Panthology Four, subtitled “a collection of boy-love stories”, was published in December 1984 by The Coltsfoot Press, a publisher in Amsterdam dedicated exclusively to pederastic publications. The stories are by various authors, but all the volumes were edited by the American writer Frank Torey (1928-96). This was the last of the Panthologies, as The Coltsfoot Press soon after went bankrupt, but Torey went on to set up his own publishing house, The Acolyte Press, which issued twelve Acolyte Readers that were essentially a continuation of the series.
This article serves as both a synopsis and a review of the third volume’s content. Unlike the other Panthologies, there was no Introduction or Foreword. The original list of contents is represented in brown.
Contents [list, synopsis and review]
Escapism has inevitable been a prominent feature in writing about Greek love in increasingly grim modern times, and it is more evident here than in the previous Panthologies, with many stories ranging from the sci-fi of Campbell’s Android to his other story and others, most notably those of de Rast and Bishop, which ignore social reality. Presumably this reflects evaporating optimism in the few years since the series began. De Rast’s The King of Calcutta is at least imaginable and fun, but I much prefer the two stories which grip through realism, giving a convincing sense of the complications and tribulations, as well as the joys of budding Greek love affairs. These are Esser’s Sweet Sorrow and Bunda’s The Book of Moth. The other change is more fortunate, that the stories have tended to become longer, allowing for more developed plots.
6 The Pale Black, the World Servant, and the Voice of God / Robert Campbell
The bizarre story of a married American who has repressed his pederasty until, travelling in East Africa, he meets a black American boy of thirteen who has determined to be sodomised and whose Christian fundamentalist putative father gives him away.
33 Under Thirteen / Simon Tryst
A man’s brief, lyrical and highly erotic description of his full love-making with a boy of twelve.
35 The Book of Moth / Jared Bunda
A camp counsellor’s emotionally evocative account of his developing love affair at a summer camp with a boy of twelve, addressed to the boy.
54 The King of Calcutta / Peter de Rast
Peter, an English pederast who runs an orphanage in India, sees a little armless boy being used for begging in Calcutta under the supervision of Shamsher, a beautiful boy of 14, and, with his sympathetic wife, acts to rescue them, causing uproar while he and Shamsher fall in love.
73 Android / Robert Campbell
Futuristic fantasy. Following the death of his woman Sunshine, McKensie is due an android as part of an insurance policy and, not planning sex, chooses a boy one aged 12. Jaacko, as he calls him soon changes his mind about sex, but when a real and sexually-demanding boy of 11 comes into his life, he has to learn through hard experience that Jaacko brings greater happiness.
86 Lower Than the Angels / Keith Spence
A short and realistic skit about a boy of 13 initially hostile to the author’s sexual interest, but whose reluctance proves superficial.
92 Sammy and my Bishop / Brock Andrews
Rural vicar Naseby risks his friendship with young Sammy by deciding it would be wiser to stop the spankings the boy had been enjoying, and nearly loses him when his boy-appreciating bishop pays a visit in a flash car.
99 Sweet Sorrow / Kevin Esser
An American come to Lisbon after enjoying weeks of easily-found boys in Morocco describes realistically over a few days of diary-like entries his liaison with a shoeshine boy of 12. The best story in this anthology, though the competition was not much.
118 A Prospect of Bliss / John Bishop
Strainedly humourous story set in a tropical country about a blasé boy of 15 whose aged foreign lover arranges for his apprenticeship to a married couple who individually avail themselves of his charms.
Contributed by Edmund Marlowe, 27 May 2021.