"Boys in Our Books"…

…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!


Shelley and Katinka recently discovered these gems by freefic writer Shukyou. Like Domashita Romero, she writes for online webzine Shousetsu Bang*Bang. Shelley reviewed Bodies In Space, Katinka Duet For Tenor and Transradial Orthosis. Check back for a guest post by Shukyou, in which she points out her own favorite work, later today!


Isaac didn’t make mistakes. He was a very thorough and hard worker, and had been praised for that by his supervisor on so many occasions that he’d lost count, and something had to happen very many times before Isaac lost count of it.


I like this book. I like it because I like Isaac, and I like Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan knows the secrets to the universe. He knows that if you want to make apple pie from scratch you have to invent the universe. Carl Sagan didn’t invent the universe but he made it simple. Simple is good. Pie is good. I like pie. I like the universe. I like Saturn the best. But I like Isaac most of all. More than I like Saturn.

Isaac likes Rick. More than he likes Saturn too. And that’s pretty huge for him. He likes Rick even more than he likes Carl Sagan, and that’s enormous. Isaac doesn’t think in straight lines, or rectangles, he thinks in circles and the universe is something he understands.  Planets don’t want stupid things. Planets and Suns and stars don’t feel scared, or jealous, or make mistakes.  Planets are unconcerned.

What an astonishing book this is. How very small it made me feel. How very humble and very happy too. It’s cutesy fiction but it’s also inspiring fiction. The author has a true gift for characterisation; whatever it is that Isaac suffers from is revealed without artifice and excuse.  It’s fascinating and awesome to be in the mind of a man who needs to take two extra steps to process the little things. It’s the simple things that Isaac interprets differently that wowed and moved me. I do love the simplicity of a subliminal message that’s so subtle it might not even be the intention.  Take care. Be kind. Be honest.

My only wish was that Isaac’s afore ‘friendship’ with Rick was more defined somehow.  It would appear that they are more than friends and have been for a long time. Rick is free with his kisses and night time cuddles; his affection and caring for Isaac is never in doubt, but his morals are. Having only Isaac’s single sided view to judge leaves room for varying opinions on Rick’s character. This is something that is subjective to the individual reader and I like that the author leaves this aspects of the before relationship slightly murky. Controversy makes for good debates I say.

Once again we have a FREE read that surpasses a bazillion published works in original styling, characterisation and yes, even plot. The influence of Carl Sagan is brilliant, inspired and for me a thought provoking, humble experience.

I loved this book.

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.  ~ Carl Sagan



Katinka: 5 stars


18207008Title: Bodies in Space
Author: Shukyou
Publisher: Shousetsu Bang*Bang
Pages: 50
Release Date: June 25th 2012
Download it here: Archive Of Our Own



“I take it the arm in question is, ah, yours?”

I raised my orthotic so he could see it more clearly, though held it back just far enough to indicate he shouldn’t touch, and to his credit, he didn’t try. “Yes, mine.” I was no longer feeling so charitable toward his charm as I had before, but bringing up the issue of my arm with strangers was always guaranteed to put me in a foul mood. …Except, of course, with Gus, but three days with him had already convinced me that he was probably one of his own mechanisms run on an inexplicability engine, and I would be better not to waste my energy pondering the imponderable.


I’m spoiled rotten by now: this is yet another wonderfully quirky story by Shukyou! This one – of which I can for the love of me not remember the title, no matter how many times I try – is set in a steampunk world that reminds of a New London. As the author simply plunges you into the story, there’s little time for worldbuilding. And yet, there are details aplenty that paint a colorful picture of this world the handsome young playboy Enzo lives in. That is to say, Enzo is still handsome, but after a run in with a betrayed, murderous and acid carrying husband (never a good combination!), he has to go through life not with an arm of flesh and blood, but with a barely functioning, ugly robotic arm.

And he soon discovers life just isn’t the same when you’re maimed…

Until he meets engineer Gus. As Gus takes Enzo under his wing, the latter soon finds out that calling Gus an enigma is a bit of an understatement…

“He personified the maddening middle ground between attraction and repulsion, the center where he neither noticed nor cared, and I wondered for a fleeting moment if his pyjama pants were liars and he’d lost his cock and balls in some terrible accident, rendering him the most masculine eunuch in human history.”

Despite its 50 pages, it felt like the author took her time developing the two characters, whose personalities appear complete opposites. There are no explanatory chunks of text, no analysis in italics, no…There’s just Shukyou who slowly and sweetly drags you into this stunning and slightly tragic  story, until you live and breathe the steampunky atmosphere and even forget to exclaim ‘huh, is this really a free story?’ and ‘why don’t more people know about this?’ altogether.

At first, both Enzo and Gus are mostly locked up in their own thoughts and little worlds. At first, too, it seems like Enzo is completely dependent on his engineer, who might be his only hope to ever live a life without his painful travesty of an arm, but who seems completely unaffected by his playboy antics. But as the story progresses, and their worlds collide, there are surprises and surprisingly tender moments to be enjoyed. This short story will put a smile on your face, especially if you appreciate gorgeous writing.



Shelley: 4 stars


17376742Title: Duet For Tenor and Transradial Orthosis
Author: Shukyou
Publisher: Shousetsu Bang*Bang
Pages: 50
Release Date: February 19th 2011
Download it here: Archive Of Our Own


  1. Lisa Arbitrary
    February 6, 2014

    Yup, I agree with both of these reviews whole-heartedly. Especially with the sentiment of, “Why don’t more people know about these?”



  2. ilhem3606
    February 6, 2014

    Great reviews ladies.:)


  3. H.B.
    February 7, 2014

    New to me. I’ll have to see to reading them =)


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