May 252023

FantasticLand:A Novel is a 2016 novel by Mike Bockoven. It explores what happens when Hurricane Sadie smashes into an amusement park named FantasticLand and manned by a skeleton crew of three hundred some odd employees. The park gets cut off from the rest of the world and shit goes downhill fast. People split into tribes and open warfare breaks despite every side having plenty of food, water and shelter. In the end, the National Guard arrive and gets everyone out. It is up to the public and the lawyers to figure out what really happened.

If you ever went to Disney World and wondered who would win in a fight between the employees of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the employees from Epcot, then this book is for you.

It is a very compelling book but then again, I love disaster stories. Back in 1999, I lived through the “Flood of the Century” in North Carolina and my community was without power for weeks and cut off from the rest of the state. It was a stressful time that has been burned into my mind but also gave me an intense interest in seeing how other people handle disasters. I also love watching things break down and I love watching plans run straight into the brick wall of reality. So really, this book was made for me.

The secret sauce that makes this book work is that it is presented as a series of interviews with the survivors of the disaster. That means we only get to hear the accounts of those who lived, and they have very strong reasons to either lie to the interviewer or to themselves. It is a gold mine of unreliable narrators and I am already looking forward to re-reading it to see what lies I pick out.

It is a brutal book with some brutal scenes, but I think the interview style helps distance the horror and paradoxically, make it more intimate. Imagine the worse scene you ever saw in a horror movie, and imagine that being told to you second hand. You end up paying less attention to the grisly details and pay more attention to the impact it had on the person who watched or experienced it.

Another great part of the book are the mysteries. Some characters go missing and their bodies are never found. There are two psychos dressed as Warthogs who terrorize everyone and no one discovers their identities. The actual crimes committed are still in question. The interviewed people can’t be trusted and the documentation is scarce. This uncertainty means folk will have plenty to debate and speculate on for a long time to come.

This book is going to be with me for a long time.

May 232023
Lovely cover that sadly doesn’t reflect the story at all.

The Order by Nadine Somers is an erotic book written in 2000. It suffers from an incredibly forgettable title for such an interesting book. This story is about a secret society trying to bring about a new age of uncontrollable lust using the power of an imprisoned Goddess. Two agents of a secret service dedicated to fighting the Occult is trying to stop them but I got to tell you, the two heroes spend more time getting fucked and used than they do getting any investigations done. It looks bleak for the world.

I simply adored this book. Over half of the book is about the villains led by the beautiful and wicked Countessa de Diablo. The Countessa is a magical dominatrix who sits on a living throne of fucking people. She is cruel and attended to by capable small army of sadists and masochists. We watch the bad guys fuck, dominate and humiliate everyone who stands in their way. This is one of those books that celebrates the villains.

The heroes are interesting as well. Tamara is the older, smarter agent and Max is the new recruit who is struggling to make sense of it all. Max gets dominated a lot, both by Tamara and the bad guys. He is a likable submissive male hero who is not a pushover.. I like the heroes but they are definitely minor characters here.

Thankfully, the book is self contained. The ending ties up all loose ends. Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be a sequel which is a shame. This book is wall to wall magical domination and it deserves a hundred sequels.

May 082023
I will admit this is one heck of a good cover.

I am always curious about erotic book series. So much of erotica is made to be disposable and generic so it appeals to everyone. When a book gets a sequel, there is a sense that the publisher has a bit more faith in this book than others. Or maybe this story is just so damn good that it demands a sequel.

At least, that is what I used to assume. Now I understand that a sequel usually comes about because the author wants to re-use previous characters or continue a successful premise. Or the series is part of a brand where different authors share a pseudonym and crank out sexual exploits.

Which brings us to Jennifer: Book One by that prolific they/them, Anonymous. It is published by Richard Gallen and Company in 1982 and it definitely falls in the “branding” class of erotica. The back cover is full of bombast as it declares “Introducing the most sexually adventurous heroine in contemporary fiction!”

So what is the book about? Well, Jennifer is a beautiful and successful photographer who is in high demand among fashion magazines and newspapers. She laments that men today are too sensitive and in touch with their feelings. Fortunately, a hot billionaire agrees with her and wants to put out a new magazine for men that teaches them how to be sexually confident again. Jennifer is assigned to meet with her former lovers and write about what real mean used to be like.

The fact that this was written in 1982 is hilarious to me. But today’s standards, early 80’s men were barely civilized and had no concept of consent. One of the male characters used to be a college professor who banged his students but now that women are too intellectual about their needs, he has turned to banging young men instead. Yes, the sexual revolution turned this man gay.

Not all men have turned gay though. The second lover has gone the other direction and is a pimp with six harem wives. A third male is still manly but also shares his women with his assistant and best friend. The billionaire, of course, is so damn manly that he fucks Jennifer better than anyone and her sister.

Did I mention that Jennifer has an equally hot twin sister? The twin is a part-time romantic rival for the billionaire and there is some dodgy threesome sex between them all, but for the most part, this is a story about Jennifer and what’s wrong with men today. The twin is an odd addition to the book and I find myself wondering why a series about “the most sexually adventurous heroine,” has a character that is in all ways, just as sexually adventurous. Then again, maybe anonymous just likes threesomes.

Eight books were promised on the back of the very first book and by the Goddess, they got all eight books out. The plots and sex are better written than a lot of 80’s porn but the gender politics are laughable. The book suffers from another 80’s trait of being enamored with the rich and mistaking money for competency. On the whole, I doubt I will be reading any more of the series.

May 012023

The next book in the Villain for Hire series by Jay Aury is avaiable for purchase. In this installment, Magneron, the villain with a bunch of henchwomen, is settling into his new evil lair. Some asshole mad genius is trying to capture Magneron’s resident mad genius and hot lamb girl. While Magneron deals with that, he is also mentoring a hot villain chick on her first for-hire act of villainy. At the same time, he is still mentoring the daughter of a very nasty super villain. Wackiness and villainy ensues!

As a long time superhero nerd, I am very impressed with how much thought has gone into the world building. It feels like someone’s longtime superhero RPG campaign and I mean that in a good way. This world exists on its own and while there are plenty of jokes that would apply to two major comic franchises, it never feels like a parody or a homage. This world and the characters stand on their own.

Another thing that impresses me is that this book is a nice juggling of three different elements. There is a lot of superhero action, that is genuinely exciting. There is a lot of comedy that never detracts from the seriousness of the story. Finally, there is hot sex that satisfies the erotica premise, without infecting the rest of the story with porn logic. It is a real feat in how these parts work together without overwhelming each other.

So yeah, Jay Aury has a very special series here that is a must read for anyone who longs for superhero pron outside of big media franchises. You should totally be reading this series as it is only getting better.

Apr 212023

Professor Spender is a Vietnam veteran and art professor for an unnamed Southern College. This year he has been tasked with chaperoning a bunch of women students on a trip to France. Now, since this is a porn book from the 80’s, you would be forgiven for expecting that this will be a story about Spender fucking his way through a bunch of hot students. You would be utterly wrong.

There are complications to this trip. Complication #1 is that the leader of the girls is pissed at Spender and has decided that no one is going to fuck him. Since her mom is financing the trip, she also gets to just boss Splendor around.

Complication #2 is Spender’s best friend, Saint A, is also on the trip. Saint A is an art teacher who is constantly high on various drugs. The girls decide that he is okay to fuck and they go about exhausting the poor man.

Complication #3 is the other teacher, Tab, a flaming bisexual sadomasochist who thinks this trip will be a great opportunity to re-enact scenes from the Marquis de Sade.

I’m not going to get into complications #4, #5 and #6 because you get the picture. Spender is harassed by young women, college politics and a priestess of an Orphic cult. This book is technically erotica but is mostly a sex comedy. It is just a very odd kind of sex comedy. Instead of frat boy humor, there is ton of literary and mythic references.

Despite loving the chaos of the book, there were problematic bits. Tab is the embodiment of every negative gay stereotype the 80’s could manage. Although there is no sex depicted with minors, there is way too much discussion of it happening in characters’ past. Also, non-consent is a frequent punchline in this book and an early discussion of date rape is just as awful as you can imagine.

One thing I do credit the book with is that Spender has two male friends on the trip. It struck me how rare it was to see a male character with other male friends in a porn book. These friends are complications, but their friendship feels real and really elevates the book.

There are actually two sequels to this book. It is so weird to imagine that Blue Moon published these but I am glad they did for the sheer novelty of them. If you want porn that is a weird mix of 80’s low brow and academic humor, then Professor Spender and the Sadistic Impulse is for you.

Mar 152023
Watch out for the little guy. And the big guy. And the other big guy . .

Wilhurst is a very special gated community. Located outside of town, this sleepy looking rural collection of homes is the lair of a group of serial killers. Slashers like Richard the Clown, the confounding Puzzleman and the absolutely terrifying Fuckmaster are just a few the monsters that live here.

The killers have one rule, don’t kill in your backyard. Okay, they have a lot of rules, and all of them are enforced by a wicked little old lady named Zel. The rules are there to protect the slashers as they do evil on the world. There is a schedule and conforming to style but the most important rule is still, “Don’t kill in your backyard”.

That is the premise of the comic series, “Where Monsters Lie by Kyle Starks and Piotr Kowalski. In the first issues, Puzzleman fucks up and kidnaps some local kids to murder. Not only that, but one of the kids escapes and goes straight to the police. The issue ends with multiple police cars pulling up on the gated community.

I love this comic. There is only two issues out so far but I love it with my slasher heart. The killers range from scary to laughably neurotic. Richard the Clown wants to branch out into non-clown murders and Zel won’t let him. Puzzleman is in a slump and can only think of dick-traps these days. There are freaking HOA violations.

And murder. A whole lot of murder.

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Mar 062023

Pine Cove had a drug problem. One third oft he town is on anti-depressants because the sleepy little beach town is a drab place to live during the fall and winter months. When one of the residents commits suicide, the only psychiatrist in town worries that her tendency to prescribe pills and skip the therapy might killed someone. She greatly over-reacts and puts all of her patients on placebos. The resulting withdrawal and lack of meds does some wacky things to the town.

And all of that happens before a giant seam monster rises from the ocean and comes on shore. The beast is a shape-shifter and it also has the neat knack of making everyone in town as horny as fuck. More wackiness ensues.

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove is written by Christopher Moore. The story takes an ensemble approach as we follow the stoner constable, the very unstable retired b-movie actress, the unethical psychiatrist, a blues man who had encountered the sea monster before and my favorite character, an eager dog who is looking out for his owner. It reminds me of a lighter Carl Hiassen, although the murder rate is about the same.

This is a horny book, although only as horny as an R-rated book can get. It feels like the kind of thing I might write if I didn’t write full on erotica. It is also a fun book and I was sad to see it end. Fortunately this book is part two of a series of books set in the town and reading the first them in order isn’t necessary. I highly recommend it.

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Feb 172023
Seriously, it should have been called Titty Royale

Booty Royale is an erotic manga series written and drawn by Rui Takato. It features an 18 year old karate expert, Misora, who wants to become a singer. She gets hired by a sketchy modeling agency who puts her into clothed erotica modeling. After a few gigs, the agency tricks her into entering a martial arts event where if she looses, she has to get gangbanged by one hundred men. And this is just the first story in a very thick book

As you might have guessed, this is a very silly series. Misora is placed in embarrassing situations with degrading punishments at stake. Sometimes the peril is being forced to jump rope without a bra for a sleazy video or, in a lot of cases, outright sexual assault. Misora always overcomes these challenges with her karate skills and can-do attitude. The stories are half porn, half martial arts epic.

You know, I am never sure with Japanese erotica if the creators are engaging in satire or not. Some of the situations are hilarious, like when Misora has to crack a watermelon using only her giant breasts. At other times, the sexual assaults that Misora is threatened with, or the assaults carried out on other characters, feels a bit too brutal for such a silly premise.

The art is lovely to look at and some of the action scenes are downright fantastic. Your mileage on the erotic peril may vary but there is a lot to be had. I was equally amused and offended and I;m not sure if I will be continuing the series. Speaking of which. there are twelve English books of the series at the moment.

Jan 302023
Glacia is a bad girl but I forgive her.

Villain for Hire is a new book by Jay Aury. In a world of superheroes and supervillains, Magneron is a villain for hire. When a company needs their client hero to look good, Magneron will commit a crime, lose to the hero but manage to escape capture. All for a fee of course. In the course of the book, Magneron is coerced into mentoring some young ladies and haremlit debauchery ensues.

What differentiates this book from other harem books is how well written it is. The action and the plot is compelling and I lost a day of productivity burning through these pages. The characters are fun and interesting with actual personalities. The hero is an aggressive antihero and not the reluctant golly-gee schmuck that fills so many harem books.

It reminds me a lot of Alana Melos’ Villainess series in its quality, though this book is a light lighter in tone. They both create a convincing world with familiar archetypes without straying into parody or cliche. If you ever read a superhero comic or played a supers role-playing game, this will make you feel right at home.

Another interesting part to me is the restraint with the sex. I think there may have been only three or four actual sex scenes. Personally, I could have done with a bit more, but I think the sparse scenes made the sex more dramatic when it happened.

Again, I think it is damn near perfect and my favorite of Jay Aury’s work. You should check it out.

Jan 162023

Carl Corey wakes up in a private clinic. He has vague memories of a car crash and not much else. The staff are sketchy as hell but Carl has some innate sketchy qualities himself that helps him overpower the staff. He finds out that he was placed in the clinic by a sister he didn’t know he had. He also discovers that she is terrified of him. Carl is a bad man, and although he doesn’t doubt it, he has no memory of why that is true.

At the risk of spoiling a fifty-three year old story, Carl finds out that his real name is Corwin and that he is prince of Amber, the one true world in the multiverse. He has brothers and sisters and just about all of them, including himself, want the Throne of Amber. King Oberon, his father, has gone missing and the war of succession has begin. Over the course of five books, Corwin will come to terms with himself, his family and a universe that is more complicated than he thought.

Nine Princes in Amber was written by Roger Zelazny. It was his most famous work and his influence can be spotted in works like Gaiman’s Sandman series. I would be willing to bet that if you read a story about a bad man losing his memory and waking up in a hospital written after 1970, that it was a Zelazny tribute of some kind.

I came across this book in my teenage years. I was the perfect audience; a moody kid who suspected that there was something wrong with me because I just didn’t fit in with anyone else. Corwin is a delightful anti-hero who acknowledges his bad side and wishes he was better, but also unapologetic about his nature. It was deeply therapeutic for me to see a character like that and quite frankly, it was a big part of why I didn’t follow my suicidal intentions when I was a kid. In a lot of ways, Corwin was a surrogate father figure and I suspect he has been for a lot of readers.

Personal issues aside, Nine Princes in Amber is just a fun story. It clocks in around 200 pages and each book in the short is just as short. There are sword fights, demons, dimensional travel like nothing you have ever seen, family issues, terrible cruses, betrayals, great loves and a city under the ocean. Honestly, if I described everything that happens in just the first two books, I would sound like a madman. These books are crammed with ideas and again, you can see how Zelazny inspired the next generation of writers.

Zelazny wrote a sequel series years later that fans are divided on but I still enjoyed them. To tell you anything about them would be spoilers but the thing I notice about them is that Zelazny is having fun with his creation. What more can you ask for from a writer?

Sadly, Zelazny’s wife was not a fan of his work and when he died, a prequel series was created that is an abomination. Fortunately for us, Zelazny’s real legacy is maintained by the generations of writers he has influenced.

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