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Back in Time: Ann Douglas and Elf Sternberg

By Franz Kafka

Photo (c) Copyright 2006 John Nemeth. All Rights Reserved.

Ann Douglas

When Ann Douglas started posting her stories to alt.sex.stories, back in 1994, some of her readers from today were doing first steps in learning to read. Others (like me) were barely legal and made their first steps in discovering the web. She posted about one and a half hundred stories since then, though she retired once, returned, and retired again (in 1998). In 1999 she was back and since then she luckily never stopped, though she has slowed her frequency during the last couple of years.

The quality of her writing is usually very high -- when Celeste was still active, most Douglas stories were reviewed and very, very few earned less than a 9 in average.

Her stories contain hot solid sex, vanilla style. No, you won't find 'nc' or 'bdsm' amongst her story codes. Ann doesn't like sequels too much: with some exceptions all her stories stand by themselves. Her oeuvre can be categorised into: heterosexual, lesbian, bisexual and fanfic.

The author of this column isn't much interested in fanfic, so about this category I don't have to tell much about -- but Ann wrote some very sexy stories featuring Lt. Uhura from the USS Enterprise. And I had a thing for the original Star Trek girls since they had been clothed so sexy. I was a pubertary teenager then and that gives you the idea what the original Startrek made me do. :)

Ann's heterosexual and bisexual stories contain a big variety of events, so the reader never gets bored. When Ann describes the female touch of love, she is doing her best work, IMHO. Most of Ann's stories don't begin straight off with explicit sex, but grow into a story with neatly drawn characters where sex eventually happens.

I am introducing three of her works; the selection isn't very representative, it isn't objective as well, however, I have selected three stories (actually four) which are different to the remaining.

"A Dark and Stormy Night" is, IIRC, the first story I ever read at usenet, though (or maybe because of) I think one of the best. It is about two young girls who spend the night together in a condo, while the mother of one of them as a result of severe weather can't join them. They are frightened, drink some red wine and things get hot. The next morning the mother arrives and discovers the empty bottles of wine...

"Adventures on Flight 109" is the rare case in which Ann wrote a sequel. In the initial story, a frequent flier passenger is comforting a newbie. A flight attendant figured out what was going on and nine years later -- both in the story line as well as for the time between the two stories were written -- Peggy Oxenberg meets one of the women again. The story and its sequel, "Memories of Flight 109", will be in my heart forever, mostly because of the green eyed protagonist. The sequel isn't done like Jaws-1-2-3-4, but you've to read to find out.

"Turning Point" is another (almost) one-and-only between the huge collection of Ann's stories; it is a story about two male falling in love. This type of story isn't well represented in ASSM and, being partly hypocritic and partly homophobic, I usually give that kind of story a pass. It was the author's name that made me read this story and it wasn't a bad decision.

If you read the stories I introduced before, maybe you don't like them, maybe you like them. No matter what: there is plenty much more to discover.

Ann Douglas' stories are archived at ASSTR, stored on her author's website at: http://www.asstr.org/Authors/~Ann Douglas.

Photo (c) Copyright 2006 John Nemeth. All Rights Reserved.

Elf Sternberg

Elf Sternberg is outstanding among the writer's of online erotica, even of online literature in general. Elf is one of the few online erotic story writers who doesn't use a pen name. He was already posting to the newsgroups when most of us hadn't hear about the Internet yet, in the late 1980's. He was one of the founders of rec.arts.erotica and is, to my knowledge the only writer of sex stories who is featured in the English language Wikipedia.

Mr. Sternberg is the creator of the large body of SF stories, the "Journal Entries", about two million words in total.

In terms of ASSD Sternberg's a living legend. And, he's still active, occasionally also in ASSD.

But Elf Sternberg is more than SciFi-sex stories, his writing is not just StarTrek meets Alt.sex.stories.moderated.

One of the first stories I ever found in the usenet, using Deja News, was Elf's "A Cold and Lonely Night in Agrabah", a short story posted in April 1993. It is a story in the style of '1001 nights', about Jasmine and Alladin and as the story procedes, the night isn't as cold and lonely as the title promised. (As a longtime reader of stories in usenet I can tell that most stories set in the Arab World feature non-consual sex. Considering "A Cold and Lonely Night in Agrabah", I conclude this is a pity.)

"Bloody Beth" is a story which was posted much later, in 2002, and consists of 10 chapters. It's a real pirate story, with fights and blood and deaths. Thankfully this story was reposted the time I announced the "Summer 2003 Pirate Challenge", though it wasn't an official entry. It's the story about Beth, a corsair(e), who catched Lady Jessica Speer for the ransom money. Meanwhile the beloved husband of the Lady is spending his time in a whorehouse. Well, I won't spoil too much, if I tell you, that the husband is an asshole (that's a typical ASSM cliché: husbands are either assholes or cuckolds, but hopefully there's a bunch of stories in which this cliché isn't true.) Our protagonist Beth is a visitor in the same whorehouse. Things get complicated -- also because of one of the working girls -- and there are yet some more interferencies until Beth and Jessica get together.

And the "Journal Entries"? Is it possible to review Tolkien's "Lord of the Ring" within a few lines? Ole Joe once said in his guide... "If you like your Sci-Fi with more sex, sometimes furry, than what you find at the local bookstore, look no further." I only wish that Elf had been the creator of Star Trek, you know, the original episodes with _Lt. Uhura_...

It might sound praising but Sternberg's writing cannot be ignored in ASSM, it's simply a must.

Franz Kafka can be reached at franzkafka79 [at] gmail [dot] com

PS: Elf also created another "special" couple of stories: "Aimee" and its sequel "Aimee in Pyu Rika". These stories are a kind of magic or fantasy stories but that's only my personal opinion. As far as I am concerned, that's not the stuff I like (if it wasn't Tolkien's LOTR). The sequel was written a row of years later than the initial stories.

Photo (c) Copyright 2006 John Nemeth. All Rights Reserved.

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