radio Silence, enter into an exciting new life on the road with their best friends. As they tour across the United Kingdom, they excitedly embrace this new lifestyle and all the resulting challenges, including living in close quarters with each other with little privacy, and the overwhelming reaction of the public to their new-found success.

Review: I’m hard pressed to be unbiased since I’m the creator of the comic, but if you’d like unbiased reviews, here are a few! Onetwothree!

Rec: At Swim, Two Boys

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Title: At Swim, Two Boys
Author: Jamie O’ Neill
Format: Novel – the dead-tree variety
Published/Free: Published
Length: 200,000 words
Status: Completed
Rating: Teen
Warnings: More plot than romance. Tragedy. Almost zero smut. Excessive Irishness. 🙂
Link: https://www.amazon.com/At-Swim-Two-Boys-Novel/dp/0743222954
Summary: Set during the year preceding the Easter Uprising of 1916—Ireland’s brave but fractured revolt against British rule—At Swim, Two Boys is a tender, tragic love story and a brilliant depiction of people caught in the tide of history. Powerful and artful, and ten years in the writing, it is a masterwork from Jamie O’Neill.

Jim Mack is a naïve young scholar and the son of a foolish, aspiring shopkeeper. Doyler Doyle is the rough-diamond son—revolutionary and blasphemous—of Mr. Mack’s old army pal. Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the nude, the two boys make a pact: Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, on Easter of 1916, they will swim to the distant beacon of Muglins Rock and claim that island for themselves. All the while Mr. Mack, who has grand plans for a corner shop empire, remains unaware of the depth of the boys’ burgeoning friendship and of the changing landscape of a nation.

Review: This book changed my life a little. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, because I had a hard time understanding the early-twentieth-century Irish colloquialisms. However, I stuck with it, and I’m so, so glad that I did. Without even mentioning the story, this book is worth reading. The writing isn’t prose, isn’t poetry…once you get into it, it’s music. This is probably the best writing I’ve ever read, but that doesn’t make it easy to read at all. This is the opposite of a casual read. Do not even begin unless you want to be completely immersed, absorbed, and forced to stay up to ungodly hours of the night finishing it.

Now, as for the plot…The given summary kind of sucks, because it doesn’t even mention the third, and most memorable, main character, Anthony MacMurrough, the nephew of an Irish heroine of sorts, recently released from British prisons due to sodomy laws. Anyway, the plot is fantastic. This isn’t a simple love story. It’s not a simple anything. It’s dramatic, historical, patriotic, yes, romantic, but also spiritual and tragic. I’d say that this is, first an Irish novel, and secondly a romance.

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I decided to read this, but had it been what I expected of it, I wouldn’t have loved it half so much.

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