Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Polyamory: How To Love Many And Well - January 13th @ The SF CItadel!

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

This is going to be a hoot! I'm going to be teaching my fun class, Polyamory: How To Love Many And Well, at the SF Citadel on January 13th. Here's the info:

Polyamory: How To Love Many And Well

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 · 8:00 PM –10:00 PM
SF Citadel: 181 Eddy St., San Francisco, CA

Cost: $15.00 pre-register, $20.00 at the door.
Pre-register at:
Dress code: Whatever makes you comfortable!


Sure, you've heard of it - and maybe have been intrigued by it - but what is polyamory and how do you love more than one person and make it work? How can you deal with jealousy, time-management, emotional rough patches, and more to enter into multiple sexual relationships? In this class, participants will learn to separate the myths from the realities of polyamory, how to make tentative steps towards having more than one partner, and how to approach and deal with the problems of sharing yourself with others, and being involved with someone who, in turn, is involved with someone else. Included in this class will be simple emotional exercises, true life experiences, unique techniques and innovative approaches to understanding the joys - and the risks - of beginning, or entering into, a polyamorous relationship.

About the presenter:

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 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, January 04, 2016

Classes For 2016!

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

As there's going to be a changes coming this year - all of them good - I decided to change my teaching schedule to allow for more flexibility (for me) and options (for you)!

Instead of booking all of my classes a year or so out I'm going, instead, to be doing a twitter poll for what people want me to teach on a month-per-month basis.  

They'll be surprises and other things as well, but this way I can tweak what people want to see - and what I can do - much easier!

This month (January) I'm going to be teaching my Polyamory: How To Love Many And Well class for the SFCitadel on Wednesday, the 13th.  More info on that in just a few days.

I'm also hope to continue my Polyamory Support Group on the last Monday of the month as well - stayed tuned for an update on that very soon.

To see the poll for February just go to my twitter feed here: @mchristianzobop

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Karla Tangh's Fun Review Of Bachelor Machine!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

Karla Tangh is such a very, very very fun trip: just check out her new review of my science fiction erotica collection, Bachelor Machine!  Thanks so much, Karla!

Here's a tease, for the rest just click over to Karla's site.

Book Review: The Bachelor Machine by M. Christian

Her Tangh-i-ness Does read other things besides Erotica. But since we're on the subject—there's always time for more recreational Smut. Creatives are some of the most highly-sexed beings on the planet; I mean near everything they produce is the result of an orgasm of the Creative Mind.

Take this M. Christian guy, for example. Yeah. Yeah. I started with his short story collection Skin Effect. This guy, he just keeps writing more…more...reasons to moisturize the underthings or try and hide the evidence of stimulation upon the erogenous zone of choice. There's lots of male on female action, female on female, a genuinely happy foursome (two males make out with the females and also each other). For pure male on male, do refer to M.Christian's other short story collection, one being, Dirty Words.

However, for the People of Color in the Reading Audience, be aware this collection does contain Triggers. These are Sistah-shaped ones both golden, black, and brown. I hear ya'll saying just what does she mean? Read and find out. Just remember Her Tangh-i-ness saw that the work went there and got to the end of the book. Just saying. By the way, she kept reading other M. Christian works. Consider what the author has to say about himself: "For me, being a pioneer in this area, I feel like I have to create my own respect, in a way. I'm like a missionary – at first no matter what tribe I visit, I get the hairy eyeball." So it's obviously time to start eyeballing this dude until he creams in his pants or something.

To make it easy for potential readers of this collection, Her Tangh-i-ness will return to the following rating system that came in mighty handy when describing M. Christian's Skin Effect and other works.

TAMTT *Take A Minute to Think* This means the sexiness might have to grow on you.

WT *Wet* Self-explanatory. No?

H/OA *Hand/Object Assisted* Requires immediate action after the story climax.

FAPP *Find a Partner Pronto* Try this one at home, Folks.

*Spoiler Alert*

Her Tangh-i-ness greatly appreciates pithy plot summaries. However, for those who must have a virgin reading experience, read no further, and eyeball elsewhere.

*Spoiler Alert End*


WT *Wet* Fiction. M/F Action. She-Machine meets with man. The idea of exciting the man makes the She-machine cum. And when it's over and done with all the She-machine wants to do is sleep? Ok. Can we point to this story as an example of reverse gender post-coital physiology? Maybe the real reason to read this story can be found in the music of this sentence: "Too quick, maybe, too sudden, probably, but he was hanging way down, his breathing was quick and deep, his legs were columns of meat and tension." What does ya'll think?


TAMTT *Take A Minute to Think* Fiction. M/F Action. This is the story where Her Tangh-i-ness counted to a thousand before she turned the page to the next story. Yup. This is the one of the Oh-No-He-Didn't-Go-There! stories. As the dear, departed writing instructor, Blake Snyder of Save the Cat fame once told me, Her Tangh-i-ness Ain't in the Target Audience.Those that are—ya'll know who you is when you read it. A female shares her consciousness with her paying fares and finds herself taking a young Black woman for a session with a riding crop.


TAMTT *Take A Minute to Think* Fiction. M/F Action. Dusk, a desperate young man named without prospects sells off painful sexual memories in order to afford the cyber-whore of his wet dreams. Each time he does this. He keeps losing more and more of his essential self until the only thing left is to turn the tables on the memory merchant to whom he dealt all his unrecoverables.


WT *Wet* Fiction. M/F Action. Jeff and Julie, two survivors of a broken triangle comfort one another rather orally. Find more of those musical sentences here. "Our breaths synchronized, and we steamed together like a pair of heavy engines." This is the second of the mouth-whore stories.

Karla Tangh's Fun Review Of Dirty Words!

(from M.Christian's Queer Imaginings)

This is very, very, very fun: Jarla Tangh just posted this wonderfully whimsical review of my queer collection, Dirty Words

Here's a tease.  For the rest just clock over to Jarla's site.

'Lo People,

Time to give M. Christian some more Hairy Eyeball for his Dirty Words.

Does the idea that there is a hardened penis available to be inserted into a variety of holes give you a reason to pay attention? Her Tangh-i-ness sure likes it when males aren't afraid to kneel, bend over, or stand so that this reader can get primo viewing of the "act." I read Skin Effect and The Bachelor Machine first, but I think that those books were all literary hors d'ouevres before Dirty Words spread its pages and showed off its tight sentences, wet imaginary plunges, and provoked climaxes. And if you like your stories veering towards the dark and twisted, there's more than one nugget of guilty pleasure here. This is an unashamedly M/M Action collection with twinges of loving feelings here and there but Dirty Wordsain't real Romantic. Nope. These stories are mostly about scoring.

To make it easy for potential readers of this collection, Her Tangh-i-ness will return to the following rating system.

TAMTT *Take A Minute to Think* This means the sexiness might have to grow on you.

WT *Wet* Self-explanatory. No?

H/OA *Hand/Object Assisted* Requires immediate action after the story climax.

FAPP *Find a Partner Pronto* Try this one at home, Folks.

*Spoiler Alert*

Her Tangh-i-ness greatly appreciates pithy plot summaries. However, for those who must have a virgin reading experience, read no further, and eyeball elsewhere.

*Spoiler Alert End*

If you like LGBTQI Erotica, you've read Mister Califa's work. So when he has something to say about what M. Christian does on a page, there are those Readers who will listen a little harder.

Mind you, this is now Her Tangh-i-ness's third romp with a M. Christian book. I don't know about you but I am in awe of someone who can say the following about the act of writing: Hell, it even kinda follows the Sexual Response Cycle: Excitement (an idea comes to mind), Plateau (putting it together), Orgasm (riding the high), and Resolution (typing "The End"). Excuse me, I have to go and type something to get my own jollies.

H/OA *Hand/Object Assisted* Fiction. Two, identical twin, blond brothers cum to decide one must follow and the other must lead. But not before some mutual oral service and a fistfight. Her Tangh-i-ness keeps one of those studded belts featured in the story so she can vouch for its effectiveness.

WT *Wet* Fiction. A man called Dog meets with a man called Roc. Two naked kids playing outside tell Dog, this habitual thief, of a man with "Stuff" who lives in the areas. Dog decides this "Stuff" is worth the challenge. There follows a titanic suck, a colossal f*ck, succeeded by a theft. Dog learns that all his efforts have been for naught. The two naked kids end up with a new toy.

WT *Wet* Fiction. Mammoth and Monster, two bikers, settle on a contest to win the wheels of a deceased rival. The true joy in this story can be found in the precision of the descriptions. He was Pup, and the one thing that was an absolute proven fact about the kid was that he could pull gas out of a bike without a hose. Mammoth makes off with the bike while Monster opts for Mammoth's former bedwarmer.

TAMTT *Take A Minute to Think* Fiction. Care to examine intimacy issues? A murderer cycles through other men hoping to escape the corpse of his lover. He even has sex with a Black guy and freaks out halfway through. For Chev, sex transforms into dread. Guilt seems to drive his need for punishment. Like an addict, Chev keeps seeking intimacy and the horror of it all lies in Chev's being his very own monster.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Introduction to The Naughty Victorians #2 MegaBundle - 6 Classics of Victorian Erotica

Here's something fun!  Here's my intro I wrote for the megabundle that I put together for the fabulous Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions: The Naughty Victorians #2 MegaBundle - 6 Classics of Victorian Erotica!

“I shall be very glad, my dear guardian, to do anything to contribute to your comfort or to show my gratitude for the kindness you have done me; but I do, I certainly do think that this thing, this part of your person, (I hardly know what to call it) is far too large to go into the slit between my thighs — which just now you called my cunt.  Of course, you have a right to do as you please with me, and are perfectly welcome; but I fear you will hurt me dreadfully, even if you do not actually split my belly open, or extend my little orifice as far back as my bottom hole.”
  Rosa Fielding

It is a far too common misconception that our ancestors were sexually ... well, dull.
We can use computers, smartphones, smartwatches, or smartwhateverisnext to consult Wikipedia, or — even better — San Francisco Sex Information ( and immediately know everything there is to know about sex.  Or, if we'd prefer to be entertained rather than informed, there are innumerable sites on practically an infinite number of kinks, fetishes, practices, styles, inclinations, and interests to explore.
And what did they have, the top-hat wearing, bustle-sporting people back in the Victorian (1837 to 1901, to be exact ... and thank you Wikipedia) age?
In bad imitations of true Victorian erotica, no matter their gender a Victorian had nothing between their legs but a poorly defined "sex," and in even worse examples they just thought of England.
Sure, the Victorian's didn't have access to the web, or silicone, or latex, or batteries, or state-of-the-art birth control but they did have one thing we still have — or try to have — passion!
Humans are humans, no matter the age — and we do so very much to dab it up (to use a touch of Victorian slang).
It's another sad myth that the Victorians were prudish when it came to matters slippery and intimate.  Sure, just as it is true that human's love to dab it up there will always be the prudes who think that we all should just think of England, but that doesn't mean that everyone kept only their lips stiff and upper.
The Victorians, after all, were all about image: by day many of them were prim and proper and starched and stiff ... but once the sun had set, or the door was closed then the layers were discarded and the fun was had.
As perfect proof of this "keep it under covers" but "love it with a passion" attitude of the Victorians, you just have to look at how well they documented their own supposedly shameful erotic novels and magazines.  For a time it was like there were more books being written about erotica as there were erotic books being published.
Henry Spencer Ashbee (b. 1834 — d. 1900), for example, created an immense three volume tome on "Curious and Uncommon Books," from 1877 to 1885 under the name Pisanus Fraxi. 
With such stimulating titles as Index Librorum Prohibitorum: Being Notes Bio-Biblio-Icono-graphical and Critical, on Curious and Uncommon Books (a mischievous play on the Catholic Church's own naughty book list, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum) Ashbee sought to document many of the erotic books being published at the time.  There are even pretty substantial rumors that Ashbee is the actual author of My Secret Life, a sprawling 11 volume erotic epic that began in 1888.  
The first book in this special celebration of classic erotica is Rosa Fielding or, to give the book it's full and very Victorian title: The Victim of Lust, or Scenes in the Life of Rosa Fielding.  Originally published by William Dugdale in 1867. 
Like Ashbee, Dugdale was a true celebrator of sensual fiction.  Born in 1800, he was hired by yet another notorious erotic publisher, William Benbow, when Dugdale was a wee lad of 18. 
Before going onto Dugdale we have to talk a small amount about his mentor: William Benbow (b. 1787 — d. 1864) was a "nonconformist preacher, pamphleteer, pornographer and publisher, and a prominent figure of the Reform Movement in Manchester and London" (thank you Wikipedia).  Now there was a man to give Victorian society the vapors!  
Under Benbow, Dugdale took to the job with true passion ... to be obvious: by 1822 he was publishing books himself and soon, according to Ashbee, was "one of the most prolific publishers of filthy books.
Even though characters like Benbow and Dugdale were printing the books, and Ashbee was writing about them (as well as writing them), the Victorian's still had to put on a very proper face when "love it with a passion" peeked out from "under the covers." Dugdale was arrested at least five times and served terms ranging as long as two years — and it is understood that even the 1857 Obscene Publications Act was created just to go after him and his business. 
Tragically, Dugdale paid the ultimate price for giving the Victorians what they wanted — even if they wouldn't come out and say so.  He died in 1868 after another jail term. Dugdale also didn't keep the business to himself: his brothers, Thomas and John Lambert also were involved and served their own terms as well.
Another memorable addition to this collection is Randiana, or Excitable Tales.  Originally published by William Lazenby in 1884, it’s often seen as a prime example of Victorian pornography.  
If you need any kind of proof of Randiana's power after so many years to excite, just savor this random sampling:  
To say that I was in the seventh heaven of delight, as my warm fingers found a firm plump cunt with a rosebud hymen as yet unbroken, is but faintly to picture my ecstasy.
To pull her a little way further down on the couch so that her rounded arse would rise in the middle and make the business a more convenient one, was the work of a second; the next I had withdrawn my prick from her grasp and placed it against the lips of her quim, at the same time easing them back with a quick movement of my thumb and forefinger.  I gave one desperate lunge, which made Lucy cry out 'Oh God,' and the joyful deed was consummated.
As I have hinted before, my prick was no joke in the matter of size, and upon this occasion, so intense was the excitement that had led up to the fray, it was rather bigger than usual; but thanks to the heat the sweet virgin was in, the sperm particles of her vagina were already resolved into grease, which, mixing with the few drops of blood caused by the violent separation of the hymeneal cord, resulted in making the friction natural and painless.  Not only that, once inside I found Lucy's fanny was internally framed on a very free-and-easy scale—and here permit me to digress and point out the ways of nature.
While Randiana's publisherWilliam Lazenby, is not as famous — or infamous — as Dugdale or Ashbe, he is still recognized as an important figure in publishing erotic books.  He is particularly celebrated for being the publisher of the pornographic magazine, The Pearl, as well as The Oyster.  He also put out books like The Birchen BouquetThe Pleasures of Cruelty, and many others.  Like his peers, Lazenby was no stranger to the dock as he was arrested in 1871 and 1881.  In 1884 he moved to Paris with several other publishers when the British government began to seriously crack down on saucy books.
A lot has changed since the Victorian age of erotica: technologically, sure, but that's obvious.  Socially, as well, is self-evident, but despite all these changes one thing becomes clear reading these clandestine but appreciated (and popular) works: the Victorians may have been laced a bit too tight — both in dress and attitude — but once those laces became undone they definitely knew how to have a good time!
Luckily, since we do live in these technologically magical times you have the opportunity to read these wonderful treasures of Victorian erotica ... and after you do, ask yourself if we can truly look back on those years with arrogant distain in matters sexual.  
Here are some wonderful examples of Victorian erotic writing: Rosa Fielding, Randiana, The Erotic Adventures Of A Bachelor, The Amorous Adventures Of Angelica, The Love Tutor, and Pleasure Bound.  Each and every one not just an excellent introduction to the genre and the time when they were penned but ever-lasting works of sensuality and outrageous sexuality, with a tremendous power to excite even today.
The Victorians may not have been able to read books on their computers, watches, phones, or technologically whateverisnext but the authors of these arousing tomes knew very well about pure, wild, and marvelously unhinged passion ... something we may actually rediscover once we put our tech down for the night.

— M.Christian

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Very Cool: The Cover Of The New Edition Of Finger's Breadth!

(from M.Christian's Queer Imaginings)

How very, very, very cool is this?  Check out the cover for the new edition of my queer erotic/SF/thriller/horror novel Finger's Breadth - coming in a brand new edition very soon from the always-fantastic Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

This Monday: Polyamory Discussion/Support Group at SF Citadel!

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

Just a reminder that the fun Polyamory Discussion/Support Group I help facilitate is coming up this Monday, December 28, at the SF Citadel:

Polyamory Discussion/Support Group

SF Citadel
181 Eddy Street,
San Francisco, CA

Polyamory is – not to state the obvious – complex. But what is even more challenging is that it is still not wildly accepted, with those in non-monogamous relationships often finding it difficult to find understanding and support. In this discussion/support group, polyamorous individuals and couples will have a nonjudgmental and supportive environment to share their concerns and experiences.

All Discussion/Support Groups are from 7:30PM to 9:30PM and cost $10


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 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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New At FutureOfSex: The Adult Entertainment Technology We Lust After: Part 1 – Hardware

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

Check it out, another very, very fun piece I wrote for the great FutureOfSex folks just went live: The Adult Entertainment Technology We Lust After: Part 1 – Hardware!

There’s no denying that the last few years have seen flat out amazing developments in all sorts of technology, especially those of a (ahem) sexual nature.

Virtual reality alone has gone from a clumsy, bulky near-joke to a rapidly rising star moving toward common acceptance. You know things are really happening when one year it’s the medium-sized-but-eager Oculus Rift and the next it’s the giant Sony with their own PlayStation VR.

Sex tech, though, has really been rocking on the hardware, where the mechanical meets the meat, so to speak. Teledildonics, like VR, used to be a pipedream—to use a silly sexual allusion. But coming very soon, the cyberpunk wet dreams of the 90s will no doubt be standard pieces of equipment for digital erotic explorers.
The state of the art… today

Just look at a few of these Future of Sex articles, which show how physical sexual technology has moved from blue-sky dreaming to some actual, functional prototypes:

Ben Barnes reported on The Teslasuit: a full-body “smart textile” garment that uses electromagnetic impulses to simulate all kinds of sensations such as “warm breeze, water submersion” and, best of all, human touch.

Jenna Owsianik added an extra dimension to haptic possibilities, one that eradicates the need for cumbersome equipment like full-body suits. She introduced us to HaptoClone, which uses airborne ultrasound tactile display to give the illusion of physical contact with holograms

Jenna also wrote about how Lovense, a sex tech manufacturer, is working with VirtualRealPorn [NSFW] , an adult entertainment website, to integrate videos and their haptic sex toys to allow users to “feel the performers’ movements from a first-person perspective.”

– I even contributed a bit to this, writing on B.Sensory’s merging of erotic literature with sex tech, adding an extra physical thrill to sexy stories.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Publisher's Weekly Reviews SKIN EFFECT!

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

All I can say is ... wow!  

Check out this very nice review of my erotic science fiction collection, Skin Effect: More Science Fiction And Fantasy Eroticaby the one-and-only Publisher's Weekly!

Future technology’s ability to alter the very nature of our humanity—and the ways those changes interact with sex—shapes this solid collection of futuristic stories from erotica author Christian (Eros ex Machina). Each story has a strong speculative element—such as the voluntary removal of painful memories (“[Title Forgotten]”), or magical masturbation while recovering from a cyberattack (“Double Toil and Trouble”)—that’s blended with a frank expression of sexuality. Equal time is spent on describing how a semi-sentient fabric works and narrating the ways that one character teases another into arousal. One-partner encounters dominate, but “The Bell House Invitation,” featuring a linked-experience orgy in which each person is individually aroused but shares the pleasure collectively, stands out as the best entry. Christian sometimes stumbles when he tries to be inclusive: there’s a clumsy reference to a character’s race, and a trans woman’s first sex with a man is depicted entirely from the man’s point of view. Despite these rough edges, there’s plenty for sex-positive futurists to enjoy here. (Mar.)

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 outrĂ©.
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.