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True Tales: An Erotic E-zine of Masculinity and Power
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The August 2008 issue of True Tales: An Erotic E-zine of Masculinity and Power links to texts, photography, and a video in tribute to Larry Townsend, late author of The Leatherman's Handbook. The issue includes links to interviews by Jack Rinella and Bob Wingate, as well as writings by Larry Townsend, Thomas Roche, Jack Fritscher, and others.

E-zine's warning page | Latest issue.
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Next year's theme will be Prisoners and Prison Officers. (Yes, the 2008 theme has changed. There have been some good stories coming out in this category recently.) Please e-mail me if you have any suggestions for links to gay erotic and non-erotic narrative nonfiction, fiction, narrative poetry, drama, book excerpts, blog entries, art, photography, videos, and audio. The links can be to your own works or anyone else's. Suggestions for links to military and leather works continue to be welcome.

Link submission guidelines.
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Links on the Military Men page have been added to stories by Ranger, Parhelion, and Marquesate that are set around the conflicts in World War One, World War Two, and the modern British army.

Links on the Leathermen page have been added to bondage art that is an exercise in minimalism, an article about a bottom-man's efforts to overcome a phobia, and a video about power play that starts in a leather bar.
18th-Nov-2007 03:58 am - True Tales and awards
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A couple of awards-related pieces of news. First of all, the Titanium Whip Awards for BDSM fiction has announced that the 2006 winner in the original fiction category is Verdict, by Parhelion, which was originally published in the October 2005 issue of True Tales.

Secondly, I've received word that True Tales has been nominated for this year's Cybersocket Web Awards, which "recognizes outstanding achievements in the world of queer online media and entertainment." True Tales was nominated in the Best Erotic E-zine category, alongside some other nominees that . . .

Um, distract me from finishing this post. For the links on that page alone, you might want to stop by the page where you can cast your votes in a variety of categories. Voting will close on December 31.

I still hope to get another issue out before the end of the year.
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Links on the Military Men page have been added to fiction about unusual twists to life in the British army in 1951 and to a Tom of Finland drawing that departs from his usual style.

Links on the Leathermen page have been added to a 1965 interview with a member of a Danish leather club, an accompanying photograph, poetry about a slave who discovers his limits, and a video that's definitely not just for the leather crowd.
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The moderator of a fan fiction community that was suspended has posted a letter from the LiveJournal staff in which the staff member states:

"We recognize that many people list these types of interests for shock value, as a method of expressing opposition for these illegal activities, or to indicate fictional activity. Unfortunately, the Abuse team does not have any discretion in these cases; if a journal profile contains interests that support illegal activity, we must suspend the journal."

A summary of the events in the latest purge is available in this post. Here is a list of the affected communities and personal blogs, as far as they've been determined.

This post lists some of the keywords that triggered the LiveJournal staff's suspension of one community. As you can see, they include such keywords as "kidnapping," "rape," and "beating people up."

I would suggest that folks here with LJ blogs do the following:

1) Remove any Interests keywords that relate to illegal activities.

2) If your blog addresses illegal activities in any way, place a disclaimer on your profile page that you do not advocate illegal activities.

At this point, it does not appear that LiveJournal is suspending blogs solely because they contain fiction on illegal activities, so hopefully LiveJournal can get its act together and permit owners of blogs that don't advocate illegal activities to make references to those activities in their Interests. However, at the moment, caution seems best.

Updates on the situation are at the end of this post.
17th-May-2007 03:55 am - Editor's Note: A Change in Format
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You'll quickly notice a change of format this month – or perhaps you won't, until you click on a link.

Due to lack of time, I'm sadly unable to continue to add original works to True Tales. However, in the past, a goodly portion of this e-zine's contents were reposts from other Websites. So, rather than stop editing the e-zine altogether, I'm turning it into a recommendations site, linking to offsite fiction, nonfiction, photography, art, music, and videos on masculinity and power.

You shouldn't notice any difference at all, in terms of content. I'll be linking to the same sort of content that, in the past, I would have sought permission to either repost or feature at the e-zine. Since I no longer have to go through the lengthy process of seeking permission and editing works, I hope to be able to update the e-zine much more regularly. I'll also be able to link to works that it would have been difficult for me to obtain permission to repost.

All of the e-zine's past contents remain online. I'd like to draw your attention to a new companion site, Buried Links: Online Male Homoerotic Fiction Recommendations. I actually started this site before I started True Tales, and you'll see that there's some overlap between the two sites. Although Buried Treasure doesn't focus specifically on masculinity (you'll find a queen or two hanging around there), it does reflect my interest in power dynamics to a good extent, as you can see from the topic index.
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Links on the Military Men page have been added to fiction about submarine men's confrontation with hard truths, erotic navy art, an interview with a gay soldier about his relationship with his straight roommate, and a video that can only be summarized as "Hard fighters, erotic scenery."

Links on the Leathermen page have been added to fiction about a fister's search for healing at Southern Decadence, master/slave bear art, a true tale about a gay man's introduction to leather life, and a related song that was popular in gay clubs in 1979 . . . but was too edgy for the straight clubs.

In addition, the Submissions page has been altered into a Submit a Link page. Whether you create works on masculinity and power, or just enjoy them, feel free to submit a link.

A note from the editor: I now have a MySpace page. It covers all of my writings, but among other things, I will be posting notices of updates to True Tales there. Feel free to request to be added as a Friend.
20th-Feb-2007 03:46 am - Publication markets page updated
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The publication markets page has been updated with new gay/erotica and leather links.
17th-Feb-2007 01:02 pm - NONFICTION: Infernal
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NONFICTION: Infernal. By Drew Kramer. A top attending the Chicago Hellfire Club's infamous annual leather run decides to do a little switching. But is he prepared for what he faces?

"I was mostly incoherent. But a few times, I remember saying, 'I am really scared.'"
17th-Feb-2007 01:02 pm - VIDEO: Good Soldier II
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VIDEO: Good Soldier II. Music by Deadlee and Micah Barnes. Directed by Johnny Skandros. A rap singer's tale of a Latino young man who tries to carry on a love affair, despite the opposition of his homophobic father.

Young man lying in bed
4th-Jan-2007 01:49 am - Nominate your favorite gay works
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For those of you who are interested, the annual Preditors & Editors Readers' Poll has opened. The poll is sponsored by the Critters Writers' Workshop, and it "honors print & electronic publications published during 2006." Stop by and nominate your favorite novels, short stories, poems, artwork, editors, publishers, magazines/e-zines, forums, workshops, and resources. The poll closes January 14.

In addition, the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards are open for nominations. Those awards "honor outstanding works of science fiction, fantasy and horror which include significant positive explorations of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered characters, themes, or issues."
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Four gay, bisexual, and transgender writings published in True Tales: An Erotic E-zine of Masculinity and Power have been honored in the 2006 Rauxa awards for erotic literature.

( More information, with links to the writings. )
2nd-Dec-2006 08:33 am - ISSUE 5 - Updates
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As visitors to the truetales blog will already have noticed, it's now possible to browse the e-zine by subject tag. If you're searching for a particular contributor, the easiest way to find contributors is still the Contributors page.

The Publication Markets page has been updated with new links in the gay/erotica section and the leather section.

Narrative nonfiction – as more than one True Tales reader has pointed out – is most often found these days in blog entries. Two blog entries have already been accepted as submissions to this e-zine. If you've recorded an event in your life or in the lives of others that focusses on masculinity and power – whether erotic or non-erotic – then consider submitting it to True Tales. Don't worry if the blog entry isn't as polished as it would be if you were publishing an article. All submissions are copyedited (with the author's cooperation), and a certain roughness of tone is – well, fitting for this e-zine.

As some of you will have already seen, True Tales is planning to link to videos. Got an erotic or non-erotic video about masculinity and power at YouTube, XTube, PornoTube, or any other place on the Web? Does it have a narrative element? – that is, is there a storyline? Then consider submitting it to this e-zine.
2nd-Dec-2006 08:31 am - 2006-7 ISSUES: Military Men
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Death, danger, and desire are a potent combination, as generations of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen have shown. This year, True Tales looks at the long-running tradition of homoeroticism in the military.

As usual, other topics related to masculinity and power also appear in this year's issues.
2nd-Dec-2006 08:19 am - PHOTOGRAPHY: Views
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PHOTOGRAPHY: Views. Text and photos by Kobi Israel. A former Israeli soldier offers photographs that are shot in military settings where soldiers dare not "cross the dangerous line" between homosocial and homoerotic.

You change overnight from a child to a man – a man that has the right (and the duty sometimes) to love and hate, live and die, make love and kill . . .

Two soldiers, stripped to the waist
1st-Dec-2006 11:53 pm - ISSUE 4: Regional Works
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Regional works about the past seven decades of gay life are offered in this issue, from Jack Fritscher's account of a dark healing ritual in a San Francisco bathhouse to John Preston's tale of a lonely leatherman in Provincetown.

The issue also examines the world of desire in New Orleans in the past and present, provides a link to erotic photos on imprisonment, and showcases the first annual True Tales Leather Journalism Awards.

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