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three pairs of lovers with space



The Ninth Acolyte Reader was published by the Acolyte Press, a publisher in Amsterdam dedicated to “boy-love” publications, in October 1993. It is the thirteenth in a series of sixteen anthologies. The stories are by various authors, but all the volumes were edited by the American writer Frank Torey (1928-96). This article serves as both a synopsis and a review of the volume’s content. The original list of contents is represented in brown.

Unlike some earlier volumes in the series, there is no introduction to these stories, either general or individual, or information on the authors.


Contents [review and list with synopses]
by Edmund Marlowe, December 2023

There is happily no unreadable or boring rubbish in this volume, as there is in most of the Acolyte series.

Its highlight is Wild Boy by Daniel Mallery, the most gripping story in the entire Acolyte series. Much more of a thriller than typical Acolyte erotica, it is the story of a man who encounters a savage boy of fourteen in the Scottish Highlands who has survived since infancy on his own in the wild and cannot speak. Initially terrified with good reason, the man is soon in love. Realistically told and exhilarating (at least if one leaves aside the man’s eagerness to introduce the always-naked boy to ghastly 1990s adolescent clothing).

Also very good are translations of two stories by an Italian who sadly contributed only to this volume of the series, Christopher Monteriano. His Nicola manages without drama to sketch a convincing portrait of the changing love relationship over several years of an Italian teenager and a boy-loving old family friend. His Sand and Honey is even better, a beautifully-written and touching love story about a philosophy professor and a tavern boy in Crete, and has a happy ending that was still plausible for the time and place, reminding one that, terrible as things had got for Greek love by this time, they were still nothing like as bad as they were to become. Monteriano’s stories and Wild Boy are the only three where there is any depth to the relationships described, or even any longing for it.

Acolyte Reader 9th. Front

Alan Edwards’s stories are not intended to be realistic, but are well-written and whimsical with clever and amusing twists. His sweet mediaeval story, King of the Castle, the only one here not set in the near present, is an example of his best, and I Love My little Brother, with feeble wit to justify the typically over-the-top scenario, is him at his least impressive.

Ingles’s story Rabin initially promised to be something more too, even a passionate Greek love story, but then, as so often with this writer, his more powerful gay sensibilities took over and wrecked it, turning it into a gay “coming of age” story for the boy and short-term sexual liaison for them both.

There is some love in Mark Derby’s Not Again, about a special friendship between 11- and 12-year-old classmates. Otherwise, the remaining stories are more about sex, some of it hot and explicit, and have no emotional power.

The only one of them worth mentioning here as well as in the synopses given below is Bangor’s Casper. With equally superb renditions of the articulations of modern working-class boys and Victorian writers of erotica, is a highly entertaining erotic ghost story.

The stories are escapist in that it is in only three of the poorer ones that one gets any sense of the unprecedently grim reality that surrounded expression of Greek love by 1993, but this does not entail being unrealistic. The authors of the better stories have managed to come up with credible if out-of-the-ordinary scenarios where it doesn’t intrude.

4  I Love My Little Brother / Alan Edward

A British undergraduate surrenders to the sexual advances of his 13-year-old brother. PDF.

9  Wild Boy / Daniel Mallery

Peter, living in primitive conditions in the Scottish Highlands, stumbles across an unseen wild creature in a cave, provoking a return visit to his house by the creature, who rapes him. However, Peter’s outrage gives way to fascination and eventually passionate love when he discovers the creature to be a 14-year-old wild boy with no speech or clothes. But how to tame him? PDF.

35  Shooting Stars / Luis Miguel Fuentes

One of many apparently true stories by this New York boy prostitute, it is a brief description (with a characteristically depressing ending) of having sex with a client while fantasising that he is Fuentes’s lover Kevin (presumably Esser). Read as pp. 125-5 of a PDF of the author’s republication of his writings, Diary of a Dirty Boy.

37  Nicola / Christopher Monteriano

A series of subtle vignettes of the developing love relationship over years of the later 1980s between teenage Nicola and his mother’s old friend Michael, a visiting English boysexual, which she accepts without full approbation. PDF.

Acolyte Reader 9th. Back

47  Pond / Frederic Trainor

Strange story in which a “Mississippi Delta Negro” of about 15 turns up for a rendez-vous with another of 12 in 1993, and pedicates him, while recounting doing the same, on command as a slave, to a white boy of 11 or 12 in an apparently different era. PDF.

54  King of the Castle / Alan Edward

Toby, an urchin of 13, sneaks into his town’s castle in mediaeval England one night during a royal visit, looking for opportunities to steal food and perhaps more. Secretly looking down on the royal banquet, he is powerfully attracted to the beautiful noble boy, scarcely older than himself, serving the King. He is spotted and thrown in the dungeon, but his wildest dreams are about to come true.  Hardly Greek love, but a delightful tale, so Toby’s suggestive imaginings about the King’s feelings for the boy serving him are taken as sufficient for its inclusion on this site. PDF.

62  Casper / Edward Bangor

A 12-year-old English working-class boy relates how, on moving into a new home, a boy ghost unfailingly appears to disrupt his desperate need to wank. Clever investigation into 19th century goings-on in the school that once stood on the same site, helped by a suitably-inclined local librarian, suggests certain drastic action needed for exorcism. PDF.

83  Night Ride / Jotham Lotring

A man describes sitting next to a boy of 15 on a long night bus ride across the USA, wanking him while he pretended to sleep and his hand later being commandeered to repeat the task four times before parting in Denver bus terminal. PDF.

93  Sub / Robert Aldrich

Bill, 11, invites schoolmate Ernie, 12, over. Left in charge of his six-year-old brother Jackie by their mother, he uses Jackie’s lack of body shame to coax Ernie into agreeing to sex play. No Greek love in this American story.

99  One Hell of an Angel / Paidrig MagUidhir

Fantasy about an American in Spain selling his soul to a stranger in return for a month’s free association with a local nine-year-old he had a crush on. PDF.

107  Rabin / I. L. Ingles

Lonely boy-loving Wesley, teacher at a boys’ boarding school in Derbyshire comes to the emotional rescue of lonely half-Indian new boy Rabindranath, 13, and they embark excitedly on a liaison until the boy finds his feet and a lover his own age. PDF.

141  Not Again / Mark Derby

11-year-old Nicholas recounts the evolution of his friendship with 12-year-old classmate Greg into a fully consummated love affair. Just about passable as Greek love, as the older boy is initiator, pedicator and protective. PDF.

151  Sand and Honey / Christopher Monteriano

An Italian philosophy professor of fifty takes a long break in a rented house in Crete and falls in love with a local tavern boy of 13 or 14, who opens up to him. PDF.