Rec: Once on a windswept night

Title: Once on a windswept night
Author: Ebi-hime
Format: Visual Novel (Windows/Mac)
Published/Free: Free
Length: 40k
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: dissociation, death
Link: https://ebihime.itch.io/windswept
Summary: A lost traveller almost gives up hope until they stumble upon a mysterious church.

Review: It’s not a very complicated game, since it’s pretty short, and there aren’t many different graphics. But the designs are cute, the music is perfect and the story is so worth it. Surprising, funny, sweet, full of suspense, original, sometimes tragic. I’ve seen some people complain about the fact that the traveller (who is the player) is being referred to as ‘they’ quite a long time. If being referred to as ‘they’ breaks your immersion, then I guess this is not for you. If you like mysteries or use they for yourself, this might be on the contrary exactly what you’re looking for! The universe of the game is really interesting and well-built in my opinion. The characters might be a bit stereotypical, but it’s nothing too exaggerated. In any case, this game will stay a long time on my mind, and for positive reasons!

Rec: Comet, a space adventure~

Title: Comet
Author: Magmethius
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: The first chapter just finished, at 28 pages.
Status: WIP
Rating: Everyone
Warnings: Mental illnesses (ex. anxiety and depression) are a major theme.
Link: Comet
Summary: Comet is about several anxious nerds who flee their homeworlds in search of greener pastures but end up in heaps of trouble instead. It’s about saving the universe, healthy ways of dealing with illnesses, and friendship. Most of the cast is LGBT+. They’re aliens.

Review: i-it’s mine so i don’t think i should review it but it’s pretty decent i think/feel/hope.

Rec: Skeptical

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Title: Skeptical
Author: Tyrannical Shipper
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 367 pages
Status: WIP
Rating: Everyone
Warnings: None
Link: http://skeptical.smackjeeves.com/
Summary: A regular slice of life/death romantic comedy about an unusual family and their relations to a group of creatures that call themselves “skull people”.

Review: I love this artist’s style, and they manage to put a lot of expression into characters that don’t really have eyes or mouths. To me its a nice mixture of both humor and seriousness, and it manages to be adorable at the same time. The most important element of a story for me is that the characters be either relatable or likeable, and I liked the main characters in this one. Even the “bad guy” isn’t really a villain, just cranky, aha.

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Otherworldly

Title: Otherworldly
Author: Becky Hopkins
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 156 pages as of this submission
Status: WIP
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Alcohol use, mild sexual references, mild swearing, gambling
Link: http://otherworldly-comics.cfw.me/https://tapastic.com/series/Otherworldly
Summary: Otherworldly is the story of five twenty-somethings who’ve recently discovered they’re not human; they’re actually changelings, magical babies swapped for human ones, and at first they don’t even know what kind of Fair Folk (used as the general term for magical being here) they might be. While they’re helped along the way by two friendly fairy private detectives, they also start to run afoul of some shady characters in both the human world and the magical Otherworld, as they attempt to balance their lives in both and figure out who they are, not just what.

Review: As the creator of this comic, I don’t think I can offer a completely unbiased review, but I really do think this comic offers a reading experience that can appeal to all kinds of fantasy fans. LGBT+ identities aren’t the main focus at the moment, but several characters’ identities and queer relationships will be important as the story goes on. I’m trying to do something unique with all the mythological and fantastic elements I have at my disposal through an approach of equal parts comedy, action, and some quieter drama.

Happy reading!

Rec: The Bridge

Title: The Bridge
Author: Rachel Lou
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Published
Length: 67,307 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Teen
Warnings: None
Link: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/the-bridge-by-rachel-lou-385-b
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Everett Hallman may have been born a witch, but he possesses only low levels of spell-casting energy. He lives with his grandfather in the town of Ashville, near woods with high paranormal activity, and helps guide lost spirits to their respective afterlives. When strange urges lead Everett away from the woods and to a nearby martial arts school, he discovers the residue of paranormal creatures so powerful, he can’t help investigating further.

After he discovers he is a Bridge Master, a witch who can cross over to various spirit worlds, complications arise. The powerful witch who is supposed to mentor him goes missing, something is off about the handsome martial artist he befriends, and his energy keeps dipping to dangerous levels. The more he probes, the clearer it becomes that he cannot walk away.

Rec: Meadows of Heaven

Title: Meadows of Heaven
Author: epeeblade
Format: Novel, part of the Sex Corps series
Published/Free: Free
Length: 100,000 words
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Non-con, Dub-con, Kinks
Link: http://epeeblade.livejournal.com/530268.html
Summary: Hundreds of years in the future, in a galaxy torn apart by war, Commander Jeffrey Dean Morgan must team up with Lt. Jensen Ackles to rescue two lost soldiers on a planet with a society based around BDSM (bondage, domination, submission, sado-masochism). Jensen, who specializes in sexual espionage, must go undercover as Jeff’s sexual submissive to prove that Jeff is a Master worthy of bringing the captive troops home. In a city made up of alien technology so advanced it’s like magic they discover not everything is what it seems, including their own mission. The citizens of planet 328 have their own politics and and their own secrets. And just how far will Jeff and Jensen have to go to appease their own military, who is far more interested in the technology than in rescuing the missing men? Somehow, they must also deal with their attraction for each other and decide which is more important: duty or love.

Review: This is a futuristic AU version of Jensen/Jeff(Dean) pairing with an influence from Stargate, Star Trek and Star Wars. I think it can pass as an original because the plot is so different from the tv show. Jensen belongs to a division that uses sex as a weapon and Jeff is your good ol’ Commander here. They pair up for a mission to rescue two men holds a hostage. but that is not the focal point of the story. I think its the world of 328, its people and its culture where BDSM is the way of life. It’s a really good story. I love world building and she did a great job here. the BDSM part really don’t bother me because in that world its a norm, so yeah, I tend to respect that. But for those who find it iffy, well be warned, there’s a lot of it here. It’s very intricate I must say. From her Author’s note, she did say she had 3 books as a source.

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Rec: Food Porn

Title: Food Porn
Author: Various
Format: Anthology
Published/Free: Published
Length: 283 pages
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: May induce snacking
Link: http://comicorgy.com/print/food-porn-print-edition/
Summary: A recipe for pure delight! This women-created anthology features eighteen comics that indulge in the sensuality of food, a perfect tapas of erotic treats for anyone with good taste!

Review: Food Porn is an anthology of food-themed erotic comics from the talented women at Filthy Figments. Each comic includes a recipe – I’ve been making some of them and they are quite good. I don’t have a physical copy, so I can’t say how that turned out, but the PDF looks great (and it’s easier to cook from an iPad).

These comics feature sensual and consensual encounters among characters of a variety of genders, races, physiques, and realms of origin. A completely subjective (I can only say they pushed my buttons, anyway.) list of favorite stories with LGBT elements would include Safe Harbor by Kickingshoes (Island of the Hot Sharks), Knead and Rise by Dechanique (I’ve worked in bakeries. They are never this fun.) A Little Different by Jamie Jennings (I might have a little thing for freckled butts.), Nectar by Aero Zero (Gods AND Monsters, sweet!), Crumble Me by Ariel Vittori, (Tender, domestic, D/s story), and Red Bean Buns by Blue Delliquanti (The MCs have an adorable dynamic.) But, don’t get me wrong – this book is full of great stories, and you’re bound to find just the right spicy story to hit your sweet spot.

Rec: The Cook and the Warehouseman

Title: The Cook and the Warehouseman
Author: Helen Raven
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 180+ pages
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Not really? Rough-ish sex?
Link: http://www.kelper.co.uk/cook/index.html
Summary: (by Helen Raven) An A/U science-fiction domestic drama. The year is 1988 and an alien fleet appears in orbit around Earth, wanting to establish a trading base and headed by the royal family, who all wear masks. Bodie is with CI5 and is part of the British security team for the negotiations on board the flagship, when he receives an offer of marriage from one of the alien princes, who he had talked to for maybe five minutes and whose face he had not seen.

Review: Okay, I’m a hard sell for fanfiction. Everybody always tells me “You’ll love this one, it’s an AU and you don’t have to know anything about the fandom to read it,” and it’s almost never true. This time, however, it’s true. But what’s even better is that this story doesn’t bother my science fiction quality peeve. Most online science fiction is embarrassing. The science fiction in this is mostly really reasonable, and it has the uneven technology that rings true.
The relationship between these men is really difficult. The wedding is not the happy ending, it is barely the begining of the problems. The superficial similarity between the two species hides an important part of their physiology. The aliens bond in ways that humans can’t really imagine, and the aliens can’t understand or accept the ways in which the humans bond, or even accept that it happens. There are problems with traditional religion as well. It does have its sexy moments, but the real story is in how the lovers attempt to accommodate their deep differences.

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Rec: Starfire

Title: Starfire
Author: Siavahda
Format: Novel
Published/Free: Free
Length: 123k words
Status: Complete
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Depiction of suicide in the first chapter 
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/5438303/chapters/12567233
Summary: When the police rule his lover’s death a suicide, Xavier doesn’t know how to go on. But it’s not up to him. Because Al was keeping secrets, and when friends Xavier never knew about come knocking, things go from tragic to apocalyptic.

There is a war that’s been fought from the beginning of time, between gods and monsters, myths and legends. The battlefields are worlds, dimensions, the darkness between stars, space and time. Humans have never fought in this conflict, too weak to be of interest to either side.

That’s about to change.

Review: The worldbuilding in Starfire is amazing; the story involves several worlds tied together by a legend about the universe, and they all feel very distinct and believable to me. Siavahda really loves to put a lot of depth and detail into the worlds she writes and it shows in the vivid descriptions and really small details. The writing is so beautiful and I really get the sense that these are rich and complicated and real cultures especially since the POV isn’t limited to the main character. I also really like that characterization and relationships aren’t neglected in favor of plot or worldbuilding. I think Xavier is a very compelling main character–the way he processes grief and and how he manages to deal with being pulled into this conflict that he knows nothing in worlds he never knew existed really struck me.

It’s an epic fantasy with a very diverse set of characters and a plot that I can’t even begin to predict. Siavahda is one of my favorite writers and this is one of my all-time favorites. Highly recommended. 

Rec: White Noise

Title: White Noise
Author: Adrien Lee (aka thephooka)
Format: Webcomic
Published/Free: Free
Length: 216 pages so far
Status: Wip, updates Saturdays pretty regularly
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Eh some light violence, and the non human species are heavily discriminated against in the comic, and even sold into the slave trade.
Link: http://www.white-noise-comic.com/
Summary: In the early 1900s, the nation of Aetheri came out of its long interdimensional isolation and revealed to the humans of the Symphony Archipelago that they were not alone in the multiverse. Things swiftly got ugly after that.

In the early 1990s, Aetheri’s leadership changed, and in the Archipelago, a tiny broken family of half-siblings banded together in the face of the bile and hate that was boiling up between the humans and the non-humans.

In the early 2000s, that family was split apart. Hawk Press and his sister Liya Kiski both begin a long and exhaustive journey towards understanding the difference between friend and enemy–and between the family you’re given, and the family you make.

Review: My review is gonna contain some mild spoilers. This comic is one of my favorites right now! It is a great fantasy comic which uses the multiverse theory to create an amazingly diverse universe and main cast. Two of the main characters identify as transgender or bi, and I really liked how this was revealed as the comic progressed. This comic also has heavy racial commentary: the Aetherians are seen as demons and discriminated on the Archipelago after coming out of hiding. On Aetheri, however, the opposite is true and humans are seen as brutal and incorrigibly violent creatures. I love how the author deals with the politics of the whole senario, but he has created such a complex world that I found it helpful to read a few pages of his world building blog

(@tape-hiss​) around chapter 3, because I got a bit confused.