Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Roundup

Well, I *should* be getting ready for my trip, but first let me drop a little update here.

Dollmistress just shared some preview pics for one of the two games she's working on - and if you haven't played a Dollmistress game, you owe it to your fetish to do so. I'd start with Space Ditz, and then go for Miss Adventure, and *then* Overseer, but really you could do any order and be well served. I would definitely advise having a walkthrough or other guide ready to hand, though. DM plays for keeps. I finished Witcher 3 on 'Blood and Broken Bones' (I know, I know, casual) and I think I had to reload saves more often in Space Ditz.

I believe all three games are available via the forum over at the Hypnopics Collective.

As I say, she's got two new games currently bubbling away in development, and just revealed some delicious new pictures from one of them. One in particular caught my eye:

Now, I have no idea what's going on there, but in my mind that lovely lady is the voice of late-night radio WDRN, breathing sultry news and updates and taking calls from insomniac listeners who are well aware that secret cabals of mind controllers run all the major institutions of modern life, but aren't capable of doing anything about it.

Sort of like the late night lady DJ you can hear in the Vampire: Bloodlines game, the Deb of Night, only with discussions focusing less on vampires and more on the mind control drugs in the water supply and the secret ponygirl ranches in back-country Montana...

All right, it's Friday and that means time to scan the last week's comments for anything that requires answering by yours truly... ooh, looks like I skipped last week. Eh, I was busy prepping the Secret Files. So the last two weeks of comments.

I daresay the reappearance of 'Deeper Than You Think' therein addressed FZY1's observation from the 12th!

sohta was wondering about the number of issues left in the current story arc of CORE. That's easy: one! CORE #10 will wrap up this story arc, and CORE #11 will kind of sidestep to a different set of threads for a while. Same characters, but doing some different stuff. I do like the idea of the protagonists in one story becoming the antagonists in another, that's a good one. Interestingly, I was planning to do the opposite in 'Radiance' - Briaza, the antagonist in chapter one, would have been the protagonist in chapter two.

I am amused by the expressed skepticism, not to say dismay, from certain parties regarding the 'mind controllers lose' ending of Radiance.

Ziim seems to have been a hit. I only ever intended to write the bit as it stands - I'm not actually sure where I'd go with it, were it to continue. With superheroes you run into the problem that the heroes kind of keep ramping up in power, so either eventually they would defeat the Ziim simply by being too super, or the Ziim would win and that would be the end of that. As I say, I had no further plans in mind beyond the sexy vignette as it stands.

Half Shim - I shall give Notepad++ a try, I am familiar with regular expressions. Thanks!

Vanderbilt - but if the protagonists were all really smart *and* had super powers, how would I ever get them to fall into the mind controllers' clutches? No, no, I need those character flaws, hubris in particular, so that I can stop them from always winning!

And sorry about the jellyfish. :P

Hmm, and as for my unfinished stuff, it appears that what I should have been working on is a story about ponygirls *in* Middle Urth! Who knew?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tuesday Tabenings - Hands on the Periscope

Thanks for the comments on the first of the Secret Files! Glad to hear that people are enjoying them. Next month I'll post either the FACs or the Tuesday Tidbits. If you don't know what I'm referring to, there's an early post on the blog describing them.

As for new stuff, well... there's nothing going on. I actually have a trip coming up for the next two-plus weeks. Days will be super busy and nights will be in a hotel room; although in the past I've managed to do a little writing during these trips, there have also been trips with no writing at all, so don't count on anything. Seeing this coming up was the reason I wanted to get the CORE script over to Uzobono when I could. Don't anticipate much from me the next several weeks, though I believe CORE #10 will be available mid-July.

I shall try to update the Secret Files blog at least Fridays and Tuesdays, and hopefully more often as interesting things turn up.

I should figure out how to get a poll working. I'm curious which of my many 50% finished but unpublished stories people would most like to see me complete - the Middle Urth story, the modern-era ponygirl ranch story, Synthetic, Summer Flesh... obviously leaving off existing  commitments like finishing Pierced and Compromise, which I know I need to work on.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Secret Files: The First Installment!

And here they are! The first batch of actual Secret Files!

They took a little work to post because I write in Notepad - yes, Notepad - and use manual line breaks which keep the text in a fairly narrow column. This works great (apparently) when Simon converts the text for posting on the EMCSA, but for my purposes here I had to go through every line and kill the line breaks wherever they happened within a paragraph, which was often.

You're welcome!

First up we have 'Deeper Than You Think', from 2002. As mentioned, this was posted in Vice's Yahoo group back at that time - and he illustrated it for me with three fantastic hand drawings, which I have included!

Secondly, another Vice-related story, 'Ziim: Masks', from 2005. I wrote this one as a 'Thank You' gift for Vice, who had been posting (and has continued to post) wonderful Poser images of mind-controlled pretties for many years. I don't recall the specific pics which inspired the story, but there were some (Nov/Dec 2004 I suspect). And, conforming to the cycle of smut, Vice himself subsequently made some illustrations based on the story, which was based on his illustrations.

And thirdly, a never-before-seen (unless you are trilby else, in which case: call me) story: 'Radiance'. It's high fantasy with a butt-kicking heroine, crossed with Lovecraftian mind controlling horrors from beyond the stars. Sadly, it's only part one, but it stands on its own pretty well.

So, enjoy! Let me know what you think!

I'm serious! More feedback = more Secret Files! Less feedback = fewer Secret Files! That's right! I can take them away! Mwah hah hah!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tuesday Tabenings about Ten

Good News, Everyone!

I just sent Uzobono the completed script for CORE #10. Huzzah! As mentioned in an earlier post, our workflow is basically I send a chapter, she renders it while I write the next chapter, etc. I have thus now sent her the final two chapters - AND I edited all the prior text in light of the renders she's already made. So things are nearly wrapped up from a writing perspective.

Unfortunately, of course, Uzobono is still in Kuala Lumpur on CIA business otherwise occupied and won't be back to rendering for a few more weeks. But from my side, everything is essentially finished and were I you I would expect an early-mid July release.

On other smut-writing fronts, no news is bad news. Haven't gotten back to 'Pierced', or anything else.

FZY1 observed that my story 'Deeper Than You Think', about hypnotic jellyfish, doesn't appear to be available over on the EMCSA. That is actually a total oversight on my part. I wrote that story over a decade ago and it was awesomely hand-illustrated by Vice, and posted on his Yahoo group of the time.

I had always intended to subsequently publish it on the EMCSA, but wanted it to spend a sufficient amount of time being released only on Vice's group after he was sooo cool as to illustrate it, you know, as sort of an exclusive.

Then apparently I forgot to actually ever publish it on the EMCSA. Who knew?

Anyway, I tell you what I'm gonna do - this coming weekend I will post the first of the Secret Files, and one of them will be 'Deeper Than You Think'. I'll provide the illustrations if I can find them, otherwise we'll have to beg Vice to dig them up.

I'll also put up 'Ziim - Masks', another story I wrote in the same era, inspired by one of his Poser renderings of the time. You can still find it around, but I think I'll also put it here.

Of course, although unavailable for a while, those are pieces that people have seen. Maybe there should be something new, for the folks that alerted me to those stories' absence, and thus, have already read them. Let's see... here's a piece from 2010 called 'Fetch', about faeries and magic boots and suchlike. It has Perytons in it! Hmm, unfinished though, and really it needs some more work towards the end. Ah! Here is 'Radiance'. That's pretty much a complete chapter; I was going to add more but never did. Still, it stands alone pretty well. And I daresay none of you have ever seen it.

So there! Three actual Secret Files, coming to the Secret Files real soon.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Commentariat Roundup

Ho-kay, let's give this 'mailbag' proposal a try. If I do this regularly, it shouldn't become too challenging. Of course, since I *haven't* been doing it regularly, there's quite a backlog at this point. I think if I were to start from the beginning, it would be overly daunting, so I shall start from now and work backwards. I may or may not get very far. Will start from this post next time.

Note: my policy is to only comment where I have something pertinent to add; if your comment stands nicely by itself, I shall simply enjoy it without the post needing any validation.

Comments on 'Happy Endings':

Anonymous, on switching between first and last names in 'Pierced': Well, all I have to say is that you should think twice before reading any Tolstoy! I did in actual fact have to create a cheat sheet because the characters each had half a dozen ways of being referred to. But it's a valid problem; I need to balance the way in which the characters think about each other with the reader's need for quick recognition. Here again if the story got more than two or three edits, things would be better.

Saint Germain, on the protagonist coming to like what's happened to her: Well, yes. :) That's very true; I aim for what I call the 'Tabiconic Happy Ending': everyone at the ending is happy, as horrified as they might have been earlier in the story. You're quite correct.

Half Shim, on preferring the MC victorious ending: Good! In a similar vein, trilby else used to observe that (for us) e = mc, namely, the eros *is* the mind control, and vice versa. Physical sexy times are all well and good and yummy, but it's the mind control that's the erotic element of the story, so if you undo it at the end you've kind of done a take-back of the erotic power in the story.

Comments on 'June Tabenings and Etiquette and 'Seed' thoughts':

Anonymous, on coming off as crazy and/or me getting too many emails: I do not get too many emails. :) Also, your post was just fine. And I just bought Stellaris myself!

Saint Germain: Aww, you make me blush.

Frank, on trilby else and Psi: I had not seen that bit of art! So awesome! I reblogged it. As for trilby else... well, he became depressed about various things in his life and decided that his persona writing mind control smut was not helping, so he stopped. He had always been extremely protective of his real identity and only ever had the one point of contact, an email address via an anonymizing service. So... I dunno. He decided he was done, and that was that. I truly hope he has been having a good life since then.

Comments on 'Mmm latex':

Let's see, one 'undecided', two votes for seeing some unfinished stuff, and a vote for more 'Compromise'. Hmm, I dunno. I make no promises about 'Compromise', but lemme see about putting 'Codi' or 'Fake Ones' or maybe something else up here later this month.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Happy Endings

I am pleased by the suggestions for comment-response that are coming in; so far the "mailbag" approach seems to be the most reasonable given my predilections, so I'm leaning that way, unless I can figure out some blogspot gadget that would allow me to do something a bit more precise.

Now to the point of this post. Someone over on 4chan (a wretched hive of scum and villainy, which is probably why I am over there so much) observed that my stories tend to be sort of boring because the villains always win. In fact, let me quote:
The biggest and really only problem with Tabico is that all his/her stories read the same.

People act deliberately stupid, X character never had a chance, and every ending is a bad end.

Why not a story where the characters are smart? Why not a story where the villains don't just pull out a surprise trick? Where they aren't just going to win all along?

Why not a happy ending?

Now, some other anon posted a very intelligent and reasonable response to the question, but I figured I would also dive into it myself. Obviously, the first thing to say is that, like most stereotypes, the claim isn't entirely true - Winter Flesh, for instance, has a classic 'good guys win' happy ending. I daresay some of my other stories do as well. And I try my best to write intelligent characters; they're usually just outgunned, or unprepared, but not stupid.

But, like most stereotypes, there is truth at the core of the statement; I do write stories where the Evil Mind Controllers win. It's true; it happens again and again. And it's going to keep happening, and I do wrestle with the fact that if the reader comes to expect the bad guys to win, the story might get boring.

And there's a simple reason for it - when I come from (yes, 'when'), stories where the mind controller won didn't exist. So I very purposefully set out to create them.

I came up on Saturday morning cartoons. (This dates me, by the way. Saturday morning cartoons no longer exist.) Over and over we'd watch characters get mind controlled - which, for budding fetishist like me, was so confusingly erotic - and then by the end of the episode it was all reversed and everyone was back to normal. It happened in movies, it happened in books, you name it. The heroes always won; the mind control was always defeated, although in adult-focused media such as films the specific individuals who were controlled would generally meet bad ends while the protagonists went on to defeat the evil forces.

(Aside: William Lee once had a 'Saturday Morning Mind Control' site that put together a fantastic list of these cartoon mind control moments. Is that still around? *googles* No, no... hmm, some other person wrote a book with that title. Unrelated. Darn, it appears to be gone. Maybe the Wayback machine... ha! God damn I'm good. Saturday Morning Mind Control, from 2005. Sadly none of the links work, but you can see the list. Good God, it even has a quote from me!)

So when I went to write Mind Control Porn, I wanted to redress that balance. The forces of Evil Mind Control win in my stories, by jingo, partly because IMO that's hotter, and partly because they never, ever did, when I was growing up. It was a balance that needed redressing.

What's interesting to me is that we're now getting a generation of readers who are being exposed to stories like mine (and a lot of other writers) and who don't share that assumption. Who are, in fact, experiencing our stories and wondering why the good guys never seem to win. Who may, ironically, go forth to write stories where the good guys do win because they want to redress the imbalance that I and my ilk have created.

Which is fine. And I will see if I can have the good guys win a little more, just to keep things interesting. Of course, I can also split the difference, e.g. 'Lens'. Did the good guys win? Did the bad guys? Sort of both.

In the end, what's important is that someone resurrects that Saturday Morning Mind Control site.

Pierced Art

Yay! Frank observed on the previous post that Psi created some 'Pierced' fan art over on Hypnohub - which I hadn't seen - and it's awesome! I am super chuffed. Check it out.

I am always tickled when artists create pieces based on my work, particularly when they are awesome like this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June Tabenings and Etiquette and 'Seed' thoughts

As regards the Tabenings, I am sad to report no smut writing (so far) this week. Real life kicked into high gear round about Friday and for the moment shows no sign of letting up. Do not expect the conclusion to 'Pierced', or anything else, this coming weekend.

Now, I'd like your suggestions about something. People have been leaving comments on the blog, which makes me very happy. They are good comments and I treasure them. Like all responses to my words, I hold them close to my heart and they warm me. However, I'm not sure of the optimal way to respond to them.

I'd rather not go back to each post and respond to the comments one by one. That's not scalable, I think. It has been my habit since my very first story to try and reply to every bit of email I receive. I really like getting email/feedback and I figure if people are kind enough to send it to me I should encourage them to do so. I've failed a few times, but I think in all honesty I have replied to over 90% of all emails ever sent to me (not counting follow-up emails, just initial ones).

But it seems weird to me to respond to blog comments that way, one at a time. It bulks out the comment lists in a way that seems forced and artificial. Is there some way to keep a running "response" column in a sidebar or something? I could do a gazette sort of thing, responding to all the recent comments in a blog post, but posting that as a "regular" blog post also doesn't seem, I dunno, aesthetically pleasing.

So: taking suggestions. I would like to respond to people's comments - they are good comments, and I as I say I enjoy each one of them - but I'd like to do so outside of the normal flow of the blog.

Onward! People seem to have generally enjoyed the 'Seed' epilogue. I had always meant to include it; I just hadn't written it when I wrote the rest of the story because it lacks any erotic power. And, let's face it, what drives my smut is usually horniness. If the prose doesn't involve pussies or minds, it's waaaay less compelling for me to write.

This, by the way, is the true reason that 'Compromise' is unfinished. All that's left there is plot. Intellectually I know I should finish it, mentally I have it written, but what's left to write just doesn't grab me down there and thus, lacking other compensation, I haven't finished it. Well, hopefully 'Seed' has proven to me, more than to you, that I do have it within me to properly finish stories, even without big shiny delicious boobies.

Back to 'Seed'. I'm wondering if readers noticed that Khuluub's tropical utopia is, in many ways, communism. The state owns all the property, allocates it to the workers, and is upheld by a populace that's been indoctrinated to a religious fervor.

Oh, sure, there was that bit about joint stock companies, but if you examine it... well, let's not get into the weeds.

This allegory has long roots in our genre. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is, of course, the major example. Back in 1956 when it was released, the fear of communists - who looked like us only they worked for an alien, self-sacrificial ideology, one which could spread and take over your friends and neighbors, your very family - was a very real and not irrational thing.

Trilby else and I used to have long email discussions about this sort of thing. *sigh* I miss him. He was so goddamned *smart*. Older than me by a decade or so, he really understood the mindset of late 70s and 80s communist and anti-communist thinking and the effects it had on the world and on popular culture. And a zillion other things, to boot.

I always told him that one day our correspondences would be collected and, if not studied, at least read with interest when smut had become a socially acceptable genre and people could get degrees in writing pornography and researching famous pornographic authors. They'd dig up our decades-old naughty stories and dissect them as examples of the mind control smut subgenre. Yes, I am that narcissistic.

But veering back to 'Seed' again - that communist overtone was very deliberate on my part. I wanted to present a society that was in many was very appealing compared to its peers, but also a bit disturbing because of the unstated implications of what it might get up to.

Also Rhoda, the Quinyri, popped into my head fully-formed and was a fun character to write for.

That is all.

Friday, June 3, 2016

When the Treatment is Yummier than the Malady

I don't imagine anyone is reading the Secret Files who isn't also checking up on Callidus on a regular basis, but if you are here first, I'd like you to be aware that he has created a yummy new visual story for us!

Head on over and check out Treatment Program. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mmm latex

Just emailed Simon the two epilogue chapters of 'Seed', so even if the bus does hit me, you'll see them this weekend. Can't say the same if the bus hits you, mind. I wanted to get them in because this weekend, starting tomorrow, is looking pretty darn busy.

Haven't done any other smut writing - though I discovered a couple other unfinished stories whilst tidying my drive that might see the light of day here on the Secret Files, although thus far no one has actually appeared interested in my unfinished arcana. I guess if it ain't done, what's the point, amirite?

In other news, apparently Reflective Desire has decided to support the fetish by placing all their works into the public domain. Does thrall know about this? Because she ought to.

Hmm, I wonder if she even knows I blog...