Charlie Jane Anders over at io9 has reviewed Circlet Press’s Fantastic Erotica – which includes my SF short “Catch and Release” – and calls it “[possibly] the year’s most dangerous science fiction anthology”. Which is awesome.
So why do I say the stories in Fantastic Erotica are dangerous? It’s not because they feature anything nonconsensual or especially squicky — although sex with a Lovecraftian horror might just weird some people out, I suppose. Nor is it because there’s quite a lot of non-heteronormative sex in here — you’re a grown-up, you can handle that. It’s more that these stories feature authentic characters who are changed and shaped by some weird and outlandish sexual experiences. They struggle with how much control to give up, and how much of their constructed selves to let go of. They discover that much of what they were taught about the world is false or incomplete. Through really hot sex.
Again, Fantastic Erotica is available here in ebook and print editions. Give awesome porn for Christmas!
[ click to buy in ebook and print editions ]
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Circlet Press, Fantastic Erotica presents the very best erotic science fiction and fantasy short stories published by Circlet in the past five years. Chosen by popular vote by the readership from among all the stories published by Circlet from 2008 to the present, these favorites are the cream of the crop.
A winner and two runners-up were chosen. N.K. Jemisin’s “The Dancer’s War” shows us the sensuous magic not of a stock fantasy medieval Europe, but of an Africa that never was. Bernie Mojzes “Ink” combines H.P. Lovecraft and Raymond Chandler into a surprisingly soulful story of sexual transformation. And our winner, “Ota Discovers Fire,” by Vinnie Tesla pokes gentle fun at all the traipsing into exotic lands depicted in fantasy quests. Sometimes the traveler you meet on the road is nothing like what you expect.
Featuring stories by Frances Selkirk, Elizabeth Schechter, Kierstin Cherry, Angela Caperton, Sacchi Green, Kal Cobalt, Elizabeth Reeve, Kathleen Tudor, Monique Poirier, Sunny Moraine, Clarice Clique, Nobilis Reed, David Sklar, Michael M. Jones, David Hubbard, Shanna Germain, N.K. Jemisin, Bernie Mojzes, and Vinnie Tesla.
“The best of [these stories] fully integrate sex with SF/Fantasy and provide erotic heat… it’s imaginative and a cut above most such offerings.”
I definitely want to pick up the Muse Monday thing I used to do wherein I would write about writing, but I’m not quite there in my head yet, and I have a feeling I’ll have a chance to do a lot more of that as promo for Line and Orbit heats up. So for now have some delicious treats.
- This is seriously the month of Publisher’s Weekly for me; three anthologies that I’ve had the privilege to be involved with have garnered positive reviews (one starred!):
- Scheherazade’s Facade: Fantastical Tales of Gender Bending, Cross-dressing, and Transformation – “Gender is flexible and surprising in 12 stories of characters transformed by the trappings of a different sex…each one is guaranteed to make the reader question the roles and qualities often assigned to gender and sex.”
- Fantastic Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press 2008 – 2012 – “This brilliantly imaginative compilation of short, steamy tales of contemporary and period fantasy, fairytale, future dystopia, and space opera, chosen from Circlet’s e-book anthologies by a popular vote of readers, succeeds both as speculative fiction and as erotica.”
- Heiresses of Russ 2012: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction – “Showcasing a mix of authors, from superstars like Nalo Hopkinson to promising newcomers like S.L. Knapp, this solid, well-chosen collection will be enjoyed by genre fans of all genders and orientations.”
- Author Nathan Bransford with the publishing process depicted in gifs. To it I say: accurate. Much. Except I can’t even speak with firsthand experience about the agent thing (hopefully only yet). That’s the thing: what Bransford is showing is the best case scenario.
Line and Orbit is getting a happy ending and it’s still taken two years and change and a shit-ton of angst from the date of completion to get it published.
- Harbinger is still not finished. It’s close. I have an awful feeling that it might remain “close” for a couple more weeks. At least.
- I’m teaching Introduction to Sociology this semester with a heavy SFnal component. For those interested in one person’s take on this, I offer my syllabus.
Okay, so, once again I’m late with WIP Wednesday. HOWEVER: the consolation prize is a new book release! So that’s lovely. The book in question is Like a Cunning Plan: Erotic Trickster Tales, edited by generally fantastic human being Michael M. Jones and published by the good people at Circlet Press. It’s available in a variety of delicious formats for your consumption pleasure.
From Coyote to Loki, Anansi to the kitsune, tricksters are a staple of mythology, folklore, and pop culture. Some might call them selfish, but we all know the truth: they’re just focused on the next big score or clever trick. Armed with a sly smile and quick wit, they act as agents of change, leaving chaos and confused victims in their wake. Of course, tricksters also make great lovers–unpredictable, creative, adventurous, and experienced in all the right ways.
In Like A Cunning Plan: Erotic Trickster Stories, gods and mortals alike interact in sexy, playful, sensual ways, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who comes out on top. A bounty hunter gets more than she bargained for when her mark shows up on her doorstep, a masked ball provides ample opportunity for an intimate encounter, a god on the prowl discovers a new side to his desires, and much more.
Featuring stories by Nica Berry, N. Violett, Nadine Wilmot, Elizabeth Schecter, Gayle C. Straun, Kaysee Renee Robichaud, and Sunny Moraine, Like A Cunning Plan is sure to surprise and satisfy.
My story “The Kitsune’s Laughter” is one of two featured takes on the kitsune legend; mine makes use of the old couple-unable-to-conceive trope — with a twist. NSFWish excerpt under the cut.
No podcasty-thing for this week, as I’m battling the second iteration of comps-related illness that I’ve had so far this year and my voice is a wreck (though perhaps it would actually be a husky, sexy wreck). However, since the last few installments have all dealt with my weathering of my comprehensive exams in some manner, I should note at this point that I’ve officially passed both and will be proceeding to PhD candidacy just as soon as I get my ass in gear enough to get the paperwork turned in.
So that’s good.
A couple of note-worthy things:
- Circlet Press has fixed the malware issue on their site and it’s now safe to once again go and cast your vote for your top five favorite Circlet stories to be included in their best-of anthology. And again, my story “Catch & Release” is up for a vote, so if you haven’t voted for it that would be a lovely thing to do.
- I’ve fixed some of the broken links on my fiction page; stories on sites that have vanished into the ether are now linked in their Archive.org editions. I may actually host the stories here myself, but for now this seems like an okay stopgap. I’ve also linked to the Smashwords edition of “We Are Such Stuff”, lately out of print from Torquere Press.
- I’m still working on the untitled angel novel and I really like where it’s going now.
- Stay tuned for some super-awesome amazing news in the next week or so. Seriously, I can hardly stand it how much I want to talk about this right now.
Hopefully next week — or possibly even this Friday — we’ll be back with more audio. In the meantime, wash your hands carefully and frequently. Cough cough.
So this is good news in an otherwise difficult week: Circlet Press is going to release a print anthology of the best of their digital library in honor of their 20th anniversary (yay Circlet!), and my 1001 Nights retelling in space, “Catch and Release”, has made the shortlist. The final ToC of the anthology will be decided both by Circlet’s editors and by a reader poll. So if you read “Catch and Release” and you’d like to see it in print, you can go here and vote for it, as well as up to four other stories. And you should – there are some fantastic stories and equally fantastic authors on that list.
Circlet’s made a business of putting out not only top-notch erotica but also top-notch writing, period – I’ve been continually impressed by the quality of work that I’ve seen them put out, and it’s been an honor to be a part of the anthologies in which they’ve included me. They were actually my very first publication ever and I’ll always be grateful to them. Congrats, Circlet. Here’s to many more years of SFnal porny goodness.
I’m including a lengthy and NSFW excerpt of “Catch and Release” below the cut.
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.