"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting."
-- Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1753)
Mind Caviar, Vol. 3 Anniversary Issue, 2002
It appears that Mari Ness can find the erotic in any topic but where she really shines is writing stories of conflict. Several of the stories in this collection were about the break-up of a relationship or a verbal altercation, but instead of being frightening or maudlin, these stories dig down one layer and reveal the burning sexual passion beneath the fiery words.
Not all the stories are about tempestuous times, however. This well-rounded assemblage of stories shows Ness's skill with poetry, fantasy and experimental fiction. But the genre of the stories is not as important as the heat they uniformly generate. Ness can set a mood with a few words, then plunge the reader into a situation that might be dream-like, funny, tender, fiery, but always, always sexy.
Ness talks about more than just lust and heat, fire and passion. Her stories tell tales of sexual and emotional healing, of body image and acceptance, of transformation and myth, of achingly waiting, of wanting the forbidden, the dangerous, the alien. Every story is smoothly polished yet raw with emotion. There are no "clunkers" in this book. And the last story left me hungry for more.
If you enjoy heterosexual, lesbian and female bisexual stories of passion, fire and emotion, you should definitely check out Tongues of Fire by Mari Ness.
Lawrence Schimel has put together a stunning collection of gay short stories. Schimel has a flair with language that comes out in wonderfully dry puns and word play, deep characterization and vivid sex. In this collection of his own stories, he offers an unflinching look at many aspects of gay life. More than a heart-stoppingly steamy collection of erotica His Tongue explores the realities of AIDS and other STDS, prejudice, cruising for casual sex, long-term monogamous relationships, loneliness, group sex and more. Sex, eroticism and serious issues braid together into a coherent story thread that is as significant as it is sexy, as lusty as it is literary.
The stories in this collection range from tender to raunchy. Sometimes the characters have just met and other times they are in a close relationship and we join them after years together. "A Queer Christmas Carol" (a parody of Dickens's tale) especially stands out for its combination of humor, word play and eroticism. "Season's Greetings" tells a tale of holiday loneliness and companionship found in a most unusual way. "Frighten the Unicorns" is a hot, witty story about public sex and private desires. Ten other fabulous stories fill out His Tongue, each one my favorite ... until I read the next.
You don't have to be a gay male to love this book. I may be female, but I found that I was not at all impervious to the sexual heat in these all-male stories. If you like your sex full-blast and your stories cleverly wrought, you'll love His Tongue by Lawrence Schimel.
Remember those fabulously filthy pulp porn novels from the seventies? I couldn't help but think of them when I read Eve Locke's The Hooker and the Nun. Locke's novel is filled with raw erotic interludes that need little set up or justification.
The story follows two young women: Heidi, an innocent, virginal novitiate, and Diana, an all-American, wholesome teenager, on the brink of graduating high school. Obviously Heidi is the nun referred to in the title, but is Diana the hooker? No, Diana, too, begins the novel as a virgin. So who is the hooker? That's a bit of a mystery the author has added to the story to keep her readers turning pages.
I certainly kept eagerly turning pages. The story fascinated me and I just had to know how it was going to turn out. But I have to admit that, despite my fascination with the storyline, the book has several serious problems that are impossible to ignore. I leave it to potential readers to decide whether these are problems they can happily read around or not.
The Hooker and the Nun could have greatly benefitted from more time spent in the editing phase. I can ignore a misspelling or two, but this book has a great quantity of misspellings liberally scattered throughout the book. Eve Locke tells us that, "with the computer with spell and word check anyone can become an author," and she is right, to a degree. Spell check misses common errors such as mistaking "to" for "too," "you're" for "your" or "enigma" for "enema." Even the spelling of the characters' names changes from scene to scene, or sometimes within a scene. In one instance, a character even changed into another character partway into the scene, then changed back into the original character before the scene ended.
The dialogue was often difficult to decipher because the author doesn't set it apart with quotation marks, nor does she begin a new paragraph with each new speaker. The passage of time in the story is unclear, making it appear that people had made changes that would have required years in the space of a few days or weeks. Duplicate pages appear in several places in the book, before or after their proper location, resulting in reader confusion as the continuity falls apart momentarily only to gather itself back together again a handful of pages later.
The sex scenes are plentiful and hot despite the classic pulp porn device of pulling sex out of the air with little background to explain it. The "zipless fuck" is a classic feature of this style of writing and, in my opinion, adds to the charm of this book. There were other style issues I found slightly confusing, though they did not hinder my overall enjoyment of the story. The most noticeable of these was the author's tendency to describe female sexuality using the words and phrases we are used to hearing in reference to male sexuality.
"Her hardon was crying for attention, she wouldn't disappoint her pussy person, and again the caressing of her snatch brought her quickly to the point of an explosion. It happened again, and than another expulsion of her warm milky cum, her underpants couldn't hold it all, it flowed freely down her thigh, and dripped on the sandy ground."
In addition to the women's "hardons," they received "blow jobs" from other characters. Their orgasms, called "cumoffs," are described as spurting and gushing vast amounts of fluid and the ejaculate produced by female characters was described as "pearly," "creamy" or "grey" as well as "milky."
If you never liked pulp porn novels to start with, you might want to look for something else to read. The characters are often stereotyped and one-dimensional. However this, too, is a characteristic of the pulp porn genre. If, like me, you remember those pulp novels fondly, expect to feed your nostalgia with The Hooker and the Nun by Eve Locke.
Copyright © 2002 Magdalene Meretrix. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy
or post in whole or in part.
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