Monday, May 21, 2012

Amos Lassen Likes Technorotica: Stories Shattering the Ultimate Taboo

Here's a very nice treat: a fantastic review of M.Christian's Technorotica: Stories Shattering the Ultimate Taboo by the always awesome Amos Lassen!

I  think of M. Christian like I think of hummus—both are acquired tastes. However, once you get to liking either, you just can’t get enough. As prolific a writer as Christian is, I never get quite enough. He is erotic and futuristic and has a sardonic sense of humor, However, above everything else, he goes where few dasn’t. In this anthology, Christian takes a step into the future and writes about bondage, fetishes, science fiction, and sex with robots and so on. In fact, we are taught by robots how to be great lovers. I suppose you could label this man/machine erotica as Christians unites sex and technology and there is a lot of Christian trademark kink. This is most definitely not your “everyday” read. 
Eleven stories are sandwiched between the introduction, “Welcome to the World of Tomorrow” and the afterword, “Do You Know Where Your Children Will Be”? All of the stories are excellent but the one that stands out for me in “Blow Up” and that is all I am going to say. If you want to know why it is so special, you will have to get a copy of the book. Christian writes what I call literary erotica. He manages to infuse good writing with lots of sex and the result is almost a new genre. He is, however, the most difficult author to review because it is so easy to give away plots when discussing his writing. Therefore all I can say is for you to get a copy, clear an afternoon sit in the recliner with your feet up and the book open and enjoy every word. 
“M. Christian is one hell of a writer. A no-holds-barred storyteller, he embraces his reader at the start and doesn’t let go until long after the end.” -Mari Adkins. “M. Christian’s stories squat at the intersection of Primal Urges Avenue and Hi-Tech Parkway … feral-eyed, half-naked … Truly an author for our post-everything 21st century.” – Paul Di Filippo, author The Steampunk Trilogy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wanna See Something Neat?

Take a look at the book cover below for The Forest Reaper by William Tillinghast Eldridge that's right now on the front page of Fictionwise.

Nope, I didn't write it - though it has been published by the very great folks at Renaissance (who I have the great honor of being an Associate Editor for) - but there is something from me on it.

Give up? The cover image was taken my little-ole me ... from a fun expedition I took to the Ripley's Museum with my great, great friends Jean Marie Stine (the spirit of Renaissance) and Frankie Hill (the cover wizard for Renaissance).  Cool, eh?

Buy my books -

- or Barney Fife gets it!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"No, you can’t deny women their basic rights -

“No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom.’ If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”
- President Barack Obama

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome to Weirdsville: The Book!

As some of you may know, I've written a whole bunch of short weird history, weird art, weird science and just plain ... well, weird pieces over the years for sites like the late-lamented Bonetree, The Cud, and - especially - Dark Roasted Blend.  

Well, I am very excited to be able to announce the publication of a whole collection of these pieces - and more! - in Welcome to Weirdsville by the fabulous Renaissance E Books/Pageturner Books!

As part of publicity for this fun project I'm also going to be posting some of the articles here and on Meine Kleine Fabrik (both the Blogger and the Tumblr version).

Avi, by the way, just posted a delightful announcement about the book on Dark Roasted Blend.  Thanks so much, Avi!

"A wonderful compendium of interesting subjects and fascinating topics. Will keep you reading just to found out what's going to be covered next. Highly recommended for all lovers of weird & wonderful this side of the Universe." -Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend.  
Sure, you may know M. Christian as an erotica master - or even as a respected author of science fiction (see his Love Without Gun Control for example) but did you know that he is also the author of this brand-new book of historical - and humorous - essays and tidbits?  Read Welcome to Weirdsville and we'll promise you'll never look at the world the same way again! 
Peek under the rugs, open more than a few drawers, peek in the back shelves and you'll find that ... well, Lord Byron himself said it best: "Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction." Lakes that explode, parasites that can literally change your mind, The New Motor, a noble Word War 1 German pirate, the odd nature of ducks, the War Magician, the City of Fire, men and their too big guns, a few misplaced nuclear weapons, an iceberg aircraft carrier, the sad death of Big Mary, the all-consuming hunger of the Bucklands, the giggling genius of Brian G. Hughes, the Kashasha laughter epidemic.... Ponder that in a world that holds things like kudzu, ophiocordyceps unilateralis, The Antikythera Device, The Yellow Kid, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, Alfred Jarry, Joseph Pujol, and suicide-bombing ants ... who knows what other kinds of wonders as well as horrors may be out there?

By Allan Kausch


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just A Reminder -

- to check out my Flickr feed for a few of my experiments in getting back into photography.

Technorotica: Stories Shattering the Ultimate Taboo - In Dead Trees!

Here's a bit of extra-extra-extra-special news! Remember those two ebooks that the great folks at Renaissance/Sizzler recently published? The ones with techno/science fiction focuses - Better Than The Real Thing: Technorotica and Rude Mechanicals: Technorotica?

Well, Renaissance/Eros Editions have just published a very special - print edition only - edition of both ... plus extra-added content: Technorotica: Stories Shattering the Ultimate Taboo

“Love with robots will be as normal as love with other humans, while the number of sexual acts and lovemaking positions commonly practiced between humans will be extended, as robots teach more than is in all of the world’s published sex manuals combined.” -computer pioneer David Levy, in Love and Sex With Robots
Bondage, science fiction, fetishism, real realities and virtual realities collide in this unique collection by one of the most popular authors of erotica … ever!  
In the enigmatic M. Christian’s kinky new collection, two great things – technology and sex – go even better together! 
Welcome to Technorotica: a giant-sized collection of human-machine erotica. You’ll find everything from sexy robots to virtual reality lovers, from shameless science fiction to contemporary explorations of technology’s impact on our sex lives and our sexuality. Headlining this stellar collection are two unforgettable novellas: In “Hot Definition,” the story of a future just around our corner, Neko experiences the ultimate domination in a way she never expected; in “Speaking Parts,” two lovers, one with a camera-shutter eye, come together in a scorching, obsessive relationship that takes them both to the limits of sexuality – and beyond. Plus ten more provocative stories of sex and technosex. 
“Blow Up” alone makes it “worth buying I highly recommend this book.” -Fire Pages. 
“M. Christian is one hell of a writer. A no-holds-barred storyteller, he embraces his reader at the start and doesn’t let go until long after the end.” -Mari Adkins. 
“M. Christian’s stories squat at the intersection of Primal Urges Avenue and Hi-Tech Parkway … feral-eyed, half-naked … Truly an author for our post-everything 21st century.” -Paul Di Filippo, author The Steampunk Trilogy 
Cover art: Jade
Book design: Frankie Hill
Publication date: 4/03/2012
Pages: 170
List price: $15.99

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How To Wonderfully WriteSex (17)

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):

In regards to the last of erotica's sins, a well-known publisher of sexually explicit materials put it elegantly and succinctly: "Just don't fuck anyone to death." As with the rest of the potentially problematic themes I've discussed here, the bottom line is context and execution: you can almost anything if you do it well—and if not well, then don't bother doing it at all.

Violence can be a very seductive element to add to any genre, let alone erotica, mainly because it's just about everywhere around us. Face it, we live in a severely screwed up culture: cut someone's head off and you get an R rating, but give someone head and it's an X. It's kind of natural that many people want to use some degree of violence in their erotica, more than likely because they've seen more people killed than loved on-screen. But violence, especially over-the-top kind of stuff (i.e. run of the mill for Hollywood), usually doesn't fly in erotic writing. Part of that is because erotica editors and publishers know that even putting a little violence in an erotic story or anthology concept can open them up to criticism from all kinds of camps: the left, the right, and even folks who'd normally be fence-sitters—and give a distributor a reason not to carry the book.

One of the biggest risks that can happen with including violence in an erotic story is when the violence affects the sex. That sounds weird; especially since I've often said that including other factors are essential to a well-written erotic story. The problem is that when violence enters a story and has a direct impact on the sex acts or sexuality of the character, or characters, the story can easily come off as either manipulative or pro-violence. Balancing the repercussions of a violent act on a character is tricky, especially as the primary focus of the story. However, when violence is not central to the sexuality of the characters but can affect them in other ways it becomes less easy to finger point—such as in noir, horror, etc—where the violence is background, mood, plot, or similar without a direct and obvious impact on how the character views sex. That's not to say it isn't something to shoot for, but it remains one of the harder tricks to pull off.

Confessions of A Literary Streetwalker: "A Cookie Full Of Arsenic"

Ever seen Sweet Smell of Success?  If you haven't then you should: because, even though the film was shot in 1957, it rings far too much, and far too loudly, in 2012.

In a nutshell, Sweet Smell of Success (directed by Alexander Mackendrick from a script by the amazing Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman) is about the all-powerful columnist J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) – who can make or break anyone and anything he wants -- and the desperate press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis), who loses everything for trying to curry favor with Hunsecker for ... well, that Sweet Smell of Success.

So ... 1957 to 2012.  A lot's changed, that's for sure.  But recently rewatching this, one of my all-time favorite films, gave me a very uncomfortable chill.  But first a bit of history (stop that groaning): you see, J.J. Hunsecker was based – more than thinly – on another all-powerful columnist, the man who once said, about the who he was, and the power he wielded as, " I'm just a son of a bitch."

There was even a word, created by Robert Heinlein of all people, to describe a person like this: winchell – for the man himself -- Walter Winchell.

A book, movie, star, politician – anyone who wanted success would do, and frequently did, anything for both Walter and his fictional doppelganger J.J. Hunsecker.  Their power was absolute ... even a rumor, a fraction of a sentence could mean the difference between headlines and the morgue of a dead career.  As Hunsecker puts it to a poor entertainer who crossed him: "You're dead, son. Get yourself buried."

Welcome to 2012: we have iPhones, Ipads, Nooks, Kindle's, 4G, Bluetooth, Facebook, Twitter ... in many ways we're just a food pill away from every futuristic fantasy ever put-to-pulp.  But there's a problem ... and it’s a big one.

I think it's time to bring winchell back ... not the man, of course, even if that were possible, but the word.  Yes, a lot has changed from Walter and Sweet Smell of Success but, sadly, as the old cliché goes: "the more things change the more they stay the same."

The Internet has altered – quite literally – everything, but in many ways the speed, and totality, of its change has made a lot of people, writers to readers to just-plain-surfers, desperate for benchmarks: a place or person to go to that, they hope, will be there in the morning.

For writers this often means an editor, site, or just another writer.  In the 'biz' these people are called names: meaning that mentioning by them seems to have a kind of rub-for-luck power for other writers – with the ultimate prize being (gasp) noticed by them.  Sadly, this make-or-break mojo is occasionally true – though a surprising large number of these “names” are only divine in their twisted little minds.

I've said it before and so, naturally, I have to say it again: writing anything – smut to whatever you want to create – is damned hard work: all of us writers put our heart and souls down on the digital page and then send it out into a far-too-frequently uncaring digital universe.  No writer ... let me say that again with vehement emphasis ... is better than any other writer.  Sure, a few get paid more, have more books or stories published, but the work involved is the same – as is their history: name any ... well, name and you will see a person who, once upon a time, was sitting in the dark with nothing but hopes and dreams. 

Which is why these ... winchells give me unpleasant flashbacks to Lancaster telling Curtis: "Son, I don't relish shooting a mosquito with an elephant gun, so why don't you just shuffle along?"

Honestly, I will get to the point: never forget that what you are doing, as a writer, is special and wonderful.  Yeah, you might be rough around the edges; sure, you may be years away from stepping out of the shadows and into the blinding light of being (gasp) a name yourself; but you deserve respect.

I have a simple rule.  Okay, it might be a little harsh but it keeps me going in the face of trying to get out there into the big, wide, and far-too-uncaring world: ignore me and I ignore you. 

Facebook likes and comments, twitter responses, by the way, don't count.  That's not communication – at least not to me (not to sound like a crotchety old man).  If I write anyone – an editor, site, or just another writer – and I don't get an answer then I wish you into the cornfield.  The same goes with rude responses ... like the writer who asked me to promote her book.  I said that I would if she'd promote mine as well.  Quid pro quo, right?  She never wrote back – not even after a few polite suggestions for mutual exposure  ... so I hope she likes popcorn.

Being rude, not answering messages, playing the "are you a name? If not then screw you" game: there is no reason for this behavior.  Never!

Instead of trying to suck to up names or support them and their sites with a pathetic fantasy that you, too, may actually be seen by them, find some real, true, and good friends: people who will hold your hand when it gets dark and scary; who will bring you along no matter where they go; who understand the bumps in the road because they, too, are on the same path; who will understand kindness but also karma – that good begets good. 

Being a winchell may taste good, at first: being able to consider yourself better than other writers, to associate with other names in the business, to be able to make – or break – anyone who want for whatever reason you have ... but there's a great Hollywood expression that rings in my head just as loudly as any line from Sweet Smell of Success:

Always be nice to the people you meet on the way up, because those are the very same people you'll be meeting on the way back down.

In closing, remember that anyone, anywhere – name or not -- who doesn't treat you with at least professional equality, mutual respect, or just simple human politeness is, to quote from Sweet Smell of Success: "A cookie full of arsenic."

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Coffee Time Romance Likes "My Love Of All That Is Bizarre: The Erotic Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes"

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!

The Adventures of the Gentlemen TravelersShe has seen many things in her life, but the young servant girl is about to get a whole new eye opener. 
He may be exceptionally good at solving mysteries, but that is not all that interests Holmes.
The unique make-up of the house provides the young girl a particularly good vantage point to listen in and observe her favorite detective, and she settles in watch. Holmes does not disappoint when it comes to the case, but what he engages in with Watson sets her body on fire.  
We all have a little voyeur lurking under the surface, and this is just what it is looking for.  
The Many Facets of EcstasySetting out to complete her mission Madame Josephine Gellizeau goes to the one man whom she knows will have the answers. The lady is and is not all that she seems, but Holmes has no doubt that he will uncover the truth. Holmes listens intently to what Ma dame Gellizeau tells him, and then he acts. Once again Watson is awed by his friend’s acuity, but this time he is also inflamed by the lengths they will go to reveal everything. Challenges and mysteries are Holmes’ forte, but this story adds a steaming hot element not to be missed. 
L’Instinct SuffitThere is more to learning a language than just memorizing the words, and for Watson, the French language is on a whole other level. 
Spending much of his youth in France, Holmes speaks the language fluently, but in the heat of the moment it comes unconsciously as well. 
He may not know exactly what Holmes is saying, but for Watson the meaning is clear, and he would not want it any other way. 
For these two men French is most certainly the language of lovers, and after this read, it may become yours as well. 
Mrs. Hudson’s LodgerTimes are hard, and Martha Hudson will have to rent out space in her home if she wishes to keep it. 
The rooms for rent are just what Holmes is looking for, but he is not so sure about the mistress of the house.  Finding suitable lodging in London is a necessity for Holmes, and he seems to have found just the place. It seems however that his and Watson’s presence is having quite an unusual effect on their hostess. 
This should serve as a warning to any lady who thinks she is past her prime. You could spontaneously combust if you do not seek release on a regular basis! 
Holmes and the Case of the Two CouplesBest friends for many years, Holmes is quite surprised by the events of one quiet evening.
It is good for a marriage to keep things interesting, and Watson has every intention of doing just that. 
Everyone has something they think that no one knows about, but with a friend like Holmes that is quite unlikely. Watson never really thought he would be on the receiving end of Holmes’ clue cracking abilities, but that is exactly where he finds himself. 
While I can say I would be rather offended if I were Watson, it just goes to show that a mind like Holmes’ never shuts off. 
Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of the MoonstoneBeing accused of stealing a valuable family jewel Lady Florence McGuire seeks out the famed investigator. Not all is exactly what it seems; of that Holmes has no doubt.
It may have been a guess on Watson’s part, but he could not be closer to truth or farther away. Watson is also introduced to a lifestyle that he had no previous notion that Holmes engaged in, and he is more than thrilled to be included. 
No one can surprise us more than our friends, and in this story Watson gets the biggest surprise of all. 
The Curious Case on Pomegranate StreetOn the search for Oscar Wilde and his wife Holmes enters into a very uncomfortable situation. 
Indulgence in anything that pleases the body and the soul is what Armen lives for.
Not since he was a young man has Holmes given in to baser desires, but now the choice is out of his hands. He journeys back in time to relive a moment of sensual delight, and awakens to find himself being reintroduced to that same feeling. 
It is so much more fun to be bad, and I love that Holmes gets to have a whole lot of fun. 
The Case of the Unnatural Natural InstinctReflecting back Holmes recalls an event he feels it is time to share with his best friend.
Watson always knew his friend had had some very interesting exploits, but this one shocks him nonetheless. 
It began with the case of a young woman searching for an unseen lover, but for Holmes to dismiss the woman without explanation confuses Watson. He gets his answer upon her departure however, and it stuns him even more.
This may all be in the name of science for Holmes, but it is a titillating and sexy read for us. 
The Picture of Oscar WildeCompletely distressed Oscar Wilde goes to a friend to help him get some answers. A few good clues lead Professor Moriarty to only one conclusion. 
The photograph is good but it has been doctored and Moriarty is pretty confident he knows the culprit. The man blackmailing him is not who Oscar first suspects, but when the evidence is laid out, the truth is revealed. 
I find this to be a much more interesting who-done-it, mainly because it puts Moriarty in a whole new light. 
The Adventure of the Empty BoxNot much captures Holmes’ interest lately that is until a very unconventional piece of technology comes to his attention. 
To get a mystery solved Annabelle King Lovelace requires an expert, and she knows just who to talk to. 
Right away Holmes is aware that not everything is on the up and up, and he sends Watson to keep a very close eye on Annabelle. In the mean time he has his own path to follow, but even he is surprised at where it all leads. 
Even the best can be caught with their pants down, and it is intriguing to see how Holmes gets out of this very sticky situation. 
The Turkish BathA nice hot bath is often a luxury not many can afford on a daily basis, but Holmes has a better idea. 
Having spent a good deal of time in the arms of his best friend and lover, Watson does not need much convincing to try out a public bath house. 
The dingy water and overly crowded public bath houses in London make it easy for Holmes to convince Watson to try out the new Turkish baths. The very private atmosphere, cleanliness, and overall ambiance of the baths lead to an extremely satisfying afternoon for both men. 
This is one very sexy, sensual, and steamy read, and you are going to love every sweaty second. 
The Curious IncidentMoriarty firmly believes in knowing his enemy, and he wants every last delicious detail.
The secrets she holds are what he is after, but will Irene Adler reveal all? 
He has the woman in his hands, and Moriarty expects to learn exactly what makes Holmes tick. He has heard rumors, but what he wants from Irene is complete and intricate accounts of the man’s dirtiest secrets. 
It is plain to see the vicarious thrill Moriarty is getting out of Irene’s tales, and I love how this one keeps you guessing the entire time. 
Friends, lovers, companions, and confidants describe the wonderfully intricate relationship between Holmes, Watson, and at times Moriarty, and each story has its own version to tell. I love the more erotic tales between these men the most, and The Turkish Bath is probably my favorite. There are also interesting little mysteries in several that will spike your curiosity from time to time. Any one of these authors are well worth the read, but put them all together, and you have a collection that is far from that stuffy English Sherlock Holmes you may have read before.