Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ernest Hogan On Being A Black Marks Judge

Okay, this is beyond cool: you know, right, I'm helping my great pal Marilyn Jaye Lewis with the Black Marks Contest for unpublished science fiction?  Well, our guest judge for this time is one of my all-time favorite writers: Ernest Hogan ... who just posted to his site about how jazzed he is to be involved.  Thanks, Ernest!

A black robe, powdered wig, and gavel may be in order – I'm going to be a judge . . . of the first Black Marks Literary Award that is. It'll be for a perviously unpublished science fiction novel. There will be a cash prize of $500, plus the option of publication. 
So, if you have a virgin science fiction novel manuscript kicking around that you think is a winner, check out the guidelines, and read them carefully, because they warn:
Any guidelines that aren't expressly followed are grounds for automatic disqualification. 
What will I be looking for in picking the winner? What I usually look for in the genre – I hope to get my mind blown. Give me daring feats of the imagination!

How To Wonderfully WriteSex (15)

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):

Only in erotica can the line “Come, Fido!” be problematic. Unlike some of the other Four Deadly Sins of erotica writing, bestiality is very hard to justify: with few exceptions, it’s not something that can be mistaken for something else, or lie in wait for anyone innocently trying to write about sex. This is unlike, for instance, discussing a first time sexual experience and have it accused of being pro- pedophilia. Bestiality is sex with anything living that’s not human: if it’s not living, then it’s a machine, and if it was once living, then it’s necrophilia.

A story that features—positively or negatively—anything to do with sex with animals is tough if not impossible to sell, though some people have accomplished it. However, there are some odd angles to the bestiality that a lot of people haven’t considered—both positive and negative.

On the negative side, I know a friend who had an erotic science fiction story soundly slammed by one editor because it featured sex with something non-human, technically bestiality—despite the fact that there is a long tradition of erotic science fiction, most recently culminating in the wonderful writing and publishing of Cecilia Tan and her Circlet Press (both very highly recommended). Erotic fantasy stories, too, sometimes get the “we don’t want bestiality” rejection, though myth and legend are packed with sexy demons, mermaids, ghosts, etc. This doesn’t even get into the more classical sexy beasts such as Leda and her famous swan, or Zeus and other randy gods and demi-gods in their various animal forms.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Out Now: My Love Of All That Is Bizarre: The Erotic Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes Edited By M. Christian

Now here's something very, very special: a collection of wonderful erotica - by some very special writers - about everyone's favorite genius detective, Sherlock Holmes: My Love Of All That Is Bizarre: The Erotic Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes - Edited By M. Christian

For all that we know about Sherlock Holmes there is much that is a complete and total mystery about him - and, as he would say himself, a that is a puzzle that should be addressed.  Is it any wonder that so many of us have scratched our much-smaller craniums and pondered his relationships, trying to use his own maxim of "when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" to peer down deep into those mysteries?  This timely collection focuses on his unmentioned private life.  In short, the great detective's amorous inclinations, the part of life Victorians were so silent on, but so profligate in its practice.  And the authors don't stop there - you will also find stories about the sexual side of other key characters who make up the canon: Irene Adler, Mrs. Hudson, Dr. Watson, and even that most infamous of villains, Professor Moriarty.  Included are many of today's most popular authors including Michael Kurland (American Book Award and the Edgar Award finalist), Angela Caperton (Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica), M. Christian (Lambda Award finalist), and such other distinguished practitioners of the short story and novelette as Cesar Sanchez Zapata, Kate Lear, Wade Heaton, Dorla Moorehouse, Ivo Benengeli, Billierosie, Zachary Jean, PM White, Violet Vernet.  As Holmes himself said: "The game is afoot.  Not a word! Into your clothes and come!"

So True

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Announcing The Black Marks Literary Award!

M. Christian and Marilyn Jaye Lewis are both thrilled to announce that for the inaugural year of the Black Marks Literary Award for best unpublished science fiction novel, the cash award will be $500. 

The winning prize also includes the option of electronic publication with a long-standing eBook publisher with outstanding international distribution. If you do not wish to be published upon winning the prize, it is entirely up to you. Winners are free to shop their winning manuscript to any publisher they want to; you do not forfeit the cash prize if you do not choose publication with us.

The prize will also include possible Print-on-Demand trade paper publication with the same publisher. (The POD option is largely based on initial electronic sales figures, among other financial considerations.)

Submissions for the contest opens February 1st!


Our Mission
 To publicly honor outstanding genre fiction writing, thus assisting writers and readers to find each other in these changing technological times.
 About Us
 The Black Marks Literary Award was founded by two award-winning genre fiction authors, Marilyn Jaye Lewis and M. Christian, each with three decades of professional experience in the fields of writing, editing, publishing, media, and multimedia. Both are longtime advocates of giving back to the writing community as well as being fervent supporters of new voices entering the field.
They are joined by Ernest Hogan as the first guest judge for the The Black Marks Literary Award: 
Ernest Hogan is known for is his usual science fiction. His novels, Cortez on Jupiter, High Aztech, and Smoking Mirror Blues have a cult following. His short fiction has appeared in Amazing Stories, Analog, Science Fiction Age, Flurb, and may other periodicals and anthologies. He enjoys daring feats of the imagination.
Submission Guidelines

 Please read carefully. Any guidelines that aren’t expressly followed are grounds for automatic disqualification.
  • We are currently accepting only Science Fiction.
  • Submissions must be previously unpublished. “Previously published” includes electronic publishing, serialization of any kind online or in print, and self-publishing, including more than 10,000 words on an author’s own web site.
  • Submissions must be completed novel-length works. Word count of the completed novel must be between 55,000 and 150,000 words.
  • Submissions must include a cover sheet with your name, your complete contact information, the title of your story and the word count of the completed novel.
  • On NO OTHER PAGES can your name and contact information appear. After the cover page, only your title should be posted in the top left-hand corner of each page.
  • Electronically submit, as an RTF doc attached to an email, 10 complete, consecutive pages from your novel, beginning on page one and ending on page ten. (Do not submit ten consecutive pages taken from anywhere else in the manuscript except from the beginning of the manuscript.)
  • Submit a complete synopsis of no more than 5 pages for the novel. (Do not put your name or contact information on the synopsis, only list the title of your novel. If your synopsis runs more than 1 page, be sure to include the title of your novel on the top left-hand corner of each page.)
  • 5 finalists will be selected based on the first 10 pages and the synopsis of the submission.
  • The 5 finalists selected will be asked to submit the complete novel immediately via electronic submission as an RTF doc attached to an email.
  • 1 winner will be selected from the 5 finalists. The winning manuscript will be determined through a point system that will be followed by each of the judges.
  • The winner will win
    • a cash award (amount determined at the start of each new contest)
    • receive a frame-able certificate
    • and an offer of publication as an eBook (and possibly as a print-on demand title) through Renaissance EBooks. Publication upon winning the award is not mandatory.
Email all contest submissions as an RTF doc attached to an email:
We will email you to let you know your submission was received. If you do not receive the confirmation email within 5 days, please contact us at info@blackmarksliteraryaward.comas it likely means we did not receive your submission.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Zee Likes Fingers Breadth

This is simply beyond wonderful: check out this very touching review of Fingers Breadth by Zee of Firepages.  Swoon!

Someone is abducting young gay men in San Francisco, drugging them and cutting off the tip of their pinky. The entire city if on edge, especially after dark. The gay community fear for themselves, as they know that anyone could be next. Even though the police are looking for the Cutter, no one really knows who this person is nor the motivation of cutting a finger. Suspicion divides the community. There are people who have only nine-and-a-half fingers, and those who have ten fingers. The niners suspect the Cutter may have ten fingers and those who walk around with ten fingers hope they are not next.  
M. Christian has to be the most amazing writer I've ever read. He is a master manipulator with his words. You read his stories and begin to feel exactly what he wants you to feel - arousal, desire, anger, fear, hope. Readers find themselves surprised to feel this way, yet it is M. Christian's way of pulling dormant and primal emotions out of you. And the crazy part is that you don't mind embracing these perverse feelings as you are that pulled into the story. Not only does M. Christian push his characters in his stories to their limits, but he also pushes his readers minds to meet him in these faraway places. 
I loved how M. Christian addressed multiple facets of storytelling, like horror, thriller, and societal issues. The way the community split between those with 9.5 and 10 fingers was genius, and the horrible experience that the victims go through is downright chilling. Finger's Breadth has a way of getting under your skin and sending chills to your bones in both a terrifying and arousing kind of way. Finger's Breadth is not a story; it is an experience I highly recommend.