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New Releases from Duck Prints Press!

A square banner graphic entitled "Duck Prints Press Release Day!" over a watercolor-esque rainbow background. On the graphic are: a book cover with a dragon making a potion, labeled "Add Magic to Taste 2nd Edition"; art of eight creatures in stylized cute art and pride flag colors - trans pegasus lounging on a cotton candy puff, non-binary dragon counting money in a bottle, mlm nessie relaxing in an open tuna fish can, genderqueer hydra laughing atop of kylix, agender/aromantic kelpie standing in a marsh, bisexual chimera playing amidst water, asexual cerberus standing before a stained glass window, and wlw phoenix in flight - labeled "Mythical Pride Creature Pins and Stickers"; a book cover showing two people, one black and one lighter skinned (race not clear) doing Science with a flower, and related merchandise of a sky whale in non-binary colors, an art print of the same cover art, a sticker of a floating robot watering plants, a bookmark of someone playing music amidst magic swirls, and a punk dux with crystalline wings, all labeled "Aether Beyond the Binary Book and Merchandise!" At the bottom, additional text reads, "AND MORE! Visit duckprintspress.com NOW!"

Duck Prints Press is thrilled to share that we’ve released books and merchandise from our recently completed projects for sale in our webstore! Missed a crowdfunding campaign? Finding out about us for the first? See something you want? Come on over and pick up our anthologies, merch, pride creatures, and more! Here’s the full list of what’s now available!

Add Magic to Taste 2nd Edition:

This second edition of our debut anthology includes 18 stories (instead of the original 20) and also includes all 16 “mini-morsels” originally published as our Kickstarter stretch goal mini-book. The original version is also still available as an e-book.

Aether Beyond the Binary:

Mythical Pride Creature Die-Cut Stickers and Enamel Pins:

The creatures who have names were dubbed these titles by Kickstarter backers who purchased our name-a-beast bundle!

…and more!

There’s actually only one new “and more” item, but there’s lots of other awesome books and merchandise in our store!

Add Magic to Taste 2nd Edition and Aether Beyond the Binary are also both now available through e-book distribution channels, including many libraries and major retailers! The print-on-demand editions through retailers and local bookstores are pending, as our print-on-demand vendor STILL hasn’t delivered the print proofs for our approval. They’ll be up shortly.

Visit duckprintspress.com/shop NOW!

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Created Works Round-Up: May 2024

A banner that reads "Created Works Round Up: May." In the upper left corner is the Duck Prints Press logo with a rainbow of duck prints around the left and bottom of it. On the right is the Dux mascot, a white duck with an orange beak and orange feet and a pleased expression on their face.

Duck Prints Press’s monthly “created works round-ups” are our opportunity to spotlight some of the amazing work that people working with us have done that ISN’T linked to their work with Duck Prints Press. We include fanworks, outside publications, and anything else that creators feel like sharing with y’all. Inclusion is voluntary and includes anything that they decided “hey, I want to put this on the created work’s round-up!”

Check out what they’ve shared with us this month…


Painting for The First Duty of All Magicians Is to Save Their Friends, Chapter 5: The Conversation by EliotQueliot

art || the magicians (tv) || platonic or familial, m/m || quentin coldwater/eliot waugh || general audiences || creator choses not to use warnings || complete

summary: The painting shows best friends Margo and Eliot in the kitchen at the Physical Kids Cottage at Brakebills University, discussing Eliot’s relationship with Quentin. A message from future-Eliot, passed on by Margo, included Quentin and Eliot’s wedding rings from another life. According to future-Eliot’s warning, the stakes are high: if Eliot doesn’t make things right with Quentin, Q will die.

other tags: Character Death Fix, Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence, Grief/Mourning, Fix-It

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Secrets of the Heart by unforth/Nina Waters

fiction || the untamed || f/m || jiang cheng/wen qing || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 1,970 || complete

summary: Wen Qing isn’t sure why Jiang Cheng’s heart is racing during a perfectly ordinary physical.

other tags: Modern medical setting, heart beat kink

AO3


To Get Home by unforth/Nina Waters

fiction || scum villain’s self-saving system || m/m, poly (one gender: male) || liu qingge/original liu qingge, background bingliushen || explicit || rape/non-con || 4,944 || complete

summary: Liu Qingge is stuck in a time loop where every day, he wakes up in Lingxi Cave to find past-him qi deviating. He’s tried everything he can think of to get home, from complete non-interference through murdering past-him, but still he hasn’t been able to return.

And then he realizes there’s one thing he hasn’t tried.

He hasn’t let past-him catch him.

other tags: time loop, selfcest, rough sex, fuck or die

AO3

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Happy National Haiku Day! Enjoy These 15 Poems

Today, April 17 2024, is National Haiku Day! We celebrated by writing some poems. 😀 Not all adhere to the syllable count correctly but hey, it’s the spirit that counts…we had fun writing them, and we hope you have fun reading them!

Graphic 1 of 15 for National Haiku Day. This, and all subsequent graphics, bears the label "Haiku Day" and has a blue artsy circle over a white background. Within the circle is the text of a haiku and the name of the author, and the circle is accented with clipart that aligns with the topic of the poem. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A quiet minute to gather my thoughts, and then I get back to work." Author: Nina Waters. The clipart is of a melty-looking clock.
Graphic 2 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A huge between friends - close and secure, safe and warm - nothing can beat it." Author: Nina Waters. The clipart is of a of two disembodied arms, one light skinned, one dark skinned, embracing.
Graphic 3 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Take a character. Take another character. Then, hehehehe." Author: Xianyu Zhou. The clipart is of an emoji making the suggestive "hey..." smirk expression.
Graphic 4 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Sleep now, little one. Nothing hides beneath the bed. It comes out at night." Author: Rhosyn Goodfellow. The clipart is of a scary face with large eyes, a triangle nose, and jack-o-lantern squiggly mouth.
Graphic 5 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "UST, angst, desire. The heart longs, desperately. Who can hear its cry?" Author: Kelas. The clipart is of a pink heart with an eye in the middle of it, the eye shedding a single large tear.
Graphic 6 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Colors in the sky. When the sun winds kiss the earth, a rainbow at night." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of an aurora borealis in all colors of the rainbow.
Graphic 7 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Strangers to lovers. There was only one bed. Must have been fate." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of a bed with pink and gray pillows, one shaped like a heart.
Graphic 8 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Bookshop meet cute and they were roommates. Love at first sight." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of a cupid bow with a red heart arrow shedding additional hearts.
Graphic 9 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "stupid fucking taxes. US, why are you so dumb? just the worst system." Author: E. C. The clipart is of a a paper labeled TAX with stylized money atop them.
Graphic 10 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "wealth-hoarding, greedy, crime via complexity. time to eat the rich." Author: E. C.. The clipart is of a guillotine.
Graphic 11 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Sometimes, when it rains a bloated pigeon's body falls from the drain pipe." Author: boneturtle. The clipart is of a a bird, but it's in jagged black lines and heavily stylized.
Graphic 12 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Golden pockets there while mine are filled with ashes. Life just isn't fair." Author: Cedar. The clipart is of a pair of hands reaching out to open a brown wallet to show the money compartment bare save for a single coin and a cobweb.
Graphic 13 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Trickle down a lie. A puddle at your bootstraps. Try to lift them up." Author: Cedar. The clipart is of a spurred boots standing in a puddle.
Graphic 14 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Fear consumes me, love, but flees when you grab onto my soft, trembling hand." Author: Terra P. Waters. The clipart is of a pair of hands, one brown, one peach, reaching toward each other.
Graphic 15 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A tall tree offers one tiny cluster of blooms, patiently tended." Author: Shea Sullivan. The clipart is of a tree with three colored flowers blooming on it.

Why not take a moment and join us by writing a haiku of your own in the comments? We’d love to read yours!

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Round Table Discussion: Grammar Pet Peeves

Today, March 4th, is National Grammar Day! Last year, we celebrated with six of our favorite grammar quirks. This year, we’re going to the other end of the spectrum: we had a conversation with our editors and blog contributors about grammar things we hate. They may be technically correct, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make us crazy. Eighteen people, many anonymous, contributed to this discussion.

Dangling Modifiers

boneturtle: Dangling modifiers, hands down. Even when I can decipher what the writer meant based on context, it viscerally hurts me every time. When I am editing I have to stand up and take a lap around my apartment when I hit a dangling modifier. Remind myself that I am here to help. Learn more about dangling modifiers.

Commas

anonymous: Commas are not difficult! Commas end phrases. Full stop. That’s all they do. Is a phrase necessary to the grammatical coherence of the sentence? if the answer is yes, no commas because that phrase hasn’t ended. If the answer is no, commas! comma hug that bish if it’s the middle of a sentence. The difference between grammatical and informational is whether or not the sentence makes sense without the phrase. 

Examples: 

The man who ordered the six double anchovy pizzas claims to have a dolphin in his pool. 

You need “who ordered the six double anchovy pizzas” because you need to identify which man you’re talking about. The world is full of many men. 

The ancient Buick, which Madeleine purchased via Craigslist, belched black smoke whenever she pressed the accelerator. 

We don’t need to know how Madeleine purchased the car for the sentence to make sense. You don’t even meed “Madeleine” for the grammar to make sense. Therefore, hug that phrase! 

(a comma on each side of the phrase) or give it a dramatic send off with a comma and an end punctuation. (i could go into conjunctions, too, but those are a little more complex, and if you were taught them properly, i understand not getting the comma use 😂 ) 

Prepositions at the End of Sentences

Tris Lawrence: There was a dictionary (Merriam-Webster? Oxford? idek) that posted recently on social media about how the rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition came from English scholars trying to make English line up with Latin, and that it’s totally okay to do it… and I’m just wanting to point to it to yell THIS because uhhh trying to rework sentences to not end in a preposition often creates clunky awkward things (my opinion, I recognize this).

D. V. Morse: Ending sentences/clauses with a preposition. Well, not doing that is supposed to be the rule, but depending on the sentence, it can be a convoluted mess to try and avoid it. Winston Churchill famously told someone off after they “caught” him breaking that rule, saying, “This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.” (Yes, I had to look that up.)

Pronoun Confusion

anonymous: I hate playing the pronoun game when reading. I hate it in life when someone comes up to me and tells me a story involving 2 people of the same pronouns and stops using names halfway through, and I hate it while reading too. Nothing makes me fall out of scene more if I don’t know who just did/said what. Use names. That’s why we have them.

Nina Waters: epithets. If I know the characters name…why? Also, when people use “you” in third person writing. There are times I’ll allow it as an editor/times when I do think it’s at least acceptable but not gonna lie, I absolutely hate it.

anonymous: My pet peeve … I read hundreds of essays in a given month for work, plus a whole lot of fanfic for fun. A rising issue that I have noticed in both places is incomplete sentences (lacking subjects, typically). I think it’s because people rely on Google’s grammar checker to tell them if something is wrong and…Google doesn’t check for that apparently. I’m increasingly convinced that my high schoolers simply weren’t taught sentence structure, because when I ask them to fix it they almost universally say some variant of “I don’t understand what you’re asking me to do.” Therefore, it might be punching down a little to complain about it. I’m not sure. It does drive me nuts though. Lol

“Would Of”

Neo Scarlett: Not quite sure if that falls under grammar, but I hate hate hate when people use “should of” instead of should’ve. Or “would of.” It just makes my toe nails curl up because it may sound right, but it looks wrong and is wrong.

Semi-Colons

Shea Sullivan: I saw a list punctuated by semicolons recently and that made me froth at the mouth a bit.

anonymous: I think any editor who’s worked with me knows that I have a pet peeve about using colons or semi-colons in dialogue. Or really, any punctuation mark that I don’t think people can actually pronounce. Semicolons can live anywhere that I don’t have to imagine a character actually pronouncing them.

English isn’t Dumb!

theirprofoundbond: As a former linguistics student, it bugs me a lot when people say that English is a dumb or stupid language because it has borrowed from so many languages. What people mean when they say this is, “English can be really difficult (even for native speakers).” But I wish people would say that, instead of “it’s dumb/stupid.” Languages are living things. Like other living things, they adapt and evolve. English is basically a beautiful, delightful platypus. Let it be a platypus.

Dei Walker: I remember seeing somewhere that English has four types of rules (I’m trying to find the citation today) and everyone conflates them. And I guess my pet peeve is that everyone treats them equally when they’re NOT. There are rules but not all of them are the same – there’s a difference between “adjectives precede nouns” (big truck, not *truck big) and “don’t split infinitives” (which is arbitrary).

And, because we couldn’t resist, here are some of our favorite things, because when we asked for pet peeves…some people still shared things they loved instead of things they hated.

Oxford Comma

Terra P. Waters: I really really love the Oxford comma.

boneturtle: me: [in kindergarten, using oxford comma]

teacher: no, we don’t add a comma between the last two objects in a list.

me: that’s illogical and incorrect.

anonymous: I will forever appreciate my second grade teacher’s explanation of Oxford comma use: Some sentences are harder to understand if you don’t use it, but no sentence will ever be harder to understand because you do use it. Preach, Mrs. D

anonymous: I am definitely Team Oxford Comma. I even have a bumper sticker which says so

Other Favorites

Shea Sullivan: I adore the emdash, to every editor’s chagrin.

Shadaras: zeugmas! I think they’re super cool!

Shea Sullivan and Hermit: I use sentence fragments a lot. Fragments my beloved.

English Grammar vs. Grammar in Other Languages

anonymous: so in English my favourite thing is the parallel Latin and Saxon registers because of how that affects grammar, but in Japanese my favourite grammatical thing is the use of an actual sound at the end of the sentence to denote a question, as opposed to how in English we use intonation? Also how in Japanese the sentence structure requires reasoning first and action second in terms of clauses. So rather than go “let’s go to the cinema because it’s raining and I’m cold,” you’d go “because it’s raining and I’m cold, let’s go to the cinema.” (My least favourite thing is the lack of spaces between words in the written form but that’s purely because I find that level of continuous letters intimidating to translate.)

I also love how Japanglish in the foreign communities in Japan starts to develop its own grammatical structure as a way of situating yourself in this space between the two languages. It’s used as a call-sign of belonging to that specific community, because in order to make some of the jokes and consciously break the rules of English or Japanese grammar and/or choose to obey one or the other, you’re basically displaying your control over both/knowledge of them. Like, the foreign community in Japan is often a disparate group of people with multiple different native languages who are relying on their knowledge of at least one non-native language but often two to signify their status in the group as Also An Outsider and I think that’s really interesting.

Nina Waters: Chinese and Japanese both drop subjects, and Chinese doesn’t have like… a/the… Japanese doesn’t have a future tense… Chinese kinda sorta doesn’t have tenses at all… (these are not pet peeves, btw, I love how learning a language with such different ways of approaching these things reshapes my brain). Chinese also doesn’t really have yes or no.

There’s a joke somewhere on Tumblr about that, though I actually think it’s about using “a” versus “the,” like, someone was giving a Russian speaker a hard time after they said “get in car” and they were like “only you English speakers are dumb enough to feel this is essential why would I be talking about getting into any random car of course I mean our car wtf.”

anonymous: on the subject of other languages, epithets are also something that happen differently in other languages. In French repeating a word (names included, and sometimes even pronouns) is considered bad writing. As in, way more than in English. Going by how grating the English translation of the Witcher books was to me when the French one was fine, I’d say it’s the same with Polish, at least. It’s also very interesting how brains adapt to writing styles in other languages.

What are some of your favorite and least favorite grammar quirks, in English or in the language of your choice?

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Created Works Round-Up: January 2024

A banner that reads "Created Works Round Up: January." In the upper left corner is the Duck Prints Press logo with a rainbow of duck prints around the left and bottom of it. On the right is the Dux mascot, a white duck with an orange beak and orange feet and a pleased expression on their face.

Duck Prints Press’s monthly “created works round-ups” are our opportunity to spotlight some of the amazing work that people working with us have done that ISN’T linked to their work with Duck Prints Press. We include fanworks, outside publications, and anything else that creators feel like sharing with y’all. Inclusion is voluntary and includes anything that they decided “hey, I want to put this on the created work’s round-up!”

Check out what they’ve shared with us this month…


cruel forgiveness by Cedar McCafferty-Svec

art || transformers || m/m || idw rodimus prime/armada megatron || teen & up || no major warnings apply || complete

summary: Digital drawing of IDW Rodimus and Armada Megatron based off a scene from a roleplay server on dreamwidth. Megatron is faking his own death and making Rodimus watch.

other tags: self harm, canon mashup, based on roleplay

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Stay by Smehur

art || baldur’s gate 3 || m/m || astarion/tav || mature || no major warnings apply || complete

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Astarion by Smehur

art || baldur’s gate 3 || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || complete

summary: This started as a silly colored pencil doodle and ended up my best drawing so far. Anyway, I love him.

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A Godsdamn Kraken by Smehur

fiction || baldur’s gate 3 || m/m || astarion/tav || mature || no major warnings apply || 7,760 || complete

summary: Astarion and Tav met before the events of the game – and immediately got in trouble.

AO3


Self Help & Writing Advice by Tris Lawrence

blog post || original work || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 781 || complete

summary: I don’t like self-help books. Which means I often don’t like writing advice books.

Which sucks because I really want to like both of them. I am positive there are things I could learn from them.

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ND Creative: Time, Focus, Organization by Tris Lawrence

blog post, nd creative series || original work || no ships || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 957 || complete

summary: Time, focus, and organization can be complicated things as an ND creative.

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Things I Thought Were Mine by enchantedsleeper

fiction || fence comics || m/m || nicholas cox/seiji katayama || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 9,235 || complete

summary: Nicholas, Seiji, and the King’s Row team are invited by Jesse Coste to join him at an exclusive summer retreat for elite fencers at the Coste residence. Surrounded by reminders of the life he could have had, and with Jesse determined to pick up where he and Seiji left off, can Nicholas survive the week without some closely-held secrets bubbling to the surface?

other tags: Canon divergence AU, hurt/comfort

AO3


a dream or two (away from you) by enchantedsleeper

fiction || fence comics || m/m || aiden kane/harvard lee || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 8,845 || complete

summary: Everyone knows that magic isn’t real. Never mind that Aiden, crown prince of Feldhaven, has been having strange dreams from a young age in which he meets and plays with a young boy from a far-away kingdom.

He can’t explain it, but he isn’t concerned – until years later, when an eighteen-year-old Aiden is suddenly introduced to the new Captain of the Guard: Harvard Lee. The boy from his dreams.

other tags: mediaeval fantasy AU, slightly handwavey dream magic, friends to lovers

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You Make Sense of the Devil by Hermit

fiction || mcu, criminal minds || m/m, f/m, poly (multiple genders) || james “bucky” barnes/emily prentiss, james “bucky” barnes/steve rogers || mature || rape/non-con || 15,772 || complete

summary: A ghost from the BAU past reappears and drags up unfinished business for Aaron Hotchner. The ripples are enough to call back missing team members and spread well beyond the circle of his influence.

other tags: Timeline What Timeline, MCU fusion, Criminal Minds fusion, liberties were taken with the legal system, Case Fic, No One Is Okay, canon typical trauma, Past Rape/Non-con, Flashback, discussion of trauma, Implied Polycule

AO3


Tremble by Tal

fiction || link click || m/m || cheng xiaoshi/lu guang || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 2,096 || complete

summary: Cheng Xiaoshi has a bad time in a photo. Lu Guang is there in the aftermath.

other tags: Hurt/Comfort

AO3


Phase Shift by Terra P. Waters

fiction || original work || platonic or familial, f/m || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 99,500 || ongoing series

summary: Despite being a self-professed science geek, high school freshman Camilla Mitchell has had a secret imaginary friend for years. It comes as quite a shock when said friend, Emma, accidentally drags her into a dimension full of hostile telepathic creatures. Cam’s friends, her brother, Oliver, and her mother, Kathryn, work furiously to solve her disappearance and bring her home. Other members of their small Minnesota town disappear, one after the other, including Lizzy Becker’s best friend, who is ripped from her arms. Lizzy badgers loner Oliver into working with her to rescue their missing loved ones. They discover a bridge between the two worlds—a bridge that allows the hostile creatures from Cam’s newly-discovered dimension into ours. If there’s a bridge, there’s a way to rescue the people taken. Right?

other tags: Tags: science fiction, alternate dimensions, teen characters, friendship, bisexual main character (minor references), lesbian character, nonbinary character, aliens; Content warnings: disordered eating, emetophobia, child abuse mention, homophobic bullying, teen characters in danger, gun violence, physical violence, abduction

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The Last Drop Cafe by Terra P. Waters

fiction || stranger things || poly (multiple genders) || jonathan byers/chrissy cunningham/steve harrington/nancy wheeler || explicit || creator choses not to use warnings || 77,500 || complete

summary: Nancy Wheeler is in her last year of college, about to graduate with her journalism degree. She’s just working as a barista at The Last Drop Cafe until she can find a real journalism job. She loves her boyfriend, Jonathan, though there’s been some tension lately, and she’s not quite sure how long the relationship is going to last. At least she lives above the coffee shop, which makes rolling out of bed at five in the morning to go to work slightly more tolerable. Her upstairs neighbors, Steve and Chrissy, are newlyweds eager to start their family. When a case of sleep deprivation and mistaken identity ties the two couples together, things quickly get complicated. But maybe complicated is just what Nancy was looking for.

other tags: Coffee Shop AU, College AU, Mistaken Identity, Polyamory, Somnophilia, Accidental Non-con, Unplanned Pregnancy, Birth, Hospitals

AO3


Phase Shift by Terra P. Waters

fiction || original work || platonic or familial, f/m, f/nb || teen & up || no major warnings apply || 99,500 || complete

summary: Despite being a self-professed science geek, high school freshman Camilla Mitchell has had a secret imaginary friend for years. It comes as quite a shock when said friend, Emma, accidentally drags her into a dimension full of hostile telepathic creatures. Cam’s friends, her brother, Oliver, and her mother, Kathryn, work furiously to solve her disappearance and bring her home. Other members of their small Minnesota town disappear, one after the other, including Lizzy Becker’s best friend, who is ripped from her arms. Lizzy badgers loner Oliver into working with her to rescue their missing loved ones. They discover a bridge between the two worlds—a bridge that allows the hostile creatures from Cam’s newly-discovered dimension into ours. If there’s a bridge, there’s a way to rescue the people taken. Right?

other tags: Science Fiction, Horror, Aliens, Teen characters, Alternate dimensions, Friendship, LGBTQ+ characters, Hearing Impaired Character, Eating Disorder, Child Abuse, Gun Violence, Kidnapping, Teenaged Characters in Peril, Minor Character Death

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Prayers of Descent by unforth

fiction || tian guan ci fu || m/m || hua cheng/xie lian || general audiences || no major warnings apply || 1,648 || complete

summary: After 800 years in the Heavenly Court, Xie Lian receives a prayer with a simple request: “can I see you, your highness, just one more time?”

other tags: Canon Divergence, Jun Wu/Xie Lian

AO3

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Our Favorite Reads of 2023

A graphic showing 9 book covers over a rainbow gradient background, with the text "Our Fave Reads of 2023." The book covers are: Shubeik Lubeik by Deena Mohamed; Consort of Fire by Kit Rocha; The Spear Cuts Through the Water by Simon Jimenez; Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki; Mo Du by Priest; Hijab Butch Blues by Almya H; Death by Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold; The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K. S. Villoso; and Gideon the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir. Graphic 1/2 for this post.
A graphic showing 12 book covers over a rainbow gradient background. The books are: November by Thomas Olde Heuvelt; Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle; To Drive the Hundred Miles by Alec J. Marsh; Siren Queen by Nghi Vo; The Heart-Break Bakery by A. R. Capetta; Many Drops Make a Stream by Adrian Harley; Heaven Official's Blessing by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu; Add Magic to Taste; A Power Unbound by Freya Marske; The Last Sun by K. D. Edwards; Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh; and Open Throat by Henry Hoke. Graphic 2/2 for this post.

Inspired by this post from the Queer Liberation Library, we asked our awesome rec-list contributors to name their one favorite read of 2023, and the result is a list wonderful in its diversity of formats, genres, characters, stories, and authors. Check um out!

What was YOUR favorite read of 2023? Dare ya to try to pick only one!

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Get to Know AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY

A graphic entitled "Get to know AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY." In the center, it features the cover of the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Seven arrows point away from this central graphic, aimed at text that reads: 17 stories; queer creators; small press; non-binary and genderqueer main characters; aetherpunk!; modern settings (but magical!), queer relationships.

Text at the bottom reads: Kickstarter Launches DECEMBER 26th! Follow our Pre-Launch Page TODAY!

We are only ONE WEEK away from the launch of the Kickstarter campaign for Duck Prints Press’s sixth anthology, AETHER BEYOND THE BINARY.

What would the Earth look like if the very atoms that compose the planet were suffused with magical aether? How would our lives in the modern world be different if this aether was discovered last year, or last decade, or last century, or last millennia? How might the people who inhabit this very different but still modern Earth explore their gender identities? These are the questions we posed to the 17 authors chosen to contribute to Duck Prints Press’s newest anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. Their diverse answers are bound together in this must-not-miss collection of stories about magical worlds, adventures and mysteries, new chances and well-earned endings, and characters as gender-diverse as the worlds they inhabit. 

What is aetherpunk? Imagine a world where there’s technology not unlike what we have in the modern world, except that instead of that technology operating using the principles that we, now, would call “science,” that technology operates using magic! That’s aetherpunk—the awesome union of technology and complex magical systems in magic-filled worlds to produce unique settings that resemble modern-day Earth but are also very, very different. With aetherpunk stories, the impossible becomes possible, and new solutions to the world’s problems become available! You can learn more about the history of aetherpunk and what aetherpunk is in this blog post!

What is a character outside the gender binary? The gender binary consists of the two most common genders: male and female. Most people, whether they are cisgender or transgender, fall within this binary. Nonetheless, gender is a spectrum, and there are many gender identities that are outside, between, among, or combinations of cis and trans, male and female. One umbrella term for these identities is non-binary, and specific identities include agender (like our lead editor!), genderfluid, bigender, demigender, pangender, and x gender. Every story in Aether Beyond the Binary features at least one non-binary main character, and many stories utilize neopronouns.

The core concept of Aether Beyond the Binary is simple and compelling: create intriguing main characters outside the gender binary and set them loose to explore the modern world twisted or unchanged, enhanced or destroyed by magical aether.

We have been working on this project for over a year, and are so excited to finally be bringing it to y’all. We launch on December 26th, with a funding goal of $14,250.

Follow our Kickstarter pre-launch page TODAY and make sure you’re among the first to get notified when this super-cool, innovative anthology becomes available!

Love what we do? Want to get an awesome, exclusive bonus merch item when you back this campaign? Become a backer on our Patreon, support Duck Prints Press year-round, and get awesome stuff!

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It’s Bisexual Visibility Day! Come See Duck Prints Press’s Bisexuals!

Earlier this week, we celebrated the start of Bisexual Awareness Week by sharing 18 books we’ve read and loved that include bisexual characters. Today, we aim to bring visibility to some titles that aren’t as widely known: our own! We’ve got three anthologies, two novels, and five short stories that feature explicitly bisexual characters. Learn all about ‘um now!

To Fill My Cup by Violet J. Hayes

“Here, Grandma, let me get you a stool.” Talia hurried to bring one from the other side of the island and helped her settle down into it. “Do you want a fresh cup of coffee?”

“No, dear, I’m fine.” One by one, her grandmother picked up each sweet potato. Her fingers were stiff with arthritis, the knuckles swollen. Talia wondered if she could get her plain gold wedding band off even if she wanted to. She turned each potato in her hands, murmuring as she did so. Talia knew she was doing math to calculate the number of servings, but it gave the impression of a sorcerer muttering an incantation.

I think my grandma might be a witch, she texted Rachael, and was surprised when her phone rang a moment later. “Hey, Rach.”

“Hey.”

It only took that single word for Talia to know something was off. “What’s wrong?”


Add Magic to Taste with contributions by 20 authors; five of the stories include bisexual characters

For Add Magic to Taste, 20 authors have come together to produce new, original short stories uniting four of our absolute favorite themes: queer relationships, fluff, magic, and coffee shops! Our diverse writers have created an even more diverse collection of stories guaranteed to sweeten your coffee and warm your tart.


A Mutual Interest by Alec J. Marsh

Tirsa stopped arguing with Jeromy after they reached the outskirts of the city, and by the time they’d made it to open countryside she had fallen asleep, snuggled against the window of the jeep under his coat. He didn’t mind her arguing, not exactly, but she was arguing against her own best interests. She deserved a weekend off.

The traffic grew thicker as they neared the army checkpoint into Kestilav Province, and Jeromy pulled to a stop. Tirsa didn’t stir, and her breathing whistled a little bit. Jeromy’s heart squeezed with fondness.


Commit to the Kick by Tris Lawrence

For eighteen years, Alaric has lived under the cloying politics of family and his Clan community. His freshman year is supposed to be a chance to explore a world where Clan and his shapeshifting Talent isn’t central to his life. But when his inner bear bursts forth during his first football game, endangering those around him, Alaric realizes that it’s not so easy to ignore his past, or his own internalized anger.

In his quest for anger management, Alaric begins to train in taekwondo, and makes new friends in both sports. He finds that he is creating his own small community, where Clan, Mages, other Talents, and even humans come together and build their own found family.

When Alaric receives news that something has happened to his brother Orson, he must return and deal with his Clan and his place in their world. He discovers that old prejudices are still strong between Clan and Mage communities, but that both may be in danger from a creature long thought to be only a legend. Alaric must figure out how to move forward and prevent a war and protect both his home and newly built communities, his found family with him every step of the way.


Bubble, Bubble by Sage Mooreland

“Punk, if you don’t get your rear end down here, we’re not going to be able to go!” Charlotte called up the stairs. “I thought you wanted to do three blocks tonight?”

There was a muffled thump, some child-friendly cursing, and then running feet. “Mama, gimme a minute! Dad’s fixing my costume!”


And Seek (Not) to Alter Me: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, an anthology with contributions by 16 authors and 16 artists; three of the stories include bisexual characters

In And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, 16 authors and 16 artists have come together to create an exquisite, full-color collection of artwork and stories inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing. We encouraged contributors to stretch their imaginations, think outside the box, and put their own unique—and queer—twists on Benedick, Beatrice, Hero, Claudio, Don Pedro, and the whole gang! In true Shakespearean fashion, our creators utilize gender, sexuality, romanticism, and a host of costume changes to tell unique artworks and stories—some featuring original characters, some characters from the play—that show Shakespeare’s work in a whole new light.


A Glimmer of Hope by Nina Waters

Gregory Adalwin’s life ended the day in 1746 when his liege lord, Duke Haribert Schultheis-Königsmann, was murdered. With everything he’d spent a thousand years building in ruins, Gregory set out to wreak vengeance on those who had killed the Duke. He didn’t expect to survive. Yet, a century after completing his revenge, Gregory is somehow still breathing. He wastes his days in an alcoholic stupor, clothed and fed and housed at the sufferance of Teyrngar Gwehydd, once sworn to his service, now owed more than he can ever hope to repay. The only things that get him out of bed are the vodka that Mstislav Alkayev sneaks to him and the prospect of spending time with the beautiful pixie Yermolai Praskovya. No one remembers who Gregory is, no one knows him, and no one cares about him. After how Gregory failed his Duke, he deserves nothing more.

Or so he thinks, until someone tries to kill him, and Gregory is confronted by a stupefying question: who on earth could possibly give enough of a damn about him to want him dead?


In Which James Willoby Enjoys a Ball Far More Than One Should by A. L. Heard

It was halfway through the second dance when “the moment” finally came.

James caught sight of him at a distance, a familiar form lurking at the periphery of his vision. As he turned with the dance, James focused on that corner of the ballroom, locking eyes with none other than their host.

Haywood Keating was by all accounts a handsome man. Nearly ten years James’s senior, he exuded the type of charm and confidence only the wealthy could afford, coaxing smiles and earning admiration wherever he went. His dark suit, although perfectly tailored and pressed, was almost boring when viewed among the other gentry wearing their best, but the bright-purple cravat dotted with yellow paisley made him stand out all the same. His hair was longer these days, the dark strands beginning to curl but currently tamed; his footman must have pulled it back and fastened it with that vibrant-green ribbon that complemented his dark complexion. A sight to behold, as always.


He Bears the Cape of Stars, an anthology with contributions by 17 authors; three of the stories include bisexual characters

He Bears the Cape of Stars is one of our two paired masquerade-themed anthologies. It features 17 stories exploring mlm relationships developing, growing, and changing while the characters attend or participate in masquerades!

The collected works in He Bears the Cape of Stars feature men and masculine-leaning genderqueer characters, with a spectrum of sexualities, and these diverse individuals inhabit worlds ranging from a science fiction setting where everyone must be masked to breathe, to a fantasy world where no one wears a literal mask but everyone shows the world a false guise, to an iteration of the real world where all the characters truly want is to take their masks off and show the world who they really are. Our contributors stretched their imaginations to present innovative stories exploring what a masquerade can be…and, of course, tell rich, engaging tales of wonderful queer folk finding love, companionship, acceptance, the queer platonic relationship of their dreams, or the found family they deserve.


No One Right Way by R. L. Houck

Sometime a little past 9 p.m., Rachel swanned into the bedroom from the bathroom. She paused suddenly a few steps past the doorway. Nikkōka glanced up, noting she wore the shorts-and-T-shirt combo she normally donned for bed. Her mouth was pinched with anxiety despite her confident stance.

“I am horny, and I am going to get off,” she announced.


Did you know? You can read many of these stories RIGHT NOW, and claim the others as freebies, by becoming a support of Duck Prints Press on Patreon!

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Two New Erotica Titles for September!

Both of September’s new erotica short stories expand on existing ‘verses that the authors have long been exploring. Learn all about them now!

Title: Just Let Me Lose Control
Series: Welcome to PHU
Author: Tris Lawrence

This is a “canon insert” that takes place midway through the events of Commit to the Kick.

M/M, Friends with Benefits, Loss of Virginity, No-Strings-Attached Relationship

An itch has been growing worse under Alaric’s skin for a long time, and he finally thinks he knows how to cure it: by getting laid.

This is the story of what happened when Alaric left Teas Please to find Thorne for the first time.

Title: Want You Both
Series: Pet Names: A Fantasy M x M x M Smut Collection
Author: boneturtle

M/M/M, Fantasy, Waking Up Together, PWP (Plot, What Plot?), Double Penetration

Mithros wakes up to Aren masturbating and Samael still asleep, and need burns inside him.

Surely, Mithros and Aren can satisfy each other without waking up their other husband. But if Samael does wake up, maybe Mithros can finally get what he truly wants.


In addition to these two new releases, we are excited to share that, as of today, you can now purchase every erotica title we’ve ever published by buying our four convenient bundles!

Yep, that’s right – for $44.24 US you can get every erotica short story and novelette that Duck Prints Press has published. That’s 30 stories!

And now is a great moment to catch up on our past releases, because starting in October, we will (mostly) no longer be publishing short stories to our webpage. Instead, all story debuts will be straight-to-Patreon (we may still do the occasional “re-publish” of a former Patreon-exclusive to the website). So, if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on all the short story greatness that Duck Prints Press has to offer, it’s a good time to start thinking about backing us monthly on Patreon! We’ll be sharing more information about these changes in October.

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Albacon Panels Now Available!

Did you see me talking on social media about the panels we’d be participating in at Albacon and think “oh wow, I wish I could hear that, but I’m not able to attend the con so I guess there’s no hope”? Well, there IS hope – all FIFTY Albacon panels and readings are now available online for anyone who registers to attend the con as a hybrid attendee – and you can still register as a hybrid attendee, for only $15, for the next month (you can register, and watch, until October 11th).

I personally participated in two panels and did one reading – Starting a Small Press, a reading from my story in Add Magic to Taste, and Crowdfunding for Print.

We had great discussions at all three – Starting a Small Press also feature Bianca D’arc, Ian Randal Strock (owner of Fantastic Books), and Inanna Arthen (panel moderator, owner of By Light Unseen Media). We had a great chat with a lot of specifics and details related to owning and operating small presses. Crowdfunding for Print included me, Bianca, and Ian again, with Tris Lawrence (whose work with Duck Prints Press can be found here) and Alex Shvartsman contributing their expertise as well.

And, if you register, you can access all the other awesome panels and readings as well, including those featuring the guests of honor Walter Hunt and Linda Addison, the special guests Allen Steele and Dan Kimmel, and all the other con panelists!

You can register HERE if you want to check out all the awesome!