Monday, December 15, 2014

Love Without Gun Control - Part of Erotica With A Big Brain's 2014 Top Ten!

This is thrilling: the very, very cool Terrance Aldon Shaw just put my science fiction/fantasy/horror collection, Love Without Gun Control on his Erotica With A Big Brain top ten list for 2014!

http://amzn.com/B002LEI6RM
Is there any style or genre that M. Christian can’t (or won’t) write in? After reading this very fine short story collection from one of today’s most prolific professionals, I’m leaning heavily towards “no”. The ‘m’ in M. Christian seems to stand for “multi-faceted”, or possibly “mega-multi-tasker”. The guy certainly is versatile, as well as daring, imaginative, often funny, and seldom—if ever—unentertaining, one of those writers who seems to be everywhere at once, though if he has, in fact, cracked the saintly secret of bi-location, he’s not talking. 
Readers get a broad sense of Christian’s incredible range in “Love Without Gun Control”, the author’s 2009 self-compiled and –published collection of short fiction, most of which originally appeared in genre anthologies, now-defunct niche-specific literary magazines and long-since cached or dead-linked websites. These fourteen stories run a dizzying—and impressive—gamut of mood and style, each with its own carefully measured ratio of light to shadow, buoyancy to seriousness, horror to humor, and hope to despair. 
Christian has clearly learned from, and distilled the essence of the best examples of twentieth-century American fiction, everything from Ray Bradbury and Jack Kerouac to Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King. He does not shy away from his influences, but has wisely allowed them to sing through him as he delves the deep, sometimes silly recesses of the American psyche. The title story is a broad, campy social satire in addition to being a pitch-perfect sendup of old Western movies and TV shows, while “Wanderlust” and “Orphans” pay dark homage to the uniquely American mythos of “the road”—think Steinbeck’s musings on Route 66 in “The Grapes of Wrath”, or the arid, windswept, dread-haunted vistas of Stephen King’s “The Gunslinger” and “The Stand”. 
In “Needle Taste”, Christian shows that he is no less adept at horror of the decidedly psychological variety. Techno-thriller melds seamlessly with High Fantasy in “The Rich Man’s Ghost”; political satire meets The Zombie Apocalypse in “Buried with the Dead”, while knotty existential drama and the classic Post-Apocalyptic narrative come together in “1,000”, and “Nothing So Dangerous”, a story of love and betrayal in a time of revolution. Perhaps my favorite stories in this collection are the beautiful, elegiac, Bradbury-esque “Some Assembly Required,” a narrative at once clever and poignant, and the brilliantly breezy “Constantine in Love”: 
“It was called The Love Shack, and it sold all kinds of obvious things: candy, flowers, poetry books, jewelry, balloons, perfume, lingerie, and many other sweet, frilly, and heart-shaped items. It stood alone, bracketed by two vacant lots. Its busiest days were just before Valentine’s and Christmas. It was described by many newspapers and tourist guides as “. . . the place to go when love is on your mind.” 
The night was dark, the place was closed. The streets were quiet. 
Then the Love Shack exploded—with a fantastic shower of fragmented chotchkes, and flaming brick-a-brack, it went from a shop dedicated to amore to a skyrocket of saccharine merchandise. Flaming unmentionables drifted down to land in smoking heaps in the middle of the street, lava flows of melted and burning chocolate crawled out for the front door, teddy bears burned like napalm victims, and cubic zirconia mixed with cheap window glass—both showering down the empty, smoldering hole that used to be the store . . .” 
I do have a few complaints as well. In several of these stories, I found myself wishing for a stronger editorial hand. The text needs a good, personally-detached copyedit. Several otherwise excellent stories (“Hush, Hush”; “1,000”; “Friday”) are simply too long to effectively maintain the emotional impact for which the author aims. I found them overly repetitive and rather dull, with the narrative lines collapsing into nebulous incoherency. After all, the “short” in short fiction should be a clue to the essence of the form; all unnecessary baggage and ballast summarily jettisoned to achieve an economy of language, and, with it, maximum expression. Christian is an established and well-respected editor in his own right, but no matter how skillful or perceptive an author may be as an editor of other people’s work, when it comes to self-editing, even the best and brightest have their blind spots. 
Still, there’s far more to like and admire in this collection than to kvetch about or pan. Readers will be well-rewarded for what is, in the end, a ridiculously modest price of admission.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm Going To CONVOLUTION!

(from M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)


Wheee ... this is going to be a real treat: I'm going to be attending and participating is a ton of panels for the Burlingame, CA, science fiction convention, CONVOLUTION.  

Here's my schedule ... see you there!




Friday 4-6 
20 Books To Launch In To Space


Friday 8-10 
Kink: The Good, The Bad And 50 Shades Of Grey


Saturday 10-12 
How To Build A Better Story


Saturday 1-4 
Writers Workshop


Saturday 10 PM 
Turning The Heat Up Beyond Time And Space


Sunday 12-2 
Reading #5 (Never On A Sunday)


Sunday 2-4 
"New Adult" - Is This A Real Thing?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Amazingly Enough: By The Pricking Of My Thumbs … Something Wicked This Way Comes

Check it out: my brand new essay for the great Amazing Stories site just went up! Here's a tease - for the rest just click here.

 
 
Amazingly Enough: 
By The Pricking Of My Thumbs … 
Something Wicked This Way Comes

You say you want to get your mushroom clouds mushrooming easier and cheaper?

You say you want to get more BANG for your buck by enhancing the fissioning of your fissionable material?

You say you want stuff that’ll stealth the stuff you already have?

– then red mercury is the stuff for you!

It’s a particularly disturbing thing to say – especially considering their less-than-stellar track record and even less-than-stellar ethics– but every now and again intelligence agencies might to do something right…

And, oh boy, do they need a few successes. Let’s face it, after Acoustic Kitty, Castro’s estrogen-laced cigars, dosing unsuspecting folks with LSD in their own San Francisco-based brothel … to name a few from our native agencies … there’s nowhere to go but up.

Now that (wink) anyone has come forth (wink, wink) admitting to it (wink, wink, wink) but when you look at the history — and the results — it’s pretty damned neat little plan … not that anyone ever said that it was a plan (wink, wink, wink, wink).

It all began back in the late 1980s: started articles popping up in Russian news outlets chatting about the end-all, be-all additive to everything from being a shortcut to developing nuclear weapons, creating perfect now-you-see-it/now-you-don’t stealth tech, or giving an existing nuke that extra-added kick. Most of these articles didn’t feel all that legitimate … that is until Pravda, in 1993, ran a piece that claimed that red mercury was a form of superconductor: “–used for producing high-precision conventional and nuclear bomb explosives, ‘Stealth’ surfaces and self-guided warheads.”

[MORE]

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Future Sex @ Feelmore510 On July 10th - This Thursday!

(From M.Christian's Classes And Appearances)

Coming up soon!

I'm going to be leading/teaching my Future Sex: A Class/Discussion On The Possibilities Of Sex In The Years To Come for the great folks at Feelmore510 on July 10th. You can pre-order tickets here.


Future Sex: A Class/Discussion On The Possibilities Of Sex In The Years To Come! 

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow! Sure, we have iPads, iPhones, Viagra, the staggering depths of the Internet, but what could the day after tomorrow bring? In this combination discussion and lecture, participants will share in some thought experiments on what sex may be like in the year year or the next thousand years. Subjects included will be speculations on drug and chemical enhancements, extrapolation on current and future consumer technology, where gender and sexual orientation may be headed, the idea of artificial implants and enhancements, and even the prospects of intimate encounters with cyborgs, androids, robots, and artificial intelligences.

#

M.Christian has been an active participant in the San Francisco BDSM scene since 1988, and has been a featured presenter at the Northwest Leather Celebration, smOdyssey, the Center For Sex and Culture, The National Sexuality Symposium, San Francisco Sex Information, The Citadel, The Looking Glass, The Society of Janus, The Floating World, Winter Solstice, and lots of other venues. He has taught classes on everything from impact play, tit torture, bondage, how to write and sell erotica, polyamory, cupping, caning, and basic SM safety.

M.Christian is also a recognized master of BDSM erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many other anthologies, magazines, and other sites; editor of 2t anthologies such as the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, and more; the collections Dirty Words, The Bachelor Machine, Love Without Gun Control, Rude Mechanicals, and more; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Finger's Breadth, Brushes, and Painted Doll. His site is www.mchristian.com

Friday, July 4, 2014

Terrance Aldon Shaw Likes Love Wthout Gun Control

(from M.Christian's Technorotica)

This is just plain wonderful: check out this kick-ass review of my sf/f/h collection, Love Without Gun Control by the very-great Terrance Aldon Shaw on the book's amazon page.

Btw, Love Without Gun Control is currently FREE for a limited time!

http://amzn.com/B002LEI6RM

Is there any style or genre that M. Christian can’t (or won’t) write in? After reading this very fine short story collection from one of today’s most prolific professionals, I’m leaning heavily towards “no”. The ‘m’ in M. Christian seems to stand for “multi-faceted”, or possibly “mega-multi-tasker”. The guy certainly is versatile, as well as daring, imaginative, often funny, and seldom—if ever—unentertaining, one of those writers who seems to be everywhere at once, though if he has, in fact, cracked the saintly secret of bi-location, he’s not talking.

Readers get a broad sense of Christian’s incredible range in “Love Without Gun Control”, the author’s 2009 self-compiled and –published collection of short fiction, most of which originally appeared in genre anthologies, now-defunct niche-specific literary magazines and long-since cached or dead-linked websites. These fourteen stories run a dizzying—and impressive—gamut of mood and style, each with its own carefully measured ratio of light to shadow, buoyancy to seriousness, horror to humor, and hope to despair.

Christian has clearly learned from, and distilled the essence of the best examples of twentieth-century American fiction, everything from Ray Bradbury and Jack Kerouac to Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King. He does not shy away from his influences, but has wisely allowed them to sing through him as he delves the deep, sometimes silly recesses of the American psyche. The title story is a broad, campy social satire in addition to being a pitch-perfect sendup of old Western movies and TV shows, while “Wanderlust” and “Orphans” pay dark homage to the uniquely American mythos of “the road”—think Steinbeck’s musings on Route 66 in “The Grapes of Wrath”, or the arid, windswept, dread-haunted vistas of Stephen King’s “The Gunslinger” and “The Stand”.

In “Needle Taste”, Christian shows that he is no less adept at horror of the decidedly psychological variety. Techno-thriller melds seamlessly with High Fantasy in “The Rich Man’s Ghost”; political satire meets The Zombie Apocalypse in “Buried with the Dead”, while knotty existential drama and the classic Post-Apocalyptic narrative come together in “1,000”, and “Nothing So Dangerous”, a story of love and betrayal in a time of revolution. Perhaps my favorite stories in this collection are the beautiful, elegiac, Bradbury-esque “Some Assembly Required,” a narrative at once clever and poignant, and the brilliantly breezy “Constantine in Love”:

“It was called The Love Shack, and it sold all kinds of obvious things: candy, flowers, poetry books, jewelry, balloons, perfume, lingerie, and many other sweet, frilly, and heart-shaped items. It stood alone, bracketed by two vacant lots. Its busiest days were just before Valentine’s and Christmas. It was described by many newspapers and tourist guides as “. . . the place to go when love is on your mind.”

The night was dark, the place was closed. The streets were quiet.

Then the Love Shack exploded—with a fantastic shower of fragmented chotchkes, and flaming brick-a-brack, it went from a shop dedicated to amore to a skyrocket of saccharine merchandise. Flaming unmentionables drifted down to land in smoking heaps in the middle of the street, lava flows of melted and burning chocolate crawled out for the front door, teddy bears burned like napalm victims, and cubic zirconia mixed with cheap window glass—both showering down the empty, smoldering hole that used to be the store . . .”

I do have a few complaints as well. In several of these stories, I found myself wishing for a stronger editorial hand. The text needs a good, personally-detached copyedit. Several otherwise excellent stories (“Hush, Hush”; “1,000”; “Friday”) are simply too long to effectively maintain the emotional impact for which the author aims. I found them overly repetitive and rather dull, with the narrative lines collapsing into nebulous incoherency. After all, the “short” in short fiction should be a clue to the essence of the form; all unnecessary baggage and ballast summarily jettisoned to achieve an economy of language, and, with it, maximum expression. Christian is an established and well-respected editor in his own right, but no matter how skillful or perceptive an author may be as an editor of other people’s work, when it comes to self-editing, even the best and brightest have their blind spots.

Still, there’s far more to like and admire in this collection than to kvetch about or pan. Readers will be well-rewarded for what is, in the end, a ridiculously modest price of admission.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Steve Williams Loves Painted Doll


Steve Williams at Suite101.com:

Examining The Dark New Book From A Rising American Genre Writer

In a future where technology is key, what do you do when you are being hunted by a volume of unknown, lethal, cyberneticaly enhanced assassins that can be activated remotely and at a moments notice, sent after you by an employer who’s reach in the world is unparalleled, and the Far East is the last refuge after the disintegration of the United States of America? Well, you might go into hiding in the very best way possible. You might change your identity, your name, your speech and become everything that you were not. You might even hide behind the thick makeup of the porcelain like Geisha.

This is the story of rogue computer analyst Claire, or Domino the Erotist as she becomes, the heroin in a wonderfully dark new novel from M. Christian. Claire adopts the hard, frozen persona of Domino to escape the clutches of her ex-employer who believes she has been stealing from him. Claire goes into a protection program of sorts, becoming Domino, who, with her excellently conceived kit of neuron stimulating inks and large, wand like brush, is charged with giving various clients a special service: using the inks she can stimulate any emotion she so chooses and create visions of fantasy more real than anything the client has previously experienced. But more than this, the Erotist can gauge a client, and in the guise of Domino, Claire is able to discern what truly motivates them and ‘pushes their buttons’.

The character of Domino is a fascinating creation, but there are others here for those interested in the world of science-fiction. ‘Many’ is a creature capable of jumping between bodies through some sort of data transfer, and is an interesting edition to the plethora of characters. Unfortunately, we only meet Many on an ironically few occasions, but he/she is certainly memorable.

Less interesting is Claire’s love interest Flower, a girl from whom she has had to be separated from. Whilst Flower is characterized by M. Christian in such a way that she is immediately recognizable with her own distinct tone and voice, she seems to function largely as a sounding-board in Claire’s loss of identity as maintaining the persona of Domino becomes more of a threat to her emotional health. There is nothing wrong with this, but had M. Christian chose to split the narrative apart and had it from multiple points of view, rather than from solely Claire’s, it may have served to give more of a life to Flower than what she ultimately had. However, when dealing with what could be perceived as a split personality to begin with – Claire and Domino wrestle for hold over the other – this limiting of the narrative voice may have been the right move technically.

The only real problem here, and one that is easily forgivable, is that, after a while, it becomes apparent that in order to write good erotica one must avoid cliché and, if possible, hyperbole. With these limiting factors in place, there are only so many ways that you can describe an erection through the eyes of a foe-Geisha giving sexual pleasures to her male clients through some nero-stimulant paints, without it becoming repetitive. M. Christian does remarkably well however in grounding his stories in strong characters, and because of this, this problem fails to blossom into any kind of real issue. It would be apt to call M. Christian’s descriptions here minimalism on the page, and the story benefits from this greatly.

On the whole, this is a story about love, betrayal, fidelity and an exploration of the dark desires that we all have, things that are seemingly inexplicable to our waking selves, but fundamental to our being. Once again, M. Christian exposes the underbelly of his characters and shows us truths that are rarely found in this genre in which he writes so well. This is a masterful piece of work, and recommended.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Amazingly Enough - Watch The Skies At Amazing Stories!

There's cool and then there's cool: the very first installment of a brand-new series of monthly columns just went live at the amazing (and more) science fiction and fantasy site, Amazing Stories!

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


“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
–Mark Twain

Glance up at the sky: during the day you’ll see clouds and the sun – and at night it’s the moon and stars. But what most folks don’t realize is that what they are also gazing up at is (metaphorical) ink blotches on white paper.

You see, for many the sky is a kind of a Rorschach test: when faced with something up there we can’t quite figure out we humans will transform it into something we can — through a filter of the age and the technology we happened to be living in at the time.

Who knows what early man saw when they looked up … but in the Middle Ages angels and demons cartwheeled across the sky, during the Second World War foo fighters and Swedish ghost rockets were secret Nazi weapons, in the 1950s it was all flying saucers and Little Green Men…
And in the 1800s the craze was to see mystery airships.

In 1896, for instance, both the San Francisco Call and the Sacramento Bee reported wrote of a unknown flying machine that one night buzzed the California State capital. A Mr. R. L. Lowery described it as a pedal-powered dirigible – sporting a passenger compartment – operated by two men. Lowery also said that he could head someone on board bark orders to climb to avoid colliding with either a church steeple … or a local brewery (depending on who was asked). Mr. Lowery wasn’t the only witness, however: others were quoted as having heard singing from the craft as it floated overhead.
[MORE]

Monday, June 16, 2014

Out Now: Mammoth Book of Erotic Romance and Domination

As I mentioned before, I'm extremely jazzed to have not one but two erotic science fiction BDSM stories in my pal Maxim Jakubowksi's new anthology Mammoth Book of Erotic Romance and Domination - which just came out! 

Friday, May 30, 2014

On Oh Get A Grip

This is very nice: the great folks at Oh Get A Grip - and I'm looking at you, Lisabet - asked me to write a little bit about writing, traveling, and my story "Wanderlust" from Love Without Gun Control - and, natch, I did just that:

Thanks again to the always-wonderful Lisabet Sarai for giving me another chance to reach out to the readers at the Grip.
This time Lisabet asked me to take a trip, so to speak. It's always odd, when you're a writer, to have a friend look at what you've written and point out ... well, 'things' that you weren't really aware of. For example, I recently learned that I like to start stories at dusk or dawn. That threw me for a loop, as I really had no clue I was doing that. Naturally when I write now I make a point of doing exactly the opposite...
But one thing I was both aware of and not really aware of is my love of traveling. I say aware and not aware because I know I write a lot about it – maybe too much, actually – but not aware because it wasn't until recently that I spent a bit of time roaming my own mind to find out why.
[MORE