Showing posts with label Technorotica. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technorotica. Show all posts

Friday, July 31, 2015

Check Out The New Installment Of Badoink Future Sex Tech!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)


I am seriously having a blast doing my series for Future SexTech: The Five New Technologies That Will Change Sex Forever for Badoink!

Just check out the brand new installment that just went up and live on the kick-ass site:


Here it comes, faster than you think: the world of tomorrow. And, even better, it’s going to be a very erotic future!

We’ve delved into the visual sexuality of virtual and augmented reality, and then 3D printing equipment that’ll bring dreams into fabricated existence. But what we’ve been missing so far, that’ll really turn any erotic dream into pretty-near reality, is what people call haptic technology.

That’s a sense of touch, to you and I.

True, touch tech has been around for quite a while – at least as long as the earliest attempts at virtual reality. Given, in erotic circles, the less-than-sensual label of teledildonics, the idea is simple enough: wire a motorized ‘accessory’ to the web, or specialized games, and have at it… or have it at you. Whatever rocks your world, as they say.

Alas, those early attempts were rather crude, to be polite. But that’s changing and fast. New Bluetooth vibrators – for every orientation and inclination – are small, efficient, and even stylish. Models such as the We-Vibe can even connect to special smartphone apps, as can the tech by a company called OhMiBod. Pretty soon we’ll be able to mate them to specialized virtual or augmented reality games so you’ll be able to not just see your wildest sexual fantasy but have a pretty realistic illusion of being touched.

Ah, but what about the other direction? Being touched is one thing – we are getting pretty close to that, but being able to reach out and virtually touch is really the next big thing. One possible direction this development will take is using direct neural interface: wiring technology directly into the brain. We already have made huge advances in this direction, like the development of prostheses with an actual sense of touch.

[MORE]

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Future Sex Tech And Porn Can Be Good For You: Great New Badoink Fun!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)


I am having a real blast writing for the great site, badoink. In fact not one but two of my new pieces just went up: part two of my new series Future SexTech: The Five New Technologies That Will Change Sex Forever and a great article on how watching porn can really, actually be good for your sex life!

Check out these teasers ... and be sure to go to the site itself for my pieces a lot more cool stuff!



Like a lot of technology that has completely changed the world, 3D printing is – on the surface – really quite simple. How simple? Well, it’s printing… but in three dimensions.

Okay, okay, I bet you want a bit more information. Really, 3D printing is, in essence, the same as regular old printing but instead of ink on a flat surface the technology uses plastics – and other materials – to build up layer after later until, voila, you have a solid object. Plastic, metal, sugar… you name it and we can, or will very soon, be able to make it.

The revolution in 3D printing came very recently, but the really big change is just on the horizon. That first step was in making 3D printing much more accessible: going from a novelty to an almost common piece of technology. Staples, in fact, recently announced that some of their stores will feature 3D printers; all you need to do is drop off a design, or email it, and your physical object will be made for you.

Then you have the very cool company, Shapeways; people upload their designs to the site and then anyone can order that gizmo or whatever you’ve created in all kinds of materials. For the first time anyone can create pretty much anything and then have people own a physical version of it.

Which gets us to sex. The problem with the old world of sex toys is the same problem with manufacturing, period: bulk. To make anything you had to make a lot of it. Just making one of anything was hideously expensive.

[MORE]



Pretty much everyone – and we mean everyone – likes to look at adult videos and pictures, or read erotic books, now and again. But what most don’t know is that porn can actually be a huge benefit to a healthy sex life.

Putting aside political issues, or concerns about porn addiction – which is a concern but not as common as some fear it can be – indulging in adult entertainment has proved to be a great way not just to lift the sexual spirit but can actually be educational, or even good for self-esteem!

In a study in Sexual Medicine, for instance, researchers discovered that porn viewing can actually help men achieve erections with their partners. Putting aside the medical jargon, the basic idea is that fantasy is a key part of getting turned on – and watching adult videos helps that. After all, most people fantasize during sex and not just during masturbation. So anything that feeds a good sexual fantasy life is a good thing.

While it’s true there’s a lot of, well, let’s just say unrealistic porn out there, enjoying adult videos or reading an erotic book now and again can also be a great source of sex ed. More than ever – thank you, Internet – we have access to all kinds of information and sexual interests. Meaning that if anything should tickle your fancy a video of either how to do it, or people enjoying it, is just a mouse click away. Wonder how to use bondage gear? Click! Wonder about new sex positions? Click! Wonder about vibrators? Click!

Even better, it’s usually presented without prejudice or judgment. No matter that turns you on there’s almost guaranteed to be a site offering exactly what you want. What this means – aside from having lots of fun – is that people don’t have to think, “I’m the only one,” anymore. With a quick press of that mouse – or a flick of a touch screen – you’ve got a whole bunch of places to visit for your particular kind of sexual fun.

[MORE]

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I'm A Reader For The Amazing Stories Gernsback Science Fiction Short Story Contest!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica) 


This is a true honor: I've been selected to be one of the readers for the Amazing Stories Gernsback Science Fiction Short Story Contest!

Here's the info - and best of all to everyone who submits!

#

(from the Amazing Stories site)

The Gernsback Contest will consist of two stages of evaluation of submissions.

Yesterday, we introduced you to our stellar cast of Judges, who will be making the final selections from among twenty nominees.

Those twenty nominees will be selected by our in-house reading team – all of whom are contributors to Amazing Stories, fine, upstanding fannish citizens. Many are authors, editors and artists themselves. Collectively, they command CENTURIES of experience with the written word.

Our readers will be assigned submissions on a random, rotational basis. The names of the authors of those submissions will be redacted prior to sending them along for a read (to guard against unconscious bias).

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Scarlet Pencil - Up Now At Bewildering Stories!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)


Now this is great news: my - to put it mildly - surreal take on Holmes and Moriarity, "The Sacrlet Pencil" is now up at the excellent Bewildering Stories site!  A big round of applause goes to Don Webb for his fantastic editing of my story.  Bravo, Don!

I'm especially touched by this nice little welcome message ... thanks so much!!
“Prolific” is too weak a term to describe M. Christian’s writing; he’s a publishing powerhouse. He has edited more than two dozen anthologies and published novels as well as hundreds of short stories in a very wide variety of genres. He is also Associate Editor of Renaissance eBooks and the publisher of Digital Parchment Services. 
The Scarlet Pencil” takes readers on a famiiar and yet ironic journey into some literary classics, where the archvillain Moriarty attempts to derail the plots. And of course, he will have to deal with none other than Sherlock Holmes. In addition to playing on the title The Scarlet Pimpernel, “The Scarlet Pencil” seems to have a lot to do with an editor’s own adventures in literature. 
Welcome to Bewildering Stories, M. Christian. We hope to hear from you again soon and often!
M. Christian’s bio sketch can be found here.

The Future Of Sex At Badoink!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)


This is very exciting: I'm now writing for the great folks at badoink - and my first fun project is a five-part look at Future SexTech: The Five New Technologies That Will Change Sex Forever!  

Check out my first installment, on augmented and virtual reality, here ... and be sure and check out the great site and my next installments!

In the meantime here's a tease:




While we don’t have food pills (who’d want that, anyway?) or jetpacks (at least not for a few years) we really are living in a time of unprecedented technological change.

And the best tech is yet to come… and even better it’s sexy tech!

One of the more far-reaching and powerful of these upcoming innovations got, to be blunt, a less thanwowie reception when it first appeared. Mostly this was, back in the 90s, because the dreams of the VR developers were a lot bigger than the available hardware.

Fortunately, a lot of those literal headaches early users experienced are pretty much gone. So we are looking at a Virtual Reality explosion in the very near future.

Without getting too technical – because, frankly, it’s really not that complicated – virtual reality is using miniature, eye-mounted monitors coupled with motion sensors to give the wearer the illusion of being submerged in a brand new, artificial environment. One people can explore and interact with very much like they can in our so-called ‘real’ world.

The big change with VR has come with the arrival of our new favorite sex toy: the smartphone. After all, it has everything that VR had always been lacking. In the palm of your hand you’ve got your high-res screen, your motion sensors, stereo output, and even wifi and cell reception.

[MORE]

Saturday, February 28, 2015

M.Christian's Erotic Science Fiction Collection, Bachelor Machine, Back in A New Edition – PLUS Groundbreaking Sequel: Skin Effect!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is amazing news!  Not only is my erotic science fiction collection, Bachelor Machine, back in print from the great folks at Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions but the sequel - with many new stories - is out as well: Skin Effect!  

Here's my announcement - and if you want a copy of either for reviews and the like please let me know.




M.Christian and Renaissance E Books, through its Sizzler Editions imprint, is pleased and proud to announce the republication of M.Christian's groundbreaking science fiction collection, Bachelor Machine, plus a brand new, never-before seen, follow-up collection: Skin Effect!

M.Christian rocked the world of both science fiction and erotica with Bachelor Machine – Cynthia Ward at Locus Online calling it "smart, taboo-breaking SF" and – and now his groundbreaking book is back in a brand new edition!

Not only that, but M.Christian will further amaze as well as arouse with a follow up collection of imaginative and stimulating stories: Skin Effect!

In Skin Effect and Bachelor Machine are tales that push the envelopes of both science fiction as well as erotica in innovative and stimulating ways: stories voyaging to the near as well as the far future, exploring the ultimate limits of sex and arousal.

In her introduction to Bachelor Machine, Cecilia Tan says of M.Christian "There are only two people in the world I envy. One is the late Roger Zelazny, whose talent for an almost jazz improvisational way of writing I could never match. The other is M.Christian, for writing exactly what I’d write if only I could get off my ass. Which is to say, raunchy hallucinatory sexfuture dreams that never fail to arouse me and kick me in the gut at the same time."

In his forward to Skin Effect, the Chicano science fiction legend Ernest Hogan (author of High Aztech and Cortez On Jupiter), says "The stories in Skin Effect are erotic, and original, state-of-the-art science fiction. They take the technological developments of recent years and plug them into the engines of human desire, taking us beyond our present day sexual issues into worlds that deliver in ways I hadn't imagined possible."

In Skin Effect and Bachelor Machine are tales that are riveting as well as arousing, stories of technology and desire, and arousal and innovation ... told in an engaging and evocative style guaranteed to amaze as well as excite.

From down and out hustlers, enhanced sex workers, enigmatic aliens, bleeding edge erotic technologies, and more – Bachelor Machine and Skin Effect are an unique visions of the future, while celebrating humanity's oldest pleasure ... sex!

"M.Christian’s stories squat at the intersection of Primal Urges Avenue and Hi-Tech Parkway like a feral-eyed, half-naked Karen Black leering and stabbing her fractal machete into the tarmac. Truly an author for our post-everything 21st century."
–Paul Di Filippo, The Steampunk Trilogy

"M.Christian speaks with a totally unique and truly fascinating voice. There are a lot of writers out there who'd better protect their markets – M. Christian has arrived!"
–Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award winning science fiction author

"When I tell you that these stories are hot, I might be giving you an understatement. M.Christian’s erotica comes from the heart ... he has created an entire new genre."
–Amos Lassen

"There is an uncommon variety of material in here [Bachelor Machine], from cyberpunk to space opera, alternative history to dystopia. The science-fictional settings are manifold, as are the sexual positions and inclinations—and, more importantly, the role of the inevitable explicit sex within each story. From the frivolous to the poignant to the socio-politically scathing, there’s something in this book for everyone."
–Johann Carlisle, Future Fire

"M.Christian is a hybrid artist and knockout stylist on the order of Jonathan Lethem. Hard-boiled, sharp-edged, funny and fierce, his tales brim with unbridled imagination and pitch-perfect satire,"
–Jim Gladstone

"M.Christian is a writer who takes you for a long walk down a dark wet street at midnight. You can't get much more edgy and still be legal. His fiction never disappoints."
–Nancy Kilpatrick, The Power of the Blood series and In the Shadow of the Gargoyle
Calling M.Christian versatile is a tremendous understatement. Extensively published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even non-fiction, it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. In erotica, M.Christian is known and respected not just for his passion on the page but also his staggering imagination and chameleonic ability to successfully and convincingly write for any and all orientations. 
But M.Christian has other tricks up his literary sleeve: in addition to writing, he is a prolific and respected anthologist, having edited 25 anthologies to date including the Best S/M Erotica series; Pirate Booty; My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica; The Burning Pen; The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi); Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant), and many more. 
M.Christian's short fiction has been collected into many bestselling books in a wide variety of genres, including the Lambda Award finalist Dirty Words and other queer collections like Filthy Boys, BodyWork, and his best-of-his-best gay erotica book, Stroke the Fire. He also has collections of non-fiction (Welcome to Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica); science fiction, fantasy and horror (Love Without Gun Control); and erotic science fiction including Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Better Than The Real Thing, and the acclaimed Bachelor Machine.

As a novelist, M.Christian has shown his monumental versatility with books such as the queer vamp novels Running Dry and The Very Bloody Marys; the erotic romance Brushes; the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll; and the rather controversial gay horror/thrillers Finger's Breadth and Me2.

M.Christian is also the Publisher of Digital Parchment Services and an Associate Publisher for Renaissance E Books, where he strives to be the publisher he'd want to have as a writer, and to help bring quality books (erotica, noir, science fiction, and more) and authors out into the world.

Skin Effect: By the Award Finalist Author: More Science Fiction Erotica
$2.99


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Terrance Aldon Shaw Likes Love Wthout Gun Control

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is just plain wonderful: check out this kick-ass review of my sf/f/h collection, Love Without Gun Control by the very-great Terrance Aldon Shaw on the book's amazon page.

Btw, Love Without Gun Control is currently FREE for a limited time!

http://amzn.com/B002LEI6RM

Is there any style or genre that M. Christian can’t (or won’t) write in? After reading this very fine short story collection from one of today’s most prolific professionals, I’m leaning heavily towards “no”. The ‘m’ in M. Christian seems to stand for “multi-faceted”, or possibly “mega-multi-tasker”. The guy certainly is versatile, as well as daring, imaginative, often funny, and seldom—if ever—unentertaining, one of those writers who seems to be everywhere at once, though if he has, in fact, cracked the saintly secret of bi-location, he’s not talking.

Readers get a broad sense of Christian’s incredible range in “Love Without Gun Control”, the author’s 2009 self-compiled and –published collection of short fiction, most of which originally appeared in genre anthologies, now-defunct niche-specific literary magazines and long-since cached or dead-linked websites. These fourteen stories run a dizzying—and impressive—gamut of mood and style, each with its own carefully measured ratio of light to shadow, buoyancy to seriousness, horror to humor, and hope to despair.

Christian has clearly learned from, and distilled the essence of the best examples of twentieth-century American fiction, everything from Ray Bradbury and Jack Kerouac to Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King. He does not shy away from his influences, but has wisely allowed them to sing through him as he delves the deep, sometimes silly recesses of the American psyche. The title story is a broad, campy social satire in addition to being a pitch-perfect sendup of old Western movies and TV shows, while “Wanderlust” and “Orphans” pay dark homage to the uniquely American mythos of “the road”—think Steinbeck’s musings on Route 66 in “The Grapes of Wrath”, or the arid, windswept, dread-haunted vistas of Stephen King’s “The Gunslinger” and “The Stand”.

In “Needle Taste”, Christian shows that he is no less adept at horror of the decidedly psychological variety. Techno-thriller melds seamlessly with High Fantasy in “The Rich Man’s Ghost”; political satire meets The Zombie Apocalypse in “Buried with the Dead”, while knotty existential drama and the classic Post-Apocalyptic narrative come together in “1,000”, and “Nothing So Dangerous”, a story of love and betrayal in a time of revolution. Perhaps my favorite stories in this collection are the beautiful, elegiac, Bradbury-esque “Some Assembly Required,” a narrative at once clever and poignant, and the brilliantly breezy “Constantine in Love”:

“It was called The Love Shack, and it sold all kinds of obvious things: candy, flowers, poetry books, jewelry, balloons, perfume, lingerie, and many other sweet, frilly, and heart-shaped items. It stood alone, bracketed by two vacant lots. Its busiest days were just before Valentine’s and Christmas. It was described by many newspapers and tourist guides as “. . . the place to go when love is on your mind.”

The night was dark, the place was closed. The streets were quiet.

Then the Love Shack exploded—with a fantastic shower of fragmented chotchkes, and flaming brick-a-brack, it went from a shop dedicated to amore to a skyrocket of saccharine merchandise. Flaming unmentionables drifted down to land in smoking heaps in the middle of the street, lava flows of melted and burning chocolate crawled out for the front door, teddy bears burned like napalm victims, and cubic zirconia mixed with cheap window glass—both showering down the empty, smoldering hole that used to be the store . . .”

I do have a few complaints as well. In several of these stories, I found myself wishing for a stronger editorial hand. The text needs a good, personally-detached copyedit. Several otherwise excellent stories (“Hush, Hush”; “1,000”; “Friday”) are simply too long to effectively maintain the emotional impact for which the author aims. I found them overly repetitive and rather dull, with the narrative lines collapsing into nebulous incoherency. After all, the “short” in short fiction should be a clue to the essence of the form; all unnecessary baggage and ballast summarily jettisoned to achieve an economy of language, and, with it, maximum expression. Christian is an established and well-respected editor in his own right, but no matter how skillful or perceptive an author may be as an editor of other people’s work, when it comes to self-editing, even the best and brightest have their blind spots.

Still, there’s far more to like and admire in this collection than to kvetch about or pan. Readers will be well-rewarded for what is, in the end, a ridiculously modest price of admission.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Baton Blog Post

 (from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is very fun: I just took part in a kind of round-robin blog post with some very cool folks - including my great pal, Brent (Made In DNA). Enjoy!


1) What am I working on?

Let's see ... aside from the very cool stuff that's happening with Renaissance E Books (which includes our Futures Past Editions sf/f/h imprint and the erotic Sizzler one), where I am an Associate Publisher, and Digital Parchment Services, where I'm a Publisher (stay tuned, great stuff coming very soon), I just finished a sequel to The Bachelor Machine (a new edition coming out soon, btw), tentatively called Skin Effect. I also just started a brand new, non-erotic, allegorical/satire SF novel called Blue ... which (fingers: crossed) I hope to finish by the end of the year.

Beyond those, I'm still plugging away on a few dozen other projects that are way too nascent to chat about just yet.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, my work has always been – to put it mildly – rather unusual. Yeah, I've thought about trying my hand at more "commercially viable" things (despite having penned two vampire novels and a romance) but I'm simply having way too much fun writing odd stuff. Not to say that I haven't been open to opportunities: 90% of my stuff came because someone asked for it – erotica, gay fiction, romance, non-fiction, the whole enchilada – but I've always put my own odd spin on it.

In the case of Skin Effect ... well, the original Bachelor Machine was rather a creature of its time: full of cyberdelic psychedelics, dystopic architecture, and circuit-pattern tattooed outlaws. Not to get up on my soapbox but I'm frankly tired of the knee-jerk negativity that still seems to permeate SF these days. But what honestly scares me is that it could very well become a self-fulfilling prophecy: that we are looking forward to the apocalypse. So I challenged myself to create a book of erotic short stories that take some of the old cliché's of SF (memory manipulation, genetic engineering, AIs, etc) and give them a positive spin. I had a blast writing them ... just hope people enjoy reading them.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I don't really have a choice: while my day-job might be working for the wonderful Renaissance E Books and Digital Parchment Services in my heart I'm a writer – though my Publisher duties do give me a chance to try and be the Publisher I'd like to have as a writer. Sure, it can get damned hard to create anything these days – when everyone on the planet seems to have written a novel, a screenplay, become a photographer, or [fill in the blank] but I always try to stay to the fact that I just love to write stories. There's really nothing more ... to be woo-woo for a sec ... magical about putting words together to make a tale that has never existed in the history of ... well, history and, if I'm lucky, will outlive me by hundreds or maybe thousands of years by changing how people see the world. Can't get much better than that.

4) How does my writing process work?

While my Publishing jobs take up most of my time, I've been working very hard to give myself at least one or two days a week to just write. I don’t follow a regular schedule because I've always been very good about knowing what I have to do and when I have to do it. An odd thing about me is that I can't work in dead silence, so I have my Xbox running Netflix or Hulu or Amazon or whatever all kinds of tone-setting movies or TV shows. Another odd thing is that I don't read a lot of the genres I write in – sure, I do when I have to, as a Publisher, but for the most part I find it just gets in the way of what I want to do as a writer. But that's just me and my style ... your millage may vary.

+++++

And now it is my great pleasure to introduce to you four authors (in no particular order):

Jason M. Griesse
Jason M. Griesse is an author from Southern California who dabbles in all kinds of storytelling. Not content to stick to one genre, his books often incorporate elements of horror and science fiction with a pinch of mythology for flavor. He also writes articles and books concerning PTSD and Mental Illness and is two semesters away from finishing a degree in Psychology.

Brandon Black
Having learned to read at an early age in part due to an ancient cardboard box in his uncles’ room at his grandparents filled with Golden Age comic books, Brandon Black has read science fiction and fantasy his whole life. Raised by a physicist father and sociologist mother, instead of receiving a teddy bear as other children did, Brandon was given an inflatable astronaut.

Falling in love with shows about space travel, exploration and combat from an early exposure to Star Blazers and Robotech, Brandon was inspired to write his own science fiction after hearing the narrator’s line in Robotech — “Meanwhile, twenty light years away…” The idea that a story could have such scope and breadth as to involve relevant, simultaneous events light years distant from each other was a miraculous thing to young Brandon who decided then to give writing a try.

Brandon received a Bachelors in Military and Political Journalism from UNO and went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from LSU. Brandon’s time travel story, “Time and the Wrinkled Prostitute” has been published in Dark Oak Press’Dreams of Steam III. His stories, “Songs of the Divine Pulsation” and “The Gift” were published in New Orleans By Gaslight, an anthology of gaslamp fantasy and steampunk poetry and fiction set in Victorian-era New Orleans, which Brandon edited with Christopher Wong. Brandon’s most recent short story publication is “I Knocked Up My Fairy Girlfriend” which appears in Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie and his steampunk poem “Ballad of the Dashing Skywayman” has been recently published in Cowboy Poetry Press’ Unbridled anthology.

Brandon’s upcoming projects are Cairo By Gaslight, a steampunk anthology set in Cairo, Egypt and The Other World, an anthology of modern-day short stories about the Fey. He has also written a children’s book, The Tortoise and the Little Witches Three, and is currently writing his first steampunk novel. Brandon lives with his charge and protector, Battle-cat Princess Kaleidoscope, in his home town of New Orleans, Louisiana.

M. Christian
Calling M.Christian versatile is a tremendous understatement. Extensively published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even non-fiction, it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. In erotica, M.Christian is known and respected not just for his passion on the page but also his staggering imagination and chameleonic ability to successfully and convincingly write for any and all orientations.

But M.Christian has other tricks up his literary sleeve: in addition to writing, he is a prolific and respected anthologist, having edited 25 anthologies to date including the Best S/M Erotica series; Pirate Booty; My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica; The Burning Pen; The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi); Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant), and many more.

M.Christian’s short fiction has been collected into many bestselling books in a wide variety of genres, including the Lambda Award finalist Dirty Words and other queer collections like Filthy Boys, BodyWork, and his best-of-his-best gay erotica book, Stroke the Fire. He also has collections of non-fiction (Welcome to Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica); science fiction, fantasy and horror (Love Without Gun Control); and erotic science fiction including Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Better Than The Real Thing, and the acclaimed Bachelor Machine.

As a novelist, M.Christian has shown his monumental versatility with books such as the queer vamp novels Running Dry and The Very Bloody Marys; the erotic romance Brushes; the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll; and the rather controversial gay horror/thrillers Fingers Breadth and Me2.

M.Christian is also the Associate Publisher for Renaissance E Books, where he strives to be the publisher he’d want to have as a writer, and to help bring quality books (erotica, noir, science fiction, and more) and authors out into the world.

Shon Richards
Shon Richards is allegedly an erotica writer who writes science fiction, pulp adventure, sexual magic and the occasionally suburban bondage. He is really a herald of an unnameable erotic entity who writes to prepare the psyches of the human population for the coming Apocafuck. His latest book, Doom Vagina, tells the story of a groupie for the world’s most demonic girl band. His current plane of existence can be found at ShonRichards.com

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mammoth Book of Erotic Romance and Domination And Me!

 (from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is wonderful news: I'm pleased and proud to announce that I have not one but two techno-erotic BDSM erotic tales in Maxim Jakubowksi's brand new anthology, Mammoth Book of Erotic Romance and Domination.  Coolness!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Orphans From Love Without Gun Control

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

I always liked this story - so I thought I'd share it with you. "Orphans" first appeared in Talebones Magazine and now, of course, is in my science fiction/fantasy/horror collection, Love Without Gun Control ... out in 'e' and paperback from the great Renaissance E Books.

 
 Orphans

Outside of Atlanta, after standing under the flickering fluorescent lights of a sprawling truck stop for almost an hour, he was picked up by a heavy faced man driving a ratting sixteen wheeler.  Red hair an angry mop on his head, brushy beard all wild and unkempt, the driver said “Glad for the company” before they’d even pulled out onto the dark highway.
#

     In a little town somewhere just beyond the Louisiana border, he was picked up by a middle-aged woman in a green station wagon, who seemed to delight in creating herself as the perfect housewife:  housecoat, hair in curlers, kid’s seat in the back.  She spent the first few miles prattling nervously, obviously just wanting companionship but frightened with herself for choosing the young hitchhiker to try and sate it.  He listened, hypnotized by the landscape blurring by.  Finally she asked, “Been on the road long?”
     “Not long,” he said, wishing again that it had been someone else who’d picked him up, “just getting out.  Meeting people.”
     “That’s good,” she said, innocently.  “Nothin’ worse than being alone.”
     To that he just nodded, still staring out the window.

#

     He’d never heard of a nut log, and would be damned if he was going to try some.  But the salesman, Lou Phillips, was so insistent that -- before he was even aware of it -- he had some on the end of his fork.
     “Now me, son,” Lou said, smiling broad and bright, “I ain’t a flincher.  You take that shit there on the end of your fork.  What’s the worse that could happen?  It taste like crap -- but that ain’t gonna kill you, is it?  But maybe it’s gonna be the best damned shit you ever tasted.  Ain’t gonna know till it’s in your mouth, right?”
     He didn’t answer, and instead stared at the tip of his fork, at the brown sticky mass.  Before he was aware of it he was categorizing diseases, vectors and transmission rates.  Closing his eyes, he breathed in, out, in and again, then put it into his mouth.  The sweetness was almost alarming, and without conscious control he opened his eyes -- and stared into Lou’s sparking brown eyes.  “See, that ain’t so bad!  Fuck it, son -- life’s too short to be scared.”
     A cup of coffee later, Lou confessed that he was a widower.  His wife of twenty-six years having passed away that spring.  “Some kind of virus got her.  By the time she went to the damn doc it was she was thin as a rail.  Didn’t last more than a month.”
     Sipping hot, bitter -- with a touch of slightly turned cream, he hung his head down, mumbling, “Sorry” like it was his fault.
     “I mean we all got to go, right?  When it’s our turn.  But what pisses me off is the shit those damned doctors put ya through.  Pretend that they know it all when they don’t know shit.  Tell ya what, kid, if I ever get something I’m just gonna drive out to the desert somewhere and just lay out there in the sun.  Damn sight better chance then letting them touch ya.”
     It seemed such a positive act that he smiled, despite himself -- masking it by sipping the foul coffee again and saying “Sometimes it isn’t that they don’t know -- it’s that it’s just not worth knowing.”

#

     Another big truck -- this time cleaner, almost polished.  Like a fighter plane, sporting a elegant pin-up on the driver’s side door.  Haulin’ Ass, scrolled under a cheesecake girl with golden blond hair.  The driver was gaunt, a narrow sketch of a man.  Peppered hair and the ghostly scar of a hair lip.
     They didn’t speak for many miles, then the driver said, unexpectedly, “What cha’ runnin’ from, man?”
     His first reaction was so say, “nothing” but the word didn’t come.  Was he running?  When he thought about it, watching the double-yellow vanish under the windshield, the direction wasn’t right.  “Not from, towards.”
     “What cha’ goin’ to, then?”
     He didn’t know.  He did know, though, that he couldn’t stay in Atlanta.  It was such a lonely place ... no, not right.  It was where he discovered loneliness. A dusty little room and files -- at first just one or two then more.  Some of them had faces, pictures charting their progress -- images to match the declining graphs.  Aside from the wasting, he’d seen something else in those faces, the sunken eyes, the fallen features -- loneliness.  In their worlds they’d been too few, not enough to matter ... to save.
     He’d managed a rough smile, trying to put a comedic face over tragedy.  “Just makin’ friends,” he said.

#

     Texas was hot, ghostly heat hovering above the roadway.  Sky too blue, too pure to be stared at for long.  Sitting in a McDonald’s, slowly sipping a shake to avoid going out into the hot, dry, he struck up a brief conversation with a young couple.  Too pressed, too clean.  A few miles beyond, the air conditioner in their older car cranked up to full, they started to talk about Jesus.
     He responded noncommittally, but soon their tone started to irritate him.  Looking out at the hot land, he could too easily see the ghostly hopelessness, the abandonment he’d first seen in Atlanta overlaid on every face they passed.  Maybe the harried father in the RV -- stricken with something that struck one on ten thousand.  Maybe that old woman, all blue hair and cautious hand on the wheel -- catching something that would waste her, slowly, horribly but only affected one in a hundred thousand.
     He listened, for a moment, about what they were saying -- instantly realizing that they were following a well-hewn grove.  Something like Parkinson’s, a horrible inlaw to the more popular disease: a gradual wasting of the mind -- something affecting one in a million.  He could too easily see them, parroting their beliefs till they had no more will, no more strength left to even move their lips.
     At the next town he asked to be left off, dismissing their offer of finding him a shelter, a meal, but he did take the money they offered, more than anything to get them to leave.

#

     Too many miles.  Still in Texas but the weather had changed -- high, turbulent clouds casting deep shadows onto the flat land.  Too many miles.  Maybe that was it.  A pressure.  They all saw him the way they wanted to, a young man traveling.  A bum, a threat, a homeless person, an object of pity, something to hate and blame.  The pick-up truck full of teenagers, throwing a half-empty can of beer as they passed, the too-helpful families that desperately wanted his absolution.
     So he told some of it to the bald man, the man in the jeans and stained tee-shirt.  He knew he’d been picked up for rough trade, but didn’t care.  He avoided his inquiring eyes and, at first, answered with only a few words, but as they drove and the driver’s interest became more and more obvious he found himself talking more, stringing together fact and fiction.
     To “-- where are you headed?” he said, “Los Angeles, my mom’s in the hospital.  Something wrong with her liver.”
     To “-- that sounds pretty serious.  What does her doctor say?”  he said, “They know what it is, some kind of hepatitis variant.  Rare, though, like one in a hundred thousand get it.”
     To “-- at least they know what it is.  They got all kinds of drugs and shit nowadays” he said, pausing “They know what it is, but not enough people get it.  So they don’t make a cure, not cost effective.  They call them ‘orphan diseases’ -- too rare to bother curing.  She’s going to die.”
     They rode in uncomfortable silence till the next town.  This time he was asked to leave -- and he did, stepping out into the darkness of a cloud’s shadow.  It had been the shortest trip he’d been on, but he felt lighter, less burdened.  That it had only been part of the truth didn’t matter; he’d spoken enough of it to get someone to understand, if maybe just a little.

#

     A long time and New Mexico.  He felt the fever start as he walked down dusty streets, passing stores selling fake Indian art, plastic tomahawks.  In a narrow alley, an old man with heavy features slept out the hot afternoon, a bronze-colored bottle by his hand.
     He went into a dark bar and sat in the corner, feeling his core temperature rise, his skin shimmy with cold shakes.  Taking deep breaths, he sipped a warm beer.
     He remembered its pathology, its transmission rates, preferred vectors.  He thought he’d have more time, and silently felt a heavy sadness at not being able to see the Pacific.  It hadn’t been a real goal, but had begun to be a kind of benchmark, a saccharin epitaph.
     He’d met some good people as he’d traveled from Atlanta, and felt sorry for them.  But he also remembered those faces on all those files.  It wasn’t virulent, but it did spread.  Airborne was tough, but it could manage.
     Too few to care about.  Not enough to bother curing.  It had almost been gone, at least to the Center for Disease Control.  Exiled to its refrigerator, the vault.  A rarity that claimed maybe a hundred, maybe two each year, almost just a memory.  So rare that they’d passed judgment on it:  extinction.  It had been his job to destroy the samples, to consign the virus to a few sad cases scattered around the world.   
     The faces on those folders.  Too few to care about.  As the shivers began in earnest, he tried to think about them, to hold each and every one of them in his mind.  Coldly told their wasn’t enough of them to bother, to care about, to cure.
     Sipping his beer, feeling his strength drain, he hoped that now -- after all those miles he’d managed, those rides, those hands he’d shaken -- they wouldn’t be so alone.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Billierosie Likes Love Without Gun Control

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is very special flashback: a lovely review of my science fiction/horror/just-plain-weird collection, Love Without Gun Control, by my wonderful pal, Billierosie .Thanks, sweetie!


I am a junkie! A poor pathetic thing, crawling up the walls, shredding fragments of wallpaper and plaster beneath my broken finger nails, screaming for my next fix. Hollow eyed, I plead with M.Christian for just one more story. He’s a hard man. He turns away, telling me it’s for my own good. Then finally, finally, he relents. And I blubber my thanks through a mess of snot, spit and tears.

M.Christian sends me LOVE WITHOUT GUN CONTROL. And like any true addict, I find a vein, stick in the needle and overwhelm myself with the fix.

I’ve read all of his stories. Every tantalising word he’s ever written. I worry that one day he’ll stop. No more stories. What the hell will I do?

You see he never fails to surprise me. His stories move seamlessly from straight erotica to gay erotica and now, in LOVE WITHOUT GUN CONTROL, he gives me a collection of science fiction and horror.

In ‘Needle Taste,’ there is haunting despair, from the disciples of Owlsley, a serial killer. They take mind bending chemicals to enhance his hideous deeds. His followers can’t leave him alone and live in a desperate, deadly fascination of what has happened to those he has brutalised and killed. Prair replays the final moments of Owlsley’s capture in his mind and repeats the killer’s mantra; “the only sin is letting them go unpunished.”

‘The Rich Man’s Ghost’, reads like a fable and Christian tells the story with the skill of Aesop. Hiro Yashido sees a ghost, and to see a ghost means doom. He has not only seen the ghost, the ghost has seen him. His wealth, his overwhelming success in high finance is nothing. He will have to embrace his worst nightmare, poverty. Hiro Yashido fears nothing. He has not achieved his great wealth by walking on tiptoe. But he does fear the ghost and it’s curse. Ghosts walk between the bite and the bytes of the datasea and they are jealous. Hiro Yashido works hard to dispel the ghost’s curse and the ghost ponders on whether, or not to release him.

‘Wanderlust’, takes us out on the road. The story reads like a classic ‘road’ film and we embark on the archetypal American journey. The landscape unfolds with panoramic camera sweeps; gasping, breathtaking images of mountains, snow, jagged peaks and windswept pines. A cheap doll, embodies the idea of perfection, of absolute love. It is conveyed to the driver in his own overwhelming, Christ like beauty. He stops at a roadside gas station. The people he meets are spellbound by the ecstasy of his beauty. But sheer love has its opposite and hatred, and ugliness and the abject fear it brings, must have its say. He wants to say sorry. But all that he can do is drive away.

In ‘Orphans’, Christian gives us a drifter, seemingly, a man without purpose. He hitches lifts and meets people. Is he running from something, or running to something? He doesn’t know. Or he won’t say. What is the virus they speak of; the wasting disease that has taken their loved ones? Is it loneliness? Or is it something else? He apologises, it’s all he can do. Is this an allegory, a story for our times? Christian doesn’t tell us; but he certainly makes us think.

As if all that weren’t enough, Christian retells the story of Robinson Crusoe in ‘Friday’.

Combining Daniel Defoe’s style with a futuristic slant, the traveller’s ship crashes into the earth. Like Defoe’s hero he is stranded, like him he has to improvise to survive and like him he has his Friday.

As I said earlier, what the hell will I do if M.Christian ever stops writing? There’s a gem here, a jewel, a real talent. Where does all of this come from? Where does he get his ideas and images? “…eyes as dark as knots in old trees…” “…titles for them were as irrelevant as trying to take apart a static charge before a lightening strike…” Beats me! I’ve saved the title story until last. ‘Love Without Gun Control,’ and I’m going to read it now! Excuse me while I drool!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Geek Love Looks FABULOUS!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

Just got my person, dead-tree, edition of the quite excellent anthology Geek Love and it looks ... well, fabulous!  Bravo to Shanna Germain who did a mind-bendingly excellent job on this project!


Geek Love. It's nerdy, wordy and a little bit dirty. It's 200 pages of geek-themed erotic stories, accompanied by full-color art and comics, all from some of the finest authors and artists in the industry.

Think of it as the comma sutra. As full-frontal nerdity at its finest. As the bestiary of geek sexuality, proving once and for all that there’s nothing hotter than geeks in their natural habitats.

Electrifying play with Tesla? We’ve got it. Hot gamers tapping that? Check. Making passes at girls – and boys – with glasses? That’s just the beginning. We’ve got sexy librarians, raid nights, geek boys in leather and lace, tentacles, sexbots, superheroes and high-tech toys galore.

With cover art by the talented Galen Dara, Geek Love is a hard-bound full-color masterpiece that’s going to look great on your gaming table or your bondage bed. But the anthology is far more than just a pretty face – it’s also got a killer body. Stuffed with savory stories and loaded with sensual full-color art, comics and photographs created by some of the industry's most talented authors and artists, Geek Love is a collection you’ll want to share with special friends and spend all your free time boning up on.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Full-Metal Orgasm!

(from M.Christian's Teachnorotica)


This is exceptionally cool! I am very jazzed to be in the newest issue of Full-Metal Orgasm - with a piece on sex in science fiction. Here's a tease - and for the issue itself you can order it on amazon ... and be sure and check out Full-Metal Orgasm's tumblr!


Science Friction: 
A Slightly-Snarky Look At Sex In Science Fiction ... 
And Why It Hasn't Been Good But It'll Get Better

Heeellllooo, Future! 

Sure, we might not have jet packs or food pills but, come on, look around – go ahead, we'll wait...

You done?  Come on, admit it: this is the fuckin' future: cell phones with more computing power than (the good half) of Einstein's grey matter, access to just about every book ever written ... and, more importantly, every episode of Star Trek (including the animated one) just a finger-swipe or mouse click away; self-driving cars self-driving themselves just around the corner; actually, honestly, good Dr. Who episodes; apps than can tell us in a second what took Kepler, Galileo, Tycho, and all the rest of those wonderfully-bearded astronomers their entire lives to learn; we have robots scruttling over Mars, poing under rocks for life; little blue pills that can raise even the most flacid of bridges; plastic breasts; genital cosmetic surgery; totally outraegous porn as easily found as Star Trek ... and even - gasp - a black President.

Gay marriage is working its way to being totally legal, and - best of all - no big deal; and ganja fans will soon be able to .... what was I writing about?  Oh, that's right: before you know it weed will also be totally legal, and - best of all (again) – no big deal.

[MORE]

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Taste of "The New Motor" From Betty Came: The Mammoth Book of Erotica Presents The Best of M. Christian

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

Here's a teasing taste of my steam-punky erotic story "The New Motor" from both The Bachelor Machine as well as the (very flattering) Betty Came: The Mammoth Book of Erotica Presents The Best of M. Christian.







The New Motor

It is not our place, via hindsight, to say what exactly happened that one particular night. It’s easy to dismiss, with scorn or even a kind of parental, historical, fondness, that he was just visited by vivid dreams, a hallucinatory fever, a form of 1854 delusion (after all, we smile, frown, grimace, laugh or otherwise, this was 1854), or some hybrid kin of them all: a vision 1/3 unresolved traumas, 1/3 bad meal of steak and potatoes, 1/3 19th century crippling social situation. What we cannot dismiss—because it’s there with minuscule precision, in detailed blocks of blurry type in rag pulp sidebills, in the fine-filigreed pages of the genteel or just the skilled—was that John Murray Spear, a spiritualist of some quite personal renown and respect, did indeed depart Miss August’s Rooming House for Gentlemen of Stature (near the corner of Sycamore and Spruce in Baltimore, Maryland), and go forth to tell anyone who would listen—and some did, as those news- papers reported and those diaries told—about his visitation by the Association of Electricizers.

Close your eyes, metaphorically, and envision the images that might have fluttered through the expansive and trained consciousness of Mr. Spear as he lay, barely waking on a cheap mattress more tick than stuffing, the too-warm embrace of a humid Baltimore summer morning pouring through the thin gauze of the window. Amid the jumble and clutter of a day’s thoughts, they walk—as contemporary A. J. Davis expressed: “spirits with a mechanical turn of mind”—into the far-reaching mind of John Murray Spear. Perhaps gears lit with fairy energies, they turn and tumble through his waking, shining metal honed with eldritch tools, playing inadvertent peg-toss with his sheet- raising morning priapism. Maybe a great churning clockwork con- traption whose complexity echoes Medusa’s curse of knowing equally insanity or death. Or they might have taken the form of a Con-Ed employee in bedazzling ethereal refinements, in a saintly pose of divine grace while the animated logos and mascots of every power company that was, is, and will be flitted around his nuclear halo—commercial cherubs to His crackling, humming, arcing, power.

Their form was something that even escaped Spear himself, for when he spoke of their visitation—and he did, oh yes, he did from his own mount and other less spiritual soapboxes—a 220-watt gaze seemed to consume him and his articulations became less detailed and more abstract: “Their form,” he said to his breakfast companions and, often, for many weeks thereafter to any stranger on the street, “is fast and incorporeal. I don’t possess the mind to express their appearance in words, but their message, dear—” Sir, Madam, Officer, Friend “— is clear and ringing in my ears: Go forth, they spoke, go forth and with these two simple hands bring into the world a machine, a great work of engineering, that would take motive power from the magnetic store of nature, and therefore be as independent of artificial sources of en- ergy as this, our own the human body. Go, this conglomeration of spirits pronounced, and build the Physical Savior of the Race,The New Messiah... the New Motor!”

John Murray Spear did, indeed, say these words: from that rea- sonably expensive boarding house in summer heated Baltimore, to the swampy humidity of the capital, then upwards towards the cooler en- virons of the Northeastern states. He spoke of the visitation of the Elec- tricizers to a shocked and tutting crowd of theosophists in Providence, his hypnotic description of the coming glory of the Motor and how it would bring about a new Age of Man Through Machine ticking out of synch with their slowly shaking, disbelieving heads.

He spoke of the Motor in Boston before a hall not as packed as it had previously been for the spiritualist of some repute, and answered with complete sincerity questions of the Motor’s construction (“things of this earthly sphere coupled with the energies of transcendent mo- tion and ethereal force”), creation (“for a small donation you can speed its manifestation and arrival here, to us”), method of operation (“can one envision a locomotive, some new machine of human use and creation, that might come during the new millennium? The works of the Motor may be visible to some of us with the enriched spiritual vision, but the true powers of it will be as unseen as that machine of ages undreamed”), and patentability (“if the material servants of this, our Government of Country, should grant me the license of its man- ufacture then I see no reason not to accept”).

Coal-and-snow beard, hair wild with his feverish retellings, sup- ple (for a man of his forty summers) body bending wildly with each description of the glory of the Motor and his saving of mankind through its mechanical enlightenment, Spear made himself a sight as he traveled. For some he was a sight that brought smiles, frowns, or sadness at his state of affairs. But as he slowly, town by town, street by street, meeting by meeting, told his tale, made his claims, his en- treaties, he gathered people who listened earnestly to his description of the Mechanical Savior of the Race, the New Motor...

#

On a weird side note, the tale of the New Motor is based on reality - and you can read about John Murray Spear and his spiritual contraption in my non-fiction collection, Welcome To Weirdsville



Friday, February 01, 2013

M.Christian ... Science Fiction Reviewer?

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

I'm thrilled to be able to announce at the reviews I wrote for the always-excellent Dark Roasted Blend just went up! To start, here's some quickie capsule reviews of some classic cyberpunk titles ... with others going up very, very soon.


(right image credit: Huxtable)

Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash

Considered by many to be the ultimate cyberpunk novel (or second only to Gibson's Neuromancer), Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash has everything the genre requires: high-tech toys and low-life characters, a flash and dazzle style, a noir beat, enough concepts and ideas for a dozen other novels, and heaping helpings of bad boy attitude.

Set in a run-down LA in an archetypal "not too distant future," the novel is basically the story of Hiro Protagonist (wink, wink), the "Last Of The Freelance Hackers And Greatest Swordfighter In The World" and ex-pizza delivernator for the mafia; and Y.T., a nimble and nubile adolescent "kourier."

In the course of trying to survive a world run by corporations, and where the endless suburbs are lit by the omnipresent loglow of franchises like Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong, and CosaNostra Pizza, Hiro and Y.T. stumble into a plot by billionaire villain L. Bob Rife to... well, rule the world using a special brand of information warfare with its roots in ancient Sumerian mythology. Along the way, Hiro and Y.T. meet characters such as Ng, the technofetishist weaponeer, and Raven Ravinoff, the nuclear bomb-connected Aleut harpooner and assassin whose preferred weapons are molecular-sharp glass knives.

Snow Crash, when it rocks and rolls, which it often does, is like strapping yourself in for a dose a blisteringly fast anime: a near-chaos of cyberdelic images, methamphetamine-fueled concepts, quick bursts of characters and characterization, along with flights of pure digital fantasy. For those new to cyberpunk, reading a chapter of Snow Crash is like taking a shot of science fiction espresso.

Luckily, Neal Stephenson also knows when to put on the brakes, to pull over by the side of his roaring information superhighway of a novel and let the rest of us catch up a bit. For all its flash and dazzle, Snow Crash also has some great moments of humanity. The scenes, for instance, with Y.T. and Uncle Enzo, CEO of the American Mafia and Hiro's ex-boss as head of CosaNostra Pizza, are charming without feeling cornball. Other characters, some of them only featured for a few paragraphs, manage the same.

Some have criticized Snow Crash as a perfect example of style over substance, sarcastically saying that it's cyberpunk's purest form. Sure, the book has some serious flaws – like when it slams on the brakes to lecture Hiro, and the reader, about Sumerian mythology's relationship to linguistics and human information processing. But what saves Snow Crash from being bubblegum and instead makes it a satisfying literary meal is the inescapable sense that Stephenson is not taking himself, the book, or cyberpunk itself, very seriously.

Snow Crash is, in its heart, a cartoon: a laughing, giggling, fun time. The heroes aren't heroes. The villains – for the most part – aren't villains. The Metaverse – Stephenson's version of cyberspace – is a bold and colorful place full of animated characters, and the real world the stages and settings are too bold and outrageous to be anything but Stephenson's elbow to the reader's ribs with a chuckle of "Get it?"

To press the point, just look at Stephenson's other novels. Some have the same pop and sizzle -- like The Diamond Age -- but after reading Snow Crash it gets pretty clear when he's going for serious and poignant and when he's taking us along on a digital, cyberdelic, outrageous, dazzling, bizarre, animated, good-time ride.

(review by M. Christian)

#


K. W. Jeter
Farewell, Horizontal

Like most of Jeter's novels "Farewell Horizontal" is rich and vibrant, with amazing and engaging concepts, packed with imagination to spare, and populated with fascinating characters on bizarre yet human missions.

Set in a future where a large segment of civilization is living in – and on the outside of -- a monstrous building called Cylinder, Horizontal teases and tantalizes with a lack of detail, making the book seem more like a surrealist exercise than a traditional (quote) science fiction (unquote) novel. Still, there's enough intimate details present to draw you into Ny Axxter's strange world.

A graffex (which are sort of/kind of digital tattoos or markings) artist, Ny longs for the big time, a serious score that will lift him up – literally – from being a scavenging freelancer. And like everyone else who calls Cylinder home, he knows that his fame will come by not staying in the building, by being horizontal, but instead will come from what's on the outside, on the vertical.

The vertical is what makes Farewell Horizontal sparkle. Jeter has always had a brilliant imagination and with this novel, he lets it fly. Ny – and the rest of the outcasts and fringe folks of Cylinder – live their lives clinging to the building's staggering drop surface with a technofetish inventory of fun and interesting devices and technologies. It's when Jeter gets down – or up, as the case may be – with Ny and his life that the book really draws you in. You feel like you're there with him on the surface of the building, and when he sees what could be his score – a genetically engineered flying woman or 'angel' – you feel the exhilaration. The same goes when Ny is caught in a war between two warring gangs, a war fought on the same vertical he's trying to make his home. You are there alongside him as he tries to get through it all alive.

Unfortunately, Farewell Horizontal suffers from the feeling that it's just one part of a planned series, a series that was never completed: plot elements are left hanging, characters that are clearly meant to go somewhere go nowhere, and while the lack of details make the book refreshingly surreal (yet rich with cyberpunky elements), one gets the feeling that Jeter simply didn’t have the rest of the series he might have liked to set the stage and flesh out this fascinating world.

Still, Farewell Horizontal remains a very good book and deserves a read. While it might not be the perversely dark love poem to Philip K. Dick that his first book, Dr. Adder, was, or be a truly thought-provoking and sensitive book like The Glass Hammer, or – for that matter – a wickedly funny and strange thing like Infernal Devices, Farewell Horizontal is still more imaginative and vivid than many other books. If nothing else, it will change the way you look at skyscrapers … tripping your imagination into thinking what it would be like to live on the vertical and not just the horizontal.

(review by M. Christian)

#


William Gibson
Virtual Light

It's interesting that after he finished his masterpiece Sprawl Trilogy of Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive, Gibson – the master not only of cyberpunk but of postmodern literature as well – would step back in time but remain in the future to write Virtual Light, the first of another three-part series, the so-called Bridge Trilogy.

Interesting, because Virtual Light is a fine and at times brilliant book that owes very little to science fiction, even though it has some elements in common. Set in a very near future, it follows the adventures of bike messenger Chevette Washington and disgraced cop Berry Rydell, who get caught up in a McGuffin chase when Washington impulsively steals a pair of special, high tech glasses. Their chase takes them all over California, most fascinatingly to a squatter city built in the decaying spine of San Francisco's Bay Bridge. Darkly comic, the novel has all of Gibson's trademark vividness and wickedly cool language but is much more of a noir novel with some surreal/science fiction elements than the ferociously dark and vicious Sprawl books.

Because of this, it's a much lighter and almost refreshing read, which threw a lot of Gibson's previous readers who may have been expecting something with a sharper edge. Still, when taken on its own or as part of the other Bridge books, Virtual Light remains a work by a master – a master who successfully took a different direction with a wonderful new book.

Review by M. Christian

#

Samuel R. Delany
The Einstein Intersection

As with all truly great science fiction novels, The Einstein Intersection is less about science and more about fiction – in this case, fiction told by one of the greats not just of science fiction but modern literature as well.

Surreal doesn't begin to describe the setting and characters of The Einstein Intersection. Ostensibly about aliens exploring and trying to understand human culture after mankind has either left the planet or died off, the book is much more about some of the more powerful human archetypes. From Lo Lobey himself, a goat herder based on the myth of Orpheus, to the subject of his quest, Billy The Kid (AKA death), the book is a literary stage, allowing Delany to explore the world of our myths, fables, legends and fantasies.

It's unfortunate that people often pick up the book only to be frustrated and confused by Delany's psychedelic style. But for those with imagination and patience, reading The Einstein Intersection can swing open a brand new universe of style, language, and story: it's a wonderful book by a magnificent writer, first, and a great science fiction author, second.

(review by M. Christian)

#


J. G. Ballard
Vermillion Sands

I want to live in Vermillion Sands. I want to wake up in the morning and look out my bedroom window at the hypnotic world J.G. Ballard has created.

A collection of short stories, Vermillion Sands is set, mostly, in a Palm Springs-type vacation resort. There are two kinds of people there: the rich and the people who serve the rich. More importantly, though, the resort is a way for Ballard – in these stories – to explore the artistic process via a whole plethora of new technologies, from cloud sculpting to sound jewelry and more.

But Ballard is Ballard, so just writing stories about a resort, the people enjoying it or working there, or even the arts, is not enough: each of the stories in Vermillion Sands is also laced with his trademark psychological depth and lyrical subtlety. Sure, the stories might not be as subversively perverse, emotionally enigmatic, psychedelically strange, or horrifically languid as some of his other books and stories, but these light and almost funny tales are still J.G. Ballard – and that means they will always be as a brilliant and elusive as the landscape outside of Vermillion Sands.

(review by M. Christian)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Steampunk, Von Gutenberg, and I

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)



There's cool then there's cool - check this out: the brand new digital issue of the premier fetish fashion magazine, Von Gutenberg, is now out ... and features an article on steampunk style and such by yers truly.

Here's a screenshot of the article, just to wet your whistle:


You can order a copy here (ibooks newstand) and here's a great write-up on the new, state-of-the-art magazine from the San Francisco Chronicle's SF Gate Site:
Global Fashion Quarterly Von Gutenberg Launches For The First Time Across Apple And All Digital Platforms. 
Newark, NJ (PRWEB) December 14, 2012 
With issue # 7, premier latex fashion periodical Von Gutenberg Magazine is now available in Apple’s Newsstand, for Android on Google Play Magazines, and in the Kindle Store and all other eReaders, as well as in its usual print format. Featuring cover girl Ophelia Overdose and 128 pages of the unique content V.G. readers have come to expect fans, fashionistas and even the mildly curious can now enjoy this global source of fashion in any format they choose. 
“Launching the magazine digitally was not only tantamount to our further survival but perpetuates our ethos of presenting current fashion trends, events and designs…as they break globally,” publisher and main photographer Erik Von Gutenberg explains. “Keeping our readers informed of what is happening from the sublime to the popular in latex fashion, the second it happens, is what we’ve always been about.” 
“We’re also extremely proud to be able to say that we are the first latex couture magazine to publish in the Apple App Store.”
Though Von Gutenberg has always maintained a strong web presence with its website, shop, blog and constantly updated event calendar, the move into the smartphone and tablet marketplace presents nearly unlimited possibilities for the V.G. brand. 
“This move to digital opens up a whole new world for us as far as what we can publish…and when. We’re planning exclusives of text and photography in the new year above and beyond our usual quarterly releases.”