I had to have one gay pulp novel on this list, and Song of the Loon is about the only one that stands any kind of literary scrutiny. It’s one of the cornerstones of the whole m/m romance genre – historical setting (19th-century American wilderness), ‘forbidden love’ between a butch frontiersman and any number of Native Americans, sexually explicit, frequently ridiculous. What makes Song of the Loon stand out from the pack is that it presents homosexual love and sex as something positive and good, while giving the reader plenty to wank over as well. Too many other books in the genre portray gay men as desperate lonely freaks who occasionally have super-hot sex – true for some, of course, but not terribly helpful in those pre-liberation days. Amory, at least, wrote about love. When I was a hormone-crazed lad, I loved the dirty stories in gay mags and books like this – and I can now honestly claim that all that torchlight reading was research for my later career as James Lear. See? Nothing’s wasted.