Monday, October 22, 2018

Hard Drive: The Best Sci-Fi Erotica of M.Christian (#scifi #erotica #queer)

I have had the great pleasure of knowing M.Christian for about seven years now, and he still manages to amaze me with his fiction. What he writes is both science fiction and erotica, stories that could work in either genre, but which are elevated to a whole other level by the way they work together.

Part of what I love so much about M.Christian's stories is the fact that they do not rely on the novelty of new gadgets and leading-edge technology to create excitement. While technology is at the core of many of his stories, it is something that is taken for granted by the characters, with bodyswapping technology and cerebral implants of no more consequence than a cellphone. Instead, it is still the human element that drives them, the drive for passion, understanding, and acceptance that makes the stories so engaging.

Hard Drive: The Best Sci-Fi Erotica of M.Christian, offers up fifteen stories, some long and some short, selected from various anthologies and magazines over the years. Many will, of course, be familiar to fans of his work, but there are still gems to be discovered . . . and for new readers, this is just a lovely place to enter his world.

Rather than comment on all the stories, and risk spoiling the thrill of discovery, let me say a few words about my favorites.

PRÊT-À-PORTER is a new story to me, and it spoke to me like no other. Beneath the very cool science-fiction concept of a material that can become anything, from silk dress to leather corset, and which can anticipate your desires, your needs, and your moods, there is a very lovely story of self-discovery and self-confidence that resonated deeply.

STATE is a disturbingly erotic tale of a robotic prostitute forced to play out her client’s ‘daddy’ fantasies . . . except the robot is really a young woman who gets off on the technological deception as much as she does the fantasy.

TECHNOPHILE was probably the sweetest and the saddest of all the tales here, introducing us to a young man and his technologically enhanced lover, in a story where he literally cannot get it up because the batteries have run low in his exquisite Long Thrust phallic replacement.

[TITLE FORGOTTEN] was a tale of loss, pain, and healing, all set within a power-exchange dynamic that did not go where I expected, and which is all the more stronger for subverting those expectation.

THE BACHELOR MACHINE beautifully messes with our expectations, introducing us to what seems like a sweet story a young man who deliberately seeks out the affections of an obsolete and forgotten robotic prostitute, only to reveal that the relationship is far from what we are expecting.

A KISS GOODNIGHT is another of the stories that were new to me, a deeply thoughtful story of what it might mean to one day be intimately connected to everything and everyone around you, a part of a technological collective . . . and just who or what might be guiding us all.
It was a flashing, flickering, fairy kingdom of brilliant streaks, pops, swirls, cascades of illuminated data coming and going, evolving and learning, growing and refining ...
EVERYTHING BUT THE SMELL OF LILIES is the unsettling tale of a woman who plays dead for a living, offering herself up to serve the violent fantasies of her clients . . . only to get stuck in an ambulance with a necrophiliac

SUBSEQUENT STATE is the last new story for me, an emotional tale of growing up in a religious culture of hatred, violence, and intolerance in which one grieving man's perspective on life is redefined by one young woman . . . with the declaration of "My devotee, my worshiper, my lover, my supplicant" surpassing its blasphemous words to embrace its beautifully erotic sentiment.

PAINTED DOLL is just an excerpt, a single scene teased from a full-length novel, but I loved the imagery of it, the dialogue, and the way personas blend as roles clash. It is a dark story, and ends on a sad note, but it is fantastic.

Calling M.Christian versatile is a tremendous understatement. Extensively published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even non-fiction, it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, 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 in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. In erotica, M.Christian is known and respected not just for his passion on the page but also his staggering imagination and chameleonic ability to successfully and convincingly write for any and all orientations.


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