Here it is―the Lambda Literary Award Finalist for best gay collection, Dirty Words. M. Christian’s extraordinary anthology shows just how hot and imaginative manlove erotica can be! From mischievous Native American spirits, to victims of cybernetic nightmares, these stories will enthrall, arouse, shock and―always―turn you on. They are all well-crafted tales, filled with what some people call dirty words and dirty men, and will touch you in ways you’d never expect.
I had an opportunity to sit down for an interview with the prolific author M. Christian, whose work encompasses a wide range of genres. What follows is an abbreviated transcript of our conversation.
At what age did you first get an inkling that you wanted to become a writer, and why?
“I’ve scratched my head about this quite a bit, and I think it boils down to two things. The first is escape: growing up, my family life wasn’t exactly pleasant so it’s kind of natural that I would have retreated into books, especially science fiction. Kind of makes sense then that one day I realized I actually might be able to write my own books and stories as well.”
“But the second reason is even more powerful: after hammering my head against blank pages for close to a decade I actually discovered I liked writing. Not for escape but because…well, I like to say it’s like playing an instrument must be like: the world just goes away and you find yourself transported into words, language, and story.”
“I still get headaches from smacking my brain against blank pages but after the swelling goes down I still get that transcendental thrill. It’s really what motivates me…that and the money that comes in every now and again, of course.”
BIONIC LOVER: AN EROTIC LESBIAN ROMANCE
With The 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 as well as erotica in innovative and stimulating ways. Here are stories voyaging to the near as well as the far future, exploring the ultimate limits of sex and arousal.
Reviewed by Jim Lyon
Although the book In Control is subtitled The Short Kinky Fiction of M. Christian, by today’s standards most of the 18 stories in this anthology aren’t all that kinky. That’s not to imply they aren’t well written, because they are. In fact, it would be safe to say that this collection of short stories has a decidedly cerebral and artistic flair not often found in erotica.
The themes of the book’s stories vary greatly in both style and genre – sort of a smorgasbord effect. Many are straight forward erotica, while others touch on BDSM and same sex relationships. Some are really more romantic than they are erotic, and a couple could be categorized as mood pieces with erotic overtones. My favorite is an excerpt from the novel Brushes, which is a tale about the brother of an elite artist whose resemblance to his sibling enables him to seduce numerous art students that mistake him for his famous brother. While it doesn’t contain much erotic content, it is an interesting and thought provoking read.
Whether or not readers will enjoy this book will depend largely on their sensibilities and what their expectations are. Overall it is a satisfyingly literate book that periodically includes well-crafted erotic scenarios. Masturbation fodder it is not.
The Right Word
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
— Mark Twain
No insult to Mr. Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens to his pals), but he’s a bit wrong there … but, more importantly, a lot right.