I’m foregoing the semi-usual Muse Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Whenever-The-Hell-I-Write-It post in favor of one in honor of a release I have today: Jane Litte’s (of Dear Author) BDSM-y anthology Agony/Ecstasy. You can pick up a copy here and I highly recommend it, because I’m in some extremely good company.
I’m also a bit of an oddball, though, and I’d like to mark the release by talking about why.
“Wetwire” started out just straight-up erotica, but part of the way through the inception process, something interesting happened: I started to think about Themes. Those themes eventually expanded to fill most of the mental space of the story, until I ended up feeling like the sex was mostly a way of talking about something else. Two primary something elses, actually. They are:
- William Gibson’s idea of how “the street finds its own uses for things”. “Burning Chrome” is one of my favorite short stories ever, and Gibson is one of my favorite authors ever, so of course, setting out to write cyberpunk porn, it makes sense that he would be lurking in the background (not like in a creepy way). But the idea is interesting to me beyond that. What I ended up writing about was that initial moment in the emergence of a new form of technology – or a new evolution of an existing one – when it’s not yet widespread or widely commercial, when the only people making much use of it are techies and hackers. At those moments, its actual use might be extremely up for grabs – people might use it for a whole set of things for which it was not originally designed, and for which it may not be used by the public in general once it goes mainstream.
Jane has the list of contributors for the Agony/Ecstasy anthology up over at Dear Author, plus short blurbs about each story. She has some very nice things to say about my story “Wetwire”. “‘I was free-drifting the night Kim neuroburned me.’ Different, unique, fresh is what I thought when I read this short.” Yay.
Check it out, along with tantalizing hints regarding what other goodies are in store. The whole thing is going to rock, basically.
Got an email tonight that I was hoping for and very happy to get: My odd little bit of cyberpunk erotica, “Wetwire”, has been accepted to the Agony & Ecstasy anthology coming out next fall from Berkley Books.
The thing that kills me is that it’s such a weird little story, I honestly never thought the editor would take it. I was mainlining William Gibson when I wrote it–more than normal, even, because it’s a Thing That I Do–and what started out as porn in my head turned into the exploration of two ideas that struck me as insanely interesting:
- The people who occupy the liminal space between when a new technology is introduced to the world and when it finds a mass commercial use. Because in that space, innovators play with it and take it apart and use it for all kinds of crazy shit that didn’t occur to anyone. That kind of environment is where Apple and Microsoft were both born, and where the first internet communities sprang up. It’s where the really neat stuff happens.
- The connections that technology can forge between the mind and the body. Cyberpunk is full of occurrences of the trope of technology freeing minds from bodies. I wanted to play with the idea of a kind of technology that would reconnect someone who feels like she’s losing touch with her own flesh.
I got so caught up in this stuff that I almost forgot the sex, and I was worried that the story lacked a center because of that. But apparently not. Apparently it’s good enough, anyway.
The anthology itself won’t actually be out in print for another year. But right now I’m more thrilled than impatient, so yay. As always, watch this space for news.
Fishnet Magazine, an online journal of erotica, will be publishing my short F/F piece “In the Stacks”; it was inspired by a job I used to hold in the UPenn library (though it is sadly not autobiographical); it’s also one of the earlier bits of original erotica that I wrote, as well as the only original thing I’ve sold to date that has no speculative element to speak of.
I’m not sure yet when the story will be up but I’ll obviously post a link here when it is.
And in other good news, the National Leather Association has made Like a Thorn a finalist for its Samois Anthology Award. Many thanks to them and hearty congrats to all the nominees.
This was written as a quick exercise in tattooing kink and posted in another, more personal writing blog that I have, but I figured it could go here as well. At 723 words it’s quite short, but I think it’s a nice little taste of something and it was fun to write.
It’s m/f, femdom, and probably not safe for work, though there’s nothing particularly raunchy in it.