Monday, April 18, 2011

Guest Posting: Even Better Than The Real Thing!

This is fun, fun, fun!  My sweet pal, Kit O'Connell (wrote wrote the kick-ass forward to the new edition of my science fiction erotica collection, The Bachelor Machine) and who is one of the best folks on the planet, just posted a guest thingie from myself on his site, approximately 8,000 words: a two-part essay on the future of sex called "Even Better Than The Real Thing" in two parts.

Here's a teaser.  For the rest just click here for part one and here for part two.

Sure, the technology’s kinda crude right now (bored executrix, sitting behind her desk, pager set to BUZZ between panty-hose painted thighs, waiting for a lover to call), but just let those horny ol’ geeks and dweebs down in Silicone Valley work on it for a few more years and — ZAM!
The hoary old cliche with a new twist tells of how fast things are moving: “When I was young, son, when we fucked we actually touched each other.” Right now (aside from the executrix) things are at the “asking her out” stage — we’ve got quite a while to go before first, second, third base, and SCORE! (clickity, clack on a keyboard: “” he types. “” a guy somewhere responds).

Right now, the science of what has been labeled teledildonics is still in its masturbating under the sheets stage — the subject of geek dreams, Adobe Photoshop pictorials, and a few hot zines. The electronic LSD wonderland of Virtual Reality is barely up and walking, let alone getting it on. Don’t worry though, like the camera, the telephone, the VCR, and the PC, sex will be right there when the breakthrough is made — there’s something in human nature that right after instant the light bulb lights, a new invention is born, the next immediate thought is always “Can I fuck with it?”

Getting from peg A to slot B is not that far off. Right now the big push is getting the operator’s hand into the VRverse, but you can bet other body parts won’t be far behind. For those who’ve been living in caves, and who seem to have missed the hoop and holler about VR, the idea’s simple: an operator wears a helmet equiped with teeny-tiny televisions over his eyes, a microphone so people can hear him, speakers over his ears, (and in the next few years) a jumpsuit with feelie and touchie capabilities, (and when the designers get horny) a “love machine” over his cock and balls–and then our intrepid explorer enters a computer-generated environment where he (okay, I’m being sexist — but do you really think a woman would come up with this kinda stuff?) can “interact” with other similarly-wired folks, and entertainment programs — in short “anything that moves.”

Out Now: Sex In San Francisco: An Anthology Of Smoking Hot Tales Inspired By The Sexiest City On Earth (Edited By) M. Christian

Ta-da!  I am very pleased and proud to announce the publication of Sex In San Francisco: An Anthology Of Smoking Hot Tales Inspired By The Sexiest City On Earth, edited by myself!  Right now the book is up on the Renaissance/Sizzler site but it will also be up on amazon very soon as both a Kindle edition as well as a paper version.  So buy a copy and put flowers in your hair ... or other places, if you are so inclined!

What it is about San Francisco that seems to promise, and even promote, sex: sex hot and heavy, sex tender and loving, sex straight and gay, sex kinky and vanilla, in fact, just about every type of sex that can be imagined?  Why is San Francisco considered such an attraction for lovers of all kinds and such a hotbed of steamy eroticism?  Why is this city, instead of so many others, called — with lusty admiration as well as scathing jealousy — the Id of America, Sodom by the Sea, Bagdad by the Bay, and Sin Francisco? Some of the best writers of erotica in the nation seek answers to that question in Sex In San Francisco. These writers show why San Francisco is so damned sexy, and through their stories they show you the erotic heart of the city and its residents.  Donna George Storey, PM White, Renatto Garcia, Adele Levin, Shanna Germain, Craig J.  Sorensen, Theda Hudson, Jude Mason, Neve Black, Mykola Dementiuk, Jeremy Edwards, and Anna Reed with Lily Penza have created wonderful erotic tales, each of which takes a unique approach to probing what makes San Francisco such a sexy place to be in and to dream about.  Each author uses her or his own amazing literary – and yes, erotic – vision to share with us a very personal interpretation of what constitutes sex in the city of the Golden Gate. These authors may be looking at the same city and viewing the same buildings and landscape, but for each of them San Francisco is, like sex, a very personal, and unique, thing

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: Finger's Breadth

The cool keeps getting cooler: check out this wonderful pre-release tease of my coming-soon new novel, Finger's Breadth (from Zumaya books) by the always-great Bibrary Bookslut
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Simply grab your current read, open to a random page, and share a couple of “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page . . . just be careful not to include any spoilers!

My teaser this week comes from  page 14 of Finger's Breadth, a erotic tale of queery horror coming soon from M. Christian:

Normally, his kisses were gentle, caring connections, sex a ballet instead of a romping rut. That night, it had been different - frightening, powerful, lightning and growling thunder instead of sunsets and puppies. Varney became a man. Nothing but. Not a lover, not a boyfriend, not a partner. Just a pure, raw, lightning-and-growling thunder man.

So, tell me . . . are you feeling teased? :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Circlet Likes How to Write and Sell Erotica

The good stuff just keeps on coming!  Check out this very nice review of my book How To Write And Sell Erotica by TammyJo Eckhart on the Circlet Press site:

There’s a myth I’ve heard as an author: Authors are Wealthy. Not so much, and I can’t say that I’ve ever met a wealthy author who did nothing but write erotica. You can win awards and you can have a dozens of works out there but the common expression “Keep your 9-5” applies to a genre writer. Being an author is a lot more work than you imagined.

That’s where books like M. Christian’s How to Write and Sell Erotica Tips of the Trade from a Literary Streetwalker can lend a helping hand for the beginner. There are dozens of how-to guides for new authors, so the trick is to find one that offers you honest advice that you can apply to your life.
You may have heard of Christian if you’ve read science fiction, gay, or BDSM erotica in the past two decades because his personal publication record is quite lovely to read. However, he isn’t only a fiction author: he’s edited a lot of books and writes a weekly column about writing and the publishing business.

This book grew from his weekly column with Erotica Readers and Writers Association (ERWA) which, if you aren’t already, you need to be familiar with if you want to any money. In thirty-seven previously published essays on the ERWA website, Christian covers everything from the basics of writing to the complexities of contracts and marketing. His style may put off some readers, however, because it is more conversational and his truths can be discouraging for those with unrealistic expectations.

Having seen some truly terrible erotica in my own time, I have to say that his advice is both on the mark and far from it. You see, some of this terrible writing I’ve seen has been published,  bought by low-quality publishers or self-published. With enough time and effort, almost anyone can become “published” these days. Making a living as an author is a very different matter. Creating quality stories that will be remembered is another issue entirely. Christian touches on all these topics.

In addition to Christian, there are eight other erotica authors and editors in this book answering the same set of three questions, allowing us to see how different and yet how similar their careers have been. By including nine different perspectives this guide avoids promoting the flawed idea that what works for one author will work for another.

Most manuals for writing include a listing of publishers and agents but How to Write and Sell Erotica does not.  Publishing is an on-the-edge business. Publishers and agents frequently fail or change what they will work with. There are dishonest people claiming the role of agent or publisher as well. Giving any list is saying that those listed are reliable and useful; that just might not be the case in a year or two.

In general the overall flow of the essays in this book goes from the basics to the more complex issues, though some topics, like what words to use and how to do research, are tackled a few times. The fact is that writing for a living is complicated work, hard work, and Christian never lets us forget that in this book. His joys, his frustrations, his victories and successes are all written with an engaging and blunt style. If you take this book for what it is–experiences you can learn from–and are not looking for the one true way to be an erotica writer, you’ll gain much from this collection of essays.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Future Fire Likes Love Without Gun Control

Now this is a treat: not only did the folks at Future Fire ("social political & speculative cyber-fiction") like The Bachelor Machine, my collection of erotic science fiction, but they also just posted a nice review of my non-erotic collection of fantasy/science fiction/horror, Love Without Gun Control:
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when Love Without Gun Control showed up to be reviewed. The cover is very retro-pulp-comic, a scene on Mars, all bright colors and simple lines, misleading as to the content. It seems more like a graphic-novel cover, or a series of 70's porn. The book itself is quite thin, only 155 pages. I was pleasantly surprised. The collection opens with the eponymous story, ‘Love Without Gun Control’, published for the first time in this collection. Ultra-violent and rather bizarre, it is somewhat reminiscent of a D. Harlan Wilson story. A sort of modern-day Western romance, the story really does defy labeling as it shows the effects of one snake-oil doctor’s ‘love potion’, applied erroneously, and the destruction that can come from thwarted desire. A fun, rollicking ride with a very unique flavor.

The second story, ‘Needle Taste’, is a unique concept with an ambiguous ending. The story itself is a totally different beast from the previous tale, but the wistful tone holds up the strange story well enough until the end, when it feels a little... abrupt. If there’s a weak one in the bunch, it’s this one, simply on a relative scale. It is in no way a bad one, it just doesn’t have quite the force of the others.

...seeking a forever-quiet man in the whole buzzing, humming, singing, cackling city.
‘Hush Hush’ is my favorite story in the collection. The language is absolutely beautiful: weird, eery and slippery. The tale is half mystery, half internal journey. Whether he solves the mystery or not is really unimportant. What he learns along the way is not. This was a lovely to read for the language as for the story.

‘The Rich Man’s Ghost’ is probably my least favorite of the stories. It lacks the smoothness of voice, the weird beauty of most of the other pieces. The story is a little less Weird, too, and maybe that colors my opinion.

‘Wanderlust’ is one of the stories that I’m not really sure, at first, how I feel about it. On the one hand, the reader is kept in the dark until the very end of the story. I simply didn’t have a clue what was going on. On the other hand, the writing is very rich, so it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to enjoy the ride. A man who inspires absolute ecstasy from everyone he meets comes across a bit thin at first, but their reactions if he stays around for longer than a few minutes are... interesting.

‘Orphan’ is chilling and haunting. A young man running from something, to something, carrying a horrible secret. There were a couple of places that could have used a clarity edit or that read a little contrived, but overall, definitely a memorable piece worth reading again.

Really, though, I’d be hard-pressed to say that any story in this collection is best skipped over or read in a hurry. There’s just enough variation in the stories to keep them unique, and enough cohesion to develop a voice that just draws me in more deeply, the farther I read. (The first story is an odd difference to the rest of them, but no less enjoyable.) The cover-art remains a sticking point, as it has no apparent connection to the content, and prose like this needs something lovely to wrap it up, and what it has is not something I would be wild about displaying on a shelf.

Read this one slowly, because each story is best savored and mulled over. And I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of M. Christian’s stories.


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

He's Got Nine Lives -

Dark Roasted M.Christian

Check it out: a brand new Dark Roasted Blend piece I did just went up: this time about the screw-drive machines

Ever since Mr. Bronze Age had the inspired thought that led to the wheel humans have been trying to think of new ways to get from point A to point B.  Several thousand years after Mr. Bronze Age's inspired invention, in the 1770s to be rather inexact, British inventor Richard Lovell Edgeworth, created the ancestor of what would eventually become the continuous track method of locomotion.  Don't recognize the term?  You'll certainly know it when you see it in operation on many tractors or, where it's head-smackingly obvious, on every tank that's been on every battlefield since the British first used it in World War One.

But in 1868 the American inventor Jacob Morath had a truly inspired idea: a screw-propelled vehicle.  Don’t recognize that term either?  That's not surprising because, even though many people today will celebrate its virtues, it's not exactly a common sight.

The basic idea of a screw-propelled vehicle is simple enough: instead of wheels or tracks, you build a vehicle with a pair of, as Wikipedia puts it "auger-like cylinders fitted with a helical flange."  To make that a bit easier to understand, think of a machine that literally crawls along the ground on a pair of giant screws.  To turn you use the same method a tank does: one screw either gets locked in place while the other one doesn't or, to make a 360 turn, turn one screw one way and the other ... well, the other way.

In 1907, James and Ira Peavey, were quite literally driven to create a practical screw-propelled machine to help their lumbering in Maine.  The machine proved very useful since the screw-propulsion could move whatever you wanted moved through snow and mud and all kinds of nasty conditions.  You also didn't need to worry about anything getting caught in the tracks, like with a caterpillar, and since they had much fewer moving parts they were easier to maintain.

Quite a few screw machines were built afterwards, though they remained less than popular.  But when World War Two loomed, the idea of a screw-propelled war machine intrigued the eccentric genius Geoffrey Pyke -- who you no doubt remember as the inventor of the iceberg aircraft carrier.  Alas, Pyke's concept of a very small, very fast, attack machine got (ahem) shot down and his idea was eventually whittled down to the very-rarely known Weasel.  Unfortunately, the Weasel was whittled down even more and the screw propulsion was dropped in favor of standard caterpillar tracks.

Another benefit screws have over caterpillars is the possibility of being amphibious.  There's no reason, for instance, that the screws couldn't be hollow and so could also act as floats.  During the Vietnam war, for example, Chrysler experimented with a screw-propelled machine.  Unfortunately, their take on the technology didn't exactly wow the US military and the project was dropped.

The Soviets, in the meantime, had a machine specifically designed to go where no man ever wanted to go -- in their case to retrieve cosmonauts from remote landing sites: the poetically named ZIL-2906.

One of the most amazing uses of screw propulsion has to be Joseph Jean de Bakker's.  In the 1960s the Dutch inventor created the Amphirol, a machine designed to take anyone pretty much anywhere. What made Joseph Jean de Bakker machine better than other versions of screwing yourself across the landscape was its performance.  Not only could his Amphirol go across marshes and over other sticky situations but it was also amphibious.  That wasn't the end of its wow factor, though, because the Amphirol could do all that and also crawl sideways.  Try doing that with four wheels or with caterpillar tracks.

While still rare, the idea of screw-propulsion is still out there: the concept appearing in all kinds of civilian and military proposals.  While watching one in action, though, William Cowper's quote comes immediately to mind: it "moves in a mysterious way."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"The Show" Becomes Reality

It's always wonderful - and kinda weird - when fiction becomes fact.  A while ago I wrote a little story about the hacking of the Times Square Jumbotron, called "The Show" (that's also in The Bachelor Machine), and, guess what, someone has done exactly that:

[Thanks to Cecilia Tan for the head's up]