Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Running Around Shots

IMG_0857 by mchristianzobop
IMG_0857, a photo by mchristianzobop on Flickr.

Check out my flickr feed for a few more shots I took while running around this weekend (it was - ahem - a great adventure and then some)

The Next Big Thing - And Stroke The Fire

(from M.Christian's Queer Imaginings)

I'm extremely pleased to be part of the round-robin blog tour started by John Everson - my own invitation coming from the brilliant Lucy Taylor - called The Next Big Thing.  By the way, I also got invites from a similar one from my pal Fulani (via Vanessa Wu) so I'm posting this one, at once, in thanks to all of these great folks!

From here check out the excellent blogs of five of my friends who I've tagged to carry on the tour - they should be posting their answers in about a week or so:

1) What is the working title of your book?

Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian!

2) Where did the idea for the book come from?

Well, to put it mildly I have written more than my fair share of queer erotica and fiction – starting with "Stroke the Fire" that was picked up for Best Gay Erotica 1994 – and ending with this brand new best-of-my-very-best short gay erotica: Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian!

The book is made up of my handpicked favorite stories from three of my queer erotic collections: the Lambda Award finalist Dirty WordsFilthy Boys, and BodyWork. What's even cooler than this brand new best-of-my-very-best book the great folks at Renaissance E Books/Sizzler editions – that also published Stroke the Fire – have re-released not just Dirty WordsFilthy Boys, and BodyWork, but my queer novels The Very Bloody Marys, and (the rather controversial) Me2 as part of a whole "M.Christian" imprint: The M.Christian: The Manlove Collection ... pretty cool, eh?

3) What genre does it fall under?

Even though Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is basically queer erotica is also contains a lot of stories that run the gamut from horror (like "Wet," Boy," "Echoes" "Matches" and others) to science fiction ("Blue Boy," "Utter West," "Counting," etc) and even stories that, sure, might be gay and erotic but are more-than-a-but off-the-map (like "How Coyote Stole Sun" and "Coyote And The Less Than Perfect Cougar").

I also kept the introductions to the three books that were used to make up Stroke The Fire: my own from BodyWork  Felice Picano's from Filthy Boys and Patrick Califia's from Dirty Words.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Since the book is a collection that's really tough to say ... though I sometimes visualize actors when I write (like Christian Slater and R. Lee Ermey for my novel, The Very Bloody Marys) I rarely do it when I write short stories. But if I had to pick some actors to appear in Stroke The Fire: The Movie I'd have to pick Ian McKellen, Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee, Nathan Fillion, the boys from Supernatural -- sorry, girls, as it's a gay male book there aren't many roles for women, not that I wouldn't love to get Emma Thompson, Gina Torres, Judi Dench, in there somewhere ... if just because I think they are wonderful and it would be a blast to meet them.

5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is quite literally a collection of the best-of-the-best of M.Christian's short queer erotic fiction, taken from his acclaimed collections Dirty Words (a Lambda Literary Award Finalist), BodyWork, and Filthy Boys.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian has been published by Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions as the benchmark of their The M.Christian: The Manlove Collection imprint, which reprints not just the erotic collections Dirty Words,  BodyWork, and Filthy Boys but also the non-erotic queer novels The Very Bloody Marys, and Me2.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?

As the book is a collection – made of other collections – that's really tough to answer. Dirty Words came out in its first edition back in 2001 ... with the other collections coming out every could of years since then. But then the earliest story in the whole book, "Stroke The Fire," first appeared in Best Gay Erotica 1994 so you could almost say that the book took both a month to put together but the content took 18 years ... and, boy, does that sound like a long time when you think of it that way.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

For me, Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is a way of putting everything I've felt proud of writing – that's queer and erotic – into one juicy bundle of pages. Sure, there have been other collections but, as far as I know, there hasn't been a collection that's a collection of other collections ... so I think that Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian is more than a tad unique.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The wonderful Renaissance E Books/Sizzler editions asked me to put this book together as part of their launch of their special The M.Christian: The Manlove Collection – to be the one place, if people interested in my queer erotica needed just one place, to go to get the best-of-my-best. If you like what's here, in other words, then you'll no doubt love the other books, collections, and anthologies I've done.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, probably the most unique thing about Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian – and the other queer books and stories I've written over the years – is that I'm a straight guy.

It always takes folks more than a bit aback then I say that but – really, honestly – that's what I am: sure I might write about gay characters (and even gay sexuality) but, more than anything, I'm a writer ... and books like Stroke The Fire (and the books that make it up) are just part of what I do.

Now I want to be absolutely clear that I never, ever, lie to editors, authors publishers, or readers about my own sexuality – though there have been a few odd situations over the years, of course. To this day some people simply think that I'm lying to myself about my own sexuality ... but, honesty, unless you’re a woman (especially a BBW) then Mr. Happy just doesn't salute. Sorry, guys....

I got into being a 'gay' author pretty much the same way I became a horror/fantasy/non-fiction, etc., writer: I saw an opportunity – or was asked to participate in some project-or-other – and, since writers and regular human beings grow through challenges, I gave it a shot and (bingo!) I found that I wasn't just comfortable writing queer fiction but that people actually wanted more of it. No dummy, that's what I did: and so I have a few novels, collections and, with Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian, my own best-of-my-best collection of short queer erotica.

Speaking of other things, I also write 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 well as the erotic romance novel Brushes, the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll, and over 25 anthologies like 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.

Amos Lassen Likes Stroke The Fire

(from M.Christian's Queer Imaginings)

This is very cool: the wonderful Amos Lassen just posted a very flattering review of my new best-of-my-very-best short erotic fiction, Stroke The Fire: The Best ManLove Fiction of M. Christian!

I do not read a lot of erotica but I do read a lot of M.Christian and I have, in fact, been reviewing him for almost eight years. “Stroke the Fire” is some of his collected erotica and the stories here are the writer’s own personal selections. Here we have hot sexy men having hot sexy sex, bad boys having sex with good boys and good boys having sex with bad boys. This is just what you need when you cannot get the real thing to keep you warm on a cold winter night.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Yet More Philosophy


Reminder: Impact Play - Beyond Floggers And Canes

(From M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

Just a little reminder that I'm going to be teaching one of my all-time fan favorite classes for the SF Citadel Community Center on December 11th: Impact Play - Beyond Floggers And Canes
SF Citadel Community Center
181 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA 
Cost: $20 at door 
Join this workshop to receive (ahem) 'hands-on' instruction in a wide and sometimes-strange variety of different impact toys hands, hairbrushes, paddles, crops, wooden spoons, batons, quirts, and more. While often the physics of these toys are sometimes closely related, to use each one effectively takes particular skill and techniques that are not immediately apparent. Participants will learn not only how to inflict the most pleasure as well as pain but also how to use each item without hurting the wield-er as well as the wield-ee.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Lisabet Sarai Likes Technorotica

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is a very, very special treat: an extremely flattering review of
Technorotica: Stories Shattering the Ultimate Taboo - a print-only special edition, made up of the Rude Mechanicals and Better Than The Real Thing ebooks, all published (by the very great Renaisssance E Books/Sizzler Editions) by the always-great Lisabet Sarai.  Thanks so much, Lisabet!

Technorotica: Stories Shattering the Ultimate Taboo by M. Christian 
Barbary Coast Editions, Renaissance E Books, 2012
One of the most enjoyable aspects of being an author is that you get to invent new worlds. Sometimes those worlds strongly resemble our so-called reality; sometimes they deviate wildly. Even the most bizarre fictional world, though, needs to feel real. The reader needs to see, smell, taste, and touch the alien environment in which she finds herself. Against all logic and common sense knowledge, she needs to believe. 
Pulling this off is tough, especially in genres like paranormal and science fiction, where the story by definition is set somewhere other than the world as we know it. M. Christian is a master of this trick, as he demonstrates in Technorotica, his new collection of stories concerning the erotic connections between humans and machines. 
I'll admit up front that I've long been a fan of M.Christian's work (I even edited one of his books, ComingTogether Presents M. Christian) and that I'm deeply in awe of his imagination. Despite what might be considered a positive bias, I still feel totally comfortable and justified in asserting: this is a fantastic book, in both the literal and figurative sense. 
The stories in this collection could loosely be called science fiction erotica, but they vary a great deal in focus and tone. Several of them (“Hot Definition”, “Speaking Parts”, “Hack Work” and the excerpt from Christian's novel Painted Doll) are set in a shadowy, perilous, cyber-punk world where everything is for sale and everyone lives on the edge, staying alive through crime or luck or sometimes both. Prosthetics, holographic doppelgangers, constant electronic surveillance, mind-jacking and body snatching – fans of Gibson, Sterling and Cadigan will feel right at home. However, this author isn't primarily concerned with gadgets and technology (never mind the title of the book) but with feelings: fear, hunger, desperation, desire and love. These stories explore how humans reach out for one another, as the mechanical invades and erodes the meaning of humanity. 
“Blow Up” and “I am Jo's Vibrator” are lighter in tone. The former lets us into the mind of a man with a peculiar fetish. The latter, as suggested by the title, is narrated by a sex toy. Both will make you smile (or at least, that was my reaction) though “Blow Up”, the first tale in the book, has a subtle darkness that's a preview of the more serious stories to come. 
I've read the tale “State” in several other M. Christian collections. It remains one of my favorite erotic stories of all time. A human woman/sex worker impersonates a blue-skinned, state-of-the-art Japanese sex robot. The neat logical flip here satisfies the intellect. The woman's arousal at becoming the ultimate sex object provides satisfaction in other dimensions. 
“The Bell House Invitation” is a fabulous new take on ménage, or more accurately, polyamory. Four individuals – two men, two women – live together and share a group mind. Together they seduce another woman with the aim of convincing her to join their communal consciousness. The sex scene in this tale succeeds in exploring all the participants' experience simultaneously, pulling the reader into the mix. It's lusciously explicit without losing the sense of wonder that derives from a level of communion most of us only dream about. 
In contrast, “Billie” includes no overt sex at all yet still manages to convey an intense feeling of desire. This vignette of a butch woman speeding along the Pacific Coast Highway on her vintage 1977 Harley Davidson details a synergy between human and machine so strong it becomes erotic. 
“A Light Minute” focuses on communication over a distance, as a reclusive woman terrified of the world outside opens herself to the lover she knows only via electronic missives. 
Finally, “KSRN” is a dream-like reverie about speed and sex, chrome and compassion. If I'd been the author, I would have put this story last in the book. It leaves you feeling haunted and yet somehow complete.
Overall, my reaction to this book was “Wow”. But then, I'm seriously turned on by originality. If you share this trait with me – get yourself a copy of Technorotica.

(And by the way - the book includes a great preface and afterword, too!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Yet More Philosophy

Reminder: Hear Me Read From 50 Writers On 50 Shades Of Grey

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

Just a reminder:

This is going to be a blast!

On Thursday, December 6th, from 7 - 8pm, join me and some other wonderful writers reading from the very fun new book 50 Writers On 50 Shades Of Grey at the Valencia Street Good Vibrations store, in San Francisco!

E. L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy has fascinated and seduced millions of readers. In bedrooms, in book clubs, and in the media, people can’t stop talking about it!

In Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey, 50 writers—from romance and erotica authors, to real-world BDSM practitioners, to adult entertainment industry professionals—continue the conversation.

Fifty Shades as Erotic FictionErotic romance writer Sylvia Day speaks to the new opportunities the Fifty Shades trilogy has opened up for writers (and readers!) of erotica

Fifty Shades as Sexual EmpowermentRomance novelist Heather Graham praises the way the books encourage women to celebrate their own sexual shades of grey

Fifty Shades as FanfictionEditor Tish Beaty relates the process behind turning Twilight fanfic Master of the Universe into Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades as Pop CultureFifty Shames of Earl Grey author Andrew Shaffer compares Fifty Shades to sister-in-literary-scandal Peyton Place

Plus• Matrimonial lawyer Sherri Donovan examines the legalities of Christian’s contract• Master R of BDSM training chateau La Domaine Esemar evaluates Christian Grey’s skill as a Dominant (and offers some professional advice)• And a whole lot more!
Whether you loved Fifty Shades of Grey, or just want to know why everyone else does, Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey is the book for you. 
• Heather Graham• Sylvia Day• Andrew Shaffer• M.J. Rose• Sinnamon Love• Judith Regan• Stacey Agdern• Laura Antoniou• Jennifer Armintrout• Tish Beaty• Mala Bhattacharjee• Rachel Kramer Bussel• M. Christian• Suzan Colón• Joy Daniels• Sherri Donovan• Angela Edwards• Melissa Febos• Lucy Felthouse• Ryan Field• Selina Fire• Megan Frampton• Sarah Frantz• Louise Fury• Lois Gresh• Catherine Hiller• Marci Hirsch• Dr. Hilda Hutcherson• Debra Hyde• Anne Jamison• D.L. King• Dr. Logan Levkoff• Arielle Loren• Sassafras Lowry• Rachel Kenley• Pamela Madsen• Chris Marks and Lia Leto• Midori• Master R• Dr. Katherine Ramsland• Tiffany Reisz• Katharine Sands• Jennifer Sanzo• Rakesh Satyal• Marc Shapiro• Lyss Stern• Cecilia Tan• Hope Tarr• Susan Wright• Editor X

Tom Lehrer - A Christmas Carol

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Wonderful Time Teaching Cupping - Using The Ancient Medicinal Technique For Erotic Play At The Looking Glass

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

Just wanted to toss out a hearty thanks for the great folks who came out to my Cupping - Using The Ancient Medicinal Technique For Erotic Play class at the The Looking Glass ... it was a treat to teach and, I hope, everyone who was there had a good time as well!

Stroke The Fire Blog Tour: The Jeep Dviva

(from M.Christian's Queer Imaginings)

This is very fun - as part of the Stroke The Fire: The Best Manlove Fiction Of M.Christian blog tour that the great folks at Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions were so great to setup for me, the very first stop has just gone up: a very nice interview with yers truly by the great Jeep Diva.

The tour also includes a contest to get some freebie books: so check it out and see what might happen ;-)

Here's a taste of it - and just clock here for the rest:

The Jeep Diva:

Vanessa: Would you please start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I’m a male human born in 1960. I have green eyes, black hair, am circumcised, have a rather thin build, and am a little short of six feet tall.

I am a writer. Yeah, I know there are a lot of people out there who say that they are writers but when I say I am a writer I mean that I eat, drink, breathe, telling stories. I first caught the bug in high school and (yes, you may gasp) ten years later I sold my first story.

Okay, it as a pornographic story – sold to the magazine (now defunct) Future Sex, and then picked up for Best American Erotica 1994 – but that doesn’t bother me: I am a writer and I love to write pretty much anything for anyone. Sex, as the old maxim goes, sells and – no fool I – I write what people want to buy. Oh, I write all kinds of other things, from non-fiction (Welcome To Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica) to science fiction/fantasy/horror (Love Without Gun Control) but erotica is where I’ve done my most work.

Here’s a quickie bio:
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 The 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. His site is www.mchristian.com.
Vanessa: What is one thing about you that your readers would find surprising or never guess about you?

I think the biggest thing that ‘throws’ folks is that, even though I have written a lot – and I do mean a lot — of queer fiction and erotica (both gay as well as lesbian) I’m actually … wait for it … a straight guy.

I’m not even that kinky of a straight guy … okay, I have a fondness for big beautiful women but I always fall in love with a woman’s mind before I fall for her body.

Now I have to be serious (for a second) I never, ever lie about my own sexuality when I write gay fiction: I am very out about being a heterosexual who happens to write quite a bit of gay fiction. It all happened rather simply: I had a friend who suggested I try my hand at writing gay erotica so I contacted the editor of a gay erotic anthology and asked if he wouldn’t mind getting a story from a straight guy – and he not only said sure but also bought the story … which then ended up in Best Gay Erotica 1994.

To use the cliché, the rest is history: one story lead to two, three, four, being offered to edit my own anthology, then a novel offer and … well, here I am. Stroke the Fire, in fact, is my own, personal, best-of-my-very best gay erotic short stories, taken from three of my best-selling gay erotic collections, Filthy Boys, BodyWork, and the rather-celebrated Dirty Words. I even kept the very touching introductions to each of the three books in Stroke the Fire: Felice Picano’s from Filthy Boys, and Patrick Califia from Dirty Words.