Monday, September 30, 2013

Billierosie Likes Running Dry

I probably say too much - but I really do have some truly wonderful friends.  Just take a look at this touching review Billierosie  posted for my very-first novel, Running Dry - out now in a new, expanded edition, from Renaissance E Books/Sizzler Editions.

Thanks so much, Billierosie: you are a real treasure!

In RUNNING DRY, M. Christian, elegantly re-writes the eternal themes of love, loss, betrayal, fear and death. With a flourish of his pen (or lap-top and cursor) Christian gives us a potent potpourri, that has little to do with gracious fragrances and everything to do with the pungent stench of bodily fluids; blood, bile, saliva and mucus.

This is a vampire story with a difference. Unlike Anne Rice’s exotic, erotic Lestat and Bram Stoker’s sinister Count Dracula, M.Christian’s vampires are riddled with guilt about what they have to do to survive. Ernst Doud, paints his guilt, with portraits lurid with the blood of his victims. Doud has a conscience, and he makes it up to those he has killed with a visual, tangible lament. His remorse is palpable.

There’s a mystery here. Who is Doud? Who is Sergio? What is their secret? Why has Doud given up on his art? Why is Sergio trying to seek out Doud? Why does Doud want to kill Sergio? What is Shelly’s place in all of this?

Yes, Doud and Sergio are monsters. They know it; Vince is a monster too. But he’s worse; he’s a killer without a conscience.

There is no “dark trick” in RUNNING DRY. Doud, Sergio and Vince won’t spellbind you with a glamour. In the tradition of the most gruesome fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, or Angela Carter, they grab you, gobble you up; eat you. Your death won’t be romantic, erotic; sexy. Just complete, total annihilation.

The scene where Doud fights Vince in the desert, is terrifying. It’s visual; like watching a film. My heart is racing, as I read. I can feel the heat of the desert, scorching my lungs. I screw up my eyes, against the glare of the sun; the painful blue of the desert sky.

M.Christian, possesses a rare gift; that of making elegant, lucid prose appear effortless.

Just listen to this:

“...the world acquired sound, the ground achieved traction, the air thinned, the rose-red glow ceased. As his body slowed from the blinding acceleration Doud had forced upon it, the monster’s body completely disintegrated. A body once ninety-five percent water became nothing but a desiccated five percent, falling apart into dust, ash, and a few brittle bones; life and moisture gone.”

Don’t you wish you’d written that? I do!

For me, RUNNING DRY is every bit as good for a second reading; better. Buy it, borrow it, read it. It won’t fail you.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mysterious Galaxy On The Very Bloody Marys

Here's a very cool pre-release review for my queer vamp noir thriller novel, The Very Bloody Marys - part of the new Sizzler Edition's ManLove Collection, of course
"Combines several of M. Christian’s strengths, writing queer and supernatural / horror fiction, with only occasional touches of his other strength, erotica. Vampire protagonist Valentino is a reluctant trainee in the supernatural international law enforcement organization, Le Counseil Carmin. He half heartedly assists his mentor, Pogue, in enforcing the rules in San Francisco—that is, until Pogue goes missing and Valentino must strive to rise to the occasion to rid the City by the Bay of trouble in the form of The Very Bloody Marys and a deadly faery or two, using what he recalls of his training and the limited resources at his disposal. Readers will never view night life in San Francisco quite the same way. A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE VAMPIRE NOIR GENRE."
-Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

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 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.
– 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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

HorrorWorld Likes The Very Bloody Marys

With the re-release of The Very Bloody Marys 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.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Further Me2 Terror!

It's bad enough that this fraud, this impostor, this rotten so-and-so has the audacity to publish a book under my name, attempt to steal my very identity, but now he's managed to even garner a very nice review from Ann Somerville at Uniquely Pleasurable! When will this nightmare end!?
I should first of all say this book is not a romance at all, so doesn’t really come under the umbrella of ‘original slash’ or whatever you want to call it. However, it’s such a clever bit of writing, it’s a shame to pass up the chance to draw readers’ attention to it.
The story is told from a POV - not necessarily a single POV, but that’s part of the conceit of an unnamed male narrator. He’s gay, but this is not about him being gay - his sexuality is just part of what makes him who he is and how he lives his life. If you’re tired of gay novels which are all about the anguish of being gay or how to find gay love, then this will be a refreshing change. [Interestingly, on his website, the author claims to be straight - but there’s a good deal of fucking with readers’ heads going on there, so I don’t know if that’s meant to be taken at face value.]
Our narrator’s life isn’t exactly challenging his intellect. He makes a habit of assessing people by their appearance, judging, tagging them, never really delving under the ensemble to the person’s soul. He treats himself in the same way, living superficially, obsessed with his looks and how he appears to other people. He works at Starbucks, doing the same thing, living the same meaningless existence in the same way every day, his customers no more distinct or real to him than the kinds of coffee they order. Until he talks to a crazy man who tells him about the doppelgangers, the doubles, the fakes, and how there are people walking among us who are mere simulacra of humanity, trying all the time to perfect the imitation. Our narrator starts to wonder if he has a double too, and the horror starts for him when he realises he does - and that the double is rapidly taking over our narrator’s existence. For the first time, he has to question just what makes him, his life and what is there that he desperately wants to call his own and no one else’s.
It’s a clever story exploring identity, mass consumption, the search for individualism in a world which promotes uniformity, where differences are superficial, and we become the labels we hang on ourselves and which are placed by the people. Christian asks in Me2, exactly what is the nature of self, and how much of what we believe we are, is merely a product of accumulated possessions, experiences and delusions. He also asks how can we hold onto true individuality in a consumer driven mass-marketed society. It’s a rather bleak portrait of American life, very time and place specific in its popular references, though perfectly comprehensible to the well-read non American. As ‘McCulture’ takes over the world, and rage against consumerism and Americanisation grows, Christian is taking pointed aim at the emptiness and meaningless of an existence dominated by brand names and advertising. It’s the same target that American Psycho went for, but in a very different and less bloody manner.
It’s a confusing, gripping story, though it loses pacing slightly towards the end, where it becomes a tad tiresome with its extremely long denouement. It demands closed attention, and the writing is layered, literate and intelligent, so not something for a lazy afternoon after a big meal. He builds the horror of the narrator’s situation beautifully, but the elliptical narrative with all the quotes from other speakers, told out of sequence, will be challenging to read if you’re not used to science fiction or the horror genre.
The idea of cloning, of doubles taking over one’s life, isn’t exactly new, but Christian’s spin on the idea and the execution is crisp and fresh. If you want a sturdy, well-written horror novel which will make you think, with a protagonist who’s gay in a completely non-exploitative way, then Me2 is one to buy.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Further Me2 Nightmare

When will this horror end? Again my impostor has gained glowing reviews for Me2:

From The Bookshelf:
Talk about an identity crisis.

M. Christian (or is it?) puts a whole new spin to the genre of mind-bending thrillers with Me2, a twisted and psychological tale of individuality and the lack of it. Though my description doesn't sound that scary or interesting, I can't do justice to Christian's pulse-pounding skill of turning one man's relatively simple life around with the numerological Genetic Mirror Theory, which says that every human has a genetic twin. (Those who haven't heard of it can check any message board or website for TV show Lost for more info.)

Christian is very unique in his delivery, carving a Starbucks-employed, California-destined, gay "Boy of Summer" into a paranoid, mentally-intuitive, questionably-sane wanderer trying to find his true self (not matter how contradictory those adjectives are). His character's pursuit for his copycat takes him many a party and gathering, one during which he unintentionally gets a little friendly with a darkness-veiled guest.

Christian's visual descriptions (when provided) are vivid and entrancing, gathered in a somewhat confusing order to throw off the reader and any concluding thoughts they may have about this so-called twin and his gradual reign over Christian's character. It's cryptic, enthralling, horrific, fascinating, and never truly reveals its secrets - a great story, indeed.