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.


  1. I'm not certain I would consider most mind controlling tales communistic. Instead, I would consider them dictatorships with some communistic themes - most of them benevolent dictatorships. The ultimate power resides with one person or entity, bestowing their love of orgies and mindlessness to the masses.

    Your ending to 'Seed' has everyone pledging their fealty to the goddess, and she has the ultimate power in that system. It's true that their society appears to follow some communistic ideals, such as living in a commune, each person being assigned to the task that they are best at, and there is a lack of classes. In the end, however, if any problems arise, the goddess has complete control to resolve them - the proletariat has little to no control over how the system is run.

    In that respect, that system is technically *better* than actual Communism, because faulty human nature and corruption can't get a foothold in the system, since the backstop is the all powerful goddess who can weed (ho ho) such problems out. And the typical problems of dictatorships, that is, the dictator dying, are neatly avoided as well by having your dictator be an immortal.

    Usually we seem to see countries that start with Communism and the best of intentions end up with a dictatorship or oligarchy, so I suppose we could claim 'Seed' as a Communistic State, controlled by the party of Khuluub.

  2. As you don't like the idea of replying to comments directly, you might consider having a 'mailbag' day, like 'mailbag Thursday' or some such, where you quote some of the comments you want to reply to and make your replies.

    It's all up to you of course, but that is one alternative.

  3. To your first point, a side column is an acceptable solution. Alternatively you could start up a second blog under your username; which would be dedicated solely to responding to comments with blog posts. Admittedly this is a very silly idea.

    I've always meant to email you, but...
    1.) I'm always afraid I'll either write it too critical or come off as an idiot.
    2.) I was pretty sure you've gotten too many emails already

    Reason 1 is probably the reason why I'm more comfortable posting here, since if I'm a jerk, at least there are other people to chew me out on it and serve as "jerk-absorbers", if you will.

    1. (although admittedly email wouldn't have the inane captcha which tries for a very long time to verify I am not a bot, drone, thrall, or other such will-less being...)

      As to you second point, playing wayyyyyy too much Stellaris probably skewed my interpretation of Seed's epilogue.

      I found it a really enjoyable read, and it seemed the logical and satisfying conclusion to the events of the story. Khuluub was a refreshing evil god in that she actually seemed to learn from -or at least adapted-the failings of her previous reign. Or maybe that was the influence of the other Ghuuli gods, I may need to re-read the whole story again.

      As to the Communism bit. Reading your admission of that wasn't surprising, since Communism and mind control isn't really a foreign notion in American culture. I did get the sense that there was some of that happening in the background, but as previously mentioned Stellaris skewed my perception of that. I've been playing a Benevolent science monarchy, which elevates primitive alien races to space-faring vassalage, and then assimilates them. And if they get out of line, I suppress their deviancy with SCIENCE in the form of Orbital Mind Control Lasers. yes, this is a thing in the game, and yes I rolled out of my seat laughing for a while.

      But I digress, I was reading Seed's epilogue while having Stellaris play in the background. I sort of empathized with Khuluub to a point, which partially blinded me to the ideologies happening in the story.

    2. er...that was longer than I had intended, and rambled a bit.

      Perhaps I should reconsider my stance on emails. Apologies to anyone who actually read through that crazy train.

  4. I won't lie - a response from you would be a delight; an interaction, or discussion of points I've surfaced, a point of pride. But I haven't included any way for you to reach me. Your *only* way to contact me, would be to reply within the blog. So a suggestion you might make, is to treat it like an email - if people wish a reply, they need to include an email address (or forward you one, with their avatar, if they don't want it public). That way, if you have an urge to respond, it wouldn't clog up the responses here. And, it would delight this particular correspondent to be in dialogue with you.

    Saint Germain

  5. What happened to Trilby Else?

    I almost sent you a massive piece of fan mail after you surfaced on the Hub and I spotted you, but I just never really got around to it (read: when drawing it up in my head, it just got bigger and bigger and bigger...), maybe I will do it now.

    P.S. You see Psi's piece of Pierced fan art?