Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Emily Veinglory Likes Filthy Boys

Here's a wonderful review of Filthy (re-released by the great Sizzler as Filthy Boys) by Emily Veinglory:

So, you know I have been intending for some time to update my gay and vampire review website. Here is the first full length review I will be listing. It is also what happened to my day--zip--gone. Oh well.

“Filthy” is subtitled “Outrageous Gay Erotica”, it could also be called “the book that stole my Saturday”. It arrived in the mail and I intended to slot it into my reading queue after several other books that have been waiting patiently for my attention. I flicked over the somewhat dry preface to the first story and it was all over.

In 'The Greener Grasses' M. Christian shows us immediately that this is not a collection to be trifled with, picked up and put down. I was thrust immediately us into the point of view of a real flawed, sexual, vulnerable protagonist. The sexuality is always frank but blended with charming love stories like 'Heart in Your Hand' or '2+1' or folksy fables like 'Moby'. The writer’s skills are perhaps best shown in the apt blending of sexuality with darker threads such as in 'Bitch' where one man’s bitterness and hate escapes his control or 'Friday Night at the Calvary Hotel' with its queasy look at the blend of sadism and sexuality in religious symbolism. I found the homage stories 'Hollywood Blvd' and 'Suddenly, Last Thursday' just a little heavy handed but still engaging reading.

The stand-outs for me were simple stories, but perfect in their parts. 'Oroborous' uses a botched tattoo to contrast the pain and trouble of “fixing” what is “wrong” about us (not what we would choose) with the joys of embracing it what we are. After reading it I had one of those moments staring at the wall and letting it sink in. And there were actually tears in my eyes at the end of the tragic love story of 'Flyboy'. The speculative stories are also strong: 'Utter West' gives a new meaning to the youthful desire to get out of a dead-end town and 'The Hope of Cinnamon' shows a far future gay community that rescues persecuted gay men from the past and is shown, through their eyes, what may be missing from their apparent utopia.

All of the stories have a strong concept as well as explicit sexual content. I would quibble at calling it “erotica”. Erotic, yes, but not quite in the step-by-step manner intended for one handed reading. It’s one of those oft-quoted phrases that our biggest sex organ in our brain; I’m willing to bet that author M. Christian would agree. Almost every story in this collection is perfectly constructed for the intellect: set up, satisfaction and pay off within a few short pages. Some stories are unapologetically erotic and others nostalgically sensual, only obliquely erotic at all or proudly a little perverse—but the erotic is there to serve the story in the manner and amount the narrative requires.

If you are looking for sexually-charged fiction that also has heart and intelligence “Filthy” is the collection for you—just don’t pick it up until you have the free time to read it from cover to cover.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Reflection's Edge Likes Filthy Boys


Here's a very nice review of my queer erotic Filthy (just re-released by the great Sizzler as Filthy Boysby Mathilde Madden over at Reflection's Edge:

What makes a good short story? Felice Picano, in his forward to Filthy offers some of the more traditional takes: a deft handling of voice, of place, of character. But really, what makes a good short story - what makes a great short story - is a truly good idea.

Luckily for Christian – and luckily for us – truly good ideas are not in short supply in this collection.

A perfect example comes in "Sunset Boulevard," one of many tales that puts a queer twist on an old story. Christian, riffing brilliantly on the campness of the original movie, recasts the central fading screen siren as an aging gay porn star. And it might seem risible to allow the gloriously queeny Norman Desmond to intone, "I am big. It's porno that got small," but Christian pulls it off.

Christian isn't shy of a little shameless genre straddling with his startlingly imaginative ideas either. In "The Hope of Cinnamon" we enter a future world in which gay men have mastered the art of time travel in order to save their queer brothers from oppressive regimens of the past. But this tale is also a good example of how the short story format can be frustrating for the reader when presented with such a dazzling concept as this one. The idea is simply too big for the form. The problem presented – that the rescued men cannot cope with a life in nirvana – isn’t so much explored as thrown at us before we are hustled away for the next story.

This is where the book wears thin. The stories in this book are short, averaging ten pages of in-out wham-bam. After a while it starts to feel like Christian is torturing his readers, deserting his unsatisfied readers for fresh thrills before they have quite achieved emotional climax. Too much is left undone and unsaid. This collection could have featured just the five best ideas – including the wonderfully disturbing quasi-religious "Friday Night at The Calvary Hotel" – and served up five wonderful novellas.

In the final story – the most enjoyable of the whole collection – Christian once again attempts a daring feat and pulls it off neatly as he spins us a tale of a young gay reader so besotted with an author of outrageous gay erotica he takes a pilgrimage to his grave. Angered by his discovery en route that his hero was in fact in a relationship with a woman, he means to urinate over the author's last resting place, but ends up recalling too many of the author's purplest passages and doing something entirely different. It is no surprise when Christian reveals the name on the headstone of this soiled grave.

While Filthy is a wonderful book, and just the thing if you are in the mood for an enjoyable quickie (or twenty), it's not the place to turn if you are more in the mood for a story that can go all night.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The First Gay Kiss On Saudi Arabian TV

In last night’s Olympic Opening Ceremony, during the Frankie And June Say Thanks Tim section celebrating a century of music and technology, when Frankie and June finally meet up and kiss, we got a barrage of clips of kisses from film and TV, from Charlie Chaplin to Lady And The Tramp to Shrek to Planet Of The Apes to Wall-E. And one was between two young women from the British TV soap Brookside from 1993, the first lesbian kiss between two characters on pre-watershed British television, a time considered suitable for all ages to watch unsupervised. 
(One of them was Anna Friel. More may know her from Pushing Daisies.) 
It ran unchanged in most territories, for about half a second, including many in the Middle East where it suddenly became the first gay kiss on their entire televisual history, including Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is illegal, with punishments including beatings and hangings. 
With so many countries live streaming the content as it was provided, it small, it was tiny, it was slight, it was an oversight on their part, but it’s just a miniscule victory for Danny Boyle.
(The First Gay Kiss On Saudi Arabian TV)

Stop Serving Same-Sex Chickens!

Sign The Petition And Tell Chick-Fil-A To Stop Serving Same-Sex Chickens!

Did you know chickens can be gay? Does Chik-Fil-A's COO and President know this?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sizzler's Fifty Shades Trailer

I'll never stop saying it: the folks at Sizzler Editions/Renaissance E Books are not just wonderful but wonderfully smart (and great to work for).  Just check out this video they just released:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Future Fire Likes Finger's Breadth




(Happy dance) Here's something very cool: a nice review for my gay sexual thriller Finger's Breadth by the fantastic folks at Future's Fire.  Here's a tease:
M. Christian is well-known for his erotic stories, as well as editing several erotic anthologies, so I wasn’t surprised to find that his newest novel, Finger’s Breadth, was pretty explicit. This is not a book to read if you are easily offended. Published by Zumaya Boundless, the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual-themed imprint of Zumaya Publications, which has been putting out both e-books and print since 2001. 
Finger’s Breadth takes place in San Francisco in the near future—someone is drugging random gay men and cutting off the tip of their little finger. The gay bars in the area are almost empty; men are staying home, scared it might happen to them. The police are baffled; there are no suspects. The first victim, Varney, works for the newspaper and becomes a celebrity of sorts. But his celebrity isn’t exactly earned, and this is eating Varney up inside. He debates with himself whether to confess his sin while still using his infamy to reach out to the public. 
Then a gradual change comes over the gay population—those who have been cut are looked at as desirable, exciting. Those who have not been cut now begin to feel left out, even ashamed—aren’t they good enough to be approached by the cutter? Are they unattractive? The bars fill up again; the patrons divided between victims and wanna-bes. It’s rarely said aloud, but those men who are whole are hoping to be the next victim. The internet burns with men in chatrooms, looking for the cutter or a reasonable facsimile. Although the story is seen through the eyes of several characters, quite a bit of the book is written in chatroom format, with the cutter—or supposed cutter—looking for victims. 
[MORE]

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Acceler8or.com Likes Finger's Breadth


Wow - and I mean wow - this is very, very cool: the great Sasha Mitchell over at R.U. Sirius's site Acceler8or.com just posted this very cool review of my dark gay thriller Finger's Breadth. Here's a tease:


Did Oscar Wilde ever mention a baby-shit sofa, as fetishized by Tom of Finland, and crusted with salty, sweet sticky?  Cliche to throw out Wilde when reviewing a piece of m4m fic?  About as cliche as including a reference to Sex in the City in said fic. 
Really, I josh.  Because apart from a (for me) slightly delayed pick-up—and the more obvious fact that yours truly is of the vaginal realm—I had fun with, and eventually became engrossed by, M. Christian’s Finger’s Breadth
Boilermakers, mambo-fuck you gay bars, scenarios seemingly inspired by a homoerotic Misery, and of course the ever prevalent ”asses flexing into handful-sized tightened cheeks” (is that your technology chirping, or is throbbing a better adjective?), Christian flaunts a downright capacity for electric lyric as well as (sorry mum, must include this in such a review) all the “hard cocks, strong cocks, long cocks, thick cocks – bobbing up and down, swinging right and left, even swirling in a sweaty circle,” that you could empty. 
Not to mention a devilishly intricate plotline, which goes as follows: Fanning is a freelance cop on a most perplexing case.  He kicks himself for not having caught whoever is terrorizing the tequila sunrises of Boyz Bay (did I just coin that?) by luring men for nonconsensual finger lobotomies. 
[MORE]

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Harrow Loves Very Bloody Marys


As part of my celebration of the re-release of The Very Bloody Marys here's another rave review - this one by Dru Pagliassotti on The Harrow site:


Le Conseil Carmin is concerned. People are being killed on the streets of San Francisco by a gang of Vespa-riding vampires called The Bloody Marys, and the hard-assed cop the conseil had expected to investigate the crimes, Pogue, isn't answering his doorbell.

Which means the investigation must fall to Pogue's screwup of a deputy — the insecure, disrespected, nervously chattering vampire Valentino, who's painfully aware that he's in over his head and only hopes he can keep treading water until his boss returns.

Until a faery kills Julian, his one true love.

Suddenly, Valentino's out for vengeance.

Zombie taxi drivers, golems of Abraham Lincoln, a four-star restaurant in the city morgue, vampires, warlocks, fairies, ghouls, and angelic apparitions: they're all denizens of The Castro's other night-life, and Valentino must bluster his way through them as he hunts for a murderous faery, his missing dickwad of a commanding officer, and — of course — the pretty and ruthless Very Bloody Marys.

M. Christian has created a character with an unforgettable, if unceasing, narrative voice, an amusing and cliche-busting antidote to the overpopulated literary ranks of hardboiled vampire detectives. The world of Le Conseil Carmin, where vampires literally work for Blood Money and protect humanity from creatures much worse than themselves, is well-wrought; the plot twists, although initially baffling, all get satisfactorily straightened out; and Valentino, a less-than-enthusiastic member of Le Corps Policier Contre, has a self-conscious charm that will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.

Fresh, quirky, and irreverent, The Very Blood Marys is a vampire novel for readers who've become bored with vampires.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Here Chicky, Chicky, Chicky ...


From MetaFilter:
Here Chicky, Chicky, Chicky ...: "According to a photo published to the 'Wipe Out Homophobia" Facebook group, Chick-Fil-A has announced a voluntary recall of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Puppet Kids Meal toys, and is blaming it on safety issues. There's no information on when the notice was allegedly put up, but the 'recall' is backdated to one day before the Jim Henson Company cut ties with Chick-Fil-A for its donations to anti-gay groups."* 
All this comes on the heels of Chick-Fil-A's COO, Dan Cathy, owning up to the company's contributions to anti-gay causes in a recent interview: "Well, guilty as charged." 
Months after Northeastern University's Student Senate voted to keep a Chcik-Fil-A franchise from their campus Boston Mayor, Tom Menino last week said: "Chick-fil-A doesn't belong in Boston."

Among the many boycotting the restaurant chain is 'Hangover' and 'Office' actor Ed Helms
Jon Stewart weighs in [video | 06:31], as does former governor of Arkansas and Fox News host Mike Hukabee who is calling for a 'National Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.'

Others are organizing a 'National Same Sex Kiss Day' at Chick Fil A's around the country on Friday, August 3RD.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Apex Science Fiction Loves Very Bloody Marys

Check out this wonderful review of The Very Blood Marys by the delightful Mari Adkins from Apex Science Fiction:


Valentino is a 200-year-old gay vampire cop who drinks his blood with vodka. He's inept, clumsy, but can see himself in a mirror. Told in first person, Valentino takes three tries to get the story started--in three different, but amusing, styles. He does this now and again as he tries to filter certain events through his mind, as he tries to make sense of the world and life around him. 
Valentino has trained with his mentor, Pogue, in martial arts and law enforcement for years, enough to call himself a cop. But we don't find out exactly for whom until the end of the story, although we suspect. His job is enforcing the law of the San Franciscan "vampire underground". But then Pogue disappears and Valentino must remember what little he thinks he recalls of his training while relying upon his limited sources for help. 
The title of the book comes from a Vespa-riding gang of rogue vampires who kill with so little discrimination as to threaten to local vampires' food supply and also threaten outing vampires worldwide. But after encountering the gang and being locked on a roof to burn in the morning sunlight, Valentino begins to suspect the whereabouts of Pogue. 
M. Christian is the author of the novel Running Dry, and the critically acclaimed and best selling collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, and Filthy. He is the editor of The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, the Best S/M Erotica series, The Mammoth Book of Future Cops and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowski), Trans Figures: Transgender Erotica, and Love Under Foot and several other anthologies. His short fiction has appeared in over 200 books including Best American Erotica and Best Gay Erotica. He lives in San Francisco and maintains a blog at www.mchristian.com. 
As I've said often enough, I don't generally care for first person point of view. However, if the story is told well, handled properly, and holds my attention like The Very Bloody Marys, then I'm in favor. A narrator as self-deprecating and humorous as Valentino goes a long way. M. Christian's style is unique and new. I just wish the story had been longer. We don't really see enough of The Very Bloody Marys, although the gang is mentioned often enough. The fight scenes, while well-detailed, aren't quite long enough; they seem resolved too soon. Then again, all stories are as long and as detailed as they need to be, and this one accomplished that quite well. Too, Valentino's discovery of his true potential and how he handles himself and his duties from that point forward is well-written. 
The Very Bloody Marys isn't so much a vampire novel--the vampires are far and away from Bram Stoker, and I'm glad for that--as it is a good, old-fashioned mystery. I hate be cliché and say "This book is a classic page-turner," but it is! The plot is quick-paced, and Valentino is as sexy as he is funny. The story is packed with a full, colorful cast of characters ranging from vampires, ghouls, and faeries. Oh, and a zombie or two. If you're hungry for a different kind of vampire book, don't miss this one!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Kathleen Bradean Likes Filthy Boys

Here's a very nice review of my queer collection, Filthy (now reprinted by the great Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions as Filthy Boys) by the ever-great Kathleen Bradean:


I read a guide to reviewing books recently. It said a reviewer should be impartial. I can see that point of view; the work should be judged on its own merit. However, it's impossible for me to pick up a book by M. Christian and not have expectations that are based on previous works I've read. So I guess it's only fair to begin this review with full disclosure: I'm a fan.

I'm torn over the idea of erotica as a distinct genre, and M. Christian's work is fuel for this internal debate. In The Hope of Cinnamon, a future society rescues gay victims from Nazi death camps and brings them forward in time to a sanctuary. Gen, one of the Helpers who works to integrate the Rescued into their new home finds out that few of the Rescued successfully survive the transition. He decides to travel back in time to experience the death camps for himself so that he will have a better understanding of why the Rescued fail to thrive in a society that fully accepts them. While this story does touch on sex and sexuality, it is a great example of speculative fiction that prompts further examination of our time and how current and future gay generations need to be aware of the history of gay culture and see it in proper historical perspective instead of viewing it, and judging, through hindsight.

As much as I hate the term coming-of-age tale, Utter West is a near-future story that shows a character coming of age, and more. Pony is the narrator's hero, the one who escaped their suburban hell and went beyond it to something wonderful and mystical - or so the narrator wants to believe. Unaware that he's destroying the beautiful myth that's grown around his disappearance, Pony comes back as an ordinary adult, prompting the narrator to break free and take the journey Pony failed to make into the beyond of the Utter West.

If noir is more your style, enjoy M. Christian's homage to Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, or sink into the corner pocket of the night world of pool hustlers in The Hard WayThat Sweet Smell is really the scent of corruption, but keep telling yourself it's success, because in this story, that delusion is all the narrator has to cling to.

Moby is purely tall tale, told with the flair of real yarn-spinner. Could anyone stink that much, be that cussedly mean, or be that hung? It's all in the telling - joyously and outrageously over the top.

Or maybe you're in the mood for bittersweet romance and love. Flyboy is the soaring romance we all long for, crashed down to earth by the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. And Love is a writer's story, about how much it means to us when our stories are wanted, and how hard it is to separate the pure love of acceptance from the physical.

And then there's horror. Friday Night at the Calvary Hotel is the hardest story to read in this collection for it's intense mix of sadism, masochism, religious imagery and sex. Stories like that cling to you long after you've put the book down. You decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I like that. Suddenly, Last Thursday is horror of a different stripe - lush and gothic, where you might have to read a line several times before your brain accepts what it's telling you. That slow dawning of realization is delicious and shivery.

In the movie Sunset Boulevard, Joe Gillis says, "Sometimes it's interesting to see just how bad bad writing can be." Yes, but it's gratifying to see just how good good writing can be too. It's unfortunate that erotic writing has a reputation for bad writing, but sit down with this collection and let M. Christian change that prejudice.

Had a Blast!

Here's a heartfelt, hearty thanks to Carol Queen for her fantastic birthday bash.  It was a real treat to read and Carol - as always - was wonderful!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Steve Williams Loves Very Bloody Marys

Another great review celebrating the re-release of The Very Blood Marys - Steve is such a great guy!


Muse Review:
M. Christian's excellent new gay vampire novel, "The Very Bloody Marys" has winged its way to you courtesy of Lethe Press. A tale of an undead San Francisco deputy called Valentino who's about as useful as George Bush with a rubiks cube, and how, once his boss goes missing, his life is about to get a whole lot worse as the weight of tracking down his hateful, demeaning and downright self-confidence shattering employer falls firmly on Valentino's shoulders.

Deftly, M. Christian has created a novel that is, in fact, a coming of age story in a sugary horror coating. Valentino goes through trials, such as confronting three Marys on Vespors, getting attacked by a pissed off Irish Faery called Liam - I kid you not - and having to contend with a chauffer called Mariah - please, God, let Mariah Carey play him in the movie, a zombie in drag, and she could warble all she'd like off camera just as long as, for those few seconds, she shuts the hell up (like her songs though!) - who is less than forthcoming when it comes to information or help of any kind. And so, time after time, Valentino must battle forces he has... well... to say he has no comprehension of wouldn't be quite fair. It's rather like giving an infant a blow torch and not expecting him to roast his little apple cheeks off (I'm suddenly quite hungy. Mutilation, even joking, shouldn't do that to a man).

Needless to say, there's a fair amount of swearing, some getting spanked with chains and a dollop of hard ass domineering, but you'll have to wait and see if Valintino, our underdog (who, incase anybody does want to make a film of this, I think I look quite like; hollywood, call me) makes it through this ... well, not alive... but... as dead as he was before... I guess.

M. Christian's writing really sparkles here, and his wit is obvious, and never labored. There's a lot to love, amongst characters like a talking cat addicted to cat nip, and a statue of Lincoln that is a wizard's personal butler. There were a few moments of perplexity on my part as I was reading through, but M. Christian does well in keeping you turning the page, and, whilst everything is tied up in the end rather niceley, this isn't forced and feels much better for it. In fact, I felt this one book would make an excellent start to a series, and I know I for one would be reading cover to cover.

There was one issue I had. Oh God, what an issue. I mean, really, Valantino fancying Nicholas Cage... well, I suppose, if you're a walking corpse your taste would change somewhat... but I'll let M. Christian off on that score, because Very Bloody Marys is one of the most entertaining little novels I've read in a good long while, and it does, as they say, exactly what it says on the tin.

4 Muses Out of 5! ***This Weeks Recommended Read.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Out & About Loves The Very Bloody Marys

Continuing my celebration of the re-release of my queer/thriller/horror/humor novel, The Very Bloody Marys, here's a review of the book from Out & About Magazine


Don’t lock your doors – the thing that goes bump in the night is back—and he’s hot!

M. Christian, the best-selling author of Running Dry, has set out to curl your toes and your eyelashes. The Very Bloody Marys, available from Haworth Press, is a rollicking noir that sets the hero, a slick gay vampire cop named Valentino, against a wandering gang of vamp twinks, a killer Tinkerbell, and a world wide council of vampires that would make the Vatican seem laid-back and jovial.

Set in the rolling hills of a darkened San Francisco, the novel opens with Valentino searching desperately for his MIA boss, Pogue. With no clues to his whereabouts, the case seems lost, and then tragedy strikes. Returning home one evening, Valentino watches in horror and disbelief as his lover Julian crumbles to dust right before his eyes. Now sick with grief, anger and revenge, Valentino sets out into the night to find Julian’s killer and make him pay.

Quick paced and full of eye-popping visuals, The Very Bloody Marys whisks down the plot-line at breakneck speeds, daring the reader to keep up. Back-story is held up to make way for the full throttle action that begins almost immediately, and once you’ve started the book, it may prove difficult to put down.

Christian was written the quintessential noir mystery, using sex, the night and a barrage of interesting undead characters to tell a fun and captivating story. There are several references to Humphrey Bogart, and indeed, our gay Bogie is the perfect protagonist, even if he himself doesn’t buy it.

Using all the right details, Christian has created a world that’s one part L.A. Confidential and two parts Tales of The City. The result is a sometimes hilarious, sometimes terrifying experience that will leave you thirsty for more.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Going To Be Reading -


- at Carol Queen's Birthday Bash!

Carol Queen’s B-Day Ho-Down!!
Friday, July 20, 7:30pm: A benefit for the Center for Sex & Culture

At The Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd. St.
$10-50 sliding scale 
Celebrating 55 somewhat long, often strange, and mostly sexy trips around the sun, Carol has asked many of her favorite performers to come out and entertain her — and YOU! On the bill so far we welcome: 
The burlesque stylings of Alexa von Kickinface
Literary chameleon M.Christian
The SO aptly-named Morgan’s Funny
Peripatetic genius Sadie Lune

Soon-to-be-ex-Bay Area treasure Beth Lisick (our loss is Brooklyn’s gain) 
The music & sheer stunning presence of the one and only cabaret star MegaFlame
More fabulous artistes still being added!

Plus we’ll pull some auction items together, or figure out some other way to win/buy/acquire fabulous stuff.

It’s Dr. Carol Queen’s Birthday month, which I always use for aCenter for Sex & Culture fund drive; can you contribute? It will culminate with a birthday show/fundraiser and shindig at the Make-Out Room on July 20, so please save the date. (Performers, I am still putting this together — let me know if you want to participate, I’ll see how many slots I still have to work with…!) 
CSC is working on a bare-bones budget these days, and has made many fabulous improvements to the space since we moved in, mostly via our own cash flow. We would like to retire our credit card debt this summer which was mainly associated with getting moved in, and your donations will go towards that purpose and toward bridging us over the always-lean month of August, when all y’all go wear peacock feathers on the playa. 
Checks here: 2261 Market St #455-A SF CA 94114 Credit card donations: Wads of cash can be stuffed into our pockets at any opportunity! And ANY amount helps us move this fabulous one-of-a-kind, all-volunteer, labor of sex-positive love into the future. We have people coming to enjoy our library now, and a pack of scholars coming next month to swarm the archives and extract bits of amazing info; we have the most wonderful volunteer staff and interns coming from all over, all because the Center for Sex & Culture EXISTS!
Please help us stay stable and able to provide space for all these amazing things we (and our communities) do. Pass this note on to others if you can. Wishing us all mondo pleasure! xox—CQ

Out Now: The Very Bloody Marys by M. Christian

From the Sizzler Editions blog ... wheeeeeee!

Sizzler Editions Renaissance E Books is extremely pleased and proud to announce the re-release lof M. Christian's fantastic queer vampire horror/thriller/humor novel The Very Bloody Marys - you'll shiver, you'll laugh, and you certainly won't forget this book! 
M. Christian's celebrated queer vampire adventure/thriller is back in a special new edition! Can San Francisco survive a marauding gang of Vespa-riding vampires? Before it's sucked dry, the city's only hope may be Valentino, who's only a trainee for the supernatural law enforcement agency, Le Counseil Carmin. Swept up in the whole blood-sucking business when his mentor goes missing, Valentino is called upon to deal with the menace of these "Bloody Marys." But Valentino soon realizes that, in order to dispose of the gang, he must go into areas he never dreamed of, deal with some very strange characters and learn the truth about the dark side of town.  
"The Very Bloody Marys is a comic horror novel about vampires, ghouls, faeries, and the undead that move around after dark. Part chase, part gallows humor, and all shivery excitement, this new story from the wildly imaginative M. Christian is funny, frightening, and very entertaining.  
"Valentino is a 200-year old rookie vampire cop who is fated to spend eternity as the screw-up assistant to undead drill sergeant cop and all around bastard, Pogue. That is, until Pogue mysteriously disappears. The powers (of the night) want Valentino to find Pogue and stop a rogue band of vampires who call themselves the Very Bloody Marys.The only problem is that Valentino has no clue what he's doing. He stumbles around San Francisco, making an unholy mess of the case, while sinister otherwordly beings manipulate him into doing their bidding. Valentino isn't as hopeless as he thinks he is though, and manages to find out what happened to his mentor, figure out who the real bad guy is, and take down the Very Bloody Marys." - Kathleen Bradean  
"If you’re looking for a good, fast paced read, or if you like mystery or fantasy or gay fiction. Or if you just want something different and new, this book will be as satisfying as a vampire’s first drink of blood." - Colleen Anderson  
"M. Christian's writing really sparkles here, and his wit is obvious, and never labored. There's a lot to love, amongst characters like a talking cat addicted to cat nip, and a statue of Lincoln that is a wizard's personal butler. There were a few moments of perplexity on my part as I was reading through, but M. Christian does well in keeping you turning the page, and, whilst everything is tied up in the end rather niceley, this isn't forced and feels much better for it. In fact, I felt this one book would make an excellent start to a series, and I know I for one would be reading cover to cover." - Steve Williams "M. Christian creates a variety of quirky characters from wizards to zombies to fairies, and the tone captures the feeling of a fast-paced horror movie, alternately funny and creepy." - HorrorWorld  
"Atmospherically potent and stylishly polished, Christian marries suspense, terror, black humour and romance intelligently and wittily making The Very Bloody Marys a smart and fun addition to the bloodsuckingly camp vampire genre." - GayDar Nation

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cyndi Lauper Is Fantastic!


Cyndi Lauper Advocates for LGBT Homeless Youth:

:
Cyndi Lauper has been singing about True Colors; since the 1980s, and these days she's speaking out for young people whose true colors have put them and their health at risk -- the thousands of young homosexual and transgender people who face the emotional and physical ordeal of homelessness.

HorrorWorld Likes The Very Bloody Marys

With the re-release of Very Bloody Marys getting closer and closer here's a great little review of the book from HorrorWorld



Constantly distracted by more fleshly concerns and chronically late for his night job, Valentino arrives at work one day to find that his mentor, Pogue, has disappeared. What's worse, this disappearance seems to be just one move in a larger game that involves a supernatural feud amongst San Francisco's less human residents, a feud which promises to leave a lot of corpses in its wake, including everyone close to Valentino.

M. Christian creates a variety of quirky characters from wizards to zombies to fairies, and the tone captures the feeling of a fast-paced horror movie, alternately funny and creepy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Colleen Anderson Likes The Very Bloody Marys

In celebration of the upcoming re-release of my queer vampire novel, The Very Bloody Marys, here's a rave review of the book from my pal Colleen Anderson:


From the title you might think this is about drinking, or murderous monarchs. If you thought one of these, you’re close to the heart of the matter. But really it’s both, about bloodthirsty vampire queens. Some are not so much queen as just murderous gay vampires. If you’re familiar with M. Christian’s work, you know he’s a prolific writer, and his writing includes erotic tales straight, gay, lesbian, etc. He’s very versatile. So I confess to thinking this book would be about gay vampires with a lot of erotica thrown in. Though it has sensuous details this is more the tale of a gay vampire trying to gain experience as a detective. It’s a murder mystery with the supernatural thrown in.

While vampire detectives are not necessarily new, a gay vampire detective is. Valentino is thrust into the crime scene on a personal level, since his mentor is missing. And the crime scene: Vespa scooting vampires are killing the folks of San Francisco and risking the outing of all vampires, who tend to live by a code so that they aren’t hunted down. Coupled with mentor Pogue’s disappearance, Valentino has two mysteries to figure out.

The book opens with three different beginnings as Valentino tries on his authorial voice. This sets the tone, and gives this character high twinkiness. Valentino is a flamer, vapid and vain. The character was so irritating and flittythat I nearly put the book down, but his way in the world was intriguing. I think M. Christian might have cut it down a bit but then I realized there is a good reason about a quarter of the way into the book on why Valentino is acting this way. He comes to discover what’s been done to him and his personality deepens as it’s unlayered.

Valentino relies on other supernatural help and Christian’s writing uses some very descriptive phrases. For being an undead guy, Valentino is vibrantly alive and given to over verbosity that doesn’t stop in describing his zombie driver: “One time–big shudder here–I had caught a look at his eyes, two puss-filled boiled-egg eyes staring, unblinking, straight ahead, and didn’t sleep well for a week.” Of course that should be pus-filled not eyes with cats in them, but I blame the publisher for not putting a proofreader on it or maybe they did and missed it. There are very few typos, which is a good thing.

You get a good sense of Valentino’s world as he sees it. “Finally, the Brass Ass of the Great Emancipator (Abraham Lincoln) led me through silverfish heaven to a narrow doorway between the piles…In it was Saul, tarnished silver hair, rainbow sweater unwinding in spots into primary colors, brittle bones showing where unwinding yarn couldn’t hide it, eyes like bleached robin’s eggs, Indian blanket in his lap hiding the bones I knew weren’t just brittle but also didn’t work, and, because of those legs, an ancient wheelchair.”It took me a moment to realize he meant realbones, not bony legs; the visual setting is very concrete.

Much of Valentino’s descriptions go into overdrive, with buckets of adjectives. They hit their height when he’s talking about his lover, Julian. “Oh oh oh Julian Julian Julian–beloved, adored, venerated companion, compadre, mate, playmate, partner, betrothed, idol, best friend, love, lover–oh oh oh Julian Julian Julian…” A bit much? Yes, but then this is the turning point for Valentino.

Events pick up with dire and catastrophic discoveries. I don’t want to give it away but let’s just say the Very Bloody Marys are brutal, relentless, sociopathic, fashion sensitive vampires. As the fog clears from Valentino’s eyes he finds his world isn’t as he suspected. Sure it still has a few supernatural beings but all is not what it seems. He still richly describes things but there is a darker vein now to the vampire detective’s perspective. “The inky blackness didn’t so much as run as steadily walk out of that doorway. A pooling, a billowing, a smoking, and then up and into arms and legs and a wide-brimmed hat pulled down over hooded eyes.”

When Valentino runs into Ombre, even the supernatural shade notices something has changed though the gay vampire tries to hide it. “It’s just that you seem different somehow. The flippancy is still there, that much is clear, but it’s like something else is missing.”

And Valentino has changed on several levels. In the process of discovering what has happened to Pogue, being threatened with permanent annihilation and in stopping the brutal gang, he earns his wings. He solves the mysteries, stops the Marys and finally grows up a bit after 200 years. M. Christian wraps up the tale in a very satisfying and unpredictable way. It’s one of the many bright spots in the story; very little is predictable. You won’t see this as another tired take on the vampire trope. It’s refreshingly bright and if not a complete happy ending, one with suitable revenge.

If you’re looking for a good, fast paced read, or if you like mystery or fantasy or gay fiction. Or if you just want something different and new, this book will be as satisfying as a vampire’s first drink of blood.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Very Bloody Marys - The NEW Edition


I'm thrilled to be able to announce the imminent re-release of my queer vampire thriller/humor novel, The Very Bloody Marys - coming very, very soon from Renaissance E Books.

Here's a tease of the new cover:


And here's a wonderful review of the book by the also-wonderful Kit O'Connell:

It’s no secret that M. Christian and I are friends. I’ve introduced one of his books and we’ve guest blogged for each other too. So even if I’m not the most unbiased critic, I still like to highlight interesting books I read from time to time even if they are by friends of mine.

One of Chris’ many recurring themes are alternate visions of the police. One of the characters in his wonderfully weird novel near-future novel Finger’s Breadth is a freelance officer who receives his orders and files reports via a distributed police ap on his smartphone. “Bluebelle” in The Bachelor Machine explores a future cop’s intimate relationship with his police vehicle, and Christian even co-edited the anthology Future Cops.

The most recent book I read by him is The Very Bloody Marys. Like Finger’s Breadth, it takes place in an alternate San Francisco but  creatures of the night. Our hero is Valentino, a young gay vampire so uncertain of his place in the world that he can’t even decide how to start telling his story at the beginning of the book, so he begins again 2 or 3 times. Somehow, despite his Lestat-like confidence or prowess, he’s been selected to join an undead police force charged with maintaining the secrecy of the undead and the weird. Here, Valentino laments his own impending doom after his superior officer disappears:
Two hundred years. It’d been a good run. Lots of … well, there’d been blood of course. Moons. Stars. Rain. Fog. Hiding, too: all-night movie theaters, bars, discos, stables, warehouses, churches, a few synagogues (even a mosque or two) [...] Lots of … I was going to say friends but, to be honest, the nightlife might be advantageous to boogying but doesn’t make for long-term relationships. Some back-alley assignations, sticky stuff in my mouth or pants; not blood, or at least not up until a few years ago. 
Two hundred sure sounds like a lot, but … the time just seemed to have hopped, skipped and jumped by. Never skied, never sailed, never surfed, never had two guys at once [...] What surprised me the most, though, was what I wanted more: orchids, bow ties, potato salad, string, oil or watercolor, hooks and line, two of everything.
The book has a breezy, playful noir style which would make it perfect summer reading. Though it doesn’t have the usual romance (though it has a handful of interesting unrequited ones), I found it especially interesting as a queer take on the torrid vampires-and-werewolves subgenre of urban fantasy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chadzilla Likes Finger's Breadth


Even more cool news - I just got this fantastic review of Finger's Breadth in from my pal Chad of Chadzilla!


A mysterious figure, known only as The Cutter, is hunting the gay men of near-future San Francisco.  This strange, shadowy figure drugs his victims, then amputates the tip of their little finger.  As The Cutter attacks continue and spread throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, they have strange and disturbing effects on a variety of men. 
Before you read any further into this review, I would most appreciate it if you would look to the right hand side of the screen and study the first two books listed in the Read My Published Writing section of this blog.  You will note that the editor of both books just so happens to be the author of Finger's Breadth.  Small world, isn't it? 
It also explains why I am reading a book in a genre, Gay Erotica, that is somewhat far removed (to put it mildly) from my usual reading comfort zone.  But it is always good to challenge oneself on occasion, and Finger's Breadth, I am happy to write, happens to be both a good and challenging read. 
Finger's Breadth, while ostensibly a work of Gay Erotica, one with a very strong and distinct undercurrent of BDSM to it, is also a disturbing psychological thriller that is cloaked in the dark noir style shadows of futurist cyberpunk.  It was the strength of the latter that kept my interest through all of the pages of graphically described gay sex.  I'm certain that certain readers will find that kind of thing hot, but I am not one of those readers.  So it goes. 
While the narrative pacing is crisp and brisk, the book is a short and to the point 265 pages, the cast of characters is rather sizable.  There is Fanning, a Freelance Cop (a near-future version of the Bounty Hunter mixed with the Private Investigator) trying to hunt down and catch the Cutter, for profit.  There is the terrified Taylor, who believes that he has narrowly escaped the Cutter.  There is Dibney, who is also hunting for the Cutter, but for personal reasons.  And there is Varney, the first victim.  The man who made everyone else aware of the Cutter and who is now burdened with the guilt of creating a media monster with a life of its very own. 
Those are just the primary characters, though.  Swirling around the above listed men are snapshots of other men cruising a San Francisco nightlife that is undergoing a strange shift in fetishistic desire.  These men wander the bars, have sexual liaisons, all the while alternating between looking for the Cutter's victims and longing to be the Cutter's next victim.  These snapshots chart the growth and mutation of the sexual meme.  These snapshots also cast light and add shadows to the stories of the various primary characters listed above.  As the number of the Cutter's victims grows, and each of the primary characters makes a disturbing discovery, the nature of the Cutter's attacks and what it truly means to be a victim of the Cutter is called into question.  The answers to those questions manage to be both unsettling and empowering. 
Finger's Breadth is a chilling and thought provoking read.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Filthy (Boys) Reviews


As the new edition of my queer collection, Filthy has just been released by the wonderful Renaissance/Sizzler (now called Filthy Boys) here's a quick blast of some reviews the book has gotten.  Enjoy!


Erotica That Reads Like Literature
I have enjoyed M. Christian’s work for a long time. His solo collection Dirty Words and his two multiple-author anthologies co-edited with Simon Sheppard, Rough Stuff and Roughed Up, are among my favorite volumes of erotica.
Which brings me to Filthy: Outrageous Gay Erotica, a new collection of gay erotic stories by M. Christian. To say this is a great book is an understatement. It runs the gamut of emotions, from anger to sadness to ecstasy to envy.
Here are capsule reviews of some of my favorite stories from Filthy…
“The Greener Grasses” in one short story captures the entire paradox of trying to reconcile a leatherfetish lifestyle into the humdrum world of 9-to-5 jobs and dishes to be washed more than volumes of scholarly non-fiction ever has.
“Flyboy” is a wistful tale of a man who has two lovers, one flesh and blood and one as big as all outdoors. Guess which one gets him in the end. You might be surprised.
“Love” reads as a tender valentine to all the gay men, imaginary or otherwise, who have inspired the author over the years to create his amazing tales of erotica.
“Suddenly, Last Thursday” is a haunting, harrowing riff on Tennessee Williams’s play Suddenly, Last Summer.
And “Friday Night at the Calvary Hotel” is an amazing tale that gets my vote for one of the top ten best short stories ever.
Filthy transcends its genre of erotica and enters the realm of literature.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

#

What makes a good short story? Felice Picano, in his forward to Filthyhttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=reflectisedge-20&l=ur2&o=1 offers some of the more traditional takes: a deft handling of voice, of place, of character. But really, what makes a good short story - what makes a great short story - is a truly good idea.
Luckily for Christian – and luckily for us – truly good ideas are not in short supply in this collection.
A perfect example comes in "Sunset Boulevard," one of many tales that puts a queer twist on an old story. Christian, riffing brilliantly on the campness of the original movie, recasts the central fading screen siren as an aging gay porn star. And it might seem risible to allow the gloriously queeny Norman Desmond to intone, "I am big. It's porno that got small," but Christian pulls it off.
Christian isn't shy of a little shameless genre straddling with his startlingly imaginative ideas either. In "The Hope of Cinnamon" we enter a future world in which gay men have mastered the art of time travel in order to save their queer brothers from oppressive regimens of the past. But this tale is also a good example of how the short story format can be frustrating for the reader when presented with such a dazzling concept as this one. The idea is simply too big for the form. The problem presented – that the rescued men cannot cope with a life in nirvana – isn’t so much explored as thrown at us before we are hustled away for the next story.
This is where the book wears thin. The stories in this book are short, averaging ten pages of in-out wham-bam. After a while it starts to feel like Christian is torturing his readers, deserting his unsatisfied readers for fresh thrills before they have quite achieved emotional climax. Too much is left undone and unsaid. This collection could have featured just the five best ideas – including the wonderfully disturbing quasi-religious "Friday Night at The Calvary Hotel" – and served up five wonderful novellas.
In the final story – the most enjoyable of the whole collection – Christian once again attempts a daring feat and pulls it off neatly as he spins us a tale of a young gay reader so besotted with an author of outrageous gay erotica he takes a pilgrimage to his grave. Angered by his discovery en route that his hero was in fact in a relationship with a woman, he means to urinate over the author's last resting place, but ends up recalling too many of the author's purplest passages and doing something entirely different. It is no surprise when Christian reveals the name on the headstone of this soiled grave.
While Filthy is a wonderful book, and just the thing if you are in the mood for an enjoyable quickie (or twenty), it's not the place to turn if you are more in the mood for a story that can go all night.
– Mathilde Madden, Reflection's Edge

#

I read a guide to reviewing books recently. It said a reviewer should be impartial. I can see that point of view; the work should be judged on its own merit. However, it's impossible for me to pick up a book by M. Christian and not have expectations that are based on previous works I've read. So I guess it's only fair to begin this review with full disclosure: I'm a fan.
I'm torn over the idea of erotica as a distinct genre, and M. Christian's work is fuel for this internal debate. In The Hope of Cinnamon, a future society rescues gay victims from Nazi death camps and brings them forward in time to a sanctuary. Gen, one of the Helpers who works to integrate the Rescued into their new home finds out that few of the Rescued successfully survive the transition. He decides to travel back in time to experience the death camps for himself so that he will have a better understanding of why the Rescued fail to thrive in a society that fully accepts them. While this story does touch on sex and sexuality, it is a great example of speculative fiction that prompts further examination of our time and how current and future gay generations need to be aware of the history of gay culture and see it in proper historical perspective instead of viewing it, and judging, through hindsight.
As much as I hate the term coming-of-age tale, Utter West is a near-future story that shows a character coming of age, and more. Pony is the narrator's hero, the one who escaped their suburban hell and went beyond it to something wonderful and mystical - or so the narrator wants to believe. Unaware that he's destroying the beautiful myth that's grown around his disappearance, Pony comes back as an ordinary adult, prompting the narrator to break free and take the journey Pony failed to make into the beyond of the Utter West.
If noir is more your style, enjoy M. Christian's homage to Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, or sink into the corner pocket of the night world of pool hustlers in The Hard WayThat Sweet Smell is really the scent of corruption, but keep telling yourself it's success, because in this story, that delusion is all the narrator has to cling to.
Moby is purely tall tale, told with the flair of real yarn-spinner. Could anyone stink that much, be that cussedly mean, or be that hung? It's all in the telling - joyously and outrageously over the top.
Or maybe you're in the mood for bittersweet romance and love. Flyboy is the soaring romance we all long for, crashed down to earth by the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. And Love is a writer's story, about how much it means to us when our stories are wanted, and how hard it is to separate the pure love of acceptance from the physical.
And then there's horror. Friday Night at the Calvary Hotel is the hardest story to read in this collection for it's intense mix of sadism, masochism, religious imagery and sex. Stories like that cling to you long after you've put the book down. You decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I like that. Suddenly, Last Thursday is horror of a different stripe - lush and gothic, where you might have to read a line several times before your brain accepts what it's telling you. That slow dawning of realization is delicious and shivery.
In the movie Sunset Boulevard, Joe Gillis says, "Sometimes it's interesting to see just how bad bad writing can be." Yes, but it's gratifying to see just how good good writing can be too. It's unfortunate that erotic writing has a reputation for bad writing, but sit down with this collection and let M. Christian change that prejudice.
– Kathleen Bradean


#

“Filthy” is subtitled “Outrageous Gay Erotica”, it could also be called “the book that stole my Saturday”. It arrived in the mail and I intended to slot it into my reading queue after several other books that have been waiting patiently for my attention. I flicked over the somewhat dry preface to the first story and it was all over.
In 'The Greener Grasses' M. Christian shows us immediately that this is not a collection to be trifled with, picked up and put down. I was thrust immediately us into the point of view of a real flawed, sexual, vulnerable protagonist. The sexuality is always frank but blended with charming love stories like 'Heart in Your Hand' or '2+1' or folksy fables like 'Moby'. The writer’s skills are perhaps best shown in the apt blending of sexuality with darker threads such as in 'Bitch' where one man’s bitterness and hate escapes his control or 'Friday Night at the Calvary Hotel' with its queasy look at the blend of sadism and sexuality in religious symbolism. I found the homage stories 'Hollywood Blvd' and 'Suddenly, Last Thursday' just a little heavy handed but still engaging reading.
The stand-outs for me were simple stories, but perfect in their parts. 'Oroborous' uses a botched tattoo to contrast the pain and trouble of “fixing” what is “wrong” about us (not what we would choose) with the joys of embracing it what we are. After reading it I had one of those moments staring at the wall and letting it sink in. And there were actually tears in my eyes at the end of the tragic love story of 'Flyboy'. The speculative stories are also strong: 'Utter West' gives a new meaning to the youthful desire to get out of a dead-end town and 'The Hope of Cinnamon' shows a far future gay community that rescues persecuted gay men from the past and is shown, through their eyes, what may be missing from their apparent utopia.
All of the stories have a strong concept as well as explicit sexual content. I would quibble at calling it “erotica”. Erotic, yes, but not quite in the step-by-step manner intended for one handed reading. It’s one of those oft-quoted phrases that our biggest sex organ in our brain; I’m willing to bet that author M. Christian would agree. Almost every story in this collection is perfectly constructed for the intellect: set up, satisfaction and pay off within a few short pages. Some stories are unapologetically erotic and others nostalgically sensual, only obliquely erotic at all or proudly a little perverse—but the erotic is there to serve the story in the manner and amount the narrative requires.
If you are looking for sexually-charged fiction that also has heart and intelligence “Filthy” is the collection for you—just don’t pick it up until you have the free time to read it from cover to cover.
– Emily Veinglory

Monday, July 9, 2012

I (Heart) Google

Google seeks to "Legalize Love": During the Global LGBT Workplace Summit of July 5 and 6, 2012 in London, Google announced the "Legalize Love" campaign . Launched in Poland and Singapore and eventually 
intended for every country where the company has an office, it will focus on places with homophobic cultures, where anti-gay laws exist. 
Google's Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe states "We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work."

Zee Likes Fingers Breadth


This is simply beyond wonderful: check out this very touching review of Fingers Breadth by Zee of Firepages.  Swoon!



Someone is abducting young gay men in San Francisco, drugging them and cutting off the tip of their pinky. The entire city if on edge, especially after dark. The gay community fear for themselves, as they know that anyone could be next. Even though the police are looking for the Cutter, no one really knows who this person is nor the motivation of cutting a finger. Suspicion divides the community. There are people who have only nine-and-a-half fingers, and those who have ten fingers. The niners suspect the Cutter may have ten fingers and those who walk around with ten fingers hope they are not next.  
M. Christian has to be the most amazing writer I've ever read. He is a master manipulator with his words. You read his stories and begin to feel exactly what he wants you to feel - arousal, desire, anger, fear, hope. Readers find themselves surprised to feel this way, yet it is M. Christian's way of pulling dormant and primal emotions out of you. And the crazy part is that you don't mind embracing these perverse feelings as you are that pulled into the story. Not only does M. Christian push his characters in his stories to their limits, but he also pushes his readers minds to meet him in these faraway places. 
I loved how M. Christian addressed multiple facets of storytelling, like horror, thriller, and societal issues. The way the community split between those with 9.5 and 10 fingers was genius, and the horrible experience that the victims go through is downright chilling. Finger's Breadth has a way of getting under your skin and sending chills to your bones in both a terrifying and arousing kind of way. Finger's Breadth is not a story; it is an experience I highly recommend. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Out Now: The Mammoth Book of Erotica presents The Best of M. Christian


I am extremely pleased and proud to be able to announce the publication of The Mammoth Book of Erotica presents The Best of M. Christian

What makes this book so special is that it is made up of stories that have previously appeared in Maxim Jakubowski's excellent Mammoth Book of New Erotica series - an honor that still makes me giggle like a schoolgirl.

What's also cool about this new collection is that it has a little bit of everything ... for everyone: erotic science fiction, queer erotic stories, and more! It's quite literally a book for just about everyone.


The Color of Lust - A shark, seedy poolhall, and a wager ... Daisy knew the hustle but what she didn't count on was being played herself. But in the best possible way.... Everything But The Smell Of Lilies - In the near future, Justine is a sex worker with a unique twist: for a fee her clients can do whatever they want - including kill her. Everything is going well for her ... until, that is, she comes across an ambulance attendant with his own unique fetish.  Betty Came - A sweet, and extra-hot, tale of longing and lesbian desire: what do you do when you know what you is so very wrong ... but feels so very right?  Regrets - Sitting on a chair, arms on the desk, fingers on the keyboard, words on the screen-" the letter is a final goodbye from a fellow to the world he's wronged ... or is it? And if he didn't write it then who did?  The New Motor - A steampunky tale of outrageous turn-of-the-century inventiveness: John Murray Spear created The New Motor, The Mechanical Savior, but it was a special woman who gave it a sexy spark of life ... and then some.  NY by Way of Taos - In a trailer baking in the hot desert sun, two women lose themselves to desire and fantasy: going to new and, for them, unexplored sexual worlds ... like New York City

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"Love" From Filthy Boys


Just 'cause, here's a story from my recently-released queer collection, Filthy Boys.  I have a certain fondness for this story as it was written as a kind of thanks to all the gay men I've known - and who've changed my life for the better.





LOVE

"You could have stayed with me," he'd said the first time I went to Seattle to see him, but stayed in a motel.  I hadn't even thought of it, and so the disappointment in his eyes.
I never went back.  After he got promoted there wasn't any point.
You could have stayed with me evolves into a fantasy in which those four days play out differently: an invitation made earlier, my discomfort of staying in someone else's house miraculously absent.  Fresh off the plane, strap digging into my shoulder (I always over-pack), out of the cab and up a quick twist of marble steps to his front door.  A knock, or a buzz, and it opens.
A quick dance of mutual embarrassment as I maneuver in with my luggage, both of us saying the stupid things we all say when we arrive somewhere we've never been before.  Him: "How was your flight?" Me: "What a great place."
Son of a decorator, I always furnish and accessorize my fantasies: I imagine his to be a simple one-bedroom.  Messy, but a good mess.  A mind's room, full of toppling books, squares of bright white paper.  Over the fireplace (cold, never lit) a print, something classical like a Greek torso, the fine line topography of Michelangelo's David.  A few pieces of plaster, three-dimensional anatomical bric-a-brac on the mantel.  A cheap wooden table in the window, bistro candle, and Don't Fuck With The Queen in ornate script on a chipped coffee cup.
Dinner?  No, my flight arrived late.  Coffee?  More comfortable and gets to the point quicker.  We chat.  I ask him about his life: is everything okay?  He replies that he's busy, but otherwise fine.  We chat some more.  I say that it's a pleasure to work with him.  He replies with the same.
I compliment him, amplifying what I've already said, and he blushes.  He returns it, and then some, making me smile.  My eyes start to burn, my vision blurs, tears threatening.  I sniffle and stand up.
He does as well, and we hug.  Hold there.  Hold there.  Hold there.  Then, break – but still close together.  Lips close together.  The kiss happens.  Light, just a grazing of lips.  I can tell he wants more, but I'm uncomfortable and break it but not so uncomfortable that I can't kiss his cheeks.  Right, then left, then right again.
But his head turns and we're kissing, lips to lips again.  Does he open his first or do I?  Sometimes I imagine his, sometimes mine.  But they are open and we are kissing, lips and tongue, together.  Hot, wet, hard.
But not on my part.  Wet, definitely – in my mind it's a good kiss.  A generous and loving kiss.  Hot, absolutely, but only in a matter of degrees as his temperature rises and mine does in basic body response.
Not hard on my part, but I am aware of his.  Between us, like a finger shoved through a hole in his pocket, something solid and muscular below his waist.
Does he say something?  "I want you," "Please touch me," "I'm sorry," are candidates.  I've tried them all out, one time or another, to add different flavors, essences, spices to that evening.  "I want you," for basic primal sex.  "Please touch me," for polite request, respect and sympathy.  "I'm sorry," for wanting something he knows I don't.
"It's okay," I say to all of them, and it is.  Not just words.  Understanding, sympathy, generosity.  All of them, glowing in my mind.  It really is okay.
I'm a pornographer, dammit.  I should be able to go on with the next part of this story without feeling like ... I'm laughing right now, not that you can tell.  An ironic chuckle: a pornographer unable to write about sex.  Not that I can't write about myself, that making who I am – really – the center of the action is uncomfortable, because I've certainly done that before.  I've exposed myself on the page so many other times, what makes this one so different?
Just do it.  Put the words down and debate them later.  After all, that's what we're here for, aren't we?  You want to hear what I dream he and I do together.  You want to look over my mental shoulder at two men in that tiny apartment in Seattle.
I'm a writer; it's what I do, and more importantly, what I am.  So we sit on the couch, he in the corner me in the middle.  His hand is on my leg.  My back is tight, my thighs are corded.  Doubt shades his face so I put my own hand on his own, equally tight, thigh.  I repeat what I said before, meaning it: "It's okay."
We kiss again.  A friend's kiss, a two people who like each other kiss.  His hands touch my chest, feeling me through the thin cloth of turtleneck.  I pull the fabric out of my pants with a few quick tugs, allowing bare hands to touch bare chest.  He likes it, grinning up at me.  I send my own grin, trying to relax.
His hand strokes me though my jeans, and eventually I do get hard.  His smile becomes deeper, more sincere, lit by his excitement.  It's one thing to say it, quite another for your body to say it.  Flesh doesn't lie, and I might have when I gave permission.  My cock getting hard, though, is obvious tissue and blood sincerity.
"That's nice," "Can I take it out?" "I hope you're all right with this." Basic primal sex, a polite request including respect and sympathy, and the words for wanting something he knows I don't – any one of them, more added depth to this dream.
My cock is out and because he's excited or simply doesn't want the moment and my body to possibly get away, he is sucking me.  Was that so hard to say?  It's just sex.  Just the mechanics of arousal, the engineering of erotica.  Cock A in mouth B.  I've written it hundreds of times.  But there's that difference again, like by writing it, putting it down on paper (or a computer screen) has turned diamond into glass, mahogany into plywood.
Cheapened.  That's the word.  But to repeat: I am a writer.  It's what I do.  All the time.  Even about love – especially about this kind of love.
He sucks my cock.  Not like that, not that, not the way you're thinking: not porno sucking, not erotica sucking.  This is connection, he to I.  The speech of sex, blowjob as vocabulary.
I stay hard.  What does this mean?  It puzzles me, even in the fantasy.  I have no doubts about my sexuality.  I am straight.  I write everything else, but I am a straight boy.  I like girls.  Men do not turn me on.
Yet, in my mind and in that little apartment, I am hard.  Not "like a rock," not "as steel," not as a "telephone pole," but hard enough as his mouth, lips, and tongue – an echoing hard, wet and hard – work on me.
The answer is clear and sharp, because if I couldn't get hard and stay hard then he'd be hurt and the scene would shadow, chill, and things would be weighted between us.  That's not the point of this dream, why I think about it.
So, onto sex.  Nothing great or grand, nothing from every section of the menu.  A simple action between two men who care about each other: he sucks my cock.  He enjoys it and I love him enough to let him.  That's all we do, because it's enough.
He sucks me for long minutes, making sweet sounds and I feel like crying.  He puts his hand down his own pants, puts a hand around his own cock.  For a moment I think about asking him if he wants help, for me to put my hand around him, help him jerk off.  But I don't.  Not because I don't want to, or because I'm disgusted, but because he seems to be enjoying himself so much, so delighted in the act of sucking me, that I don't want to break the spell, turn that couch back into a pumpkin.
He comes, a deep groan around my cock, humming me into near-giggles.  He stops sucking as he gasps and sighs with release, looking up at me with wet-painted lips, eyes out of focus.  I bend down and kiss him, not tasting anything but warm water.
I love him.  I wanted to thank him.  I hope, within this dream, I have.  The night that didn't happen but could have.
For me, writing is just about everything: the joy of right word following right word all the way to the end.  The ecstasy of elegant plot, the pleasure of flowing dialogue, the loveliness of perfect description.  Sex is good, sex is wonderful, but story is fireworks in my brain.  The reason I live.  The greatest pleasure in my life.
And he has given me that, with nearly flowing letters on an agreement between his company and I, between his faith in my ability and myself.  He looked at me, exposed on the page of a book, in the chapter of a novel, in the lines of a short story, and didn't laugh, didn't dismiss or reject.  He read, nodded, smiled, and agreed to publish.
Sex cannot measure up to that.  Bodies are bodies, but he has given me a pleasure beyond anything I'd felt: applause, and a chance to do much, much more with words, with stories.
He doesn't have a name, this man in my fantasy.  There have been a lot of them over the years, and a lot more in the future, no doubt.  Gay men who have touched me in ways no one has ever touched me before, by making love with my soul through their support of my writing.  Each time they have, this fantasy has emerged from the back of my mind, a need to give them the gift they have given me: passion and kindness, support and caring, and pure affection.
I worry about this.  I worry that they won't understand, take this secret dream of mine as being patronizing, diminishing them to nothing but a being with a cock who craved more cock.  I've confessed a few times, telling a select few how I feel about them, how I wish I could do for them what they have done for me, to be able to put aside my heterosexuality for just an evening, an afternoon, and share total affection together.
Luckily, or maybe there really isn't anything to worry about, the ones I've told, they smile, hold my hand, kiss my cheek, say the right thing and to this day, even right now, make me cry: "I wish we could too, but I understand.  I love you too."
Am I bi?  I know I'm physically not – I simply don't get aroused by men – but that doesn't mean I don't adore men, or for the ones I care about, the men who have touched my soul through their support and affection for my stories and writing, I wish I couldn't change.  More than anything I wish I could give them what they have given me.
With a cock or a pen, with a story or hours of wonderful sex, it all comes down to one thing: love.