Saturday, June 30, 2012

Painted Doll, An Excerpt

In celebration of the re-release of my cyberpunk BDSM erotica novel, Painted Doll, here's an except...

Chapter 2

... Qui Dan Road to the High Street, a stumble of crisp British in a city of fish sauce and MSG. The change didn’t alter her steps, modify her movements.

Beautiful? Oh, yes: without doubt, without a question. The splendor of a rose, the loveliness of an orchid. The kimono is flawless, as is the china white of her immaculately applied artificial complexion. As she walks, hearts stop then race. As she walks, heads twist, eyes widen. As she walks, breaths are hissed in, sighed out.

Beautiful? Oh, yes: without doubt, without a question. But she is a knife-edged rose, a razor sharp orchid. Her stride is mechanically perfect, as is her perfectly vertical posture. Their hearts might race, their heads may twist, their eyes certainly widen, their breaths absolutely hiss in and hiss out, but as she steps nearer they instead step back. As she walks, they avert their eyes. As she walks, they pull themselves in.

The woman walking down the High Street feels them watching her, their glances furtive tickles, their quick stares barely felt hooks out of the corners of her always forward facing eyes. Passing a bookseller – tight fans of rough tan paper with lurid Cantonese chops on their glistening plastic covers hung in sagging arcs of cord – a reflection was revealed to her, a caught sight of what they were seeing.

But not what they were thinking. But she knew, nevertheless: each of them lost in illusions and fantasies as carefully crafted as her rouge, as flawlessly presented as the mae migoro and ushiro migoro of her kimono, as immaculately assembled as her performance:

She’s a dragon, some might think: the cruelty of a reptile, the flawlessness of a myth. You may approach her, with bravery beyond that of any battlefield, speaking with a stammer and a twitch, and if you were fortunate beyond your worth she’d slow, pause, turn with prudently measured grace, deeming your presence not completely disgusting. With that look, at that glance, would be a flickering forked tongue of cruel invitation, a scintillating promise of peaked breasts topped with fist-tight nipples, a belly steel plate flat and firm, a behind curving out in twin clenches of muscular intensity, thighs sculpted by rigid posture, and between them a scented valley of ruby silk.

But first, a miniscule task. But first, an all but insignificant request: to firmly stand guard for her honor and dignity; to fetch a inestimable gem, an incalculable jewel, or just a unexceptional sticky-sweet pastry; to perform for her a melody of praise, or a stammering litany of desperate worth; or a quick athletic demonstration of physical merit; or become for her an avenging knight, a battle to defend her honor against some heinous offense.

A minuscule task. An insignificant request. Accepted without doubt or hesitation, the reward a slow curl at the corner of her cold stone face, a bow of gratitude, and a bright flash of serpentine green eyes. Totally entranced by her, completely captured by her, the dragon would then reveal the metaphorical points of venomous teeth, sinking the illusion of her love deep into the shaft of your encouraged penis by showing you the true face of her cruelty.

The prize was yours but the tasks were actually anything but miniscule, not at all insignificant: firmly stand guard for her honor and dignity – for a year; fetch a inestimable gem, an incalculable jewel, or just a unexceptional sticky-sweet pastry – from a thousand miles away; perform for her a melody of praise, or a stammering litany of desperate worth – perfectly, without the tiniest flaw; a quick athletic demonstration of physical merit – unattainable by even the greatest athlete; or become for her an avenging knight, a battle to defend her honor against some heinous offense – in combat against a killing machine.

And so the dragon passes by, a smile on her cold-blooded face. No one approaches her, no one is willing to come near. And so they live, by letting her just walk by.

She’s a doll, some might think: a porcelain figure, an ivory representation. Beneath the silks and satins would be a body as perfect as only a master artisan could create. Breasts both delicate and womanly, nipples as delicate as rosebuds, a belly with an ideal swell, hands with the grace of ten Noh performers, calves a perfect taper, thighs an entrancing form, back a clean surface of alabaster, neck a musical curve, feet delicate and precious, a behind highlighted with sacral dimples, and a female cleft that was a pale oyster and a tiny pink pearl.

Like a doll, she would belong to whoever buys her. Cash, credit, merchandise – the right amount and the woman would instead walk behind, following her owner towards palace or hovel, both with the same unmoving mask of her face.

Palace or hovel, she would walk in the door, standing still and quiet with an item’s posture. Maybe she’d look better in the living room window, where the afternoon would bathe her in golden light? Or perhaps she’d be better exhibited in the bedroom, where her kimono could be removed like one from a real woman.

Yes, the bedroom. That was where she would be best displayed. Moving past, it was clear in their eyes, the allure of her perfect submission. A thing. An object. A piece of feminine sculpture. Unable to disagree, unable to refuse, bendable in all kinds of imaginative ways. From behind, cock sliding between her cool ivory cheeks. Face to face, marble breasts for unimpeded kiss, licks, and sucks. On top, her tight thighs spread apart and welcoming upward thrusts. Anything you wanted, anytime you wanted.

Desire was a rippling wave behind her, a heat distortion in the warm city air. It was obvious in their eyes that there, in her, was a world without ‘no,’ a land without complaint, a woman without a soul.

Then they stopped, that wave of erections and licked dry lips chilled with a slap of frigid revelation. Stepping back with the rest of the crowd, these men retreated from the precise rhythm of her steps, with whimpering fear in their wide eyes, their shaking heads.

Ivory arms, marble legs, alabaster body: inflexible, unfeeling, stiff, unbending, unyielding, and -- worst of all -- cold. With her you’d never hear ‘no,’ never be refused, never be denied, but you’d also never hear the beat of her heart, the music of her voice, the chimes of her laughter, the moans and screams of her pleasure. You’d perform with her your deepest, darkest, most subterranean – and all she would do would be to look at you with inscrutably glass eyes.

She’s a tiger, some might think: a beast with the stripes of a traditional Japanese dress. Hidden beneath her Asian camouflage was a woman’s body, exercised into an extension of her erotic drive. Where other women had euphemisms and poetic alliterations, she had simple, direct, and powerful words to describe herself. Where other women had bosoms, she had tits of ideal jiggle and sway, covered in thrilling smooth skin. Where other women had nipples, she had a pair of dark brown direct connections to her clit. Where other women had posteriors, she had two plush muscular globes that clenched and released with the beating heat of her clit. Where other women had sexes, she had a demanding, insistent cunt.

To see and handle these differences would be more fortune than seduction. You did not take the tiger to dinner and slip hot words between dessert and coffee. You did not lay flowers at the feet of this hot blooded woman within the cool disguise of a geisha. You did not whisper poetry into the shell-like ear of this elegantly robed bitch.

There was no way to make her do anything, no way to slyly allure or simply trick her into a private room, no way to seduce her. The only thing anyone could do was to stand within the range of that sweeping predatory glance and hope that her eyes would positively estimate your worth as a device for her pleasure. Then, and only then, would her red-painted lips open ever-so, more than a whisper but less than full voice, and speak the one word you’d prayed to hear: “Come.”

Behind her, pulled along by her insatiable need, you would follow. It wouldn’t be a long journey, for her cunt has a very short attention span. Cheap hotel on the next street, expensive one even closer by, or just the nearest fetid and slimy alley – whatever was within range.

Patience was for ladies. Hesitation was for women. Tigers – even ones hidden within silks and satins – had no need for foreplay, patience, or hesitation. They wanted, so they took.

And if you were lucky, she would take you. Hands down to your cock, a squeezing judgment for size and firmness. Lips to yours, a tongue penetrating your mouth, am attacking kiss wanting nothing of you but to be kindling to her roaring heat.

On her knees, she would take you. But only because that was what she wanted. Your come was not expected or important. A flesh device to penetrate an orifice, you would be used until she was bored and ready to move onto other penetrations of other orifices.

Or perhaps she’d require something else. Falling back, satin fabric pulled roughly aside, she might bare an insistent slickness, the gleaming lips and fast-beating clit, and demand your service. Failure to accept or in performance too terrible to contemplate.

At the end, your cock would be needed: hard, strong, and fast -- nothing else important to her. Burning hot, insanely wet, you’d enter and execute the task she’d ordered, working until her screams tore at your ears and her nails scratched along your back.

Then that would be it. Humiliating? Being reduced to only a device for someone’s pleasure usually is. But the blistering heat of her, the ferocious need of her cunt would put – and keep – a smile on your sweaty face.

But – and again men standing step back, retreat in shivering dread when she walks back – one does not ever tame a tiger, even after it is fed. Who knows what she might hunger for after? Meat, blood, flesh, dignity, any number of horrible violations – any of them within her grasp, and you too exhausted to resist.

Tigers are wild things, after all: enjoyable to watch in zoos, penned behind restraining bars, but far too bloodthirsty in bed.

She’s a machine, some might think: isn’t it wonderful what they’re doing with shape memory alloys, mnemetic plastics, optical fibers, and conductive polymers? Absolutely wonderful things coming out of Japan, India, the Wilding, and the young turks of the École Polytechnique, these days. Look up and there are dragonfliers pausing for location fixes before darting off at near-invisible speeds, packages clutched under their iridescent fuselages. Look down and there are myriad scurrying mechanisms trailing polished tracks of perfumed cleanliness through the city’s persistent grime. Look around and there are cinematics lazily scrolling across a lady’s fluttering fan, posters for the newest Malasian blockbuster cycling through tantalizing glimpses of furious martial arts and stiffly chaste duets, the hushed commuting fuel-cell and ethanol traffic, and the softly creaking carbon fibers of a prosthetic hand on a crumble-faced veteran of the Chinese genocide as he lays down a mah-jongg tile.

Look at her and you might see a device as carefully machined as a German car, a Swiss watch, a Japanese entertainment center, Indian software, or an African running shoe: breasts as ideal and resilient as silicone, skin of perfectly cured plastic, muscles as precise and strong as actuators, a genital-pleasuring interface between her thighs, a mouth with the same technology.

It was a safe bet that without her protective kimono covering, the pseudo-body of hers was as superlative as a supermodel, as sensuous as a Playmate of whatever month, as adept as an amalgamation of every courtesan who’d ever lived, as refined and machined as her manufacturers could make her.

Movement like the architecture in fine software, presence as authoritative as graceful as a jet fighter, skin as smooth as the polish on a fresh-from-the-factory-floor Ferrari, she passed by – and with her passing the tracking of lust and greed in the eyes of the male crowd, and sour envy on the faces of everyone else.

Here was the best of both of a man’s world: the twin allures of a clever device together with a well-articulated woman – or, to be more specific, as those men revealed so obviously, ‘coupled’ together, a mating between flesh and sex and advanced technology and power. Purchasing this – or simply leasing with an option to do the same – and putting it in the garage or the bedroom, would mean not just a product but also a woman of every dream, not just a sex partner but also a sophisticated piece of fine engineering.

But that wasn’t all. Look at them watching her move by. Lust was there, both for machine as well as woman, but there was also the dawning realization that there could be even more there: things that squeezed, buzzed, vibrated, hummed, heated, cooled, swirled, oscillated, tingled, and more, more, more so much more.

But then they pulled away, out of her way, out of her traffic, their fantasies dropping behind to be passed by the rushing acceleration of a nightmare, the barreling truck of a terrifying understanding.

Engineering, went their minds as they retreated, is fine and good, stimulating and thrilling. Sex, they thought as they ran away from her, is fantastic and wonderful. But to fuck a machine, to be intimate with gears and cogs, synthetics and electricity, hydraulics and radiators, could be good, but also could be like thrusting into a meshing, tearing, burning, shocking, scalding, blistering industrial accident.

What Lives On My Desk

Friday, June 29, 2012

How To Wonderfully WriteSex (18)

Check it out: my new post at the fantastic WriteSex site just went up. Here's a tease (for the rest you'll have to go to the site):
Back in the ‘good old days’ of smut – when pornographers had to haul their steaming piles of sexually explicit materials up four and five flights of stairs – a certain writer with a gleam of sexy potential in his mesmerizing green eyes … okay, I mean me … wrote a column for the fantastic Adrienne at Erotica Readers & Writers called “Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker.” 
Now one of the things I did was part of being a Streetwalker that really took off was a little series I did called “The Four Deadly Sins:” a playful examination of the things that smut writers could do but that could – to put it mildly – make their work a tough sell. The very same “sins” I’ve been posting here on WriteSex. 
Fast forward a … decade?! Sigh. Anyway, I had to put aside my Streetwalker days for other things but that little verboten list has always been by my side, especially since I’m now an Associate Publisher for the wonderful Renaissance Books (which includes Sizzler Editions, our erotica line). By the way [COMMERCIAL WARNING] my old columns are now in a dead-tree and ebook collection called How To Write And Sell Erotica [COMMERCIAL ENDS] 
The reason why those “sins” stay with me is because one of my Associate Publisher things is to consider books for publication – and still, today, erotica writers don’t seem to understand that while, sure, you can pretty much write whatever you want there are still some things that will more-than-likely keep your work from seeing the light of day. Just for the record, the four are underage (self-explanatory), beastiality (same), incest (ditto) and excessive violence (torture porn or nonconsensual sex). But I’m here to talk about a new one that’s popped up … or ‘pooped out’ to blow the joke.

The Frankenstein Penis

As you may have heard, an anthology I edited was just released by the great folks at Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions (called, by the way, The Love That Never Dies: Erotic Encounters With The Undead) featuring some truly remarkable stories of ... well, as the description says:
Thousands of books have been written about love and sex between humans and werewolves, vampires, aliens, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures. But, what about the real, honest, and alluringly bizarre world of the undead.  Not just zombies - though a few are stumbling through this anthology - not just the once-alive - but also the differently-living?  In these pages you'll discover things shambling out of tombs, existing on whole new plains of existence, and more.  In the hands, and minds, of these deeply talented and wonderful writers nothing will be quite what it appears. Buckle yourself in and get ready for a ride will of unexpected twists and turns, where your libido and desires may go in one direction while your brain - screaming all the time "No no no no no no!" - goes the opposite.  Including stories from erotic writing celebrities like Laura Antoniou, Nobilis Reed, Jay Lawrence, Billierosie, PM White, Ralph Greco, Jr. - and science fiction/horror stars such as Jean Marie Stine, Ernest Hogan and Chris Devito! 
And, speaking of Ernest Hogan - who is a great, great guy as well as a fantastic writer - recently put up a very fun post about his submission, "The Frankenstein Penis" on his blog.  Here's a tease:
Just when you thought is was safe to read again, it's baaaaaaaack! 
I'm talking about my most infamous story, The Frankenstein Penis, once again available for sale in the anthology Love That Never Dies: Erotic Encounters With the Undeadeditied by M. Christian. It's an ebook, and a paperback is in the works! 
This is probably a good time for me explain why I wrote such a bizarre story. Fortunately, I've done it before here at Mondo Ernesto. The saga ofthe story can be found in And the Great Penis Rip-Off Goes On, and I discuss the two student films – and have links to them so you can watch them online – in The Frankenstein Penis: The Movie(s), and More.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My New Home

(via asylumseaker)
Living off the Grid in BC: Clayoquot Sound. Floating house (yes, owned by one family) in the Freedom Cove, BC. Completely self-sustaining. 

YNOT: The Smutty Hoax that Rocked the ’60s

As some of you might know - in addition to being the debonair, man-about-town, that I am - I'm also an Associate Editor for the adult entertainment site YNOT (who are wonderful folks, btw) - and here's a brand new one: a great little piece on the (ahem) infamous book Naked Came The Stranger....

Ah, the 1960s — or, to be more precise, the end of that decade: 1969. Richard Nixon was President of the U.S., the Beatles gave their last public performance, the Stonewall riots provided a rallying cry for gay-rights activists, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was born and.… Oh, yeah — man landed on the moon.  
During this frenzy of great achievement, an odd thing happened in the world of publishing. At the time, erotica was dominated by — to be polite — less-than-literary (or, for that matter, literate) fiction by writers like Jacqueline Susann (Valley of the Dolls) and Harold Robbins (The Betsy, The Carpetbaggers). But in 1969, a new star eclipsed the established firmament.  
Naked Came the Stranger by Penelope Ashe had it all: sex, sex, sex and even more sex. Sure it was badly written, but something about the novel caught readers’ imagination — more than likely all that sex, sex and more sex. Naked was the Fifty Shades of Grey of its day, skyrocketing up the sales charts until it spent a week on The New York Times Best-Seller List, the pinnacle of publishing success.  
But Naked Came the Stranger had what folks in the fiction-writing game call a backstory: a secret history to which readers were not clued in until late in the game. Penelope Ashe, you see, never existed. Naked was penned by a group of 24 professional journalists led by the redoubtable Mike McGrady of Newsday.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Those Mysterious Mima Mounds

The wonderful Bill Mills and the fantastic Jean Marie Stine of Renaissance/PageTurner Editions have just created a brand new Did You Know? in their video series promoting my new book, Welcome To Weirdsville!

And here, straight from the book, is the original article - a slightly different version than the one that originally appeared on the always-wonderful Dark Roasted Blend. Enjoy!


Scientists love a mystery.  Biologists used to have the human genome, but now they have the structure of protein.  Physics used to have cosmic rays, but now they have the God particle.  Astronomers used to have black holes, but now they have dark matter. 
And then there's the puzzle, the enigma, the joyous mystery that dots the world over: the riddle of what's commonly called Mima Mounds. 
What's an extra added bonus about these cryptic 'whatevertheyares' is that they aren't as miniscule as a protein sequence, aren't as subatomic as the elusive God particle, and certainly not as shadowy as dark matter.  Found in such exotic locales as Kenya, Mexico, Canada, Australia, China and in similarly off-the-beaten path locations as California, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and especially Washington state, the mounds first appear to be just that: mounds of earth.
The first thing that's odd about the mounds is the similarity, regardless of location. With few differences, the mounds in Kenya are like the mounds in Mexico which are like the mounds in Canada which are like the ... well, you get the point.  All the mounds aer heaps of soil from three to six feet tall, often laid out in what appear to be evenly spaced rows.  Not quite geometric but almost.  What's especially disturbing is that geologists, anthropologists, professors, and doctors of all kinds – plus a few well-intentioned self-appointed "experts" – can't figure out what they are, where they came from, or what caused them.
One of the leading theories is that they are man-made, probably by indigenous people.  Sounds reasonable, no?  Folks in loincloths hauling dirt in woven baskets, meticulously making mound after mound after ... but wait a minute.  For one thing it would have been a huge amount of work, especially for a culture that was living hand-to-mouth.  Then there's the fact that, as far as can be determined, there's nothing in the mounds themselves.  Sure they aren't exactly the same as the nearby ground, but they certainly don't contain grain, pot shards, relics, mummies, arrowheads, or anything that really speaks of civilization.  They are just dirt. And if they are man-made, how did the people in Kenya, Mexico, Canada, Australia, China, California, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and especially Washington state all coordinate their efforts so closely as to produce virtually identical mounds?  That's either one huge tribe or a lot of little ones who somehow could send smoke signals thousands of miles. 
Not very likely.
Next on the list of explanations is that somehow the mounds were created either by wind and rain or by geologic ups and downs – that there's some kind of bizarre earthy effect that has caused them to pop up.  Again, it sounds reasonable, right?  After all, there are all kinds of weird natural things out there: rogue waves, singing sand, exploding lakes, rains of fish and frogs – so why shouldn't mother nature create field after field of neat little mounds? 
The "natural" theory of nature being responsible for the Majorly Mysterious Mima Mounds starts to crumble upon further investigation.  Sure there's plenty of things we don't yet understand about how our native world behaves scientists do know enough to be able to say what it can't do – and it's looking pretty certain it can't be as precise, orderly, or meticulous as the mounds.
But still more theories persist.  For many who believe in ley lines, that crop circles are some form of manifestation of our collective unconscious, in ghosts being energy impressions left in stone and brick, the mounds are the same, or at least similar: the result of an interaction between forces we as yet do not understand, or never will, and our spaceship earth.
Others, those who prefer their granola slightly less crunchy or wear their tinfoil hats a little less tightly, have suggested what I – in my own ill-educated opinion – consider to be perhaps the best theory to date.  Some, naturally, have dismissed this concept out-of-hand, suggesting that the whole idea is too ludicrous even to be the subject of a dinner party, let alone deserving the attention and respect of serious research.
But I think this attitude shows not only lack of respect but a lack of imagination.  After all, was it not so long ago that the idea of shifting continents was considered outrageous?  And wasn't it only a few years ago that people simply accepted the fact that the sun revolved around the earth?  I simply ask that this theory be considered in all fairness and not dismissed without the same serious consideration these now well-respected theories have received.
After all, giant gophers could very well be responsible for the Majorly Mysterious Mima Mounds

YNOT: A Shout or a Whisper

As some of you might know - in addition to being the debonair, man-about-town, that I am - I'm also an Associate Editor for the adult entertainment site YNOT (who are wonderful folks, btw) - and here's a brand new one: an interview Sherry Ziegelmeyer and Jay Moyes come in. The owners and operators of Black and Blue Media

YNOT – Let's face it: No business, adult or otherwise, can make a dime if no one knows it exists. This is why it's important to listen to people who know what it takes to take an enterprise from obscurity to popularity, especially in these days when social media distracts and anyone can call himself a marketing guru.

That’s where Sherry Ziegelmeyer and Jay Moyes come in. The owners and operators of Black and Blue Media, Moyes and Ziegelmeyer operate quietly behind the scenes of several well-known companies and individuals — companies and individuals they’ve helped transform from unknowns into household names.

Never heard of Black and Blue? There's a reason for that. The company has been around since 2004, but Ziegelmeyer and Moyes cling to an odd notion that what they do is about their clients, not about them. Consequently, you’ve probably seen more evidence of their work than you realize. 


Okay, okay, I admit it: Me (the immovable object) finally have surrendered to Facebook (the irresistible force).  You can fins my "personal" page here, though I prefer it if people 'like' and follow my author's page.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Queen Of Sin!

And since you can never talk about the Hellfire Club without at least mentioning Diana Rigg's (ahem) memorable appearance in The Avengers episode "A Touch of Brimstone" - which was about a modern reincarnation of the club - as The Queen Of Sin!


Since the wonderful Bill Mills and the fantastic Jean Marie Stine of Renaissance/PageTurner Editions were so wonderful to create the Did You Know? video series to promote my new book, Welcome To Weirdsville, I thought the least I could do was share my article about the Hellfire Club from the book ... so here it is. Enjoy!


History has not been kind to them.  If you can even find references to their Brotherhood it's usually shaded with Christian hysteria, whispered tales loaded with the usual Catholic shockers of Satanism, sacrifice, the black mass, rituals – you name it.  They say that the winners write the history books – well, I consider it a bad sign that it takes a lot of digging to uncover the truth: while they haven't won they certainly have a good enough foothold to pretty badly taint the memory of the Amorous Knights of Wycombe.
Even if you travel to their later meeting place, the sleepy little hamlet of West Wycombe, the locals spout the nonsense – telling tales laced with those Christian bogeymen images: hooded figures droning a litany of forbidden words while a naked offering is laid out on cold granite, awaiting the ritual blade in the hands of a Satanic Priest. 
While the truth about the membership of the Monks of Medmenham, and later the Amorous Knights of Wycombe, isn't as – well – Hammer Films material, the tale of its founding, membership, and rites is fascinating.
Oh, to be in England in the 1760s.  The Colonies were behaving themselves, the Great British Empire was just that, and everyone – so it seemed – belonged to a club.  There was one for just about every class, interest, or occupation: The Lying Club, where the truth was banned; the Ugly Club where the qualifications for membership were unhandsome, at best; the Golden Fleece where members took on such names as Sir Boozy Prate-All, Sir Whore-Hunter, and Sir Ollie-Mollie. 
Then there was the Monks of Medmenham Abbey.  Meeting clandestinely on a spot of land somewhere along the Thames near London, this circle of Gentlemen came to typify the age, the era of the Great English Clubs. 
Sir Francis Dashwood is one of my heroes – roguish, yet always the stalwart Gentleman; a prankster and jape, yet the author of the Book of Common Prayer – Sir Francis was the center and guiding force behind the very special club, the one later to be known by the misnomer, the Hellfire Club. 
Born in 1708, and an indirect descendent of Milton ("tis better to rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven"), Sir Francis was a great supporter of reforms as well as artistic advances.  His estate at West Wycombe became an example progressive architectural design and intelligent land management.  He was elected an MP 1762, in appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer the following year – and then the year after that elevated to the House of Lords.  To add to these wonderful accomplishments, in 1766 (under Pitt) Dashwood was appointed Postmaster-General.  Sir Francis, you see, was a man of accomplishment, of intelligence, ability, and – most certainly – wit.
Oh yes, for while Sir Francis was elevating his way through Parliament, he also created, and pretty much single-handedly maintained, his own special club.  Unlike those other eccentric clubs of the time the Monks of Medmenham Abbey was a special organization – one dedicated to japing the Papists, providing a place where a gentleman of wit and sophistication might find a place to meet, drink, and – in general – raise a little hell.
The Monks certainly did that.  First at their hidden little island, set inside a false ruin of an old Abbey, they met – clandestine greetings across the cool waters of the Thames, lanterns and torches lighting the way, the Monk-robed members gathering together to eat, drink, share amusing anecdotes and fuck like bunnies.
While there were definitely intellectual intercourse at those meetings of the Monks of Medmenham Abbey, it was rather plain-old-simple intercourse that kept them coming back.  After 1763, when the cloaked and torch-bearing Monks had attracted some undue attention, they moved local to Dashwood's own estate in West Wycombe – where the Lord de Despencer had constructed a veritable erotic, playful interpretation of Hades on – and under – Earth.
The hills around West Wycombe are soft chalk, ideal for tunneling – and that's just what Sir Francis did.  With his artistic and architectural eye he created a veritable maze of tunnels, underground rivers, chambers and gardens on his property, decorated with elaborate erotic sculptures, teasing portraits of the Knights of Wycombe (such as depicting Sir Francis with halo), and many small chambers for intercourse of both kinds.  It was at Wycombe that the real Hellfire club began, a festive playground where the political, artistic, and intellectual elite of England met – engaging in dalliances with some of the most famous of London prostitutes.  My favorite little jape of the society is that while it is pretty much incontrovertible that Ladies-of-Rentable-Virtue were present, it is also believed that – since both 'Monks' and 'Nuns' wore veils or masks, and identities kept very secret – lovers, wives, sisters, and daughters of other members were also there.
Now before you imagine (you filthy creature you!), English artists and intellectuals running around in a white-wig version of Porky's, let me reassure you that while Eros was a major focus of the Knights, it was handled with grace and dignity – the Nuns could refuse any offer, or accept any offer, as they saw fit.  It was a place of playful perversity, where free-thinkers could gather together to titter and mock the oppressive Jacobites and their domineering Pope.  Rituals were held, yes, but with all the seriousness of rowdy jesters. 
And what jesters they were – and this is what elevated the Amorous Knights of Wycombe to memorable heights.  I've told you of Sir Francis, peer by day, Monk by night, but the other members – particularly the inner circle – shine with their own randy double-lives.  Just listen to this litany of the famous and infamous who all took part in the elaborate games and fanciful parties in and under West Wycombe hill: The Earl of Sandwich (for whom the food was named), First Lord of the Admiralty; Thomas Potter, Paymaster-General, Treasurer for Ireland and son of the Archbishop of Canterbury; John Wilkes, MP, and Lord Mayor of London; Frederick, the Prince of Wales; Horace Walpole, Politician and author; Edmund Duffield and Timothy Shaw, the Vicars of Medmenham; Chevalier D'Eon de Beaumont, French diplomat; and – even possibly – our own bawdy intellectual, Benjamin Franklin.  In addition to these noteworthies, West Wycombe also admitted the well-spoken rake or two, and some famous artists such as Giuseppe Borgnis, and Robert Lloyd.
Alas, nothing is forever – the tide turned, and when the now-Papal friendly popular opinion discovered the existence of our festive Monks, the scandal almost brought down the government with them.  Even its own sense of nasty jape seem to have had a hand in the club's fading.  During one particularly intense mock black mass, ever-the-rogue John Wilkes took an ape, affixed it with a devil mask and released it during the service.  The outrage was wonderfully hysterical – though telling that the Earl of Sandwich (said by many to be very ugly, and very ugly tempered) was said to have fallen to his knees and said, "Spare me, gracious devil.  I am as yet but half a sinner.  I never have been so wicked as I pretended!"
The last meeting took place in 1762, shaken by scandal, internal conflicts, the Monks simply fell apart.  The caves fell into disrepair after the death of Dashwood, and soon the horror stories of the evil rites held there had hidden the truth; that it was once the festive and mocking domain of the Amorous Knights.
On a closing note, I have to relate one of my favorite events during the later part of the society.  In a bitter hypocrisy after the foundering of the club, that disreputable Earl of Sandwich had the notorious wit John Wilkes on the stand – in no doubt an act of revenge.  Proving himself beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was completely, utterly wicked, Sandwich belabored his previous fellow-monk until, in a fit of frustration at Wilke's calm and witty rejoinders proclaimed, "Sir, you will either die on the gallows, or by the pox!"
To which, in a perfect closing to this tale of elegant mischief, Wilkes responded, without batting an eye: "That depends, Sir, on whether I embrace your principals – or your mistress."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Yet More Philosophy


Weirdsville Love -

I can't ever say it enough: I have some truly incredible friends: just check out this post by dear friend, Ralph Greco, Jr., over at the Von Gutenberg site about my new book Welcome to Weirdsville:

Well-known writer, part-time rapscallion and full-time great friend of us all here at Von Gutenberg, M. Christian sees not only the release of his new Welcome To Weirdsville from Renaissance E Books/PageTurner Editions but also a five part video series connected with it called Did You Know? (see it here) written Renaissance publisher Jean Marie Stine and produced by media master, Bill Mills. 
Prolific scribe that he is (the guy has 400 stories published in anthologies alone!) we know M. Christian’s ability to not only turn a phrase but to unearth some of the most interesting tidbits on a subject, as he does in the non-fiction pieces he has penned for us and in WTW you’ll find more of the same as we learn about a noble Word War 1 German pirate, the City of Fire, the giggling genius of Brian G. Hughes, The Antikythera Device and much much more. 
Knowing the diabolical naughty mind of M. Christian as we do there are also quite a few forays into things kinky in this book (read his excerpt about the Hellfire Club here) 
Welcome To Weirdsville is a must for any student, devotes or those of us with a passing interest in marquis weirdness written about with unmatched aplomb. 
You can check M. Christian out here: and get the book here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Did You Know? Weird Facts #1: The Hellfire Club

I am ... speechless. This is just so damned cool: as a very special celebration of the release of my book Welcome to Weirdsville, Renaissance E Books/PageTurner Editions presenting a five part series Did You Know? written by our publisher Jean Marie Stine and produced by by our resident magnificent media master, and great guy, Bill Mills.

The first one, on the Hellfire Club, which I wrote about here, just went up.

"A wonderful compendium of interesting subjects and fascinating topics. Will keep you reading just to found out what's going to be covered next. Highly recommended for all lovers of weird & wonderful this side of the Universe." -Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.  
Peek under the rugs, open more than a few drawers, peek in the back shelves and you'll find that ... well, Lord Byron himself said it best: "Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction." Lakes that explode, parasites that can literally change your mind, The New Motor, a noble Word War 1 German pirate, the odd nature of ducks, the War Magician, the City of Fire, men and their too big guns, a few misplaces nuclear weapons, an iceberg aircraft carrier, the sad death of Big Mary, the all-consuming hunger of the Bucklands, the giggling genius of Brian G. Hughes, the Kashasha laughter epidemic.... Ponder that in a world that holds things like kudzu, ophiocordyceps unilateralis, The Antikythera Device, The Yellow Kid, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, Alfred Jarry, Joseph Pujol, and suicide-bombing ants ... who knows what other kinds of wonders as well as horrors may be out there?
Welcome to Weirdsville 
M. Christian
PageTurner Editions
183 Pages
Available where all ebooks are found 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rainbow Reviews Likes Painted Doll!

Rainbow Reviews:
The first thing that stuck me about Painted Doll was the very mannered, structured and layered language; clause upon clause of dense evocative phrasing which could serve to push readers away, but instead drew me deeper into Domino's world. The effect is a little like standing on a beach with the waves of a rising tide lapping at your toes until you're standing calf deep without really having made the decision to get wet. 
The chaotic, dystopic future in which Painted Doll is set is expertly sketched amongst this layered detail. It is sufficiently fully realized to be concrete and real; sufficiently impressionistic to leave me with intriguing questions. I suspect the Ecole Polytechnique's creature may not be an obvious choice for a sequel, but the glimpses we're given into his/its mind really grabbed me. 
This rich, layered language also heightens the erotic scenes in the novel - both the artificial professional sessions, where Domino wields distilled emotions without so much as touching one finger to her male clients, and in the more innocent and earthy remembered sex she shared with her female lover, Flower. 
It must be admitted that the story is let down by some poor proofreading, which has let assorted typos, missing words, and formatting problems mar the text. This is a real shame as other details - the choice of title font, and the fans used as section breaks, for example - were so spot on. At the same time, there's more het sex and male-gaze than I was expecting from the back-cover blurb.
That said, the only element of the story itself that left me unsatisfied is that I am still, after two readings, unsure if the moment when Claire miss-steps, bringing the action to its climax, is meant to signal extremely strongly her fear and confusion, or if I have miss-interpreted how Domino's neuroscopic art works. I suspect the flaw may be mine. 
As a fan of the epistolary novel, it was an unexpected joy to find this vein of letter-based story telling running through this cyberpunk thriller. Although we never meet Flower directly, her character and her voice shines through. We only get to see the first flush of their love affair through the cracks in the masks of Domino's new life, but I could still see why they would fall in love, why it was worth risking so much to be together, which means that what happens to Flower as the story comes to an end really hits home. 
This isn't an easy romance, either in its plot or the reading experience, but it is a very strong, compelling story which drew me in, and which I will remember for some time. M. Christian masterfully slides between the different parts of Domino/Claire's identity, building and revealing the world, the character, the conflict at the heart of the story, and it's a grand ride.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Another Reminder - GLBT Live Chats with the Pros At The Erotica Readers & Writers Association!

GLBT erotica is a genre to be reckoned with, and The Erotica Readers and Writers Association will help interested authors with two GLBT Live Chats with the Pros: Delilah Devlin and M. Christian will be on hand to answer questions, offer advice, and exchange ideas with authors of GLBT erotica. Whether you're penning your first gay fiction, or are a spicy-seasoned pro, don't miss this opportunity.

M. Christian, associate publisher for Renaissance E Books (which includes Sizzler Editions), is an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, and Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica. If you want to know what GLBT editors want (and don't want) and how to make your submissions stand out, M. Christian will be happy to answer your questions.
Read more about M. Christian at

ERWA chats are held on the ShadowWorld chat server, channel#erachat.

(Follow the link above. On screen you'll see 'Connect to ShadowWorld IRC'. In the Nickname box, key in your name. Leave the channels box at #ERAChat, and click 'Connect'. A chat text box will appear at the bottom of your screen)

Just A Reminder - The Bachelor Machine

- that my acclaimed collection of science fiction erotica, The Bachelor Machine, is still available. Here's what Locus had to say about it:

In the 1980s, I read an article about some noted visionaries of the bold future of virtual reality. The visionaries uniformly denied that virtual sex would be a factor in this brave new technology. Apparently the visionaries hadn't noticed that several existing technologies were significantly subsidized by sex, among them the phone companies (by 900 numbers), Big Pharma (by The Pill), and the new videotape industry (by X-rated sales and rentals). Here in the Twenty-First Century, though we're still waiting for VR, phone companies enjoy the additional subsidy of surfers seeking X-rated websites, penile implants and Viagra keep multinational medical companies big in the stock market, and video stores add X-rated DVDs. 
SF authors are bolder, or maybe just less blind, than the VR visionaries; they routinely incorporate varieties of cybersex in their fiction. But SF authors rarely center plot and theme on sex, and the professional and semiprofessional SF magazines rarely publish speculative sex stories. Yet the enormous sexual changes of the last few years, both trivial (porn spam) and profound (legalized gay/lesbian marriage in Canada), demand more SF exploration of the subject. Fortunately, on the small-press margins of SF, at the border shared with the erotica genre, a few writers are speculating intelligently and imaginatively about the future of sex. Among the best-known and best of the erotic-SF writers is M. Christian.

The stories in his new collection, The Bachelor Machine, pass the litmus tests of both the SF and erotica genres. Take out the tech and there's no story; take out the sex and there's no story. This description may lead those unfamiliar with SF erotica to suspect that every story is about getting off with the aid of futuristic technologies, and that's true as far as it goes. But that's not going nearly far enough.

The stories in The Bachelor Machine are not about sex, though they're stuffed with sexual acts; the stories are about what sex means. M. Christian is writing about the psychology of being human, and he often does so by exploring sexual possibilities and realities that are rarely discussed, even in private conversation. He not only thinks forbidden thoughts, he extrapolates them in the finest SF fashion.

The aptly named "Technophile" pushes technofetishism to the ultimate as it explicates an idea most authors (especially male authors) would never imagine, let alone write about. To put it bluntly, "Technophile" eroticizes castration. A character has his penis cut off and replaced with the top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art "Long Thrust." Another character wants to lose his virginity to the technological phallus, which he sees as hotter and better than the old-fashion flesh kind. But the cutting-edge implant needs a recharge and remains limp throughout the encounter, a bitter irony. 
In the decaying post-industrial future of "Winged Memory", Dusk does something most people couldn't imagine, and would find horrifying if they did: he sells (and loses) his memory of losing his virginity. He does this to buy thirty minutes with a prostitute "walking the street, eyes available red." To have her again, Dusk keeps selling memories, until he doesn't know who he is, or who this woman is that he inexplicably wants.  
The stories "Bluebelle" and "Skin-Effect" break taboo by making explicit the sexual undercurrents of the savagery and killing in nearly every Hollywood cop and military action flick. 
In "Guernica", several individuals meet secretly in a basement to enjoy sex acts outlawed by a repressive Twenty-First-Century government. Their practices, costumes, and toys deliberately, ironically, terrifyingly recreate the uniforms, actions, and tools of the cops who would arrest and punish — and kill — them. 
In "Butterflies", a hacker immersed in the full-sensory, Disney-perfect Glade of the Datasea finds herself assaulted — literally — by a flock of beautiful butterfly-sprites. I generally hate stories about rape/violation, yet Christian's skill, imagery, and insight kept me reading to the end... and I never felt violated by the story. It's an impressive achievement. 
In "Hackwork", Rosselyn Moss works for ExpressTaxi as a body that cyber-riders hire to carry their consciousness around New Orleans. They dictate her actions and, inevitably, drive her body into sexual encounters. One night, she is distressed to find herself whipping a beautiful young stranger — and even more distressed to discover the stranger loves it.

Like Rosselyn, the narrator of "Switch" is a rent girl. She isn't a taxi, but she may have an even more troubling job, for she never remembers who her clients were, or what they did to her. M. Christian travels deep into taboo territory by demonstrating that, for some, being so thoroughly controlled, so completely owned as to remember nothing, is the ultimate turn-on. 
In "Everything but the Smell of Lilies", Justine Moor is a whore with a deeply creepy specialty. She's been turned into "a hardwired dead girl, a chilling and stiffening hooker", dying over and over for money. If this bleeding-edge cyberpunk extrapolation isn't disturbing enough, Justine finds herself lying, a motionless but fully-conscious corpse, in an ambulance staffed by a necrophiliac. (In case it's not already abundantly clear, some stories in The Bachelor Machine are not intended to arouse.) 
Many of M. Christian's grittily urban stories are cyberpunk; "Heartbreaker" pushes the form to a logical extreme. When an undercover cop sets up the bust of an outlaw biohacker, the two women don't just have sex, they withdraw very special interface cables from inside themselves and connect them: "Linked, each hardwired into the other's genitals, mixed and matched, they surged and merged." 
In "Thin Dog", fans jack their minds into a full-sensory experience of what it's like to be superstar reactor-rock band Thin Dog. Members Johna, Paul, Georgina, and Jingo (ahem) play instruments that are nanotech implants woven through their bodies; playing includes on-"stage" couplings and quadruplings. 
Some stories not only share 1980s-cyberpunk's fascination with Japanese culture, but show the influence of "anime" (Japanese animation).  
In many ways, the woman and situation in "State" are ideal for anime. The prostitute Fields lives in Japan and earns her living by pretending to be an almost mythically superior Japanese-made sex android. Her masquerade must always achieve perfection — from biochemically lowered body temperature, to "incredibly durable bonding polymer" applied daily to every millimeter of flesh, to behavior in orgasm — because her clients must never suspect she's human.  
Not every story is cyberpunk. "The New Motor" is an amusing steampunk entertainment set in Paul Di Filippo territory. Nineteenth-Century spiritualist John Murray Spear has a vision of "the Association of Electricizers... spirits with a mechanical turn of mind," and begins proselytizing for the creation of "the Physical Savior of the Race... the New Motor!" This charismatic messiah for "a new Age of Man Through Machine" leads his followers to transcendentalist New England, where they settle in the conservative town of Lynn, Massachusetts. Seducing and neglecting a particularly fervent follower proves seer Spear is dangerously blind to certain human truths. 
The collection has some flaws. Some futures don't seem entirely plausible (a minor problem, and one hardly confined to the erotic-SF subgenre). A couple of stories are vague in their SFnal elements. I never quite figured out what "Bluebelle" was (a micro Death Star? a flying fembot? a round mecha?). It takes too long to learn what the futuristic technology is and does in "Eulogy". The endings of "Eulogy" and "Winged Memory" left me wondering just what was happening. And frustratingly, the book provides no copyright data, providing no information about if or when the stories were previously published.  
M. Christian's prose is strong and supple and sometimes lyrical. If you don't like naughty language or graphic descriptions of sex, you'd better steer clear of his work. But if you like smart, taboo-breaking SF, then read The Bachelor Machine
- Cynthia Ward

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

billierosie Likes The Love that Never Dies

This is very, very special: my pal, and a brilliant writer billierosie (who wrote the great Fetish Worshipjust penned this review of my new anthology The Love that Never Dies:

Finally. It’s here, and it is out NOW! “The Love that Never Dies”. The latest anthology of erotica, from the skilful editing of M.Christian. In this unique anthology, M.Christian takes us into the strange world of the undead. He knows what we like, does M.Christian. He knows what turns us on. He knows our dark secrets, dark desires. We yearn for those creatures that we can’t see and we can’t hear, but we have to acknowledge their presence. They taunt us, hurt us, make us bleed out our fear, and they are there, inside us and outside us. 
In “One Drop”, Laura Antoniou’s story, opens the anthology. Joyce and Rina have been lovers for years. They have been playing the same S&M games for what seems like centuries, to Joyce, and Joyce is bored. She feels guilt, that she is bored, but her psyche, is screaming for the sort of Domination that Rina seems incapable of giving. Then “My Lady”, makes an appearance. All it took was one drop of Joyce’s blood and a ravenous, cruel Dominant, fills Joyce with a terrifying, screaming fear. 
It is an excellent choice of story to open an anthology. Laura Antoniou, knows all about pace and rhythm; how to draw the reader in, that creeping up behind you tingle, that makes you stop reading for a second and glance over your shoulder. Did the curtain move just now, or was it just the breeze? Surely I closed the bedroom door? Was that a creaked I heard on the staircase -- third step from the top? The pulse rate increases and like all the best creepy tales, ends up with a startling twist. 
In “The Ghost in the Machine” Karen Taylor, gives a darker side of the Jewish psyche and traditions. The narrator of this beautifully crafted tale is a dybbuk, one of a group of souls hovering between the living and the dead. Being made into a dybbuk is a punishment for living an unworthy life. In life, dybbuks have been evil and malicious; in death, they are punished by a curse to hover as an essence, in an in between existence. Never moving on; it appears that there is no redemption for a dybbuk. A dybbuk can be called from his wretched, wispy existence, when a living being utters a curse upon a another person. It is the dybbuks’ duty to wreak havoc on the life of the recipient of the curse, and effectively fulfilling the curse. The dybbuk clings to the recipient until he is exorcised by a Rabbi.  
It is an intelligent tale, told with wit and intellect, but in such a matter of fact way, that the reader has that shifting uncomfortably; do dybbuks exist? Can someone really put a curse on you -- a curse so powerful, that it can wreak homes, marriages, lives? Yes they can, the piercing comment in the final sentence tells you.

Jay Lawrence’s contribution to the anthology is “Deliverance.” Here, we have one of those writers whose voice speaks the tale to the reader. We are sitting before a blazing fire, we are sleepy, as Jay’s voice tells us the story. “Deliverance” has the rhythm of a fairy tale; a quest story. And of course there is an erotic encounter. The sex scene is powerful enough to blow off the top of your head. Who would have thought that erotica could be compelling enough to be condensed to a few short paragraphs? And then there is the morning after. That awful feeling that you have done something so terrible, that your mind is frantically trying to erase it. Was it Rape? Buggery? Necrophilia? All three? A profound sin has been committed and you daren’t look back.

Sexy, sexy, sexy -- PM White composes prose like a musician composes music. PM White is an Offenbach, rather than a Grieg, leading the reader in so seductively to a safe place. But this place isn’t safe at all, like Orpheus’ trip to the underworld, PM White, slams you with erotica so powerful, that you are chasing your breath. Such is “Memory Man.”  
The moment when Tanya sees the Memory Man, is shocking, pure electricity. How do we know whom, or what is watching us, in our most private moments? Tanya questions her own sanity, when she not only sees the Memory Man, but hears his voice. It is a carefully crafted paragraph, worthy of Edgar Allan Poe, blending the forbidden, with the terrifying. 
The writer draws on our childhood fears; we know that there is something there, in our bedroom, watching us. The adults tells us to sleep, there is nothing there. As children, we know different. 
Tanya is a voyeur; so is the reader. We watch Tanya, as she watches the young, Hispanic couple, fucking each other, by moonlight in the swimming pool. The reader watches Tanya, as in a beautifully worked piece of writing, Tanya divests herself, like a burlesque dancer. We watch her masturbate into a lonely orgasm, with her thick vibrator. Thrust for thrust, Tanya synchronises her wet fucking, with the lovers in the swimming pool. 
Enter, the Memory Man; he is a voyeur too. Cruising, hotels and apartments, looking for folks getting off; either alone, or with multiple partners. The Memory Man’s inspiration is the orgasm. Passion is on his agenda. 
There’s the idea that stuff can happen in a place, usually a creepy house, or a smugglers inn, which is so powerful that somehow that the event replays over time, like an old VHS tape. That isn’t what PM White is talking about at all. His concept is that actual memories of an event, can have a manifestation, that is a thinking, feeling being. The being can’t be seen, or heard, so it is like a ghost, or how we all think of ghosts. But he is there, watching and growing stronger with each memory that he stores.

And what a treat -- a tale from the keyboard of M.Christian himself. It has been far too long! I have been starved, I am hungry for his tales. You see, I never know where M.Christian is going. He is an elusive writer and always when I think I have got him sussed, he surprises me! 
In “HORROR VACUI” M.Christian, gives us a protagonist whose whole existence is controlled by fear. A fear of his apartment, a fear of leaving his apartment, a fear of the open space outside, a fear of being unable to fill the empty space, what will happen to the empty space when he leaves it? It is that same crawling, slamming fear that makes me reach for the light switch, as I wake from a bad nightmare. Sweating, hot and cold clammy fear, clinging to my face. The protagonist in this frightening tale, is nihilistic. And that is what he is most fearful of, as his mind unravels. 
It is a tale of love and betrayal and death. A homeless man talks about it, and we don’t yet know what that “it” is. Or the roles that the players, have played. We learn the names of the lovers; Danny and Theresa. How perfect their love was, how they adored each other and then we learn the part that our protagonist played in their destruction.

He goes to a diner. It is just a short walk from his apartment, but it reads like an odyssey. You can feel him losing his grip on reality. The pace speeds up, like a cat frenetic, on amphetamine. His senses are confused. Is he really hearing things? Are the things he glimpses, real, or visions? Tastes, smells -- they shouldn’t be there, but they are. 
It is a tale of teetering on the edge of the precipice of madness. A Roderick Usher madness. The fear of madness. The fear of everything, and the fear of being nothing. A vision that Goya might have painted. The reader may never have been to those places, where everything is disconnected, but like the writer he is, M.Christian lifts the corner of the veil. We see, and we understand. 
“The Love that never dies is published by wonderful Sizzler, and will be available through Amazon very soon. There will also a printed version of the anthology later this year!
[Via Frequently Felt

Monday, June 11, 2012

Out Now: The Love That Never Dies: Erotic Encounters With The Undead By M. Christian

I am ... BRAINS ... very excited to announce ... BRAINS ... a brand new anthology from ... BRAINS ... Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions ... BRAINS...

Kidding aside I'm very happy to be able to announce the release of The Love That Never Dies: Erotic Encounters With The Undead.  Right now it's up on the Sizzler site but it should be available everywhere (ibooks, amazon, etc) in a week or two.

Thousands of books have been written about love and sex between humans and werewolves, vampires, aliens, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures. But, what about the real, honest, and alluringly bizarre world of the undead.  Not just zombies - though a few are stumbling through this anthology - not just the once-alive - but also the differently-living?  In these pages you'll discover things shambling out of tombs, existing on whole new plains of existence, and more.  In the hands, and minds, of these deeply talented and wonderful writers nothing will be quite what it appears. Buckle yourself in and get ready for a ride will of unexpected twists and turns, where your libido and desires may go in one direction while your brain - screaming all the time "No no no no no no!" - goes the opposite.  Including stories from erotic writing celebrities like Laura Antoniou, Nobilis Reed, Jay Lawrence, Billierosie, PM White, Ralph Greco, Jr. - and science fiction/horror stars such as Jean Marie Stine, Ernest Hogan and Chris Devito! 
One Drop By Laura Antoniou
Robber By Kannan Feng
Monster By
Vamps By Dominic Santi
Winnat's Pass By Billierosie
The Ghost In The Machine By Karen Taylor
Deliverance By Jay Lawrence
Memory Man By PM White
The Wolf Man And The Mule By Linda Watanabe Mcferrin
Between Despair And Ecstasy By Angelia Sparrow
The Man Who Visited Or Poor Brother Ed By Ralph Greco, Jr.
Ghost By Heather Towne
A Rock And A Hard Place By J. T. Seate
Alive She Cried By Chris Devito
Les Bon Temps By C. C. Williams
Only In Your Dreams By A. Leigh Jones
The Frankenstein Penis By Ernest Hogan
A Pearl Of Great Price By Jean Marie Stine
Horro Vacui By M. Christian

Confessions of A Literary Streetwalker: What Is Sex ... And How Much?

Check this out: I just wrote a brand new "Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker" piece for the always-great Erotica Readers & Writers site - all my previous columns, of course, have been collected in How To Write And Sell Erotica by Renaissance Books.  Here's a tease:

So let's ask the question: what is sex – especially what is sex when it comes to writing erotica? 

I will not begin with a dictionary definition ... I will not begin with a dictionary definition ... I will not begin with a dictionary definition ...

It's a very common misconception that erotica is supposed to turn the reader on ... or to be exact, that it is supposed to be written to turn the reader on. 

There's a huge problem with that, though: mainly that you, as a writer, have no idea what turns a reader on.  Even getting the cheat sheet of writing for a specific anthology there is no way you can possibly cover every permutation of that theme. 

Let's pick anal sex, just to be provocative: some people like anal sex people of the pure sensation receiving, or giving; while others have their desire mixed with domination or submission, etc., etc, etc.  Bottom line – sorry about that – you, as an erotica writer, cannot cover everything, erotically, when you write.

So how do you know how much sex to put into a story – and how to approach what sex you do put into a story? 


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Autopsy by Brian Dettmer

Book Autopsy by Brian Dettmer

You, Me and Archie McPhee

Nifty! The toy and novelty company Archie McPhee just posted about the incredible glass works of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka on their Tumblr site, Endless Geyser of Awesomeness. The real nifty part of the article they reference was written by little ol me for Dark Roasted Blend ... AND it appears in my brand new collection of such cool articles: Welcome to Weirdsville.

Believe it or not, this awesome octopus isn’t a living creature. It’s an astonishingly beautiful object made entirely of glass by Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, 19th century German glass artists renown for the production of biological models such as their Glass Flowers
From Dark Roasted Blend
Harvard Professor George Lincoln Goodale wanted examples to help teach botany, but the problem was plants have a tendency to … well, die. Sure, you could preserve some specimens but lots of species just don’t look the same after being dried – the plant version of stuffed and mounted. Yes, you could try using paintings or even photography but plants are – and here’s a surprise — three dimensional. So what Professor Goodale did was ask the Blaschkas to create detailed glass plants to help him teach his students about real ones. 
What the Blaschkas did, was more than just recreate plants: they created astounding works of not only scientific accuracy but pure, brilliant, art. Even the simplest of their efforts is deceptively unencumbered… a sign of their genius as their reproductions don’t resemble the botanical model – they look EXACTLY like them, created by hand, in fickle and fragile glass, and all in the period 1887 to 1936. 
This octopus deserves to stand on its own, but we recommend you visit Dark Roasted Blend to view more of Leopold and Rudolf’s exquisite glass specimens. Talk about awesome, we’ve never seen anything quite like them.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Welcome to Weirdsville: The Benevolent Sea-Devil

Here's an rollicking sample article from my new collection of what Avi Abrams of Dark Roasted Blend called "A wonderful compendium of interesting subjects and fascinating topics:"  Welcome to Weirdsville

Peek under the rugs, open more than a few drawers, peek in the back shelves and you'll find that ... well, Lord Byron himself said it best: "Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction." Lakes that explode, parasites that can literally change your mind, The New Motor, a noble Word War 1 German pirate, the odd nature of ducks, the War Magician, the City of Fire, men and their too big guns, a few misplaced nuclear weapons, an iceberg aircraft carrier, the sad death of Big Mary, the all-consuming hunger of the Bucklands, the giggling genius of Brian G. Hughes, the Kashasha laughter epidemic.... Ponder that in a world that holds things like kudzu, ophiocordyceps unilateralis, The Antikythera Device, The Yellow Kid, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, Alfred Jarry, Joseph Pujol, and suicide-bombing ants ... who knows what other kinds of wonders as well as horrors may be out there?

The Benevolent Sea-Devil

The year: 1917, the height of the War To End All Wars, sadly now referred to as World War 1.  The Place: The Atlantic Ocean.  You: the captain of an allied merchant ship carrying coal from Cardiff to Buenos Aires. 
Then, like a ghost from the distant past, a ship appears: a beautiful three mastered windjammer flying a Norwegian flag.  Staggered by this hauntingly lovely anachronism you think nothing of it coming alongside – it was common, after all, for friendly ships to want to synchronize their chronometers – until, that is, the ship's Norwegian flag is quickly replaced by the German eagle and the captain, in amazingly polite terms, backed up by guns that have mysteriously appeared in the windjammer's gunwales, explains that your ship is now his.
And so you have been captured by the Seeadler ("Sea Eagle" in German), captained by Felix von Luckner, or, as he was known by both enemies as all as allies, the Benevolent Sea-Devil.
Some people's lives are so broad, so wild, so amazing that they simply don't seem real.  The stuff of Saturday Matinees?  Sure.  But real, authentic, true?  Never!  But if even half of Felix von Luckner's life is true – and there's no reason to really doubt any of it – then he was truly a broad, wild, and utterly amazing fellow.
Born in 1881, in Dresden, Felix ran away from home at 13.  Stowing away on a Russian trawler, he fell overboard – rescued, so the story goes, by grabbing hold of an albatross, the bird's flapping wings acting as a signal to a rescue party. 
Making his way to Australia, Felix tried a number of – to put it politely – odd jobs: boxer, circus acrobat, bartender, fisherman, lighthouse keeper (until discovered with the daughter of a hotel owner), railway worker, kangaroo hunter, and even had a stint in the Mexican army.  During all this Felix also became a notable magician and a favorite entertainer to no less than Kaiser Wilhelm himself.
Making his way back to Germany he passed his navigation exams and served aboard a steamer before getting called to serve in the Navy on the SMS Panther. 
Which brings us to that War That Was Supposedly The End To All Wars.  Even though it was fought with steel and oil, the German's outfitted a number of older ships as raiders – hidden guns, more powerful engines and the like – and sent them out to harass allied shipping.  Most of them were, to put it politely, a failure.  But then there was the Seeadler, under the command of Felix von Luckner.
During the course of the war Felix sank or captured no less that 16 ships – a staggering amount.  What's even more staggering is how Felix did it, and that he did it with grace, honor, and even a certain kindness.  You see, while the Seeadler took out those ships it, during its entire campaign, did it at the cost of only single human life.  Most of the time the scenario went just as it did with your merchant ship carrying coal from Cardiff to Buenos Aries: the Seeadler would approach a target, raise its German eagle and that would be that: the crew and cargo would be captured and the ship scuttled.  Sometimes she'd fire a shot to two to get her pint across that she was serious, but it wasn't until the British ship, Horngarth, that anyone had actually been killed.  Tricked into thinking they were investigating a stricken ship – Felix had actually used a smoke generator – the captured Horngarth had refused to stop broadcasting a distress signal.  A single shot took out the radio but unfortunately killed the operator.  Felix von Luckner, though, gave the man a full military funeral at sea and even went as far as to write the poor man's family telling them that he had died with honor.
To give you even more evidence that Felix von Luckner more than deserved the "benevolent" in his "Benevolent Sea-Devil" nickname he treated everyone he captured with dignity and respect: captured sailors were paid for their time while on his ship and officers ate with him at his captain's table.  When the Seeadler got too packed with prisoners, by this time more than 300, Felix captured the Cambronne, a little French ship, cut down her masts and let all his prisoners go with the understanding that if they happened to get picked up before making land they wouldn't tell where the Seeadler was going.  Respecting Felix's honor they didn't.
Alas, the Seeadler's rule of the Atlantic had to end sometime – but even that just adds to the broad, wild, and utterly amazing life of Felix von Luckner.  With the British – and now the Americans – hot on her tail, Felix decided to take a quick barnacle-scraping break from piracy by putting the Seeadler into a bay on Mopelia, a tiny coral atoll.  Now stories here conflict a bit – Felix always claimed that a rogue tsunami was to blame – but I think the more-standard explanation that the crew and prisoners of the Sealer were simply having a picnic on the island when their windjammer drifted aground.
Taking a few of his men in some long boats, Felix sailed off towards Fiji intending to steal a ship and come back for the Seeadler.  Through a series of incredible adventures – including claiming to be Dutch-Americans crossing the Atlantic on a bet – the Sea-Devil was himself tricked into surrendering by the Fijian police who threatened, after becoming suspicious of one of Felix's stories, to sink his boat with an actually-unarmed ferry.  By the way, the remaining crew and prisoners of the Seeadler had their own adventures, leading eventually to the escape of the prisoners and the capturing of the Seeadler's crew.
But even a Chilean prison camp wasn't the end for Felix, or not quite the end.  Using the cover of putting on a Christmas play, he and several other prisoners managed to steal the warden's motorboat and then seize a merchant ship.  Alas, Felix's luck ran out when they were captured again and spent the rest of the war being moved from one camp to another.
But rest assured the story doesn't end there.  Far from it: after writing a book about his various adventures, Felix von Luckner toured the world entertaining audiences about the Seeadler – as well as demonstrating his strength by tearing phone books in half and bending coins between thumb and forefinger. 
While, with the rise of Hitler, some people thought of Felix as an apologist, the captain had no love for the Nazi's – especially since the German government had frozen his assets when he refused to renounce the honorary citizenships and honors he'd received during his travels.
But the story of Felix von Luckner still isn't over.  Retiring to the German town of Halle, he was asked by the mayor to negotiate the town's surrender to the Americans.  While he did this, earning not only the respect of the Americans and the gratitude of the citizens, his reward from the Nazi's was to be sentenced to death.  Luckily, Felix managed to flee to Sweden where he lived until passing away at the age of 84.
War is horror, war is pointless death, and war is needless suffering.  But because of men like Felix von Luckner, war can also show the good, noble side of man – and that some men can remarkably earn the respect of friend and enemy alike.