In trying to share my enthusiasm with some friends over the weekend, I found it really difficult to accurately convey the experience of reading The Bachelor Machine. It’s like watching the literary equivalent of a colossal train wreck, except it’s far more erotic and enjoyable . . . even if it does leave you burdened with the same feelings of voyeuristic guilt after the carnage clears.
Most erotic science fiction imagines a civilization on the rise, one where the latest gadgets and technologies are things of wonder and awe. The future is usually bright and shiny, full of sparkling chrome and unblemished porcelain, and surrounded by the blinking lights and electric hum of technological perfection. With The Bachelor Machine, M. Christian looks past that technological honeymoon, imagining instead a civilization on the decline. In his future, the gadgets are tarnished and broken, exposing the ugly legacy of humanity’s twisted desires through their own malfunctioning machinations.
Yet, for all that, they are truly incredible toys to behold . . . the kind of gadgets that make you wonder just how much of yourself you’d be willing to sacrifice for a taste of the temporary pleasures they can provide.
Having said all that, the experience of reading The Bachelor Machine is not just one of technological wonder or erotic arousal. It’s also one of confusion and uncertainty, of equal measures dread and desire. These are stories that lead you on, draw you in, and take rude liberties with your expectations. Yes, reading them is like watching an erotic train wreck, but it’s more than that – it’s like enjoying the impending wreckage from inside a luxury sedan that’s stuck on the tracks . . . and being far too enthralled to abandon your seat.