Tuesday, September 17, 2019

An erotic tale of a dark world - #NewRelease #Dystopia #erotica

The Last Amanuensis cover

One of the things I love about blogging is that it forces me to do things I’ve been putting off. Nothing like a deadline to get you off your butt, right?

My dystopian erotica piece The Last Amanuensis went out of (digital) print months ago when the publisher closed down. I kept thinking I should re-publish it, but other writing and publishing projects always seemed to take priority.

Then came this month’s theme. I wrote about this story in my post on the 3rd and said I hoped it would soon be back in print. Well... now it is!

This is a pretty literary story. There’s sex, but it doesn’t have the rollicking, anything goes quality of some of my more recent work. Furthermore, the ending is definitely not happy. Still, re-reading it made me happy. The story does what I intended.


Poetry is like bloodyou cant hold it back.

The Emperor has decreed that Reason will rule in his lands. Art and literature are banned in favor of military technology. The fearsome Preceptors prowl the capitol, arresting anyone who dares, even secretly, to engage in forbidden activities.

A former teacher and frustrated writer, Adele is grateful for her job as secretary to the enigmatic Professor. During the day, she transcribes his learned treatises on a vast range of topics. Then he calls her to his room one night, to give her a more difficult and intimate assignment, one that risks both their lives.

Excerpt (Non-erotic)

I saw relatively little of the professor during the week. He spent his days in his basement laboratory, which was strictly forbidden to me, or shut away in his study, presumably filling new notebooks with observations and innovations that I would eventually be required to type. I'd leave my neat stacks of typewritten pages on the table outside his door so as not to disturb him. I worked in the small parlor across the hall and took my meals in the kitchen with the taciturn cook.

On Sundays, however, he and I dined together. After a glass of sherry, his chilly manner thawed a bit. He'd quiz me about the information I'd been transcribing, initially to see if I understood what I'd read, but later to solicit my opinions.

He asked me other questions, too, questions that bordered on improper.

Who is your favorite novelist, Adele?

My heart executed a sudden somersault. Was he trying to entrap me?AhI'm not sure, sir. Of course I haven't read any fiction since His Excellency rose to glory and urged us to abandon such frivolous pursuits.I scanned his face. The deepening creases at the corners of his eyes belied his serious tone.

But you did read, when you were in your teens, did you not? Before the Ascension? A mind as nimble as yours must have devoured everything you encountered.

My fear ebbed, though I remained wary. Meanwhile, his compliment kindled a warm glow in the pit of my stomach.Yes. I did read a lotbefore.His lips twitched and his icy gaze softened, inviting my confidence. I basked in his rare, concerted attention. His interest, the sense that he viewed me as worthy, urged me to recklessness.I used to write, too. Crazy, fantastic stories about impossible quests and eternal love.

The smile I'd heard in his voice finally bloomed.I'm not surprised in the least. Nor am I shocked, Adele. Be reassured of that.To my astonishment, he covered my hand for a moment with his own. His cool, dry palm whispered over the backs of my fingers before withdrawing. Blood heated my cheeks, as if I were still the young girl we were discussing, and a disturbing heaviness grew between my thighs.

Theyahwere silly things,I stammered.Trash. A waste of mental energy, as the Emperor has said.

But you poured yourself into those tales, I'm sure. They were part of you.Those crystal-blue eyes of his gleamed, luminous behind his glasses.

A new wave of panic swept me. What was going on? I pushed my chair back from the table, eager to excuse myself and end this disturbing conversation.If you'll excuse me, sir, I'll retire now. I've something of a headache.

For an instant I thought he'd stop me. Then his smile fled and his body collapsed into itself, his advanced age suddenly obvious.Very well. I'll see you tomorrow. But tell mewhat happened to those fantastic stories of yours?

My throat constricted around an impending sob. I could scarcely get the words out.

I destroyed them, of course.

My employer regarded me gravely.Right. Of course.

Buy Links

Only available at Amazon and Smashwords at the moment. I’m hoping the other outlets will be picking up the title soon.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Locking Up the Crazies

by Jean Roberta

I haven't written much dystopian fiction, and nothing that's been published, but I can foresee various ways that the world could end, or at least that all human societies could be further divided through the gradual humiliation and eventual elimination of those considered undesirable.

We've seen how this has applied to various ethnic, national, and religious groups. Those who are devalued are automatically considered less believable than Class A citizens, so their suffering has to be witnessed by others outside the target group to be credible, or it has to take the undeniable form of a pile of corpses.

Anyone the establishment wants to put away can either be defined as a criminal or as mentally defective and therefore in need of "treatment." I'm not sure which is worse.

About ten years ago, I wrote the following short piece and sent it to Alexandra Wolfe, a sci-fi writer who ran a site, The Spec-Fiction Hub. She seemed to accept it for posting on the site (as far as I could tell), but my piece never appeared.

After the Cure

In 1961, the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights of the Committee of the Judiciary of the U.S. Senate conducted hearings on “The Constitutional Rights of the Mentally Ill.” Francis J. Braceland testified: “It is a feature of some illnesses that people do not have insight into the fact that they are sick. In short, sometimes it is necessary to protect them for awhile from themselves”

(an actual passage from Constitutional Rights of the Mentally Ill, quoted by Thomas Szasz in The Manufacture of Madness, 1970.)

How far medical science has progressed in less than two centuries. Now, in 2065, “we the people” have outgrown the awkward process of electing a government, supposedly so characteristic of an adolescent state of development. The disease of free will has almost been eradicated.

In my youth, I had a favourite T-shirt that said: “I’d rather wallow in my pathology.” I would venture outdoors with this slogan spread proudly across my breasts. Of course, they took it from me when I was committed.

I hope this message reaches you. I don’t have much time left. I learned that I am scheduled to be euthanized in thirty days. I was diagnosed with Feminine Senescence (being an old woman) years ago, and now it’s been determined that my condition is terminal. There is no point, according to the Director of the Clinic, in forcing me to suffer until I die of natural causes.

What they don’t say is that the government can’t find a use for me, since I can’t have babies who would raise the declining birthrate. No new fruit of my womb will be socialized according to the principles of Mental Health or report all signs of illness in their mother to the proper authorities. I won’t be missed by anyone who counts.

So many of those I loved have gone. Most didn’t go willingly. Some were diagnosed with Feminine Juvescence (being young, immature women), some with hyper-pigmentation of the skin. Most of those I miss were found guilty of sexual perversions, including a desire for sex without a corresponding desire for pregnancy. Those diagnosed with Masturbatory Insanity were euthanized first. Last year, the World Health Organization announced that thanks to an effective educational campaign, masturbation has been wiped out.

I fervently hope I get to see my loved ones again, somewhere beyond the physical world. I don’t really know if there is an afterlife. My willingness to consider the possibility has been written up as a sign of Senescent Heuristic Impairment.

If, against the odds, this reaches someone who has not yet been brought in for diagnosis and treatment, here is my advice and my blessing: believe your own senses, and cherish your feelings. Don’t let them tell you what to think, and what your experience really means. Cling to hope, even when all the evidence is discouraging, and your closest companions tell you (for your own good, of course) how neurotic you are.

As they said in the Dark Ages of universal madness: Where there’s life, there’s hope.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Apocalypse Postponed

Sacchi Green

Nooooooo… I don’t want to think about apocalypse, dystopia, anything like that. I’ll face up to those…maybe…when it’s my turn to discuss the topic. But this is my day for promo, and, while I don’t write apocalyptic fiction, I do occasionally face up to some pretty dark situations. In this story, “Danger,” I manage to include shades of war, a certain degree of PTSD, extreme violence, and, at the very same time, an historical event when resistance triumphed.

Here’s about half of the story. All of it can be found in my anthology Lesbian Lust, and also in Thunder of War, Lightning of Desire: Lesbian Military Historical Erotica.
Lesbian Lust
 Thunder of War

Sacchi Green

Sex. Anonymous, no-strings, cunt-clenching, blast-furnace sex, enough to get me through a few more months of repression. That’s all I was looking for. But deep down, it wasn’t that simple. What I needed was danger, or pain, or pleasure; anything intense enough to fill the void.  
Cruising Greenwich Village wouldn’t block out flashbacks to Vietnam. Not a chance. But the war had cursed plenty of us with more than nightmares and memory lapses and the whole PTSD bag. Only somebody who’d been there could understand the addiction, the need for adrenaline highs. Sometimes sex was the closest you could come. If you got really, really lucky, it might even make you forget for a while.
After a year at a field hospital at Pleiku in the boonies and six months at the main facility in Long Binh, I'd finally been rotated “home” and assigned to an Army orthopedic ward. It didn’t feel like home. I didn't fit stateside any more, didn’t fit anywhere, and over there the war still ground on into a future I wanted no part of.
There wasn’t much of anything I did want, except enough of what passed for sanity to get me through my days. But I was needed; broken men who deserved far more depended on my care; and to keep from flaming out at my job I had to get away from it, if only briefly. So, on a rare weekend off, I took the train from DC to New York, and then the subway, rolling into the Christopher Street station at half-past midnight on June 28th, 1969.
Sweat, piss, and pot smoke soured the underground air. The street-level atmosphere was more breathable, but with an electric edge to it, a manic energy driving the crowds. I wasn’t the only one looking for trouble. Local talent and weekend wannabes, hippies, hustlers, aging beatniks, tourists sucking up the scene; they wound in and out of bars and side streets along Sheridan Square. Mostly guys, but a few women of interest caught my attention as I edged through the throng.
The fringe on a leather jacket brushed my arm in the crosswalk. A sideways glance showed me a lean, tanned face framed by black hair, small feathers tucked into each long braid. A swift jolt of attraction—but my interest would fizzle if the body beneath the Indian regalia turned out to be male. I couldn't make up my mind until I'd dropped back far enough to watch her hips and long legs. Nice ass under the worn jeans, slim, but definitely female. Hippie role-play getups usually leave me cold; on the other hand, a nice touch of sexual ambiguity heats me up, so she'd scored at least a draw.
Once on the sidewalk, she turned and eyed me with more than the usual speculation, as if she thought she'd met me somewhere. Or was considering trying that line of approach.
I needed some decompression time. My gaze drifted past hers with only the subtlest pause at her slim, strong hands, as brown as her face. Maybe later, if she turned up at one of the bars I’d be checking out. I kept on toward my friend's apartment just off the Square on Grove Street, and felt the stranger watching me, felt my own stride alter subtly. My ass tingled. Then I heard her boots on the pavement as she moved away in another direction.
The leather-fetish shop just up the way was closed, but I took a look into its brightly lit windows anyway, reinforcing the sense that no, Dorothy, we weren’t in Kansas any more, thank-you-very-much. Or in Washington DC at Walter Reed Army Hospital, although some of the S/M gear with its metal rivets and buckles gave me an unsettling flashback to the orthopedic ward.
I shook it off. Something different niggled at my mind as I dug out my keys and let myself in through the outer door. Kansas, Dorothy…a headline glimpsed at the newsstand in Penn Station… Oh, right. Judy Garland's funeral had been today. Maybe that explained the crowd's tension, maybe not. I hadn't been a huge fan, but still… I paused for breath on the fourth floor landing, and murmured sincerely, "Thank you, Dorothy, really, thank you very much." Then my key clicked in the old lock, and I went on in.
My college friend, off in Kenya now with the Peace Corps, still hung on to her rent-controlled apartment. I chipped in for occasional weekends. The anonymity of the city suited me, and the edginess of the Village. Not to mention the potential for sex, with all its dangers. Okay, especially with all its dangers.
By ten past one I was showered and ready to roll. Jeans and a denim vest over a gray T-shirt, auburn hair just brushing my earlobes. Not advertising, exactly, but not discouraging anybody who might be shopping.
Sheridan Square was boy-bar territory. I took a look around, though, the memory of the tall stranger percolating to the surface of my mind. The notion of slipping my hands under that fringed suede jacket took on considerable appeal. The thought of her fingers under my own shirt roused my nipples to parade-ground attention. Had I missed my chance?
The crowd was even edgier now. Some folks went about business as usual, whether strutting or furtive, while others clustered in muttering groups. I paused outside the Stonewall Inn. The usual go-go boys didn't interest me, although some of the drag queens could be as much fun to watch as high femmes, when I was in the mood.
But flashy drama wasn't on my wish list tonight. I needed the touch of smooth, unscarred skin, the press of an unbroken body needing no more healing from me than the frenzy of mutual friction could provide. I needed a woman.
No drama? So what the hell am I doing on the streets of Greenwich Village after midnight?
And there it came, like the answer to a subconscious prayer. Four black-and-whites and a paddy wagon squealed to a halt in front of the Stonewall Inn. Cops poured out like circus clowns, rushing to get an eyeful in the bar before the "degenerates" slipped out the back.
It was a regular routine. A flurry of arrests, a few fleeing customers who couldn’t afford to be outed, some stiff fines, and then business as usual by the next night. But this time was different, and if you travel in the circles I do, or even if you don’t, there’s no need to explain the difference. Stonewall is in the history books.
My first instinct was to back off and head for more likely hunting grounds. Other folks seemed to have the same reaction, and the square was emptying fast. I walked a few blocks, going with the flow. But then the sirens of police reinforcements tore through the heavy air, and, instead of accelerating our retreat, turned the tide. Why did they need reinforcements? Something was happening. Something we didn’t want to miss.
Back in the square screams and shouts and the crash of breaking furniture came from the Inn. A tangle of cops with billy clubs and drag queens wielding lethal spike heels came flailing out onto the sidewalk. The queers were fighting back!
And so, suddenly, was the crowd, scream by scream, stone by stone, chaos racing on a torrent of long-repressed rage.    
I was near the front, with no thought but to ride the wave of excitement, until I saw her thirty feet away. Dark braids flailed like whips as four cops tried to drag her toward the paddy wagon. I stared, caught her eye, and for an instant she flashed me a cocky grin, the fire of battle flaring in her eyes. She wrenched one arm free long enough to give me a “thumbs up” sign. That brief glimpse of her hand hit me where it counted.      
I swerved on impulse to charge to her aid, but a bottle shot past me from behind and exploded against a wall. War-zone reflexes slammed me to the pavement. When the crowd closed in it was move or be trampled, so I struggled upright and moved. By then there was no sign of her, and the cops were crouching behind their vehicle.
For an hour or so I hung around on the periphery of the action, not quite feeling like I had a right to be in the front lines. I’d never been hassled by the law, and in the military I’d kept a low, clean profile because my nursing was needed. Or so I told myself. Now I played medic to a few victims of shattered glass and pavement abrasions, applying disinfectants and band-aids from an all-night drugstore and ice packs rigged up in nearby bars. In between I cheered on the drag queens and pretty boys and bears of all flavors who turned the tables on the cops until the boys in blue had to barricade themselves inside the Stonewall Inn and call for more reinforcements.
Once in a while I caught distant glimpses of long black braids and a fringed jacket in the heart of the fight, where uprooted parking meters and benches were being used as battering rams to try to get at the police pinned down inside the tavern. She’d got loose, of course. Whenever I tried to get closer she disappeared into the shifting masses.
Frustration gnawed at me. All geared up, and nowhere to go. I’d come looking for sex, and the charged, manic atmosphere just pumped up my need, but this time groping in a secluded booth at a girls’ bar wasn’t going to do it for me. Even a wrestling match in a grubby restroom would be too tame. Even…
“Hey, medic, over here.”
She was down a blind alleyway, slouching against a wall just at the blurred border where dim light gave way to darkness. Her fringed jacket was off, and slung over one shoulder.
Medic. She must have seen me patching up the wounded, but I hoped she wanted something more than first aid. Either way, I didn’t hesitate for an instant. “Are you okay?” I didn’t see any obvious signs of injury even when my vest brushed against her sweat-streaked tank top. “What do you need?”
No smile now, just a long, searching look into my eyes. My breathing quickened. So did my pulse rate, and an aching knot of need tightened my groin.
“What do you need, medic?” It wasn’t a question. Her voice was low, husky, and certain. My answer was a half-step forward that brought me up firmly against her. One thigh pressed into her crotch. I straddled her slightly raised knee. Just a little more pressure, the slowest of movements…the need was building, along with the haunting fear of giving in to a need for more than I could get.
A glare of blue light flashed past the end of the alley as a cop car sped by. My back was exposed, vulnerable. What if I were caught, arrested, disgraced, fired…
The prickle of fear down my spine made my pulses beat even faster, my body strain harder to feel the responding pressure of hers. I clutched at her back, my hands already under her thin shirt, raising it. Her arms were around me, and she gripped my ass, forcing me to move, to rub against her in a rhythm that demanded fierce acceleration.  “What do you need, what do you need,” she muttered over and over, a low, compelling chant, and all I could do was move faster, rub harder, feel her hardened nipples flick across my aching breasts, and slide my cunt along her thigh while my own thigh met her thrusts.
Distant crashes…panic threatening to take hold…but she edged a hand inside my jeans and wrenched all my awareness back to where our bodies merged. Her fingers slid through my folds into my hungry cunt, her thumb went at my clit with hard, sure strokes—and I plummeted over the edge, all defenses gone, all trust given, nothing mattering but to get more, and more, harder, please, more!—until the whole battery of sensations, fear, urgent need,  loss of control, came together in one massive jolt of pleasure.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Can't Write the Apocalypse

It should be easy for a writer to build her own apocalypse. After all I can kill off characters, torture them, give them mountains of angst and guilt, add a good dose of neurosis even psychosis while I have them do horrible things to each other. BUT, building my own apocalypse is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be.

Let me ask you this, is there anyone else out there who cringes and feels like they’ve been gut punched when they see one of the world’s beautiful cities overrun by monsters or destroyed by megalomaniacs, or natural disasters? Honestly, I can hardly stand to watch. I had to peek through my fingers at a good bit of the last Spiderman movie as Venice and Paris were laid waste, and then London! OMG! My home stomping grounds, please Gods, NOOO! 

I’ll admit it, I’m in possession of a good thick cynical streak that seems to get thicker as I grow older, and I’m enough of a curmudgeon not to be surprised when people suck massively. But I really count on that thin venire of civilization to keep down the suckage as much as possible, if only by the wonderfully neurotic power of shaming that manipulates us all with the need to look good in the eternal selfie for which we all unconsciously pose. I’m counting on that layer of subterfuge and denial to last at least until I’m well dead and gone, then if humanity fucks itself into oblivion, at least I won’t be around for the fun. In the meantime we all continue to be ashamed of some nebulous thing that we did or thought or are, as we continue to pose for the ever present camera while we dog paddle around in the sea of denial and escapism. 

There, you have it! The cynic has vented. Better the devil you know, I say. The thing that terrifies me about writing the destruction of the cities I love or the civilization which is the only one I’ve ever known is that in doing so, I have to come face to face with what we are beneath the subterfuge, what we are when we are naked, like the emperor, with no actual new clothes to cover the truth. I find that a terrifying place to be, as a writer. 

My best writing has always happened when I’ve written from the place of my fear, when I’ve opened Pandora’s box and peeked inside. But apocalypse, dystopia, that’s blowing the box a part and letting all hell loose. I’m not sure my fragile writer’s psyche can handle the outcome. All right, I get it, we already live in a dystopia. That’s the reason for the endless selfie and the avalanche of escapist gaming and media. The world of Ready Player Oneis more than the monster under the bed. Just because we cover up our heads, the monster is no less real. 

The destruction of a good bit of London through flooding is imminent if I am to allow the Muse her way in my next novel. But I’m not sure I can do it. I’m not sure I can open that box and just see what happens. Yes, I’m neurotic, yes, I’m a fear based person, but it’s just fiction, FFS! Why do I find it so difficult not to rejoice in just one more of the powers of god we writers possess? I don’t want to think about what humanity looks like once the venire is gone. I don’t want to think what I would look like once the venire is gone. While we all watched Mysterio destroy Venice and Paris and London, what we didn’t have to watch was the aftermath. Okay, I get it, there are lots of movies and books which are exactly that. The ones that take place in the distant future don’t bother me so much, because that’s no longer my world. The ones that follow on after the Mysterios and the nuclear holocausts and the manmade natural disasters, they’re a lot harder for me to deal with. Mysterio aside, the rest are only slightly more removed than the monster under the bed. Please, give me my social media world full of mindless entertainment and selfies that make me look like I’m not the guilt riddled neurotic that I am. Better confronting the world with memes and gifs than thinking too hard about a real apocalypse.