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Into the Sunset
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Written by Paul   
Friday, 18 November 2011 03:01
This is it, the last chapter of Sky Pirates of the Rio Grande.  I hope you have all had fun reading it, as it was a lot of fun to write.

Eden stood there while Belial got the crew moving.  She put her sword point-down against the deck and looked out into the smoke-filled sky until Zenobia came over and put a hand on her shoulder.

"You give mercy to that pendejo?  You will be sorry you did that."  She frowned.  "Are you all right?"

"I'm afraid to move, I think I may faint if I do," Eden said, her voice quavering.  "I'm shaking all over."

"Here, lean on me," Zenobia said.

"No, no I can't let anyone see how exhausted I am."  She looked up at Zenobia.  "Is Sally all right?"

Zenobia glanced over to where Sally sat on the deck beside the pterosaur crouched grumpily on the gunwale.  "I think she will live."

"Good."  She smiled weakly.  "Good to see you.  How did you end up here?"  She touched her wounded cheek and winced.  "Riding a pterosaur?"  She winced again.  "You think this will scar?"

"Yes, well.  A pirate captain should have a few scars.  It won't be the last," Zenobia said.


"Captain Kane,  I heard him say it."  She showed her teeth in a grin.  "It has a ring to it."

Eden smiled, winced again.  "I suppose it does, sort of."

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Next week we will have two bonus scenes, take Friday off, and then on the 28th we launch The Fox's Tale.  Don't miss.

Well Rounded
Written by Paul   
Thursday, 17 November 2011 05:56


By SteveR- on Flickr. CC 2.0 license.

After a while of writing lots and lots of smut, you start to really think about the effect it has on the other aspects of writing.  I have talked about the difference it makes having to manage two kinds of rising action, about finding tension in sex scenes, and dealing with details of sex in a character-driven manner.  All of these are kind of bitching about how much harder it is to write good smut than most people think it is, but this is a thing about it that is kind of awesome.

You see, when you write porn, there is no part of your character's life that is any longer off-limits.  If I wrote closely-observed novels about middle-class infidelity in urban New England then this would be no surprise, but in the kinds of genre fiction we favor here (urban fantasy, steampunk, and soon to be third-world fantasy and superhero) a character's sex life is often something you don't hear much about.

There is a skein of prudery in genre fiction running back to its origins.  Howard always included a sexy girl as a love (or lust) interest for Conan and many of his other heroes, but always protesting in private that he wished he didn't have to.  He hated the sex object archetype so much he eventually invented the warrior woman of modern fantasy, kind of by accident.  Burroughs populated his worlds with naked women, but remained stuck in a Victorian ideal of virtue and chastity that allowed the naked women nothing to do but be menaced prettily.  Tolkien was the worst, as aside from the fact that there are children born, there is no sign that any of his characters ever have sex, much less talk about it.

Bitch Goddesses All the Way Down
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Written by Amanda Gannon   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 05:11
By magnetbox on Flickr.  CC 2.0 license.

The woman as bitch goddess is revered and feared precisely because she is aberrant.  Dystopian fantasies about planets full of high-heeled space vixens are powerful, popular, and perennial because they are driven not just by a reversal or alteration of how things are, but by a very real fear of dangerous women.

The fear is a huge part of the arousing nature of that fantasy.  If dominant women were considered a subset of normal, instead of considered deviants from normal, it would not look the same.  It still would be a powerful fantasy, just not as powerful, and I think it would make up proportionally less of the fem-dom fantasies.

There's nothing wrong with that fantasy, of course.  As I have said many times, your kink is your kink, and we have very little control over what gets us.

My point is that the popular image of dominant women relies on an image of them that in turn relies on Othering of women.  You can't have the dreaded, cold, remote punishatrix without the "distant" part . . . without keeping her at a distance.

That bothers the shit out of me.  Though we are coming around slowly, our society already views women as the "other" sex, even if that's benevolently casting them as the "fairer" sex, or in the case of ball-busting leather bitches, the fiercer sex.  It's never "Hey, some women like giving orders or providing pain, just like some men do.  It must be a human thing."  It's "Chicks who act like dominant men are aberrant and terrifying and the wrongness of their behavior is rampagingly sexy."  Girls suck at math.

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