I've been talking for months and months about how I ought to add
a list of comics recommendations to the Coil. I've read a lot of
them, I have strong opinions about them, and Sturgeon's Law applies as well here (if not
better) as elsewhere. Here it is at
last. Suggestions for
titles I should add are eagerly solicited.
I was tweaking Nick Urfé (who's got
cuyahoga chapter that's even hotter and more confusing than the
others) about his blog and he turned around and tweaked me right back. "Why not admit it," he said, "you're doing a blog yourself."
"Nooooo! Nooooooo!" I screamed, rolling about histrionically and almost spilling my hefeweizen. "Well, sort of."
The word has acquired a certain amount of stigma. It's like cellphones at this point—if you don't have one yet, then you probably have objections to them—you haven't just not gotten around to it. I referred to a friend's blog yesterday, and he glowered at me. "It's a journal" he snapped.
At any rate, inasmuch as the Coil contains anything that could reasonably be thought of as a web log, it owes rather more to the example of, say, Peter Schultz than Rob Malda.
But here's a chattier than usual Recent Raves for you, Nick.
Speaking of journals, Sam Stern keeps a fascinating, rather poignant,
diary. He's a Brown dropout attempting to make his way in the
video porn industry in LA. He muses on the ways getting his dick
sucked on camera is and isn't satisfying and worries about whether
he's smoking too much pot. Sometimes I think he gets a little too thrilled with himself for being
a smart, introspective guy in a dumb industry, but his basic decency
and ruthless honesty makes it good reading nonetheless.
I got to referee a writing competition
between Selena Jardine and Desdmona last month, two writers who I very
much admire. It was the first time any of us had been involved in a Write Club duel, but I'm
extremely pleased with the results.
You know when you read an essay, and you keep muttering to
yourself, "Yeah, that's what I've been saying!" and "Yeah,
that's what I would have been saying if I were articulate
enough!" and "Yeah, that's what I would have been saying if the
point had ever occurred to me?"
No, huh? Well, it happens to me occasionally, and Nick
Urfé's thoughtful dissection of the immense cultural
value of the word "squick" is one of those times. Soem of what
he says is of interest only to our little online stories
community, and he does some good, incisive thinking about story
codes and what they're good for. Some of the essay, though, goes
to the heart of pluralistic sexuality, and how sexual
subcultures can get along with respect and tolerance.
Some heavy stuff, yeah, but always entertaining, and always
with a sense of humor.
Now I'm gonna cheat and recycle a couple of my reviews from
We don't know too much about the setting. A man and his wife are both working in some sort of mine when an explosion kills the lights and temporarily destroys the man's hearing. As he searches for his wife in the dark, he talks to keep up his spirits in this disorienting crisis.
What does he talk about? Duh, sex. His narration as he gropes around for his wife, not knowing if she can hear him, or even if she's alive, are vivid, hot, and affectionate, while managing to sound like natural dialogue, a very impressive accomplishment. Further, Ray manages to keep the sexual tension and the narrative tension simultaneously high.
The ending is a bit of a let-down--it doesn't show the level of
attention and outstanding craftmanship the rest of the story
does. But if you want to see a masterpiece of balance between
narrative, character, and sex, you can't afford to miss this
story. A Golden Clitoris nominee for Short Story of the Year
and Romantic Story of the Year.
Scorpio Madness by Green Onions (Chapter 12345678)
A playful, high spirited, thoroughly & inventively filthy, kinda romantic romp.
However, in addition to the codes listed, it features
fat-fetish, hair-fetish and smearing-fetish themes, wet sex, a lot of
rimming, a little femdom, and a lot of cannabis use. If
these squick you, you'll probably want to look
elsewhere. But if you can deal with them, I recommend this
fun and sexy story.
Apparently, once upon a time this story was accompanied
by illustrations. If anyone knows where they can still be
found, I would be very interested in hearing about it.
I try to shy away from this sort of geekery usually, but I
gotta say that Mozilla is the veritable bomb. Real live CSS2 support,
browsing, gesture recognition with Optimoz, strong encryption
with Enigmail, Shepherd Fairey-designed graphics—it's got
coolness oozing out of its ears, which may not be very sanitary, but
it is impressive.
I started doing the Current Raves intending to recommend lots of
meritorious and neglected new work. I'm ending up mostly recommending old
lowbrow smut instead. I'm gonna shy away from reaching any
conclusions about what that means for now.
Mr. Prime's particular area of interest is teasing and
orgasm-deferral, usually—but not always—of a younger
male by an older female. The stories include plenty of underage sex,
bondage, and humiliation, but the tone is always light and
playful. The stories are a pleasant, breezy read, and very, very hot.
One of the shocks for a neophyte reader of ASSM is that so
many writers, still, in the twenty-first century, are obsessed
with the sinister, atavistic power of a certain ethnic
minority. OddManOut's systematic skewering of this preoccupation
works extremely well as parody, and moderately well as porn.
okay, guilty pleasures time here folks. If you're looking for
intricate plots, nuanced characters, and believable situations you
are so looking in the wrong place. On the other hand, if you want
hot nasty lesbian bondage with a light and humorous touch, you
just struck gold.
I'm trying to mostly mention little-known stuff here, so I'm not
boring my readers with stories they already know all
about. However, I
think (if I may be so bold, Nick) that the much-lauded
cuyahoga series has some interesting affinities with my
Yacht Club project. In both cases, we have a very
style-oriented writer trying to loosen up and write something more
casual and porn-y. Nick's results are fascinating and atmospheric,
and often extremely hot. I hope, in my own way, I can do as well.
This is probably the best example of the kind of smut I would
like to write. Formally playful, readable, funny, and hot. A
perfect little brandy truffle of a story.
Katherine T. writes the most utterly real and convincing lesbian--no,
that's too narrow--the most real and convincing sexual encounters of
any sort that I can think of on ASSTR. Her characters are vivid, her
dialogue rings true, her sex scenes are realistic and varied.
I have this pet theory that the hallmark of great erotica is
that it manages to make readers share the author's kinks, at
least for the time they spend reading. Piss isn't usually an
interest of mine, but Jetstream's obsessive yet tongue-in-cheek
tales of schoolgirl urination and fornication manage to be some
of my favorite smut ever.
The above link is to the ones in Old Joe's collection--there
doesn't seem to be a definitive archive anywhere. These are a
small collection of humane, funny, vivid, and original BDSM stories
written in the early '90s.
Over-the-top porn with scat, SM, and pedo scenes, mixed with
the day-to-day details of an english schoolteacher's life. A
fascinating literary experiment, a new kind of epistolary
novel. A demonstration of the unique value of ASSTR--I can't
imagine this project appearing anywhere