Thursday, November 19, 2015

Blast From The Past: Cynthia Ward's Locus Online Review of Bachelor Machine!

In celebration of the re-release of my erotic science fiction collection, Bachelor Machine  and the follow-up collection, Skin Effect, here's Cynthia Ward's amazing review of Bachelor from Locus Online.


In the 1980s, I read an article about some noted visionaries of the bold future of virtual reality. The visionaries uniformly denied that virtual sex would be a factor in this brave new technology. Apparently the visionaries hadn't noticed that several existing technologies were significantly subsidized by sex, among them the phone companies (by 900 numbers), Big Pharma (by The Pill), and the new videotape industry (by X-rated sales and rentals). Here in the Twenty-First Century, though we're still waiting for VR, phone companies enjoy the additional subsidy of surfers seeking X-rated websites, penile implants and Viagra keep multinational medical companies big in the stock market, and video stores add X-rated DVDs.

SF authors are bolder, or maybe just less blind, than the VR visionaries; they routinely incorporate varieties of cybersex in their fiction. But SF authors rarely center plot and theme on sex, and the professional and semiprofessional SF magazines rarely publish speculative sex stories. Yet the enormous sexual changes of the last few years, both trivial (porn spam) and profound (legalized gay/lesbian marriage in Canada), demand more SF exploration of the subject. Fortunately, on the small-press margins of SF, at the border shared with the erotica genre, a few writers are speculating intelligently and imaginatively about the future of sex. Among the best-known and best of the erotic-SF writers is M.Christian.

The stories in his new collection, The Bachelor Machine, pass the litmus tests of both the SF and erotica genres. Take out the tech and there's no story; take out the sex and there's no story. This description may lead those unfamiliar with SF erotica to suspect that every story is about getting off with the aid of futuristic technologies, and that's true as far as it goes. But that's not going nearly far enough.

The stories in The Bachelor Machine are not about sex, though they're stuffed with sexual acts; the stories are about what sex means. M.Christian is writing about the psychology of being human, and he often does so by exploring sexual possibilities and realities that are rarely discussed, even in private conversation. He not only thinks forbidden thoughts, he extrapolates them in the finest SF fashion.

The aptly named "Technophile" pushes technofetishism to the ultimate as it explicates an idea most authors (especially male authors) would never imagine, let alone write about. To put it bluntly, "Technophile" eroticizes castration. A character has his penis cut off and replaced with the top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art "Long Thrust." Another character wants to lose his virginity to the technological phallus, which he sees as hotter and better than the old-fashion flesh kind. But the cutting-edge implant needs a recharge and remains limp throughout the encounter, a bitter irony.

In the decaying post-industrial future of "Winged Memory", Dusk does something most people couldn't imagine, and would find horrifying if they did: he sells (and loses) his memory of losing his virginity. He does this to buy thirty minutes with a prostitute "walking the street, eyes available red." To have her again, Dusk keeps selling memories, until he doesn't know who he is, or who this woman is that he inexplicably wants.

The stories "Bluebelle" and "Skin-Effect" break taboo by making explicit the sexual undercurrents of the savagery and killing in nearly every Hollywood cop and military action flick.

In "Guernica", several individuals meet secretly in a basement to enjoy sex acts outlawed by a repressive Twenty-First-Century government. Their practices, costumes, and toys deliberately, ironically, terrifyingly recreate the uniforms, actions, and tools of the cops who would arrest and punish – and kill – them.

In "Butterfliequot;, a hacker immersed in the full-sensory, Disney-perfect Glade of the Datasea finds herself assaulted – literally – by a flock of beautiful butterfly-sprites. I generally hate stories about rape/violation, yet Christian's skill, imagery, and insight kept me reading to the end ... and I never felt violated by the story. It's an impressive achievement.

In "Hackwork", Rosselyn Moss works for ExpressTaxi as a body that cyber-riders hire to carry their consciousness around New Orleans. They dictate her actions and, inevitably, drive her body into sexual encounters. One night, she is distressed to find herself whipping a beautiful young stranger – and even more distressed to discover the stranger loves it.

Like Rosselyn, the narrator of "Switch" is a rent girl. She isn't a taxi, but she may have an even more troubling job, for she never remembers who her clients were, or what they did to her. M.Christian travels deep into taboo territory by demonstrating that, for some, being so thoroughly controlled, so completely owned as to remember nothing, is the ultimate turn-on.

In "Everything but the Smell of Lilies", Justine Moor is a whore with a deeply creepy specialty. She's been turned into "a hardwired dead girl, a chilling and stiffening hooker", dying over and over for money. If this bleeding-edge cyberpunk extrapolation isn't disturbing enough, Justine finds herself lying, a motionless but fully-conscious corpse, in an ambulance staffed by a necrophiliac. (In case it's not already abundantly clear, some stories in The Bachelor Machine are not intended to arouse.)

Many of M.Christian's grittily urban stories are cyberpunk; "Heartbreaker" pushes the form to a logical extreme. When an undercover cop sets up the bust of an outlaw biohacker, the two women don't just have sex, they withdraw very special interface cables from inside themselves and connect them: "Linked, each hardwired into the other's genitals, mixed and matched, they surged and merged."

In "Thin Dog", fans jack their minds into a full-sensory experience of what it's like to be superstar reactor-rock band Thin Dog. Members Johnna, Paul, Georgina, and Jingo (ahem) play instruments that are nanotech implants woven through their bodies; playing includes on-"stage" couplings and quadruplings.

Some stories not only share 1980s-cyberpunk's fascination with Japanese culture, but show the influence of "anime" (Japanese animation). In many ways, the woman and situation in "State" are ideal for anime. The prostitute Fields lives in Japan and earns her living by pretending to be an almost mythically superior Japanese-made sex android. Her masquerade must always achieve perfection – from biochemically lowered body temperature, to "incredibly durable bonding polymer" applied daily to every millimeter of flesh, to behavior in orgasm – because her clients must never suspect she's human.

Not every story is cyberpunk. "The New Motor" is an amusing steampunk entertainment set in Paul Di Filippo territory. Nineteenth-Century spiritualist John Murray Spear has a vision of "the Association of Electricizers ... spirits with a mechanical turn of mind," and begins proselytizing for the creation of "the Physical Savior of the Race ... the New Motor!" This charismatic messiah for "a new Age of Man Through Machine" leads his followers to transcendentalist New England, where they settle in the conservative town of Lynn, Massachusetts. Seducing and neglecting a particularly fervent follower proves seer Spear is dangerously blind to certain human truths.

The collection has some flaws. Some futures don't seem entirely plausible (a minor problem, and one hardly confined to the erotic-SF subgenre). A couple of stories are vague in their SFnal elements. I never quite figured out what "Bluebelle" was (a micro Death Star? a flying fembot? a round mecha?). It takes too long to learn what the futuristic technology is and does in "Eulogy". The endings of "Eulogy" and "Winged Memory" left me wondering just what was happening. And frustratingly, the book provides no copyright data, providing no information about if or when the stories were previously published.

M.Christian's prose is strong and supple and sometimes lyrical. If you don't like naughty language or graphic descriptions of sex, you'd better steer clear of his work. But if you like smart, taboo-breaking SF, then read The Bachelor Machine.

–Cynthia Ward, Locus Online (2004)

(Cynthia Ward has published short fiction in Asimov's and numerous anthologies, and has written a monthly market column for Speculations. She has written many reviews for Her website is at

Monday, November 16, 2015

Wonderful Review Of My New ScIFi Erotica Collection, SKIN EFFECT By Amos Lassen!

This is so very, very, very touching: my great pal Amos Lassen was so kind of post this lovely review of my new scifi erotica collection, Skin Effect: More Science Fiction And Fantasy Erotica (a follow-up to Bachelor Machine - also out in a new edition).

Thanks so much, Amos!

Christian is one of the freshest and most original erotica writer these days. I have been reviewing him for about eight years now and every time he sends me something new, it is a surprise. “Skin Effect” is the sequel to “The Bachelor Machine” that I reviewed some time ago and that that really showed the skills of the author. I asked myself then whether he would ever be able to top that and he has. ”Skin Effect” is a new collection of short stories that both stun the reader and arouse his/her libido. Christian breaks the rules here—his erotica is innovative and totally original. He goes beyond bondage and sado-masochism, he continues past fetish kind and arrives at a new spot and possibly a new genre in erotic literature. He writes of the here and now and of the future as he explores the nth degree of sex and arousal. Below are the titles of some of the stories included here: 
“[Title Forgotten]”
“The Subsequent State”
“The Bell House Invitation”
“The Potter’s Wheel”
“Double Toil And Trouble”
“A Kiss Goodnight” and M. Christian gives us an informative and thoughtful afterword. 
In this book’s precursor, “The Bachelor Machine” that I reviewed several years ago, we had dark erotic stories of desperate individuals. Now, this new collection is more hopeful and that seems to be because of new technologies that include data that streams constantly, sensors that are worn, the cloud that now called the media-sphere and that allows for every thought and action to be available to everyone. Add to that that a human being is looked upon solely based on the number of people who follow him/here electronically. Quite naturally, what comes out of all this can be different for different people and there has not yet been any evaluation as to whether or not this is good for the people. It seems to me that we are asking the same questions today. Does technology challenge individualism and make our lives open books and if so, it this good for us? Memory here becomes fluid and can be changed or done away with at will. Sex is affected also in that gender indeed becomes fluid and be changed at will. 
We have the example in one of the stories that a character buys a piece of clothing that becomes whatever the wearer wants it to be and therefore is suitable for all occasions.
I can certainly see how what is written here can be upsetting but we must never lose sight that what we are reading is fiction and this is not necessarily how things will be (but we said the same thing about Dick Tracy’s watch way back then). I found the stories to be charming but also, without exception, highly erotic even though this is not quite the kind of erotica that we are used to. The writing and the erotica are both raunchy (for lack of a better word) and hallucinatory and the stories arouse us while at the same makes us worry about what the future may bring. 
I am not much of an erotica reader except in the cases of M. Christian and a couple of others and that is because I concentrate more on the writing than on the sex. I must say that M. Christian is one of the most inventive writers I have ever read and when we combine with good plots, we become more than satisfied with what he has to say. He manages to take us into the future in exciting, provocative ways yet the does not lose sight of how important sex is in our lives.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Up Now @ FutureOFSex: Dressing for Tomorrow: How Designers Are Mixing Technology, Eroticism and Fashion

I am having a real blast writing for the great folks at FutureOfSex ... and I'm very pleased that a brand new piece just went live there.

Click here to read Dressing for Tomorrow: How Designers Are Mixing Technology, Eroticism and Fashion!

When not protecting the wearer against the weather—or in some cases other humans—clothing has always been about sex.

While materials came and went, the basic idea of fashion has stuck around. From power ties to high heels, corsets to tuxedos, jockeys to hot pants, we’ve forever been trying to accentuate, or downplay, certain parts of our anatomy.

But now it looks like things will really be changing. Frequently using what is called intelligent clothing or e-textiles, a few innovative designers are exploring wild new territories—and perhaps giving us a glimpse of the erotic fashions for the next century.

Anouk Wipprecht

To put it overly simple, technology plus fashion, plus sensuality, equals Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht.

One of her designs called the ParticleDress, embraces the open-source movement: where all kinds of technologies are being made available for anyone to tweak or play with.

Basically, she created a 3D printed framework/garment that supports a standardized hexagonal ‘module’—then she reached out to creative people all over the world, inviting them to design their very own modules to be attached to the dress. The final selection of these submissions then made it into the final design, unveiled at the San Francisco Maker Faire in May of this year.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Up Now @ FutureOFSex: The Sexual Future of 2015 - What Sci-Fi Movies and Books Got Wrong… and Right

I'm having a serious blast writing for the great folks at FutureOfSex- and a brand new post of mine just went live!

Check out The Sexual Future of 2015: What Sci-Fi Movies and Books Got Wrong… and Right!

It was a fun to write and (hopefully) just as fun to read!
Today may not be the future these works envisioned, but maybe it’s still to come?

Science fiction has never really strived to be prophetic. Mostly the genre has used speculation to draw attention to social issues of the day; a funhouse mirror held up to mankind.

And when it has tried to gaze into a crystal ball, sci-fi’s track record is more than a bit lacking—to be polite.

Especially in regards to the future of sexuality.

Now that we are actually living in 2015—and with 2016 right around the corner—it’s fun to look at some notable books and films that tried to envision what sex would be like in the future. In other words, right this very minute.

A lot of things turned out to be flat out wrong. But what’s even more intriguing—and even more than a bit chilling—is what they actually may have gotten right.

If not this year but very, very soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A. F. Waddell's Sweet Blurb About Skin Effect!

Check out this very touching blurb from my great pal, A. F. Waddell, for my new erotic science fiction collection Skin Effect: More Science Fiction And Fantasy Erotica:

M.Christian masterfully creates future sexuality in speculative fiction. The new collection Skin Effect is a fine example of the author’s ability to realistically blend genres. Skin Effect is a super imaginative, fascinating and sexy read! – A. F. Waddell

Saturday, October 31, 2015

My New FutureOfSex Essay Is Live! 5 Sex Technologies From Sci-Fi Movies That Are Right Around The Corner

Now this is very exciting! My new article for FutureOfSex just went up on their very fun site. Click here to read 5 Sex Technologies From Sci-Fi Movies That Are Right Around The Corner!
Spaceships, aliens, robots—we all love a good science fiction film. But aside from a few lucky guesses on the filmmakers’ parts, we rarely think of them as being truly prophetic.

Especially when it comes to their depictions of futuristic sex.

However, with new developments in pharmacology, virtual reality, robotics, telepresence, and artificial intelligence, more than a few classic, and sort of classic,science-fiction films are getting very close to erotic reality.

Here is a subjective look at five science-fiction films where their depictions of futuristic sex are fast-becoming less cinematic fantasy and more everyday sexual reality.


Beyond Romance Likes Skin Effect!

This is very touching: the great Lisabet Sarai reviewed by brand-new erotic science fiction collection, Skin Effect: More Science Fiction And Fantasy Erotica, for Beyond Romance.

Thanks so much, Lisabet!

Normally, when I write a review, I treat the book as a stand-alone entity, without considering prequels, sequels or other books in a series. In reviewing Skin Effect, however, it’s almost impossible not to make some reference to The Bachelor Machine, M. Christian’s first collection of science fiction erotica, which I reviewed back in 2009. For one thing, there’s the subtitle, “More Erotic Science Fiction and Fantasy Erotica”, pointedly implying the existence of the previous volume. Then there’s the author’s Afterword, which explicitly compares the perspectives in the first book to those in this one. Even the title is a reference to the earlier book, the name of one of the stories therein (which is not included here). In any case, I couldn’t really read this collection without being reminded of the earlier volume. The stories are equally inventive, but extremely different in tone. To me, they suggested a more mature, subtle and balanced vision of the future. 
The world of The Bachelor Machine is largely dystopic, a dark environment of crumbling infrastructure, poisoned nature, desperate individuals, oppressive and dehumanizing technology. The stories in Skin Effect reflect a greater degree of hope as well as the expected impact of more recent technological developments—constant data streams gathered by wearable sensors; software agents that relieve us of the need to learn or remember; the omnipresent social media-sphere, where every thought, action and emotion is immediately visible to one’s audience and one’s worth as a human being might be measured by the number of spectators one can muster. Like those in the earlier book, however, these tales ask difficult but intriguing questions about reality and human existence. What does it mean to talk about one’s life history, when memories can be implanted or erased at will? What happens to sex when changing gender is almost as easy as changing clothes and every possible sexual variation is available via simulation? Is there something special or unique about direct experience, unmediated by technology? Is that sort of genuine, first-hand, totally disconnected experience even possible anymore? 
One of my favorite stories in the collection is the simple and elegant “Prêt-à-Porter”. A rather shy, serious young woman purchases a – garment – made of the ultimate intelligent fabric, fabric that transforms itself into whatever sort of clothing or costume its wearer desires—and which shapes its owner’s desires in the process. 
It was ... warm, like a another person's skin. She knew it would be, but the comfort of it was still calming – making the release of that second breath slow and easy. It moved up her body like a splash from a shallow pool, the warmness of it making her relax even more. 
As it flowed, it stayed black – but just as she noticed that, it changed: rolling through a rainbow of hues, shades, and saturations. As it flowed, it stayed glistening like colorful latex – but as she noticed that, as well, it changed: tumbling through an array of textures, contours, weaves, and shapes. 
She couldn't help it: she laughed. It was like a puppy, fresh out of the box and eager to play. It didn't take her mind long to imagine the artificial, intelligent, endlessly chameleonic material as wagging a form of artificial, intelligent, endlessly chameleonic, tail. 
“LMS”, the last story in the volume, is another high point. Set in a nearer term future than most of the tales (a future in which humans still design web sites!), this tale features an insecure, depressed protagonist who is pried out of his fugue of self-loathing by an encounter with a transsexual who sincerely admires his work. This is a sexy but surprisingly sweet love story, set in a world where your Facebook numbers can determine your personal fate. 
“A Kiss Goodnight” presents the next stage in evolution, as an aging pioneer in the study of artificial intelligence is seduced by the “ghost in the machine”, the sentient, self-aware outcome of his own research. The language in this tale is utterly gorgeous, whether the author is describing the taste of a peach (a real peach, grown on an actual tree—something exceedingly rare) or the nature of the professor’s elusive partner. 
Shimmering shoals of software; ripples of digital entities flashing in and out of existence – some on a scale of centuries, others faster than anything alive could ever blink, the on and offs of their own basic (in its own way primitive) DNA coding drifting, merging ... vast snowflakes of algorithms wheeling and spinning against an infinite spectrum of quantum uncertainty ... breaking, splintering, only to merge into new complexities, new potentialities. It was a flashing, flickering, fairy kingdom of brilliant streaks, pops, swirls, cascades of illuminated data coming and going, evolving and learning, growing and refining ... flowering unique forms for unique tasks while deep, immense structures, eternally pondering monoliths of infinite potentials and possibilities, thought their long computational thoughts ... knowing every permutation and branch of possibility and, within it all, a cool and perfect understanding of their original architects, the first programmers, far more than they could ever know themselves. 
Despite this awe-inspiring vision of distributed intelligence, the physical coupling between the professor and his digital partner is compelling, even world-shattering, flesh and blood sex a kind of fundamental language that in some sense transcends species.
This is the message of “The Potter’s Wheel” as well, a fascinating tale in which a woman who supports herself by selling her experiences via social media is chosen to meet the Potter of Gujyo-hachiman, a Living Treasure renowned for his exquisite porcelain. Living off the ‘Net at his monastic retreat in rural Japan, more or less purely in the physical world, the Potter helps Peers reconnect with fleshly, unmediated desire.
Although a few are listed as previously published, all of the stories in Skin Effectwere new to me, with the exception of “The Bell House Invitation”, which I’d called out as one of the sexiest stories in The Bachelor Machine. I was delighted to have the chance to savor this unique ménage once again. Indeed, the story might be more consistent with the worldview spun by this volume than in its original home. 
All in all, Skin Effect is a solid collection of speculative erotica. I have to be honest and admit that I found it less erotic, overall, than The Bachelor Machine. However, that may say as much about me (years older than I was when I read the first book, and far more jaded) than it does about the book. I think it’s fair to suggest that the sex in these stories is sweeter and more sincere, less about thrills and more about connections. That’s fine, as far as I’m concerned. I want more than heat in my reading; I want original ideas and graceful language. In this regard, there’s no question that M. Christian delivers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Up Now: 5 Science-Fiction Novels That Pushed The Limits of Sexuality On FutureOfSex!

This is very, very cool: my grand new article 5 Science-Fiction Novels That Pushed The Limits of Sexuality just went live on the excellent FutureOfSex site!

Here's a tease - for the rest click here.

Erotic visions of the future from renowned sci-fi literature.

Like a lot of genres, science fiction took a bit of time to discover that one special, yet very basic, component of humanity.

Yes, I’m talking about sex.

But unlike mystery, horror, romance, thriller—and every flavor of literature you can name—when these science fiction authors explored eroticism, it didn’t just change that genre. Using visions of the future, they changed the way many people came to look at sex itself.

While there are many writers working today who are exploring sexuality in science fiction (hint, hint), here are five works that I personally feel went way above and far beyond the known limits of both sex and science fiction.

Oh, and be prepared for some very minor plot spoilers—but I promise not to give too much away.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Want to read my newest collection of science fiction erotica but don’t pay to pay the staggering amount of $2.99?

Well, here’s the deal: if you promise to review it - either on your site or on amazon - I’ll send you a free pdf of Skin Effect: More Science Fiction And Fantasy Erotica

Just send me your email address - and, later, a link to where your review appeared.

“Erotic, and original, state-of-the-art science fiction.” —Ernest Hogan, author, High Aztech

“A totally unique and truly fascinating voice.” —Mike Resnick, Hugo and Nebula Award winning science fiction author

At last! M.Christian’s highly anticipated sequel to his legendary erotic science fiction collection, Bachelor Machine!

With Bachelor Machine, M.Christian set the bar for erotic science fiction stories. Now he has returned to the genre with a brand new collection that will amaze as well as arouse: Skin Effect—tales that push the envelopes of both science fiction and erotica in innovative and stimulating ways. Here are stories voyaging to the near and far future, exploring the ultimate limits of sex and arousal.

With an introduction by the Chicano Science Fiction legend Ernest Hogan (author of High Aztech and Cortez on Jupiter), the stories in Skin Effect—some never before seen—are beyond BDSM, beyond fetish, beyond kink … and even beyond the limits of science fiction!

Story contents include:

[Title Forgotten]
The Subsequent State
The Bell House Invitation
The Potter’s Wheel
Double Toil And Trouble
A Kiss Goodnight
–and more!

Plus a special, and very thoughtful Afterword by the author: “It’s ‘Not’ The End of the World as We Know It – And I Feel Fine”.

“M.Christian is a hybrid artist and knockout stylist on the order of Jonathan Lethem. Hard-boiled, sharp-edged, funny and fierce, his tales brim with unbridled imagination and pitch-perfect satire.” —Jim Gladstone

“M.Christian is a writer who takes you for a long walk down a dark wet street at midnight. You can’t get much more edgy and still be legal. His fiction never disappoints.” —Nancy Kilpatrick, author, The Power of the Blood series and In The Shadow of the Gargoyle