Mar 062015

519nYX5uJ2L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This week I finished the six volume set of The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny. It is a massive collection as it includes every single short story he wrote as ell as every bit of poetry and quite a few novellas. It took me over three years of off and on reading to finish the set because I knew that once I was done, I would have no more new-to-me Zelazny to read.  Now that I have finished it, I just want to express the debt I owe to him as a writer.

I have always been a storyteller but I never had the patience to write. Most of it came from reading too much Tolkien and Tolkien knockoffs that overwhelm the reader with details, facts and trivia. Every time I sat don to write something, I felt this tremendous pressure to first explain the world, the characters and each and every oddity before I took one step with the plot.

That is madness of course but as a teenager I just felt that was the way it had to be.

Then I came across Zelazny’s Nine Princes in Amber. I was enchanted with the story because it is simply quite awesome. Magic, parallel worlds, romance, courtly intrigue, war, family problems and swashbuckling humor just enthralled me as a teen. It was the perfect book for a time in my life when I felt so terribly alone and close to despair. It gave me hope as only wonderful meaningful entertainment can.

I read other Zelazny books and went to college, dropped out of college, got married and settled into a depressing factory worker life. The internet came along and I read tons of erotica before the itch to write my own came. I found myself aching to write but all the teenage hesitations came back. I wanted to explain the characters, explain the setting and explain the relationships all at once. Quite frankly I couldn’t even imagine what the first sentence would look like.

So I cracked open a Zelazny book. I don’t remember which one. I just opened it and read the first page.  Knowing Zelazny, the story simply started.

So I simply started writing as well. When I had questions, I looked to see what Zelazny did.

This would have worked with almost any writer but for luckily I was a huge fan of a master story teller. Reading the collection these past few years just reinforce that notion. Zelazny weaved magic, science and character so tightly into a world of wonder. Some of his stories have so much emotion that they leave you grieving yet almost every story has a touch of whimsy and humor. The average Zelazny story has more ideas than most novels.

I also saw the progenitors of a lot of my own characters. There would be no Vaquel without Dilvish. There would be no Blastpants without Merlin. There would be no Erishella without Kali. There would be no Samuel without Corwin.

There would not be a Shon Richards without Roger Zelazny.

The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny are highly recommend for any fan of fantastic writing. The collection also has many essays by Roger’s friends as well as a lot of behind the scenes writing from Roger himself. I can’t imagine a more important set in my library.

Jul 082013

blog-cover-katiebugKatie-bug is a short e-story from friend of the blog, Joan Defers. It tells the story of a trophy wife who is annoyed/aroused/disturbed by her rich husband’s eagerness to share her with others. The wife, Katie, lives a life that would be the envy of every full time slave as she provides interesting conversation to her husband’s guests, serves drinks without complaint and lets her husband control every aspect of her life. If this was a fetish story, it would be a submissive utopia but because it is a realistic story about a second wife who knows she can be divorced the minute she gets defiant, it becomes much tenser than your usual fetish fare.

It has taken me awhile to write this review because it is not the kind of story I usually enjoy but yet, I enjoyed the heck out of this. It has been hard for me to pin down why. The husband is a spoiled abusive man which is pretty high on my hate list. Katie never really stands up for herself which is also pretty high on my not-read list. Drugs are used, the men that the husband makes his wife fuck are assholes and there is a general sense of unhappiness all around.

But there is a reason I had a hard time putting this story down. Joan makes these characters so believable that it becomes less of a reading experience and more of a voyeur.  I have met a lost of asshole dominant men and I think this is the first time I have seen another writer capture the pouting and insecurities that assholes do. Joan also invests just the right qualities into Katie that I believed in her.  Katie is a broken woman; she isn’t the strangely happy broken women that feature so strongly in 50 Shades of Gray knock-offs right now. It is this reality that elevates the sex into the heat that they possess.

It is not a happy story but it is a hot and engrossing story which is what erotica is all about.

I give it Four out of Five Pam Griers


Jun 112012

Yolanda: The Girl from Erosphere is a 1975 science fiction erotica book written by Dominique Verseau although rumor has it that this is just a pseudonym for much more famous writer, Henri René Guieu.  It is book one in a series that I am pretty sure never saw a book two.  That is something of a problem as book one ends on a cliffhanger. 

What is it about?  See, in the future, humanity gets a hell of a lot less uptight about sex and gets very open minded.  Not open minded enough for male homosexuality apparently, but enough for casual sex between men and women and girl on girl action.  Yolanda is a sexologist and she is picked to join a crew of three astronauts to go to a mysterious destination on a new space ship.  The mission is top secret to the point that the astronauts are not told where they are going, but one of your crew is a sexologist, another is a linguistics expert and the other two are virile male mechanic types, the odds are you are going to sexy planet.

During the space flight, the four astronauts have a lot of sex.  The female linguistics expert is what passes for a prude in this society as she take a little convincing before she will have sex but trust me, everyone is having sex in this book.  I’d say 90% of the book is about sex acts but I am not a sexologist like Yolanda.

The other ten percent is interesting science fiction.  Although it is not explicitly stated, it occurred to me that the premise of this society is that what if the sexual revolution of the 1970’s kept going.  Clothing is most transparent lingerie, people have an Age of Consent day where they discard their virginity and science is working hard on pills to help women’s sphincters relax during anal sex.  It is an interesting idea and one that could only have been written in 1975 before the sexual revolution ran into the AIDS terror of the 80’s.

I also whole heartedly approve of the use of science in a lot of the sex scenes.  I have this pet peeve about fantasy and science fiction erotica.  A lot of writers will use the setting as a place for people to get laid without thinking about how people in a world with magic or super science would be using their setting to help them get off.  This book is full of sexual aids that are unique to the setting.  Artificial gravity is turned into a sex aid.  Pills are made to relax your anus or flavor your sperm.  This is not a book where people in funny costumes have sex just like you do.  This is a book about space sex.

Which you better like because man, there is a lot of it.  The majority of the book is about the casual fucking that takes place on a space ship.  When aliens show up, they just join in the sex.  It took me a week to read this slim book because sex, sex, sex just bored the shit, shit shit out of me.

Funny aside, the sex aliens in this book look an awful lot like the Engineers from the Prometheus movie.  Which is hilarious in a kind of spoiler way that you will only get if you have seen the movie.     
The other downside is that after 180 pages of frolicking casual sex, the books end with a gangbang rape of the main characters by other, nastier sex aliens.  It was a real mood changer.  I can only imagine that in the 70’s, rape was just another sexual position because I keep running into fucking rape scenes in 70’s porn books.

It is a shame that there never was a book two because I am pretty sure it would have been like Anne Rice’s Beauty book except in space.  Although I was often bored by the endless sex, I did enjoy the non-sex bits and I thought the imagination and science fiction was quite neat. 

I give it Two out of Five Pam Griers.

May 272011

Pirate Fairies of the 8th Sea is a new black and white comic by George Webber. It features a pretty pirate Captain and her OMG adorable kitten crew. When I opened to a random page of the book and showed it to my wife, she squealed at the cuteness of the pirate kittens. Shit, I was almost squealing too. Their cuteness should be a crime.

There are two things I really loved about this book. First, the art is amazing. There is a high level of detailing that you don’t usually see in comics. Every page is a gorgeous piece by itself. The layout is a bit different in that you turn the book sideways to read it. You are flipping pages up to read. This creates an interesting effect of stacking art on top of one another.

The second thing I love about the book is that it takes place in a rather vague child’s story universe. The boat is barely big enough for the Capetian to sit in but it works. Although it has no sex, I consider this book to be a spiritual cousin to my Island princess stories in that they read like flights of fancy more than anything else. There is a dream quality to it that makes it terribly fun. Comics should be fun.

You can buy it from the author at the piratical price of Five dollars and shipping here.

May 222011

I saw this POTC: On Stranger Tides on opening day because I was terrified of spoilers. I am also a big fan of pirates in general and I am pretty sure I would be there on opening day even if they remade Treasure Island starring Sarah Palin. I have a fondness and some may say weakness for pirates, so I understand that I am not an unbiased person.

So I watch this movie and I had a pretty fun time. More importantly, I think I felt a sense of relief that it did not suck. I liked POTC: at World’s End when it came out but within the week, my brain started poking holes in it and I found myself wondering why a pirate movie seemed to be 90% talking with little daring action. I think relief is the best way to describe how I feel about the current movie. It was good. It did not suck. It was fun.

A few days later though, I feel like the current movie is missing something. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Jack Sparrow is awesome in his not quite the best pirate/not quite the worse pirate ever. Penelope Cruz and her astounding beauty brings a mature sex appeal that Keira Knightley never had. Iam Mcshane is hilarious as Blackbeard, playing pretty much a supernatural Al Swearengen. Geoffrey Rush is back, and I really enjoy how he may sometimes be the villain, but he is arguably a better pirate than all of them. Everything about the movie was good.

But yet, it feels to me like it lacked something.

I think it lacks the sheer surprise of the first movie. The POTC movie was a shock. A movie about an amusement ride wasn’t supposed to be that much fun. Jack Sparrow was an enigma in that first movie. Now he is a favorite uncle. You are always glad to see him, but he is not the amazing pleasant surprise that he was in the first movie. You couldn’t imagine Jack Sparrow ahead of time, so when you saw him, he blew your mind. He is the same character now, but now you are just happy to see him. The joy that comes from the surprise can never be recaptured.

Which is what I think is what holds this movie back. It is a sequel and even if it is as good as the first movie, it is what we come to expect. It fails because it can not possibly surprise us unless it surpasses the original. That’s a tough fucking thing to do.

I’ve spent the past year working on a pirate anthology. I am pretty much hip deep in pirates all the time. I worried a little that I might be burnt out on pirates when I saw this movie. Instead,, I enjoyed this movie and it had quite a few bits that I wished I had written. It is a good movie. It is a fun movie. I don’t think there is a single thing I would change. The mermaids alone were worth waiting for.

It just can’t possibly be as good as we want it to be.

Oct 282010

When I was in Seattle this year, I picked up Joe R. Lansdale’s ‘The Complete Drive-in’. It is an omnibus of three novels that take place, well, at the drive-in.

Four friends go to the drive-in to watch a marathon of horror movies. Partway through, something abducts the whole damn drive-in area. I’m talking about multiple screens, all the cars, all the people and the concession stands. They find themselves transported to an area of endless night and unexplained electrical power. The movies keep playing and any one who braves the surrounding darkness is dissolved and spat back out.

Then things get really bad. Some stories will fuck your shit up and these tales are no exception. What starts as an amusing if baffling story degenerates into cannibalism, orgies and a whole fucking lot of murders. Bizarre monsters and even more bizarre insane characters prowl the book. It ain’t pretty. As jaded as I think I am as a reader, I had quite a few moments where I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the depravity I had just read. Yet I kept reading, because when you are on a roller-coaster of a story like this, you can’t wait for the next dropping thrill.

This collection has three books about this abducted drive-in. It is like the best b-movie never made. Just like a b-movie, it is fearless in it’s horror while relishing in the insanity of its plot. As a writer, this book was just inspiring in its audacity. I wish porn was half this fearless.

I can’t recommend this collection enough to horror fans.

Oct 082010

My least favorite topic of conversation is how bad video porn is. It is not that I disagree with the idea that most porn is cheaply made and tacky, but as an erotica writer my instinct is to make better porn as an example of what porn can be where as it seems that most people’s instinct is simply to bitch about it. That gets old very fast.

Even worse to me is the idea that porn is so bad because it is a gender thing. The attitude that if women would come down from their golden shrines and teach us lowly men how to make porn then the world would be better is terribly insulting. It is even more insulting when this special porn is created and marketed as superior quality and really all they invented was a raunchier episode of the Red Shoe Diaries. It has gotten to the point that when I see something sold as ‘superior porn’, I automatically skip it. Again it feels like people are more concerned about talking about bad porn then they are in making it.

I bring these points up because I have actually found high quality porn and to my delight, the porn site in question does NOT bring up these points. Instead of bitching about bad porn or trying to explain it, or worse, gloating about how bad other porn is, they simply make good porn. They lead by example and what an awesome example it is.

‘Art of the Blowjob’ is a site that features the most beautiful blowjobs you will ever see. I guess if you are going to do something, do one thing and do it right. They do blowjobs and they do it fucking amazing right.

Each video stars the lovely Camille Crimson of indeterminate age. It also stars the penis of her boyfriend. Videos range anywhere from six to fifteen minutes. There are no words. There is no bad lighting. There is a lot of jewelry, interesting hairstyles, glasses, music and a fuckload of sucking. There is always a cumshot which really surprises me. It isn’t the gonzo explosions of most porn but it is there. They took something that is often the cheesiest part of a porn movie and they elevated it.

Elevation is the word I would use to describe everything they do. The music is often freely downloaded tracks found on the web but in almost every scene, they set the scene. After years if ignoring bad porn music, I find myself actually seeking these songs out for download and repeated listening. This same attention to quality applies to the lovely hairstyle that Crimson’s gorgeous red hair is put into. The camera angles are really interesting. Sometimes the camera drifts down her neck and focuses on a dangling earring. Instead of mechanically going through positions, the camera moves like a voyuer as it takes in the whole scene.

There is an intimacy in these videos that really cinches it. Sometimes the boyfriend caresses her face, or starts to stroke her. She glances up at him and breaks into smiles. The blowjob is beautiful but you see it more as a beautiful act of love.

I really love this site and it gives me hope for the future of porn. The fact that they had to do their own site without the support of a major company doesn’t surprise me. Art is like that. It is up for artists to show us the way to have something better and it is up to us to support them.

Aug 202010

My wife picked up the omnibus of Hack/Slash. “Why does she dress like a goth hooker?”

I shrugged. Good question.

So let’s get past that so I can tell you that Hack/Slash is one of the best comics you can read if you love horror. It takes place in a world where killers like Jason and Freddy Krueger walk around and kill teenagers with the frequency of mowing the lawn. Cassie is an adorable young woman who hunts these Slasher killers with the help of her gasmask wearing brute of a friend named Vlad, who grew up in a butcher’s basement. They hunt monsters and they sure as fuck do not make out with vampires.

Hack/Slash starts with a bunch of self contained mini-series. The Omnibus collects a shitload of them in chronological order. Although Cassie does not sleep with vampires or anyone who sparkles, she has a wonderful friendship with Vlad who might be my favorite character ever. Hot girl and deformed muscle guy are the best buddy story you will ever read. The fact that they kill supernatural mass murderers is often just bonus.

I love this series but what really inspires me is that the writers took a genre of fiction, and tried to construct a reality around it. In this universe, people with a lot of hate, rage, resentment or sexual frustration, have a chance of resurrecting when they die into horrible killers of the things that upset them. If you have ever watched a Slasher movie, it could easily exist in this universe. In fact, Hack/Slash often has official crossovers with franchise properties including Chucky and Herbert West.

Erotica shares a lot with horror. People in these genres do not act like normal people. People who exist in an erotic universe fuck with very little motivation and people who exist in a horror universe do not engage in self preservation. These universes are fundamentally different from the universe you and I walk in, and I always enjoy works that understand this. Once a writer stops trying to explain why the federal government has never shut down Crystal Lake and focuses on the oddity of a world that allows this to happen, I feel the story can only improve.

So if you love horror, adorable girls who dress like goth hookers or want to read about freaky killers getting their comeuppance, then you really need to check out Hack/Slash.

Mar 292010

George Webber is an artist you should know. He makes wonderful cartoonish characters crammed with personality and boobs. He also makes comic books and I recently had the pleasure of enjoying ‘Crimes, Passion and Murder’.

I read a lot of independent comics mostly because I am sympathetic to anyone trying to make their own stuff. I must admit that a lot of it is crap as most artists have more enthusiasm than experience. ‘Crime, Passion and Murder’ is the happy exception to the rule. Webber understands how to tell a story, as well as understanding that page breaks and page layouts are what determines pacing of story and jokes. The art is always beautiful, but the artistry in page design is superb.

There are two short stories in this comic book. Both stories are parodies of crime noir fiction. The main characters are the scrappy morose detective and the insanely beautiful naughty Femme Fatale. As short as the stories are, it is hard to preview them without giving the plots away so I will keep mum. I will say that the scene where the murder was witnessed by five nuns was comedy genius.

It clocks in at 24 black and white pages and is priced at 5$. This is a fucking steal if you love crime noir or great art. I also highly recommend any of his other books.

Order the book here.

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Jan 302009

‘The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak’ might be the best looking movie you have ever snubbed. Released in 1984 and starring the adorable-even-when-she’s-whiney, Tawny Kitaen, this sexploitation pulp movie should be awful but yet it keeps offering visual delights and strange plot twists that keeps your finger away from the fast forward button.

The plot is a classic pulp-peril frame that continuously jeopardizes Gwendoline and her really cute maid/sidekick, Beth. Gwen and Beth frequently get captured, stripped a little and then rescued so that they can be captured again. Gwen is looking for her missing father who went into the most dangerous parts of well, it may be China but they never really say. He’s searching for a rare butterfly and if you pay attention, you’ll spot a lot of hidden butterfly imagery. The two girls are completely out of their league and get captured in the first five minutes of the movie. This is why Gwen recruits a scoundrel boat captain who goes by the unflattering name of Willard.

Let me take a moment to talk about Willard. Liar, gambler and complete asshole, Willard is the romantic lead in this movie. He bitches about the dangerous journey, taunts Gwen at every opportunity and proves his worthiness by the occasional ass kicking of bad guys. His delivery has less to do with being cool as much as he just seeks to belittle everyone. When he smacktalks the villain near the end of the movie, you almost sympathize with the villain’s incredulous response to the fearless idiot. He’s not a dashing rogue, he’s your annoying kid brother living out his action hero fantasy. He’s almost a parody of an action hero and maybe that’s why he ultimately grew on me. When you watch a movie with hard to beleive scenes, sometimes it helps to have a character who is just as annoyed as you are.

What saves this movie is the scenery. Every so often a set piece comes on the screen that looks like a painting from a pulp magazine. The gambling hall where Willard is feeling up prostitutes with the chief of police is gorgeous. The crappy boat Willard drives is scuzzy and float worthy in the way that only pulp boats can be. François Schuiten was the graphic designer for the movie and his background as a comic artist really shines through. There’s a superior quality to everything that elevates this movie beyond it’s sexploitation roots.

The later half of the movie is when things really accelerate. While looking for the butterfly, Gwen and her friends stumble upon an underground female dominated civilization with super science, bondage and freaky leather costumes. Willard is captured and a tournament is arranged to determine which warrior woman will earn the right to mate with him, while fiendish tortures and deaths are planned for Gwen and Beth. Stripping, bondage and scary sex games ensue.

Hey, someone mixed a BDSM Dystopia with my Pulp Peril movie! How will these two tastes taste together?

Pretty awesome I have to say.

There’s an evil queen and a sniveling male scientist and a shit load of leather clad warrior women but the important thing is that the fun never stops. Just when you get used to the idea of a crossbow aimed at a woman who holds the trigger rope in her mouth, then you have to deal with a chase scene where everyone is driving chariots pulled by women slaves. The plot goes over the top and then stays there; shouting abuse at your poor sensibilities on what a sexploitation film should be like.

Is there a happy ending to this movie?


‘The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak’ is not a great movie but it is a unique movie. The mix of nudity, bondage, adventure, domination and science fiction is pretty damn rare to find in movies. The production values dwarf anything you’ll see on SciFi Channel.

I give it 5 out of 5 Pam Griers.