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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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11/09/2006 Archived Entry: "e-Book review: Freighter Flights"

Freighter Flights
By Drew Zachary
Published by Torquere Press eBooks, July 2006

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This is the second ebook I've reviewed for Torquere Press and I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed. You would think that as a fan of Star Trek slash fiction, I would be in my element reading a gay romance set in a futuristic sci-fi universe. Unfortunately, Drew Zachary's space opera hits only a few notes and makes no attempt to develop anything beyond the characters' relationship, which is purely sexual. In fact, this story comes very close to being a PWP (as in Plot? What Plot?).

"Freighter Flights" starts out promisingly enough, introducing us to Will, pilot of the Arillia, a profiteering ship that sails the space ways transporting any paying cargo it can get. His description is vague, but I get the impression that he's young, tall, dark and handsome. He also wears leather pants, which is enough to endear him to me. He's looking for a "guts doctor", an engineer, to keep his ship flying, and finds one in the spaceport bar where they're currently docked. This fellow's name is Tab, and his description is also vague, aside from his distinguishing characteristics, which is a set of mismatched eyes (one brown, one green) and a bad left leg that makes him limp. All the other characters (and there aren't many) are described in the broadest possible terms, vaguely penciled in compared to the bold pen strokes the author uses to describe Will and Tab. They are simply supporting actors for our heroes to interact with, when they are not having sex with each other.

The sex was certainly hot enough, I can't complain about that. It came so often it was almost monotonous. So did the arguments. When Will and Tab aren't fighting, they're having sex. These guys have a love/hate relationship right from the get-go; they even fight in bed! Mostly about who does what to whom in bed. As our tissue-thin plot advances (I certainly can't say it thickens!), we find out that Will was abused in the past, making him leery of being on the receiving end of anal sex. While Tab is a rough-and-ready kind of guy who's not much for sweet talk or romance, making him the most unsuitable partner for someone who craves tenderness to make up for all the roughness he's had to endure. But he's so hot for Will's body that he's willing to change his ways, at least a little bit. So Tab learns to take his time during sex instead of diving right in, while Will learns about the joys of bottoming with someone who does it right.

I can't say this story goes anywhere beyond the fictional spaceports the Arillia parks at. Even an attack by space pirates, during which Will is abducted and raped, didn't raise the excitement level more than a couple of notches for me (I'd rate it a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10). But it does teach Tab to be more patient and less argumentative while Will is recovering from the experience, so I guess it wasn't all gratuitous sex for its own sake.

All in all, "Freighter Flights" wasn't a complete waste of time, if you like hot sex between men in a sci-fi setting. But if you care about things like plot and character development, steer clear of it.

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