Monthly Archives: April 2010

Book launch – Like a Long Road Home

Like a Long Road Home, featuring my story “Neither Bird Nor Tree”, is now live in a variety of formats at the following places:

Scribd
Smashwords
All Romance EBooks

A Kindle edition will be live by the end of the week. Circlet is having issues with their website’s shopping cart, but hopefully soon it’ll be there as well.

As to the story itself, it was a lot of fun to write, but it was also my first serious attempt at writing original post-apocalyptic fiction, which was an interesting experience. I drew some on The Road in terms of not making the cause or method of the cataclysm clear–it was the first time it occurred to me that it was actually okay to do that. The cataclysm itself isn’t the point. The point is the characters, what it means to find someone else at the end of the world you knew. It’s about connection–my main protagonist is a profoundly solitary man and has been for most of his life, and it’s only with the societal collapse and devastation that accompanies whatever It is that’s happened that he finally makes a real connection with someone else. Through that connection, he feels real in a way he hasn’t before. He is real because he matters to someone. The end of the world serves primarily to bring that into sharper relief.

The title comes from a poem by Sara Teasdale, which was used to great effect in the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury. That remains one of my favorite short stories ever, the first short story to affect me so profoundly, and I drew heavily on both it and the theme of the poem itself–that we are incidental, transient, that the world does not need us. If we vanished suddenly, it might never notice that we were gone at all, and might in fact be better for it.

What we find lasting meaning in is each other, in love and compassion for people outside ourselves.

Or it’s just some gay porn. Whatever.

And yes, the city in the story is Philadelphia. Chris lives–or lived–in South Philly.

Excerpt under the cut.

Continue reading

Sale, sort of.

So I got some really great news and some not so awesome news.

The really great news: My longish short story “The Cloak of Isis” is going to be included in the Scheherazade’s Facade anthology from Norilana Books, edited by the wonderful and hard-working Michael M. Jones. I was super excited by this anthology when I first heard about it and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be in there. I think it’s going to be awesome.

In addition, this is the first time I’ll have a story in PRINT. Yes, in a real book that you can hold in your hands. As much as I love and believe in e-publishing, the bibliophile in me loves the sheer sensual experience of a print book, so this has been something I’ve been hoping for a while now.

The not so awesome news, though it’s by no means awful: For various reasons, a lot of Norilana’s scheduled releases have been pushed back a full year. So instead of October 2010, the release date for Scheherazade’s Facade is now October 2011. It’ll still come out and it’ll still be great… it’s just going to be a while.

In the meantime, the editor will be looking around to see if another publisher might be interested in picking up and releasing the anthology. So there’s a chance it might come out sooner. I’ll naturally post with news once/if I have any.

But yeah, on balance, this is terrific. I don’t care if I have to wait. I am excited.

New release: Truth & Dare

My erotic supernatural lesbian short Truth & Dare is now on sale here.

Truth & Dare started life as an attempt on my part to write sexual mind control, which is not really a Thing of mine but which I find kind of interesting in terms of the power dynamic it sets up. Like a lot of what I write, I’m not really sure where the rest of it came from, but I do know that I’m just as attracted to the idea of emotional erotic domination as I am to the physical kind, and that features here pretty strongly. Also the idea of domination and submission as fundamentally both enlightening and liberating, which is a theme I return to now and then.

Daena is actually a figure in Zoroastrian mythology, representing insight and revelation; she meets you after your death and evaluates the worthiness of your soul. It’s mostly the name that’s borrowed here, though this can also be read as the figure herself being present. She does have powers, after all.

Generally SFW excerpt under the cut.

Continue reading

Release (heh)

My short “In the Stacks” is up at Fishnet Magazine.

The story behind the story is a little funny, at least to me. A while ago, I worked for a little over a year in Inter-Library Loan at my college’s library (and it was seriously one of the most perfectly wonderful jobs I have ever had, if a bit dull). And I had always heard tales about how students would sneak into various shadowy corners there to fuck, though I never personally saw anyone in action or talked to anyone who claimed to have. But the idea kind of stuck with me, so one day when I sat down to write a quick little bit of porn, this is what happened. Incidentally, this is the only thing I’ve published to date that has no speculative element to speak of, which I think is kind of interesting.

Enjoy.

An open letter

Dear person who stuck up a link to a pirated copy of my e-book Hieros:

Hi, there. I’m here too. I saw what you did there.  I subscribe, on some level, to the whole “information should be free” ethos of an open and unrestricted internet. The alleged anarchy of the place has always struck me as romantic, and it’s one of the things I love about the net, even if I recognize that it often doesn’t work that way. So I don’t bear you any ill will.  But I want you to realize that I don’t make a lot of money off my e-books, and neither does my publisher. We make enough, sure, but we’re not exactly HarperCollins over here. A lot of this is a labor of love. We work hard on putting out a product, and we like to get a little compensation for it. Nothing extravagant. I don’t think $4 is a lot to pay for a book, especially one free of DRM restrictions and available in multiple formats. So when you put my book up for free online, it hurts me. Not a lot, not to the point where I’d spend the time to demand that you take it down–I also realize that this would probably be pointless in the long run–but I don’t like it. I wish you wouldn’t.

What we’re trying to do here–what I think e-publishing situates us to do in a unique fashion–is strike that elusive balance between entertainment being cheap and accessible, and the artists and distributors getting a little bit of a return for their trouble. This doesn’t just hurt me, it hurts that, and I don’t really think you want to do that. Because I think you probably like books. I think you may have liked my book, since you seem to have had it. I hope you did, anyway.

So next time, please just think about what you’re doing, and about the effects that your actions have, even if they’re removed from you, even if you never confront them directly. Thanks.

Dear person who asked for the download in the first place:

Hi. Thanks for wanting to read my book. I wish that you had paid the $4 for it, naturally, and I would like to point out that you still could, especially if you liked it.  But if you choose not to do that, might I suggest that you look at some of the other work I have and will soon have out there, and consider buying some of that? None of it is or will be all that expensive. Some of it will be free. I like to think I offer good value for money.

What I said to the dude above applies to you: You and me participating in this system together makes this whole thing work. I want to work with you. You asked for a download of Hieros; you clearly have some kind of interest in it. I like people like you. But I just want you to think about things like this, about what kind of relationship this is. And it is a relationship. Quantitatively it’s just about $4, but really, I think it’s about a lot more than that.

Hope you enjoy the book, regardless.

My best to you both,

-Sunny

Mrs. Giggles reviews Hieros

And though I confess to feeling some trepidation when I realized that it might cross her radar, she seems to think it’s a decent read:

This is a pleasant erotic short interlude that offers just enough spice to make it worth the time. Those folks at Bel Ami may want to make a naughty film out of this one … if you are reading this one for the right reason – the boinking thing – you may not be disappointed. I know I’m not.

Thanks very much, Madame Giggles. I’m pleased (and relieved, whew) that you enjoyed it.

New review for Hieros

Rainbow Reviews has very kindly given Hieros a look, and they like what they see:

This was a short story but it packed a lot into those pages. The writing was very fluid and lyrical in tone. I could feel the youth and vitality of Jaith and Shoa right away … The ritual is well detailed and erotic. At times both boys are overwhelmed by the feelings and spirit of the mysteries unfolding. With roles reversed, becoming men to each other is even more unsettling. How do you move on from such an experience?

Thanks very much to them; this was a nice thing to wake up to this morning.