Jan 142019

The Dictionary of Mu is a supplement for the Sorcerer role-playing game but it serves a more important function as a wonderful idea that should be in every bookshelf. I feel enriched by reading this book and I look forward to seeing what ideas it will generate for me in the future.

If you are not familiar with Sorcerer, all you need to know is that it is a rules-light game about people who summon demons. Instead of spells, equipment and resources, your character is defined by the demons they summon and the relationships they have with those demons.

Normally, Sorcerer takes place on Earth but the Dictionary of Mu takes place on Mars. It describes the blasted desert planet as a giant graveyard of races, cultures and ideas. There are tribes and countries still clinging to life but no one is really prospering, except for those bastards in Atlantis. This is a dying planet.

That is a key detail as this game defines Demons as the leftover psychic soul of the dead. A scientist dies and his soul becomes a demon, still obsessed with learning and still babbling mathematics. That would be interesting in itself but on Mars, EVERYTHING that dies becomes a demon, including races, cultures, oceans and ideas.

Picture it. An extinct animal has a demon form. You could summon the demon of the sabertooth shark, or you could summon the demon of the idea of a sabertooth shark, and then you are really in trouble. It is the difference between summoning a great white shark and summoning the concept of Jaws.

As cool as this idea is, what elevates Dictionary of Mu from cool idea to important tome is the writing. The book is an in-character artifact, written by a cursed hermit who is bound to the Demon of Words. The hermit adds his own commentary and paints a picture of what it is like to live in such a unique but dying world. It is just great writing and it makes the book a joy to read. The hermit’s scorn for oceans alone always brings a smile to my lips.

I would love to tell you about my favorite entries but I feel half the fun of the book is the discovery. You need to read about the witch-King and his Brides and Grooms for yourself. I don’t want to spoil the story of the Damsel Messiah. I leave it to you to hear the sad story of the Greys who build the pyramids of Mars.

In a place where ideas can become demons, a dictionary is a powerful tool to define and create. If you love fantasy worlds, you will get a kick out of this book. If you are looking for the coolest setting for your next rpg, this is your world. If you are fascinated by the relationship between people and words like I am, this book will give you a better understanding of why some ideas just never go away.

The Dictionary of Mu has been out of print for awhile, but is is available now for purchase again.

Jan 092019

Commander Dirk Moorcock is hero to the galaxy. He stops mad scientists, seduces bad girls to become good and saves the universe on a regular basis. When the Empress gives him an experimental warp drive to go to a distant galaxy in pursuit of the pirate, Zoddom, Dirk doesn’t hesitate to save the universe again.

Okay, that is not true. He hesitates a lot but because he is a hero, he still does it. Along the way, he encounters triple-breasted warrior women, savage and lusty pirates and a heroic rebellion comprised of the old regime’s marching band. Wacky adventures and daring escapes abound!

This is an interesting book to read. On the one hand, names like Moorcock and Major Wilma Wonders suggest that this book is a silly parody. On the other hand, the plotting and excellent pace is a perfect recreation of the pulp sensibility. There is comedy all through the book but it never quite crosses over into wacky comedy like Spaceballs or a Naked Gun movie. The space opera theme helps as the most ridiculous elements feel completely normal in the outlandish setting.

You know, it reminds me of the movie, Ice Pirates. A little dirty, a little silly and always fun

The cover mentions adult adventures and sexual themes are certainly discussed but the book never gets explicit.

Passion Pirates of the Lost Galaxy is a fast read and was a lot of fun. If you want to read pulpy space opera with flirty adult fun, this book is perfect.

Jan 072019

I have returned from Seattle! It rained a lot. I went to two(!) gaming stores that doubled as restaurants that you could play games in. I played so many board games. I saw a LGBTQ Christmas show called “Jingle All the Gay” and ate at a Brazilian place where waiters come by and give you all kinds of meat. It was a nice time.

Now I am looking forward to 2019. I spent the tail-end of 2017 and all of 2018 working on one story, Fight in the Sex Arena. The damn thing is finished but needs one more edit run through. At 600K+ words, that is not a quick thing to do but my goal is to publish it by February 1st.

After that, I want to do much shorter projects. Much, much shorter. Here is a brief preview.

Project #1 is code-named Mary Pops-You about a magical dominatrix who visits two misbehaving adults and gets their shit in order. It is inspired by the Mary Poppins books, which is a different beast from the Poppins movies, while at the same time, not being a direct parody. That shit is tricky.

Project #2 is code-named Mastermind and it is an idea I started in 2016 but never finished. In short, a submissive woman enters into a BDSM relationship with a criminal genius who needs some excitement in his life other than robbing banks, museums and oligarchs. The woman gets swept up in her dom’s rather thrilling lifestyle in addition to experiencing some bizarre bondage scenarios.

Project #3 is is code-named Cult and I started it last year. I wanted to write something that I would enjoy playing as a role-playing game. My idea is that the main character worships six VERY demanding Gods/Goddesses of Sex while assembling a cult of followers. It is a round-about harem story mixed with weird magic and modern mythology.

Project #4 is code-named Road-fucker. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where everything went to shit but people still watch television. In particular, they watch a daily racing show where various scumbags race across America for prizes and their lives. The story centers on one racer and his adventures. It is a combination of Mad Max, Cannonball Run and Blood Drive.

All of these projects are books I can envision as series if they sell well enough.

Project #5 is another choose-your-own-adventure book to be determined. All I know is that it will be short and not take a fucking year to write.

These projects are in addition to my monthly Vaquel stories. Clearly, I feel I do not have enough to do.

Dec 262018

Oops, this should have been posted earlier but that is the holidays for you. It takes a lot of time just to get ready to take time off.

I will be traveling to the great city of Seattle this week and won’t be back until January 4th. The Vaquel story of the month will be late as I trashed my outline for the entire year of Vaquel stories in favor of something that will be fun. Regular blog posting might resume on the 10th? That sounds likely.

In the meantime, I hope you had a happy holiday season and wonderful start to your new year!

Dec 212018

Clarke’s 3rd Law states “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” That is a good way to describe what happens in science fiction stories, but I also see this a lot in fantasy stories. They treat magic as something as reliable as science. As long as you say the right words, make the right gestures and use the right ingredients, then your spell will work correctly every single time. If the magic doesn’t work, it is because the user fucked up.

This is the magic of Harry Potter, the Doctor Strange movie and fantasy erotica stories where wizards create hot tubs to have sex in. It is a perfectly acceptable way to do magic in your stories. In fact, most people recommend this as a consistent universe is something the reader needs in order to engage with your world.

(Fun aside, this includes the movie, Weird Science, where two horny teens hook up a doll and some porn to a computer and somehow get a hot woman with super-powers to help them out. That sure as fuck wasn’t science. That was a magic ritual. This changes nothing in the story, which shows you how interchangeable science fiction and magic can be.)

Another kind of magic is more like a relationship between the magic user and the forces they manipulate. The spell works because the caster has immersed themselves in the power they are calling on, or they perform tasks and sacrifices that the magical forces demand. In order to call down the lightning, the lightning has to like you first.

This is the magic of voodoo, the Doctor Strange of the 70’s comic, and the novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. This kind of magic complicates things as every spell turns into a negotiation. You don’t just summon a bird to do your bidding, you borrow one of the Raven King’s minions and woe to you if you mistreat it.

Personally, I find the second kind more suitable for erotica. All sex is a relationship, and the better kinds of stories recognize that. If you are going to add magic to sex, why not take the opportunity to explore that relationship as well?

In order to call down the lightning, not only do you have to get the lightning to like you first, but then you need to seduce, sweet talk or bribe it. What does lightning want?  Does it want a kiss? Does it like nipples? Does it enjoy watching? Answering those questions can lead to fun developments, like an elemental threesome.

Dec 192018

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is an anthology movie with six stories set in the American Wild West. The themes range from “Death will get you” to “No, seriously, Death will fucking get you.”

That is not a joke. Sudden death is a presence in every story.  It was jarring at first but once you accept it, the stories meld together to form a wonderful tapestry about the lethality of the Old West. By the time the sixth story rolls around, you will be nodding wisely as the characters discuss perplexing a man’s final moments can be.

This movie feels like a rebuttal to the discussions involving No Country for Old Men. Critics complained that the ending of that movie was too off, without a satisfying final battle. This movie feels like it is trying again to explain to audiences that stories don’t kill characters, characters kill themselves by the nature of who they are.

The first story, featuring Buster Scruggs, is about a singing cowboy that happens to be a murder machine to anyone who crosses him. That is easily the funniest story, although the second story about a luckless bank robber is pretty close. The third story is a silent, haunting story was too bleak for my wife to continue watching, but that story lingered with me the most and I think about it often.

After the grimness of the the third story, the fourth story, based on a Jack London story, inserts some life and beauty before returning to the theme of death. The fifth story is a lovely romance and the sixth is a delightful meta-story about the themes. 

As good as the stories are, the scenery steals the movie. Gorgeous shot after shot of the Western landscape made me nostalgic for a place I have never been. Even the imagery in the third story is breathtaking with its icy bleakness. The accompanying music is perfect and the soundtrack is a delight.

I am a big Coen Brother fan, and this one shoots to the top of my favorites list.

Dec 172018

Twenty years ago, the super heroine known as Eight Wonder fought against the sinister forces of Blowjob. The battles quickly became pornographic as Blowjob seemed obsessed with stripping, arousing, binding and humiliating the heroine. Thanks to government intervention, no one ever knew how dirty these fights actually were. After a final battle, Eight Wonder disappeared, as well as her enemies.

But today in the present, Blowjob has returned to menace the world. Lucky for us, Eighth Wonder has also appeared and it looks like she hasn’t aged a day!

That’s because the modern Eighth Wonder, Clara, is the daughter of the original, Athena. Because this is a manga, Clara doesn’t know that her mom used to be a superhero. Clara has been recruited by the government to become Eighth Wonder, having no idea of the sexual tactics that Blowjob is bound to use.

Which brings Athena out of retirement. She wants to protect her daughter, but again, since this is a manga, she does it behind the scenes so her daughter will never know the sexual adventures that her mom went through.

If you couldn’t tell, “Don’t Meddle With My Daughter” is a comedy. A really weird comedy that revolves around secret identities, embarrassed nudity and villainous names that are double entendres. This story could quickly degenerate into something dark and traumatic, but the light-hearted manga style keeps the story from turning squicky.

I was pleasantly surprised by how non-misogynistic these books are.  The main villain is a woman, and the mother-daughter relationship is really strong and cute. It is a ridiculous premise designed to titillate, but it truly cares for the characters it harasses and embarrasses.  It reminds me of the series, Empowered, except with a much stronger protagonist.

I believe the series has a dozen books now, the first three are available in English and from most online book stores.

Dec 162018

Is there anything more magical than books? Maybe only a beautiful woman studying one. In fantasy games, I loved the idea of collecting spell books in order to gain power. Most games treat spell books as an afterthought, but I always wanted to play a campaign that revolved around seeking, finding and hoarding books. Now that I read about magic as a hobby, I get to do that searching and hoarding for real.

Today’s coven member comes from the wonderful Rich Larson. This is a gorgeous pencil sketch and it adorns the cover one of my magic notebooks.  

Dec 152018

In 1980, the Flash Gordon movie by Dino De Laurentiis was released. It is a joyous, campy movie that is a visual delight. In a better universe, we would be anticipating the 14 movie in the franchise while some fans cling to a little known 70’s movie called “Star Wars”.

Back then, movie companies would make book adaptations of their movies. Before VCR’s and cable, this might be the only way you got to enjoy a movie once it left theaters. A lot of those books were written by established writers who polished and in some cases, even perfected the original screenplay. I still find the Alien novel by Alan Dean Foster to be superior to the movie.

The Flash Gordon novelization is a weird duck. Written by Arthur Byron Cover, (a pseudonym if I ever saw one), this book has the hallmarks of having been written with no supervision at all. Arthur spends the first 50 pages of a 220 page book writing background histories for Flash and Zarkov. Zarkov is wonderfully weird but Flash has been reinvented as a sort of Zen athlete who is beginning to suspect that sports is not the most fulfilling career one can pursue. Flash is a paladin of virtue, an amateur pilot, and very smart on his own. This is not the idiot jock from the movie.

Ming and his minions get explored as well. Ming’s primary trait is boredom; he has mastered the universe and has no one to challenge him. He engages in extraordinary cruelty in attempts to see if they amuse him. His libido is barely active, which is why he acts when pretty Earthling, Dale Arden excites him. I’m not saying Ming is sympathetic, but his evil has a motive as he desperately fights his cosmic indifference.

The other addition to the original screenplay is sex. There are no sex scenes, but man, we get a good long look into what everyone is into. Dale’s last boyfriend was a swinger, Zarkov’s 2nd wife and the sex they had is the strongest memory he has, Ming and his daughter are DEFINITELY doing it, and Barin loves Aura, but knows their marriage has to be open. It is not what I expected from a major movie studio novelization.

With the kink and the backstories, is a lot of comedy and social satire. The movie was funny, but the book takes it to the next level. Ming and Klytus have a discussion on earth morality that is scathing. Actually, anytime the humans discuss government, morality or sex with the people of Mongo is hilarious.

All in all, this was written by someone who loves the original Flash Gordon source material, and takes frequent opportunities to both praise it and mock it. The book is more adult than I was expecting but the humor is also more political. The book isn’t easy to find but it is worth the search.

Dec 122018

Sunstone is a comic book by Stjepan Šejić. It is about two women who come together to play BDSM games and end up falling hopelessly in love with each other, but have the hardest time expressing their feelings. It is lesbian kinky romance with side trips into hetero kink, but at the core is the very real and very vulnerable people that populate the story.

You know, I am burned out on BDSM romance but holy shit, am I hooked on this series. Part of the appeal is the truly gorgeous art. The other appeal is the super well-developed characters. Every person in this story has hopes, fears, traumas and quirks. Despite everyone looking like a pinup, they act like real people. This series doesn’t feel like BDSM porn, it feels like a real account of romance.

Speaking of porn, it is remarkable how there is little to no sex in this series. Characters get naked, and characters talk about sex and fantasies, but sex scenes are skipped over. It fits with the theme of the series, that all of the stories are told years later and therefore, the author can’t recount the blow-by-blow of what happens. It also keeps the focus on the story without sex scenes breaking up the flow of the plot.

This is the rare BDSM series where I feel like experienced people will enjoy it because it perfectly captures what it is like to be kinky and in love, and I feel like total newbies will also enjoy the series as it captures that euphoric new-kink energy that beginners have. I would also recommend it to vanilla people who just love a good romance story.

There are archives online of the series as well as hard copies you can purchase.