Monday, November 4, 2013

Reviews, Research, and the Quest for Filthy


Sacchi Green

Reviews, research. Research, reviews. My reading lately has been pretty much all for research and reviews. Well, mostly. Sometimes I get led astray.

For instance, I recently ventured into a series I’d previously shunned, Laurie R. King’s novels that imagine Sherlock Holmes, after he supposedly retired to raise honeybees in Somerset, marrying a much younger woman with talents nearly equal to his own. And, yes, together they fight crime. As a Holmes purist, I’d shunned the books even though I’d heard good things about them. But I’m doing research for a science fiction story set on Dartmoor in the nineteenth century (steampunk, not erotica,) so when I saw a recorded book version of King’s The Moor in the library, it seemed like a good source for some atmospheric background. Besides, I could listen to it while driving, and I loved The Hound of the Baskervilles. So now, of course, I’m hooked on the series and have read two more of the books with no valid excuse of research, when I really need to be studying Nicola Tesla and other early experimenters with electricity. (The anthology I’m aiming for is called Daughters of Frankenstein.)

My most recent book for review, assigned rather than chosen, was, indeed, erotica, for the review site Erotica Revealed (www.eroticarevealed.com.) This was an e-book anthology from the Harper Collins Mischief imprint, Do Not Disturb, quite a good selection of stories on the classic theme of hotel sex. I won’t go into detail--you can check the review if you find hotel sex irresistible--except to say that the pieces I enjoyed most were those about the people working at hotels, rather than those visiting them. I had hoped to be assigned a book that I’d already read recently, Alison Tyler’s Dark Secret Love, but I’m actually happier that Lisabet did that review because she did it much more justice than I could have. I’d already done a very brief review of it when I hosted Alison on my blog (http://sacchi-green.blogspot.com) as one stop on her blog tour. A truly remarkable work, semi-autobiographical, about submission and sex. Do check out Lisabet’s review on Erotica Revealed.

Possibly I can make a case for the book I’m currently reading to be classed as research. Or maybe not. It’s Giselle Renarde’s (yes, our Giselle) Adam and Sheree’s Family Vacation, published by eXcessica and banned by Amazon for involving incest. I could say that I’m researching what sort of thing Amazon bans, but it’s actually more a case of figuring out what people mean when they describe erotica or porn as “filthy” (in the best possible sense of the word, of course.) Giselle has described the book and its sequel that way, and I hear it from other terrific writers as well, but I’ve never been sure exactly what they meant. Incest, while ill-advised if procreation is involved, doesn’t seem to me to be inherently any dirtier than other couplings as long as its consensual. Anal sex certainly runs the risk of being unhygienic if precautions aren’t taken, but I’m pretty sure the term “filthy” applies to a broader range of activities. Maybe it’s just a way of saying extra-hot, which Giselle’s book certainly is, but more likely it refers to the heightened tension for the characters when societal taboos are being breached. Giselle’s sex scenes—well, pretty much all the scenes are sex scenes, and exceedingly well done ones—are bursting with tension, which, like friction, definitely produces vast amounts of heat Great stuff.

An irrelevant sidetrack: tonight on Facebook I saw one of those silly memes that ripple through the community from time to time. You’re supposed to take the title of the book you’re currently reading and add “with a chainsaw.” Hmm. Adam and Sheree’s Family Vacation with a Chainsaw. I haven’t quite finished the book, but there haven’t been any chainsaws yet. If any do appear, though, I have every confidence that Giselle manages to make them very hot, and definitely filthy.

     



10 comments:

  1. So Mischief has an anthology of hotel stories called Do Not Disturb? That's a ripoff! Rachel Kramer Bussel edited one with the same title less than five years ago!

    (Thanks for the compliment on my review!)

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    1. yeah, i was confused about this too. i guess it's a common enough title, but it was funny to see. especially since Rachel was the editor for the Cleis Press antho (which has a story of mine in it) & a contributor to this new one. when i saw the title i was all excited because i thought you'd reviewed the one i'm in, Sacchi...but that one was years ago ;)

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    2. Amanda, your story in the Cleis DND is an old favorite of mine!

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    3. Lisabet, Rachel has a story in this book, quite a clever one involving sex by Skype, so I'm assuming everything was arranged to her satisfaction.

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  2. I'm interested in your question about the word "filthy." I think that when I use that word, I mean writing that revels in the dirtiness of the sex without making any effort to redeem it, pretty it up, or couch it in literary terms. That's not to say that filthy sex writing can't be literary, pretty, or redemptive, but the sex writing that I'd describe that way is very unashamed and unapologetic. It places the hotness as the top priority.

    In any case, Adam and Sheree's Family Vacation sounds like excellent research!

    @Lisabet I noticed the same thing. RKB has a story in the antho, though, so she's at least aware of the repeated title.

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  3. i know people like to differentiate between pornography & erotica, but to me it always seems like a value judgement. porn is supposed to be stroke stories only while erotica is supposed to have depth is what the common distinction is. to me it is a case of a value judgement only. i've read some so-called erotica that was about as deep as a finger of scotch & so-called porn that stayed with me for ages, made me question all sorts of things, in other words led to fathoms of depth...

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    1. Thank you for saying that, Amanda! I totally agree and I'm not afraid of calling my work porn, filth, smut, erotica. It's like anything else: if it's well-written and appeals to the reader, that's what's important.

      There's been a lot of "I write erotica, NOT PORN" especially since Amazon et al have ramped up their censorship efforts, but I'm not jumping on that bandwagon.

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  4. Gonna have to get a peek at Giselle's take on family values. Wheee!

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  5. I'm always saying, on Twitter, that my banned books are my best books. They're infinitely hotter than anything else I've written, and not by intent. It just seems to happen that way. They have a drive to them, just this filthy, unabashed insistence that nothing else I've written has.

    And I'm not shy about recommending my banned books. Adam and Sheree's Family Vacation and the sequel, Adam and Sheree's Family Business, (and coming soon, the threequel, Adam and Sheree's Family Christmas) are available from eXcessica's EDEN store (that's where they keep the taboo stuff), Barnes & Noble, Smashwords... maybe a few other places. Banned by Amazon.

    No chainsaws. Sorry.

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