Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Article At FutureOfSex: Future Fetishes - Five Possible Sexual Kinks for the Next Century

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

I really, really, really like writing for the great folks at FutureOfSex - and they just posted a brand new piece on their fun site: my take on kinks of the future!  

Here's a tease - for the rest just click here.

Human beings, especially when it comes to sex, are pretty odd creatures. Unlike a lot of other species, we are often drawn to both the common and the rare.

It’s like a certain percentage of humanity says, on an unconscious level, I’ve never seen that before… and it really turns me on!

As homo sapiens continue our evolution into homo technologicus, we might one day see the eroticization of what we now consider commonplace. But for citizens of the next century, what we currently regard as banal will be unique and exotic.

So here is a playful look at what our descendants might become—and what they may find daringly, erotically outré.
It makes you look distinguished

As the possessor of (sigh) quite a few… shall we say “facial folds,” as well as having the lack of what used to be a long mane of dark hair, it’s alluring to think that as we learn more and more about the physical aging process, that sometime in the, hopefully, near future we’ll see wrinkles and gray hair as being fascinatingly unique.

While there may not be any huge breakthroughs yet, all it takes is a glance at history to see that, as a species, our lifespans are increasing at an incredible rate. Mostly due to better care, diet, education, and exercise, we have gone from a life expectancy of mid 60s (for men) and early 70s (for women) only 50 years ago, to where we are looking at breaking the 100 year mark in only the next generation.

As we push back the human biological clock farther and farther, it’s no great stretch of imagination to envision people being drawn to the rarity of physical old age.

Those with natural signs of it could be the adult entertainment stars of this niche genre—though others may very well cosmetically adopt wrinkles, gray hair, and all the rest the same way people today get breast implants, artificial tans, colored contact lenses, and the like.

And who knows, if a certain erotic writer can hang on long enough, he may very well become an adult entertainment celebrity. A man can dream…

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker: LOVE

A very fun - if I say so myself - piece of mine just went like at the great Erotica Readers and Writers site.  Here's a tease - for the rest just click here.


"You could have stayed with me," he'd said the first time I went to Seattle to see him, but stayed in a motel. I hadn't even thought of it, and so the disappointment in his eyes.

I never went back. After he got promoted there wasn't any point.

You could have stayed with me evolves into a fantasy in which those four days play out differently: an invitation made earlier, my discomfort of staying in someone else's house miraculously absent. Fresh off the plane, strap digging into my shoulder (I always over-pack), out of the cab and up a quick twist of marble steps to his front door. A knock, or a buzz, and it opens.

A quick dance of mutual embarrassment as I maneuver in with my luggage, both of us saying the stupid things we all say when we arrive somewhere we've never been before. Him: "How was your flight?" Me: "What a great place."

Son of a decorator, I always furnish and accessorize my fantasies: I imagine his to be a simple one-bedroom. Messy, but a good mess. A mind's room, full of toppling books, squares of bright white paper. Over the fireplace (cold, never lit) a print, something classical like a Greek torso, the fine line topography of Michelangelo's David. A few pieces of plaster, three-dimensional anatomical bric-a-brac on the mantel. A cheap wooden table in the window, bistro candle, and Don't Fuck With The Queen in ornate script on a chipped coffee cup.

Dinner? No, my flight arrived late. Coffee? More comfortable and gets to the point quicker. We chat. I ask him about his life: is everything okay? He replies that he's busy, but otherwise fine. We chat some more. I say that it's a pleasure to work with him. He replies with the same.


Thursday, December 10, 2015


(from M.Christian's Meine Kleine Fabrik)

Here's a fun little treat: the introduction to my book Terrors: Reel Monsters - The Original Short Stories That Became 8 Classic Horror Films.  Enjoy!

I like monster movies. ...No, wait, that's not completely true. I love monster movies.

Aside from sweet memories of laying on the carpeted floor, a sanctuary of Creature Features and Saturday Afternoon Marathons from the dreaded hours of elementary school, these films have always spoken to me: the carefully constructed stories dovetailing with direction, nuances of acting, the beauty of a perfect screenplay...or even the ones with cruddy plots, sloppy cinematography, laughable performances, or horrible dialogue... there's always something, somewhere in both the best and the worst, that I've enjoyed.

Suffice it to say, I'm not a snob. Sure, I admire directors like Wim Wenders, Cronenberg, Kurosawa, Mamuro Oshii, and Frankenheimer, but I have a particular fondness for movies made in a hurry with a zero-dollar budget—yet still managing to create something truly memorable.

This book is a kind of celebration of those bootstrap classics of horror and science fiction: Stuart Gordon's playful gorefest, Re-Animator; Browning's shuddering nightmare, Freaks; Robert Florey's atmospheric The Beast with Five Fingers; even the playfully ridiculous Invasion of the Saucer Men; Robert Wise's steadily creepy The Body Snatcher; The Twilight Zone's “It's A Good Life,” and so many others. Take it from a true fan: get some popcorn, a soda, and settle in for a fantastic afternoon of amazingly creepy cinema—or at least the stories that inspired some of its biggest classics.

And if there's one thing I actually like more than the movies, it’s the stories behind the movies.

It's a sad fact that while a lot of people—who aren't cinema junkies—don’t know that the movies they know and love had their origins in some equally (if not more) incredible works of fiction. They don't realize that behind so many of their favorite—or just guilty—pleasures on film or TV, there isn't just a director and producer, actors and the crew, but an author whose novel or story was the true creative force behind it all.

Re-Animator? It came from the one and only H.P. Lovecraft's story of the same name. “One of of us,” (of course I'm talking about Freaks) was taken from “Spurs” by Tod Robbins. The Beast with Five Fingers came from the same-titled story by W. F. Harvey. Invasion of the Saucer Men started as “The Cosmic Frame” by Paul Fairman. “Wish him into the cornfield,” (from, naturally, “It's a Good Life“) was originally from the famous Jerome Bixby story of the same name. Black Sabbath was from “The Curse of the Vourdalak” by Alexis Tolstoy; The Monkey's Paw came from a story by W. W. Jacobs, and The Body Snatcher came from Robert Louis Stevenson.

There are, of course, other authors whose work has been adapted into horror movies—but the stories in this anthology were picked because the ideas and stories behind these playful cinematic treats have nearly disappeared into obscurity. Lots of people, for instance, know the origins of Soylent Green (Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison or 2001: A Space Odyssey (The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke); Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick), but very few know the origins of the films listed on our Table of Contents...even if their authors are extremely well known. Aleksey Tolstoy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lovecraft anyone?

Fame aside, these writers deserve some recognition not just for the works that have been turned into silver screen horror classics, but for all the other great novels and short stories they created. Consider this, then, not just a celebration of the stories herein, but a gateway to the wider world of these authors’ literary creations.

Take Jerome Bixby (1923–1998) to start. It's truly tragic that far too few people know of Bixby's work and wide-ranging contributions to science fiction. Putting aside some of his more famous short stories—like “It's a Wonderful Life,” featured here—he also wrote the story that became the 1970's SF classic Fantastic Voyage as well as the screenplays for some of the most well-received, and fan-favorite, Star Trek episodes: “By Any Other Name,” “Day of the Dove,” “Requiem for Methuselah” and “Mirror, Mirror.” By the way, Digital Parchment Services recently released the definitive Jerome Bixby collection, Mirror Mirror: Classic SF by the Famed Star Trek and Fantastic Voyage Writer.

Paul W. Fairman (1916–1977) is similarly a tremendously respected author and editor of 14 novels and some dozens of short stories. Fairman wrote under quite a few pseudonyms, establishing himself as a well-respected author of both science fiction and detective tales. Like Bixby, he also saw his work being adapted many times for both the big and the small screens: “People are Alike All Over” (Twilight Zone) came from his story “Brothers Beyond the Void” and—of course—his tale “The Cosmic Frame” became Invasion of the Saucer Men (and later, painfully, remade as The Eye Creatures).

Tod Robbins (1888–1949) is the author of seven novels, including The Unholy Three, The Master of Murders, Close Their Eyes Tenderly and the sadly unreleased To Hell and Home Again. Robbins is viewed by many as a master of the truly strange tale. After remaining in France during the Second World War he served time in a concentration camp—passing away a few years after the war had ended.

William Fryer Harvey (W.F. Harvey, 1885–1937) was another brilliant short story author, penning The Beast with Five Fingers as well as 15 separate volumes' worth of other work. In the First World War, Harvey was awarded the Albert Medal for Lifesaving, though the injuries he sustained during the rescue affected him for the rest of his life.

William Wymark Jacobs (W. W. Jacobs, 1863–1943) is one of those authors whose work has become a true landmark. “The Monkey's Paw” (which has been adapted numerous times) first appeared in his collection, The Lady of the Barge (1902). Jacobs was also the author of many other very well received short stories, though most of them were much less...terrifying, and in a much lighter and more humorous tone.

Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy (1817–1875), aside from being Leo Tolstoy's second cousin, is a literary genius in his own right, having written the classics The Death of Ivan the Terrible, Don Juan, Tsar Boris, and—of course—“The Curse of the Vourdalak” (which first appeared in 1839).

As for H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Louis Stevenson ... come on, who doesn’t know about them? But then this is, after all, a book celebrating the stories that became films, so maybe a little introduction is due, for those who were totally napping during English Lit.

H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) is still, years after his passing, the master of unnamable dread and madness. Hell, even the word “Lovecraftian” has entered our vocabulary. His books and stories—many featuring his nightmarish cosmic entities such as Cthulhu—have been turned into to film, TV shows, video games, and even plush toys. His tale, “Herbert West—Reanimator,” first appeared in Weird Tales in 1922. The film adaption, directed by Stuart Gordon (1985), and starring the delightful Jeffrey Combs, has become a modern horror classic.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) is, of course, is a pure and absolute legend. The author of classics such as Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island (both staples of film and stage adaption), Kidnapped, and The Wrong Box—and many others. Stevenson had the fortune of being a celebrity author during his lifetime and, according to the Index Translationum (UNESCO's authority of book translations), is the 26th most translated author in the world.

There they are—at least in capsule form. But I hope these brief biographical sketches serve as an introduction to a group of authors whose terrifying work was transformed into amazing pieces of film and television history.

So, absolutely, make some popcorn—and be sure and put lots of butter and salt on it—get some soda, make up a pillow fort, and settle in to read the stories behind the great monster movies. Notice which parts of the original story were kept, which weren’t, what worked better on the printed page and what was more fun on the big or small screen.

And the next time you watch a horror flick, remember that behind those reel monsters there may very well lurk even more terrifying creatures: the original beasts, ghouls and eldritch beings from the stories at the heart of each film.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

New Article At FutureOfSex: Sex in 2115 - Biohacking Bodies and Turning Ourselves into Sexual Cyborgs

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is very, very, very cool: my brand new article just went live on the great FutureOfSex site.

Check out by thoughts on the genitals of the future here.

Welcome to Human Body 2.0

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the basic operations of both the new and improved physical structure as well as the operating system.

The first things you may have noticed are the major improvements to the physical sexual perimeters (i.e. the genitals). Don’t be alarmed. Rest assured that not only will they perform just like the previous versions, but they have been totally redesigned to improve just about every aspect of erotic pleasure.

Oh, and don’t forget to agree to the Terms and Conditions.


Predicting the future is, at best, hit and miss; mostly a lot of misses to a very few hits.

But that’s never stopped me before. So, after looking at a few of the remarkable innovations that have recently appeared, I’ve tried to speculate on the hot new bodies we all could be wearing in the next hundred or so years.

And, naturally, as this is Future of Sex, I’ll be paying particular attention to the erotic fun all of us might be having with our new bodies.

Elizabeth Coldwell Likes Skin Effect!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is so touching - check out this lovely review my pal, Elizabeth Coldwell, did for my new collection of erotic science fiction stories, Skin Effect: More Science Fiction And Fantasy Erotica

A woman with the ability to perfect memories – or erase them from the mind forever – offers help to people who can’t escape their past. A man tries to avenge his family’s death, and finds only a loving welcome from his bitterest enemy. And a number of friends enjoy a group sex experience in which their minds as well as their bodies become fused… 
In his second collection of high-concept science fiction and fantasy erotica, Skin Effect, M. Christian takes aspects of current technology – spectacles that enable the wearer to instantly connect to a world of data, smart fabrics, video blogging, the lurking spectre of cybercrime – and takes it to its logical extension. The characters in these stories have access to all manner of cutting edge devices, enabling them to move through time or transition their bodies, and Christian uses this overarching them to explore how this might affect love and sex. If you could routinely change from male to female, wear clothing that would adapt to suit your mood and aid seduction, or relive in perfect detail time spent with a lost lover, however painful it might prove, would you do it? And if so, would you be prepared for any unexpected consequences? 
Skin Effect isn’t an easy read. The stories are written in a style that requires close attention to extract the nuances of the text, and you may not grasp all the implications of a scenario on first reading. But as you’d expect from an M. Christian anthology, they drip with eroticism and the many and varied sexual couplings are lusciously described. If you’re looking for thought-provoking erotica that’s both cerebral and sensual, this is the collection for you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wonderful Review Of My New ScIFi Erotica Collection, SKIN EFFECT By Amos Lassen!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is so very, very, very touching: my great pal Amos Lassen was so kind of post this lovely review of my new scifi erotica collection, Skin Effect: More Science Fiction And Fantasy Erotica (a follow-up to Bachelor Machine - also out in a new edition).

Thanks so much, Amos!

Christian is one of the freshest and most original erotica writer these days. I have been reviewing him for about eight years now and every time he sends me something new, it is a surprise. “Skin Effect” is the sequel to “The Bachelor Machine” that I reviewed some time ago and that that really showed the skills of the author. I asked myself then whether he would ever be able to top that and he has. ”Skin Effect” is a new collection of short stories that both stun the reader and arouse his/her libido. Christian breaks the rules here—his erotica is innovative and totally original. He goes beyond bondage and sado-masochism, he continues past fetish kind and arrives at a new spot and possibly a new genre in erotic literature. He writes of the here and now and of the future as he explores the nth degree of sex and arousal. Below are the titles of some of the stories included here: 
“[Title Forgotten]”
“The Subsequent State”
“The Bell House Invitation”
“The Potter’s Wheel”
“Double Toil And Trouble”
“A Kiss Goodnight” and M. Christian gives us an informative and thoughtful afterword. 
In this book’s precursor, “The Bachelor Machine” that I reviewed several years ago, we had dark erotic stories of desperate individuals. Now, this new collection is more hopeful and that seems to be because of new technologies that include data that streams constantly, sensors that are worn, the cloud that now called the media-sphere and that allows for every thought and action to be available to everyone. Add to that that a human being is looked upon solely based on the number of people who follow him/here electronically. Quite naturally, what comes out of all this can be different for different people and there has not yet been any evaluation as to whether or not this is good for the people. It seems to me that we are asking the same questions today. Does technology challenge individualism and make our lives open books and if so, it this good for us? Memory here becomes fluid and can be changed or done away with at will. Sex is affected also in that gender indeed becomes fluid and be changed at will. 
We have the example in one of the stories that a character buys a piece of clothing that becomes whatever the wearer wants it to be and therefore is suitable for all occasions.
I can certainly see how what is written here can be upsetting but we must never lose sight that what we are reading is fiction and this is not necessarily how things will be (but we said the same thing about Dick Tracy’s watch way back then). I found the stories to be charming but also, without exception, highly erotic even though this is not quite the kind of erotica that we are used to. The writing and the erotica are both raunchy (for lack of a better word) and hallucinatory and the stories arouse us while at the same makes us worry about what the future may bring. 
I am not much of an erotica reader except in the cases of M. Christian and a couple of others and that is because I concentrate more on the writing than on the sex. I must say that M. Christian is one of the most inventive writers I have ever read and when we combine with good plots, we become more than satisfied with what he has to say. He manages to take us into the future in exciting, provocative ways yet the does not lose sight of how important sex is in our lives.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Up Now @ FutureOFSex: Dressing for Tomorrow: How Designers Are Mixing Technology, Eroticism and Fashion

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

I am having a real blast writing for the great folks at FutureOfSex ... and I'm very pleased that a brand new piece just went live there.

Click here to read Dressing for Tomorrow: How Designers Are Mixing Technology, Eroticism and Fashion!

When not protecting the wearer against the weather—or in some cases other humans—clothing has always been about sex.

While materials came and went, the basic idea of fashion has stuck around. From power ties to high heels, corsets to tuxedos, jockeys to hot pants, we’ve forever been trying to accentuate, or downplay, certain parts of our anatomy.

But now it looks like things will really be changing. Frequently using what is called intelligent clothing or e-textiles, a few innovative designers are exploring wild new territories—and perhaps giving us a glimpse of the erotic fashions for the next century.

Anouk Wipprecht

To put it overly simple, technology plus fashion, plus sensuality, equals Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht.

One of her designs called the ParticleDress, embraces the open-source movement: where all kinds of technologies are being made available for anyone to tweak or play with.

Basically, she created a 3D printed framework/garment that supports a standardized hexagonal ‘module’—then she reached out to creative people all over the world, inviting them to design their very own modules to be attached to the dress. The final selection of these submissions then made it into the final design, unveiled at the San Francisco Maker Faire in May of this year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker: How Much? By M.Christian

(from the Erotica Readers And Writers site)

Here's a bit of fun I wrote a looooong time ago ... hope you like!

How Much?

The Editor sends the story back, No one comes like this. It’s obvious she’s faking it and I realize he’s right: she was faking it.


The Director leans in, hot lights burning my legs: Just can’t get the lighting right, your cock still looks too small. I frown, thinking of all the wankers from San Francisco to Boston feeling good that the stud in their whack-off vid is smaller than they are for once.


She never calls me back. Six months later, I run into her on the street. I read that story you wrote for Warped Perverts, she says, scanning for a quick escape route. It scared me. 


The Photographer tells me to smile, damn it, smile as I lift my leg into yet another impossible position. I miss the gallery opening because of a cramp so bad I can’t get out of bed.


Monday, November 09, 2015

Up Now @ FutureOFSex: The Sexual Future of 2015 - What Sci-Fi Movies and Books Got Wrong… and Right

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

I'm having a serious blast writing for the great folks at FutureOfSex- and a brand new post of mine just went live!

Check out The Sexual Future of 2015: What Sci-Fi Movies and Books Got Wrong… and Right!

It was a fun to write and (hopefully) just as fun to read!
Today may not be the future these works envisioned, but maybe it’s still to come?

Science fiction has never really strived to be prophetic. Mostly the genre has used speculation to draw attention to social issues of the day; a funhouse mirror held up to mankind.

And when it has tried to gaze into a crystal ball, sci-fi’s track record is more than a bit lacking—to be polite.

Especially in regards to the future of sexuality.

Now that we are actually living in 2015—and with 2016 right around the corner—it’s fun to look at some notable books and films that tried to envision what sex would be like in the future. In other words, right this very minute.

A lot of things turned out to be flat out wrong. But what’s even more intriguing—and even more than a bit chilling—is what they actually may have gotten right.

If not this year but very, very soon.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Tuesday: Nov. 10: Tit-Torture For Boobs: Breast Play With M.Christian @ SFCitadel

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

This is gonna be a blast: come check out this really fun - if I say so myself - class!

Btw, I need a demo.  Let me know if you are game before or at the class.  First volunteer gets in for free!

And be sure and check out my survey for what classes you want me to teach for 2016.

Tit-Torture For Boobs: Breast Play

Breast play offers wonderful opportunities for intensely powerful scenes - but also comes with serious, even dangerous, risks. In this breasts-on seminar, participants will learn how to treat tits, both male and female, with exactly the right measure of sensuality and intensity to play well but also safely. Clothespins, nipple clamps, pinching, suction devices, gentle impact, bondage, and more will be demonstrated - as well as how to deliver effective aftercare. Additionally, participants will be given instruction in first aid, the dangers of breast play, and the limits of what boobs can take.

SF Citadel
181 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA

Class from 8pm to 10pm, doors open at 7:30pm
Cost: $20 at the door, or $15 in advance


M.Christian has been an active participant in the San Francisco BDSM scene since 1988, and has been a featured presenter at the Northwest Leather Celebration, smOdyssey, the Center For Sex and Culture, The National Sexuality Symposium, San Francisco Sex Information, The Citadel, The Looking Glass, The Society of Janus, The Floating World, Winter Solstice, and lots of other venues. He has taught classes on everything from impact play, tit torture, bondage, how to write and sell erotica, polyamory, cupping, caning, and basic SM safety.

M.Christian is also a recognized master of BDSM erotica 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 many other anthologies, magazines, and other sites; editor of anthologies such as the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, and more; the collections Dirty Words, The Bachelor Machine, Love Without Gun Control, Rude Mechanicals, and more; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Finger's Breadth, Brushes, and Painted Doll. His site is

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Thursday, Nov. 12: Sex Sells: How To Write And Sell Erotica @ Center For Sex And Culture In SF!

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

I love teaching all my classes, but Sex Sells: How To Write And Sell Erotica is especially near and dear to my heart.

And the very good news is that I'm going to be doing this special class for the Center For Sex And Culture in San Francisco on Thursday, November 12th!

The market for erotic fiction and nonfiction is booming! There actually is a secret to writing great erotica - and you'll discover just what that is in this fun, hands-on workshop with well-known erotica writer and teacher M.Christian.

For the beginning writer, erotica can be the ideal place to begin writing, getting published, and - best of all - earning money. And for the experienced writer, erotica can be an excellent way to beef up your resume and hone your writing skills. M.Christian will review the varieties of personal and literary expression possible in this exciting and expanding field. He'll also teach you techniques for creating love and sex scenes that sizzle.

Plus: current pay rates, how to write for a wide variety of erotic genres, where and how to submit your erotic writing, and more.

Sex Sells: How To Write And Sell Erotica
The Center for Sex and Culture
1349 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

Thursday, November 12th

6:00PM to 8:00PM

$20 (purchase pre-event tickets here)

M.Christian has been an active participant in the San Francisco BDSM scene since 1988, and has been a featured presenter at the Northwest Leather Celebration, smOdyssey, the Center For Sex and Culture, The National Sexuality Symposium, San Francisco Sex Information, The Citadel, The Looking Glass, Floating World, Winter Solstice, and lots of other venues. He has taught classes on everything from impact play, tit torture, bondage, polyamory, cupping, caning, and basic SM safety.

M.Christian is also a recognized master of BDSM erotica 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 many other anthologies, magazines, and other sites; editor of 2t anthologies such as the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, and more; the collections Dirty Words, The Bachelor Machine, Love Without Gun Control, Rude Mechanicals, and more; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Finger's Breadth, Brushes, and Painted Doll. His site is

Monday, November 02, 2015

Beyond Romance Likes Skin Effect!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is very touching: the great Lisabet Sarai reviewed by brand-new erotic science fiction collection, Skin Effect: More Science Fiction And Fantasy Erotica, for Beyond Romance.

Thanks so much, Lisabet!

Normally, when I write a review, I treat the book as a stand-alone entity, without considering prequels, sequels or other books in a series. In reviewing Skin Effect, however, it’s almost impossible not to make some reference to The Bachelor Machine, M. Christian’s first collection of science fiction erotica, which I reviewed back in 2009. For one thing, there’s the subtitle, “More Erotic Science Fiction and Fantasy Erotica”, pointedly implying the existence of the previous volume. Then there’s the author’s Afterword, which explicitly compares the perspectives in the first book to those in this one. Even the title is a reference to the earlier book, the name of one of the stories therein (which is not included here). In any case, I couldn’t really read this collection without being reminded of the earlier volume. The stories are equally inventive, but extremely different in tone. To me, they suggested a more mature, subtle and balanced vision of the future. 
The world of The Bachelor Machine is largely dystopic, a dark environment of crumbling infrastructure, poisoned nature, desperate individuals, oppressive and dehumanizing technology. The stories in Skin Effect reflect a greater degree of hope as well as the expected impact of more recent technological developments—constant data streams gathered by wearable sensors; software agents that relieve us of the need to learn or remember; the omnipresent social media-sphere, where every thought, action and emotion is immediately visible to one’s audience and one’s worth as a human being might be measured by the number of spectators one can muster. Like those in the earlier book, however, these tales ask difficult but intriguing questions about reality and human existence. What does it mean to talk about one’s life history, when memories can be implanted or erased at will? What happens to sex when changing gender is almost as easy as changing clothes and every possible sexual variation is available via simulation? Is there something special or unique about direct experience, unmediated by technology? Is that sort of genuine, first-hand, totally disconnected experience even possible anymore? 
One of my favorite stories in the collection is the simple and elegant “Prêt-à-Porter”. A rather shy, serious young woman purchases a – garment – made of the ultimate intelligent fabric, fabric that transforms itself into whatever sort of clothing or costume its wearer desires—and which shapes its owner’s desires in the process. 
It was ... warm, like a another person's skin. She knew it would be, but the comfort of it was still calming – making the release of that second breath slow and easy. It moved up her body like a splash from a shallow pool, the warmness of it making her relax even more. 
As it flowed, it stayed black – but just as she noticed that, it changed: rolling through a rainbow of hues, shades, and saturations. As it flowed, it stayed glistening like colorful latex – but as she noticed that, as well, it changed: tumbling through an array of textures, contours, weaves, and shapes. 
She couldn't help it: she laughed. It was like a puppy, fresh out of the box and eager to play. It didn't take her mind long to imagine the artificial, intelligent, endlessly chameleonic material as wagging a form of artificial, intelligent, endlessly chameleonic, tail. 
“LMS”, the last story in the volume, is another high point. Set in a nearer term future than most of the tales (a future in which humans still design web sites!), this tale features an insecure, depressed protagonist who is pried out of his fugue of self-loathing by an encounter with a transsexual who sincerely admires his work. This is a sexy but surprisingly sweet love story, set in a world where your Facebook numbers can determine your personal fate. 
“A Kiss Goodnight” presents the next stage in evolution, as an aging pioneer in the study of artificial intelligence is seduced by the “ghost in the machine”, the sentient, self-aware outcome of his own research. The language in this tale is utterly gorgeous, whether the author is describing the taste of a peach (a real peach, grown on an actual tree—something exceedingly rare) or the nature of the professor’s elusive partner. 
Shimmering shoals of software; ripples of digital entities flashing in and out of existence – some on a scale of centuries, others faster than anything alive could ever blink, the on and offs of their own basic (in its own way primitive) DNA coding drifting, merging ... vast snowflakes of algorithms wheeling and spinning against an infinite spectrum of quantum uncertainty ... breaking, splintering, only to merge into new complexities, new potentialities. It was a flashing, flickering, fairy kingdom of brilliant streaks, pops, swirls, cascades of illuminated data coming and going, evolving and learning, growing and refining ... flowering unique forms for unique tasks while deep, immense structures, eternally pondering monoliths of infinite potentials and possibilities, thought their long computational thoughts ... knowing every permutation and branch of possibility and, within it all, a cool and perfect understanding of their original architects, the first programmers, far more than they could ever know themselves. 
Despite this awe-inspiring vision of distributed intelligence, the physical coupling between the professor and his digital partner is compelling, even world-shattering, flesh and blood sex a kind of fundamental language that in some sense transcends species.
This is the message of “The Potter’s Wheel” as well, a fascinating tale in which a woman who supports herself by selling her experiences via social media is chosen to meet the Potter of Gujyo-hachiman, a Living Treasure renowned for his exquisite porcelain. Living off the ‘Net at his monastic retreat in rural Japan, more or less purely in the physical world, the Potter helps Peers reconnect with fleshly, unmediated desire.
Although a few are listed as previously published, all of the stories in Skin Effectwere new to me, with the exception of “The Bell House Invitation”, which I’d called out as one of the sexiest stories in The Bachelor Machine. I was delighted to have the chance to savor this unique ménage once again. Indeed, the story might be more consistent with the worldview spun by this volume than in its original home. 
All in all, Skin Effect is a solid collection of speculative erotica. I have to be honest and admit that I found it less erotic, overall, than The Bachelor Machine. However, that may say as much about me (years older than I was when I read the first book, and far more jaded) than it does about the book. I think it’s fair to suggest that the sex in these stories is sweeter and more sincere, less about thrills and more about connections. That’s fine, as far as I’m concerned. I want more than heat in my reading; I want original ideas and graceful language. In this regard, there’s no question that M. Christian delivers.