This is very special flashback: a lovely review of my science fiction/horror/just-plain-weird collection, Love Without Gun Control, by my wonderful pal, Billierosie .Thanks, sweetie!
I am a junkie! A poor pathetic thing, crawling up the walls, shredding fragments of wallpaper and plaster beneath my broken finger nails, screaming for my next fix. Hollow eyed, I plead with M.Christian for just one more story. He’s a hard man. He turns away, telling me it’s for my own good. Then finally, finally, he relents. And I blubber my thanks through a mess of snot, spit and tears.
M.Christian sends me LOVE WITHOUT GUN CONTROL. And like any true addict, I find a vein, stick in the needle and overwhelm myself with the fix.
I’ve read all of his stories. Every tantalising word he’s ever written. I worry that one day he’ll stop. No more stories. What the hell will I do?
You see he never fails to surprise me. His stories move seamlessly from straight erotica to gay erotica and now, in LOVE WITHOUT GUN CONTROL, he gives me a collection of science fiction and horror.
In ‘Needle Taste,’ there is haunting despair, from the disciples of Owlsley, a serial killer. They take mind bending chemicals to enhance his hideous deeds. His followers can’t leave him alone and live in a desperate, deadly fascination of what has happened to those he has brutalised and killed. Prair replays the final moments of Owlsley’s capture in his mind and repeats the killer’s mantra; “the only sin is letting them go unpunished.”
‘The Rich Man’s Ghost’, reads like a fable and Christian tells the story with the skill of Aesop. Hiro Yashido sees a ghost, and to see a ghost means doom. He has not only seen the ghost, the ghost has seen him. His wealth, his overwhelming success in high finance is nothing. He will have to embrace his worst nightmare, poverty. Hiro Yashido fears nothing. He has not achieved his great wealth by walking on tiptoe. But he does fear the ghost and it’s curse. Ghosts walk between the bite and the bytes of the datasea and they are jealous. Hiro Yashido works hard to dispel the ghost’s curse and the ghost ponders on whether, or not to release him.
‘Wanderlust’, takes us out on the road. The story reads like a classic ‘road’ film and we embark on the archetypal American journey. The landscape unfolds with panoramic camera sweeps; gasping, breathtaking images of mountains, snow, jagged peaks and windswept pines. A cheap doll, embodies the idea of perfection, of absolute love. It is conveyed to the driver in his own overwhelming, Christ like beauty. He stops at a roadside gas station. The people he meets are spellbound by the ecstasy of his beauty. But sheer love has its opposite and hatred, and ugliness and the abject fear it brings, must have its say. He wants to say sorry. But all that he can do is drive away.
In ‘Orphans’, Christian gives us a drifter, seemingly, a man without purpose. He hitches lifts and meets people. Is he running from something, or running to something? He doesn’t know. Or he won’t say. What is the virus they speak of; the wasting disease that has taken their loved ones? Is it loneliness? Or is it something else? He apologises, it’s all he can do. Is this an allegory, a story for our times? Christian doesn’t tell us; but he certainly makes us think.
As if all that weren’t enough, Christian retells the story of Robinson Crusoe in ‘Friday’.
Combining Daniel Defoe’s style with a futuristic slant, the traveller’s ship crashes into the earth. Like Defoe’s hero he is stranded, like him he has to improvise to survive and like him he has his Friday.
As I said earlier, what the hell will I do if M.Christian ever stops writing? There’s a gem here, a jewel, a real talent. Where does all of this come from? Where does he get his ideas and images? “…eyes as dark as knots in old trees…” “…titles for them were as irrelevant as trying to take apart a static charge before a lightening strike…” Beats me! I’ve saved the title story until last. ‘Love Without Gun Control,’ and I’m going to read it now! Excuse me while I drool!