Sep 262022

Only Revolutions is a different kind of book. When you read the first page, you notice two columns of text. The text on the left is headlined by a historical date and then the rest of the column is a bunch of things that happened on that date, intermingled with parts of quotes about that day. The second column introduces one of the two characters in the book. Depending on which side of the book you started with, you are either reading about Sam, a 16 year old boy who has green eyes with flecks of gold, or you are reading about Hailey, a 16 year old girl who has gold eyes with flecks of green.

But the second column of text only reaches 4/5 of the way down to the bottom of the page. The rest of the column is made of words that are upside down. That part is the end of the other character. As the pages go on, the upside-down words take up more of the page as the part you are reading steadily shrinks.

There are other oddities. Sam’s story mentions a lot of animals in big bold font. Hailey’s story mentions plants. The letter ‘O’ is in a gold font. Both characters drive cars, but the cars change over time. They are followed by a CREEP who is typed in a purple font.

Did I mention the story is told in beat poetry?

So yeah, this is a challenging book to read. It is written by Mark Z. Danielewski, the write of House of Leaves. I was excited to read this book when I bought it eight years ago but the poetry was hard for me to read. I gave up after a few pages and put the book away. Over the years I would pick it up, read and give up again. Recently I came across it while unpacking and I decided that I should do what I always do when something challenges me and I looked up how to read it on the internet. The author had a video about how some people read it out loud and that other teenagers loved the book. I tried reading it out loud and CLICK, the book finally opened to me.

It is a great book. Sam and Hailey are telling their sides of the story, but it is not the same story. They experience things differently and it goes deeper than just their perspectives. In essence, these young people who are always 16, meet, fall in love, travel together and then watch the other die before succumbing themselves. Why they die is clear to me, but being poetry, I could be wrong.

Poetry is like that. I could summarize the story more and break down some of the themes, but that would only be my interpretation. This is a story full of symbols and strangeness right down to how you choose to read the pages and in what order. This story feels less like a story and more like a Rubik’s cube that changes meaning by how you engage with it.

It is a delightful piece of art. It is also very erotic in places that I feel captures the horny energy of youth in a way few books have. Not everyone is going to have the patience for it, but that is okay. For those of us who can enjoy it, it feels like a rare treasure we might not see the likes of ever again.

Aug 152022

The Final Girl Support Group is a novel by Grady Hendrix. Actually, it is more like a fast moving spear tearing through characters, plot and locations. This book is the definition of fast-paced and I found it awfully hard to put down.

The plot concerns a group of women who are all survivors of slasher massacres. Psychopaths murdered their friend and family and in some cases, the killers or their stand-ins, came back for another swing at the survivor. These women have seen some shit and it fucked them up. They are part of a support group where they should be looking out for one another but familiarity has bred contempt and now they are on the verge of breaking up.

Until one of them gets killed. Oh shit.

The book does something interesting in that it imagines a world where there are both the slasher killers of Michael Myers and Jason, but also moves are created after the massacres to cash in on the horrible events. The final girls exist both as victims of horrible crimes, but also public figures where most people know exactly what happened to them. It is a fascinating comment on how society eats women up and then cannibalizes their tragedy for mass consumption and profit.

In fact, this book hit me in a very vulnerable way. The exploitation of the final girls by their loved ones, friends, the media and others is a big part of the book. It reminded me a lot of stories about child actors and how their lives get defined for them at a super young age and then the people who are supposed to look out for them use them for their own gain. Some readers might have a harder time with that than the brutal killers.

Speaking of which, this is not a book that cares much about the killers. They are there, but this story isn’t about them. After years of serial killer television shows, it is a welcome change.

All in all, I loved this book and would recommend it to any slasher fan.

Aug 082022
What part of this woman is little?

Little Ego has the strangest dreams. They start off simple enough, maybe a present has arrived or she is taking a bath. But soon the present opens to reveal flowers that move on their own or the bath tub is shared with a crocodile. There is a hint of danger before the flowers begin to kiss in intimate places or the crocodile mounts Little Ego and she is brought to the heights of passion . . .

Which is when Little Ego wakes up. The bed is in disarray, Little Ego’s clothes are missing and there might be a nearby object that explains why she dreamed of such oddities. Little Ego makes one last comment about what her shrink will think and then the scene ends.

When I first encountered the stories of Little Ego by Vittorio Giardino, I thought they were fantastic flights of fancy. I loved the surreal nature of the dreams and the incredible leaps of imagination. Also very enjoyable is Giardino’s art of these exotic woman from some mystical place.

As an adult, I now know this exotic place was Europe, and that the stories were inspired by a children’s comic called Little Nemo by Winsor McCay. This is in fact a porn parody, right down to the character’s name.

But it is still luscious and gorgeous to look at. As a writer of porn parodies myself, I am in awe in how Giardino created something derivative but so damn sensuous. Dreams allow for impossible fantasies like an orgy with multiples of yourself, or making love with a pilot on the wing of a plane. Little Nemo has an idea is too precious to confine only to children’s stories.

And I also wonder how many fans of Little Ego admire the stories, the art and the sexuality without ever discovering the original? Is something a parody when it references something the viewer has no idea of? It shows how art evolves and creates, sometimes carrying a baton from a creator people might never know.

Jul 182022
So much filth behind this romantic cover.

I’m a big fan of Shay Sands. She writes the kind of insatiable sluts I love to read about. I am especially a big fan of her more outlandish stories, as they tend to stretch reality just enough to make it feel like some sort of alternate sluttier universe.

The Final Edge is a novel where Shay’s heroine is called upon to stop a supernatural race of monsters. The monsters give people their darkest fantasies and if the victims give in and climax, the monster consumes their ability to feel desire. Shay is taught how to deny herself so that her own powers can consume the monster instead. I am simplifying things but I am also holding off on any spoilers. There is also a romance that drives the story that I don’t want to give away.

What this creates is a character who keeps experiencing fantasies and holding out from going over the edge and coming. It is a delicious cycle of self-denial and edging. The plot also serves as a frame for a series of erotic vignettes for the heroine to endure/enjoy. The adventures range from straight sex and lesbians with segues into BDSM and surprise power dynamics.

It is a clever stunt. The book is almost an anthology of sexy adventures that don’t need the pressure of being connected to one another. Each fantasy would be a nice story in itself, but the main plot of edging adds friction to every story. It is very impressive.

I highly recommend this book for fans of kinky peril and denial-enthusiasts.

Jul 112022
Destruction is such a sexy word.

Chantelle is a highly successful writer and public personality. She writes books on feminism and gives lectures. One day she realizes how empty her carefully managed life is and craves the thrill of being dominated and used. She begins to engage in some risky behavior which greatly concerns her two bodyguards. The bodyguards, a man and a woman, offer to dominate and use her in order to satisfy her urges until this phase passes.

Spoiler alert, this phase does not pass.

I enjoy The Destruction of Chantelle Sinclair a lot. It is a coming-of-slut slave story where the submissive is the wealthy one and everything is consensual. Having there be two bodyguard/doms makes for some interesting dynamics. The book gets a bit deeper than I expected with Chantelle understanding that that the public character she created in herself is now a prison she wishes to escape. I don’t want to spoil anything but giving any more details, but the book goes to some unexpected places.

Also, the sex was really hot. There is a lot power dynamics going on and I enjoyed every bit of the ride. I will be looking into more of Shawna Hunter’s work.

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Apr 252022

A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a science fiction book by Becky Chambers. It involves the crew of the Wayfarer, a modest spaceship that punches holes through reality to create stable wormholes. The crew is a mix of humans and aliens, working together to take on contracts and make a living. They are not military or freebooters; they are the future space equivalent of a road crew. Or to put it another way, just one character from your Star Wars/Star Trek/RPG group could murder every member of the Wayfarer with no problem.

Which is great! This is not a book about fights or action scenes. This is a book that a contract the crew takes on and spend the better part of a year trying to complete. Over the course of the job, we get deep dives into each and every character and the personal challenges they face. This book is 95% slice-of-life and I am here for it. In the last thirty pages, something major happens but that’s fine. Life can drop disasters on you.

With so much of the story focused on the characters, the real success of this novel is how deep and interesting the characters are. This is a book for the modern age which means we get non-hetero relationships, aliens who practice polyamory, other aliens who go through gender phases and there are many discussions of body autonomy. This is a science fiction book crammed with liberal ideas and once more, I am here for it.

It is no wonder this book won a Hugo. I fell in love with the characters and reading their lives enriched me in ways I struggle to explain. Love and found-family is the core of this book and with so many science-fiction franchises focused on combat and acts of war, it is a welcome change.

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Apr 112022

Friend of the blog, Serena Silverlake, has written another installment of her Fantastical filth fantasy series. In La Petite Mort, the adventurers of Pigeon Pie are looking to join an exclusive tournament but need the sponsorship of an important noble to get included. They take on a job from a Necromancer lady to recover her daughter that has been kidnapped by cultists. The problem is that the almost everything about their job is a lie.

Since this is a Silverlake story, that means that there is a lot of sex. Soooo much sex. OMG, is there is a lot of delicious filthy over-the-top sex. It has so much smut that I felt the need to take frequent showers while reading it. Alexa Mountspear might be my favorite fictional sex character and I fucking write sex characters. It is something I could easily get jealous about.

Even more envy worthy is that this book is funny. It reminds me a lot of Terry Pratchett, if Terry Pratchett wrote about minotaurs gangbanging a human woman as part of an attraction at a porn store. It is criminal how equally funny and sexy this book is.

Look, I sometimes feel like I promote Silverlake more than I do my own works and that is because Silverlake writes the books that I crave to read. And I prefer science-fiction to fantasy! The Filth series is the pinnacle of sexy and funny as far as I am concerned. If you enjoy my humorous works, then you will love hers. Go read it.

Mar 282022
I bet people will be mass-producing versions of this badge.

Right as the pandemic gets in full swing, Jamie Grey is fired from his job at a startup under shitty circumstances. Desperation forces him to deliver meals to make ends meet. fortunately for him, a chance encounter gets him a job that requires him to “lift things” but it pays a hell of a lot more.

That is the premise for the novel, Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi. Part “Oh dear God, the Pandemic sucked” and part “fuck it, let’s nerd out on the science behind giant monsters and the struggles it would involve to study them.” This book is a fun exercise of world-building as well as easy going banter between Jamie and his coworkers. It reminds of the glory days of role-playing games when you would hang out with your best friends and solve ridiculous problems together.

The actual monsters exist on an alternate reality, which means we get an entire biosphere to explore and speculate on, especially when it comes to the cube-square law that makes most giant monster impossible. Having another world to play with means we can have monsters the size of mountains flying the skies and crashing into each other without worrying about entire cities being destroyed. It is Jurassic Park without the horrific causalities.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression that it is all fun and games in this book. There is danger and some people die and yes, we even get a nasty villain. Every good adventure needs a bit of darkness and this book delivers. What I do want to get across is this book felt like a summer popcorn movie and almost a vacation from the troubles of the real world. For that reason alone, I highly reccomend it.

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Mar 212022

Over on Earth-Alpha, daring hero Dragonflyman and his trusty teen sidekick, Stinger, are trying to stop the devious super-narcissist, Number One, from replacing all of the portraits in a museum with his own. Using his special gadgets, Dragonflyman stops the dastardly villain’s evil plans but not before Number One escapes by running through a strange mirror. Dragonflyman, fearless and true, chases after him.

Meanwhile, over on Earth-Omega, grim vigilante The Dragonfly, is hunting down serial killer Number One. The Dragonfly dispatches a bunch of goons with horrific violence but the psychotic Number One escapes by running through a strange mirror. Obsessed with extracting violent justice, The Dragonfly follows him.

That is the premise of The Wrong Earth, written by Tom Peyer and Paul Constant . Both the heroes and their villains find themselves trapped in each other’s world. Honest and pure Dragonflyman suddenly has to deal with corrupt cops, terribly nasty villains and a world that doesn’t trust him. Dark and brooding The Dragonfly finds himself in a world where the bad guys are obsessed with niche-themes and an honest though helpless mayor and police force. The story is both hilarious and shocking, often at the same time.

In other words, what if Adam West’s Batman and Frank Miller’s Batman swapped places.

What makes the Wrong Earth truly great is that both heroes end up thriving. The Dragonfly’s no-nonsense approach to crime is a harsh reality check for the goody villains of that world. The kind Dragonflyman brings a much needed dose of nobility and heroism to the nasty folks in the other world. It is a series that loves both the campy goofball comics of the 60’s as well as a the grimdark nastiness of the 90’s in equal measures.

There is also some other subplots that I don’t want to spoil for you. The Wrong Earth is a six part series that has been collected into a trade. A sequel, Night and Day is also out. The whole series takes place in a brand new comic universe that doesn’t require knowing sixty years of lore to enjoy.

Feb 282022
The dress code seems a bit extreme.

Corporation of Canes is a delight of a book by Lindsay Gordon. The unnamed company in the book has it’s central offices in a skyscraper located in a town that the company owns. The police, neighborhoods and services are under company control. What the company actually does is not clear, but the strict and abusive way it treats its employees is not ambiguous at all.

This book can best be described as Corporate Dystopia. The unrealistic environment is the point. In the first chapter, we experience “you” getting demoted from an executive job which involves getting stripped and humiliated by sexy women in high heels and armed with canes. You get busted all the way down to garden maintenance, with the added humiliation of your dick being hard the whole time.

From there, the book bounces around to other characters. We see women abuse their power and be abused. Men and women work together in the company but the book is only concerned with the abusive power of evil women. Sometimes the book returns to “you” and the ways you try to fight against the system, but spoiler alert, you can’t overcome the superiority of wicked women.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It is like erotic Kafka. The changing of characters helps keeps things fresh and provides a varied view of this terrible place. I was even more delighted when we find out there is a secret resistance fighting against the company! This is the kind of audacity that I wish more porn would indulge in.

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