Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Erotomania's End

Well, I haven't posted in a long time. I was away thinking.  Also I played some games.  And read and did all that stuff writers do when they're very slowly plodding away on something, or, in my case, trying to establish human sexual identity and power relationships as 'a problem' in scientific terms, and then 'solve' it.  I know what you're going to say...you're going to say, "A problem like a maths problem?  Isn't that a little bit too Amy Farrah Fowler, even for YOU?" 

Yes.  Really it is.  However, in my defence I say -

But I was all SCARED about just writing from the juggernaut front of my heart and brain because well, the Science Fiction critics of my (let's face it mostly inner) world scare me and I wanted to stand on some big unassailable hill of Factology to mount the defence I was sure I'd have to make...

Yeah, never mind that not actually writing the book to completion does kind of have the same effect (avoidance, much?).  And what horrors must the thing contain to elicit such a reaction?  I bet already imaginations are turning to some fevered dream combining the art of Witchblade, a Mitzi Szereto anthology, the bits of Laurell K Hamilton that you don't want your Mom to find and the Hite Report.  Yeah.  No.  Well.  Maybe.  And if it was like that what a great thing it would be: I'd read it!

See, in my mind it's like that.  In reality it's not so much, although I kind of wish it was.  What I really ran up against wasn't the Mighty Sages of Science Fiction (don't laugh, they're sensitive) but a big monster from my childhood, not unlike the Assumptions About Everything Especially Parental Views And Peer Ridicule and Social Norms Like In The Daily Mail that pollute every synapse of my pathetically brainwashed grey matter so that for me to write my probably quite normal and mildly interesting book I first have to get over the kind of anxiety that used to propel our ancestors across some Proto-Serengeti in terror of their lives. 

M John Harrison made a note on his blog about that kind of thing recently, noting his escape.  HOW I ENVY YOU, MIKE!  I've been out rebelling and plotting said escape a long time without actually managing it: I thought I'd know when it was a done deal by the sudden sense of peace and uncaringness that would come along whenever I was about to write what I thought was a Big Deal Thing.  I would sit calmly with my cup of tea, staring at the middle class suburbs and easily type out line after line without a second thought or the need to rush off and pretend to be a Sith Lord in a virtual universe every twenty minutes. 

I expect you're wondering about the Erotomania bit of the title by now.  I confess, I spent six months reading nothing but romance, erotica, women writing about feminism and sex and immersing myself in anthropological, mystic and anecdotal blah de blah about same.  In the words of a well known MMO Achievement: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been!

And now I certainly have things to write about in my half done novel.  Who would have thought you could be passionate about passion?  It's my last, great hope for....  Anyway,  hurrah for ploughing through the steamy doldrums of the creative sea!

And, final note, fans of World of Warcraft might like to take a loot at this book  which is what I wrote on me holidays, along with Adrian Tchaikovsky and a bunch of other trippers...


  1. I imagine you would make a very fine Sith Lord, even though I realise you have other objectives.

    It all sounds fascinating & I can't wait to read the result.

    1. Thank you! I am quite fine as a Sith Lord indeed, although I risk being eaten by my own servants as a result of my endless goody two-shoes Lightside behaviour! The writing in that game is a delight to follow.

      I hope you're doing well!

  2. I'm delighted by your sojourn into erotomania and am now curious about what titles you've been reading! I've been doing a lot of reading in the same space myself. Still eyeing off the texts that I *want* to read by don't have the brain stamina to read. And now I'm at the end of my 6 months off uni, and I have managed only to just finish 'How to Suppress Women's Writing' (It was in Kununurra for most of the year to be fair on my slowness).

    Very much looking to see what comes of your research time!

    I'm certain it is possible to be passionate about passion... I am for one, and about love and relationships too :) (this won't be a surprise to you though I am sure).

    Wishing you all the best, and bubbles.

    1. Hi there. How interesting you mention that book - I was reading it only yesterday! Before that I read 'The Sexual State of the Union' by Susie Bright and before that titles by Louisa Burton (erotica), JL Merrow (M/M romance), Meljean Brook's supernatural romances, the Black Lace Collection of Women's Sexual Fantasies ed Kerri Sharp and also the very fine 'The Beautiful Indifference' by Sarah Hall. There was a lot more too...but these are the most recent ones.

      Meeting you was a real treat and you won't be surprised to know that I do remember you from time to time as I sit writing - mostly it must be said in the hope that at least ONE person out there will get it :))

  3. Have the MMO's you've been playing informed you regarding sexual identity and power relationships at all?

    1. Yes very much.

      It expanded my awareness of the present social attitudes to various gender/identity combinations because I was able to RP as any common variant - straight man / gay man / straight woman / gay woman. I didn't/haven't explored other routes however, such as transvestite or transgender and in all my time I don't think I ever met more than one person playing as a trans-person seriously (as in not just to entertain their teenage friends with a freakshow - what a lovely thing that is to witness, not). That may be because the avatars already allow you to transition out or for any other reasons.

      Personally I found it to be an outstandingly rewarding, enriching and beneficial experience all around, and even the negative behaviours encountered were informative. Of course you have to take it all with the 'distance disclaimer' effect of the roles and game environment but for the most part people are pretty genuine. It's no utopia though.

      The gender/sex/power relationships were fascinating to experience directly though. Quite an eye opener.

    2. I think its interesting to see it play out in front of you to supplement read research, and correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not sure there is a lot written on sexuality through the medium of the internet, or at least MMO's. I would like to see if logic/creativeness as well as gender/sex/power relationships feed into "success" with MMO's or even RTS's, but that sounds like a very specific thesis paper unfortunately.

  4. Love your books..but you need to get out for some long walks..take deep breaths - let it go.
    Have a look at Real Alchemy, delve into rhetoric...as part of the old teachings, browse bruno g and dr. dee, visit neil strauss' the game and look at the PUA stuff. Now you have the nice, the seedy, the weird but works and the underbelly...there has to be something there to stir and churn the psyche? Something to move the genre you are influencing somewhere...different and possibly uncomfortable but interesting.
    I can't wait for your next book...! Whip those muses!

  5. Hi Justina

    I'm just recommending your books on the James Randi forum, in a thread started by someone looking for a good sf/fantasy read. They're all talking about the same old/bland old, so I thought they could do with a real kick, and scorched up a phrase or two about you... and then had to look you up to remind me of the series title! Quantum Gravity is unique and fresh, and sexy... and lo! here you are apparently struggling with your sexuality demons! Sounds like the next book is going to be lush (as they say here in Wales)... can't wait. Since getting made redundant from the Waterstone's branch here in Swansea three years ago I haven't had any new books, but I know you've brought out one more since I last read from the fountain of your creative spring, so I'll be soon immersing myself in that one while waiting for this next... (all this watery imagery is putting me in mind of the sexy scene in Bowie's movie The Man Who Fell To Earth!...ooh la la!)

    Anyway, keep on keeping on... however you do that, including indulging yourself however you please! It's a pleasure reading your enjoyment, which comes through clearly in the texts of your Quantum Gravity novels... living and breathing, babes, you've got it!

    Love and big grins, a Syd

  6. I am excited to read all things new.
    Victor Lomeli

  7. Simply, hooked. Got a thing for redheads (a good thing) and got totally wrapped up in your books. I'm kinda hanging out for the next installment. Any news on when it might be?

  8. This is off-topic to your new book (or am I pre-judging that incorrectly?), but quite relevant to Natural History and others on that storyline....


    A science discussion group I'm part of dug that up, and I felt compelled to share it with you.

  9. Luitingh Fantasy stopped publishing your Lila Black serie in Dutch. Will there be a (Dutch) publisher that picks up the challenge and proof Luitingh wrong?
    Regards Thijs