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sfwa_admin posted to sfwa July 31 2014, 16:21

Museum of Science Fiction and DC Public Library Partner to Host Film Festival and Use Science Ficti

Press release from the Museum of Science Fiction:

The Museum of Science Fiction, the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, and the District of Columbia Public Library, today announced a partnership to enhance science fiction literacy and project-based learning within the community. The organizations will collaborate on events and initiatives that highlight science fiction’s role in inspiring generations of scientists, artists, and dreamers.

“Our partnership with the DC Public Library is an ideal opportunity to augment science-science fiction education and excitement for the DC metro area,” said Greg Viggiano, the Museum of Science Fiction’s executive director. “By joining forces, we will bring science and science fiction to a wider audience while highlighting its cultural and historical importance.”

As part of the partnership, the Museum of Science Fiction will curate exhibitions and co-host a fall film festival in DC Public Library facilities that highlight science fiction across multiple media. The film festival, opening Sept. 4 and continuing through this fall, will showcase popular science fiction movies at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library at 901 G St NW, Washington, DC.  Free tickets to the opening night will be available via the Museum’s Facebook page: facebook.com/museumofsciencefiction

As the title of each film will not be publicized, the Museum will hold a contest and provide clues to guess the name of the film before each screening. An Amazon Kindle reader will be awarded to the winner before each film. To participate in the contests, connect with the Museum of Science Fiction on: facebook.com/museumofsciencefiction

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from SFWA | Comment at SFWA

wiscon_posts posted to wiscon July 31 2014, 01:37

State of the Concom, July 30th -- vote commencing

The WisCon concom has begun the voting process in its appeal of the subcommittee's decision on Jim Frenkel. In addition to reviewing the subcommittee's decision, the concom is also considering information that has been brought to its attention in the weeks since the July 18th announcement from the subcommittee.

Voting will close over the weekend. The concom's decision will be announced Monday afternoon (Seattle time).
marycatelli posted to bittercon July 31 2014, 01:32

World Con

It's coming.

They've posted the program here: http://guide.loncon3.org/

Anyone bitter?

We'd need people to play hosts.  That is, to have a post (or two, or several) about a con-typical topic (stealing from the program is encouraged), declare it part of bittercon and link back here, and then post a link here.
sfwa_admin posted to sfwa July 30 2014, 20:11

Guest Post: Where’s the Diversity, Hollywood?

From Lee & Low Books:

Summer blockbuster season is in full swing. For many moviegoers, that means escaping to a galaxy far, far away—or perhaps just a different version of our own planet Earth—through science fiction and fantasy movies. As fans clamor for the latest cinematic thrills, we decided to focus our next Diversity Gap study on the level of racial and gender representation in these ever-popular genres that consistently rake in the big bucks for movie studios. We reviewed the top 100 domestic grossing sci-fi and fantasy films as reported by Box Office Mojo. The results were staggeringly disappointing, if not surprising in light of our past Diversity Gap studies of the Tony Awardsthe Emmy Awardsthe children’s book industryThe New York Times Top 10 Bestseller ListUS politics, and the Academy Awards, where we analyzed multi-year samplings and found a disturbingly consistent lack of diversity.



Among the top 100 domestic grossing films through 2014:

• only 8% of films star a protagonist of color
• of the 8 protagonists of color, all are men; 6 are played by Will Smith and 1 is a cartoon character (Aladdin)
• 0% of protagonists are women of color
• 0% of protagonists are LGBTQ
• 1% of protagonists are people with a disability

For more information head to the Lee & Low blog, where this post first appeared.


Mirrored from SFWA | Comment at SFWA

wiscon_posts posted to wiscon July 27 2014, 02:19

Concom update for July 26th

We have several announcements to make as updates to our previous post:

1) In light of the intense community response to the Frenkel subcommittee's decision, and the concom's own concern about the "provisional ban," the WisCon concom is itself currently appealing the subcommittee's decision and will vote on the matter this week.

2) Debbie Notkin has resigned as Member Advocate, effective immediately.

3) The Bergmann subcommittee is assessing if they can continue given the valid concerns about Wiscon's existing process.

4) Regarding refunds of registrations for WisCon 39, we received this question via Twitter: "Will there be a policy for refunds for those of us who are against the con's current harassment actions?"

WisCon has traditionally had a fairly free refund policy for any registered members who are unable to attend. Anyone who has registered for WisCon 39 and would like a refund for any reason can request one by emailing registration@wiscon.info.
wiscon_posts posted to wiscon July 26 2014, 07:16

forthcoming update

A few notes before the weekend:

1) This account will be used from now on for official WisCon announcements (as you've probably guessed).

2) The update I promised in our previous update will be posted tomorrow (Saturday late afternoon / early evening Seattle time). While I hate posting on a Friday or over the weekend, I didn't quite have all the information I needed to post yesterday. Apologies!

3) On a purely administrative note, social media postings are currently being handled by Chris ("wordnerdlabs" on Twitter).
ceciliatan posted to circletpress July 25 2014, 16:05

Elizabeth Schechter’s HOUSE OF SABLE LOCKS wins Passionate Plume Award

Passionate Plume Winner!

Passionate Plume Winner!

(San Antonio, TX) — Here at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Convention we have exciting news! At last night’s Passionate Ink party, HOUSE OF SABLE LOCKS by Elizabeth Schechter won the Passionate Plume Award in the Fantasy/SF category!

The book was up against some tough competition. Finalists in the category were:

Something New Under the Sun by L.A. Witt
House of Sable Locks by Elizabeth Schechter
Glory Dogs: Forged Through Glory by Dezré Storm
Fueled By Lust: Drusus by Celeste Prater
Legend Beyond the Stars by S. E. Gilchrist

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Mirrored from Circlet Press: Welcome to Circlet 2.0.

ninharris posted to specficmarkets July 24 2014, 05:44

Calls for Submission: Delinquent's Spice &Truancy!

New calls for submissions! Delinquent's Spice & Truancy are two microzines focused on diverse, inclusive and hybrid retellings of folktales/fairytales. Delinquent's Spice (hypertext, collaborative storytelling project:formerly Demeter's Spicebox)'s reading period opens in October. Truancy's reading period is now open. Do check it out.

Submissions calls for two new folk and fairytale microzines:http://delinquentspice.com

wiscon_posts posted to wiscon July 22 2014, 03:30

Update From The Concom

Over the weekend, the WisCon Concom has spent much time reading and discussing the responses to the Friday announcement of the subcommittee's decision on Jim Frenkel. We heartily thank the community for all of your insightful commentary and critique. We are grateful to you for holding us accountable to our feminist principles.

Currently, the concom is looking at all aspects of this process and decision. You have brought us your questions; we have questions of our own. We are actively working on answers to them. Answers may not come immediately, but we will keep you updated. If possible, we'll post again before the end of the week with information about where our discussion is taking us.

We apologize again to Elise and Lauren. Not only were you hurt by harassment at WisCon, but you have been hurt again and again by this process over the past year. We are deeply sorry for our repeated failures.

We apologize to Mikki Kendall, whose information on a previous incident was not made properly significant in the process.

We apologize to the WisCon community. You have been hurt by this process as well and left feeling unsafe at WisCon. Thank you for your anger and criticism -- it's informing our discussion and moving us forward.

Moving WisCon forward from these repeated failures is hard work. We on the concom are willing and determined to be engaged in this, although as individuals engaged in such hard work it can prove extremely difficult to not add to the ongoing harm. We apologize for our part in causing harm, and thank you for patience that is not always so well deserved.

The concom continues to invite and value your feedback. Comments made on this post (as well as tweets made using either @WisCon39 or #WisCon) will be sent to the entire concom.
antarcticlust posted to wiscon July 20 2014, 17:16

No subject

Over on Dreamwidth, I have written a public about my participation on the ConCom in general, and as chair of the Harassment Policy Committee and Frenkel Subcommittee in particular. You may read it here.

redbird posted to wiscon July 19 2014, 20:59

request for clarification re Frenkel

In the discussion of the decision about Jim Frenkel, a lot of people are interpreting this as "he is definitely banned for 2015, after that we'll see, and he can come back in 2019 unless something else happens." At least one person I know is interpreting it as "he is definitely banned until 2018, and then we'll decide whether he can come back in 2019 or later."

Separately from what would constitute good evidence: if nothing changes, and you don't hear from Jim Frenkel in any way, shape, or form between now and April 2016, would he be allowed to attend Wiscon in May 2016?

If he presented no evidence in his favor, and nobody else presented any further evidence against him, would he be welcome at the end of those four years?

[I accidentally posted this to my own journal, instead of the community, earlier. Sorry about that.]
mystickeeper posted to wiscon July 18 2014, 14:45

WisCon Subcommittee Statement on Jim Frenkel

The WisCon committee has completed our harassment review process with regard to Jim Frenkel, who engaged in two reported violations of WisCon's general and harassment policies at WisCon 37, in 2013. A subcommittee of WisCon's Harassment Policy Committee has reviewed the reports, and all communications with WisCon regarding these incidents, as well as a direct response solicited from Jim Frenkel by the subcommittee. The incoming chair of WisCon 39 has communicated the subcommittee's determination to Jim Frenkel.

The WisCon committee announces the following actions:

WisCon will (provisionally) not allow Jim Frenkel to return for a period of four years (until after WisCon 42 in 2018). This is "provisional" because if Jim Frenkel chooses to present substantive, grounded evidence of behavioral and attitude improvement between the end of WisCon 39 in 2015 and the end of the four-year provisional period, WisCon will entertain that evidence. We will also take into account any reports of continued problematic behavior.

Allowing Jim Frenkel to return is not guaranteed at any time, including following WisCon 42; the convention's decision will always be dependent on compelling evidence of behavioral change, and our commitment to the safety of our members. If he is permitted to return at any time, there will be an additional one-year ban on appearing on programming or volunteering in public spaces. Any consideration of allowing him to return will be publicized in WisCon publications and social media at least three months before a final decision is made.

Based on the policies adopted by WisCon's Harassment Policy Committee before WisCon 38 in 2014, Jim Frenkel has the right to appeal this decision to SF3, WisCon's governing body. If he enters an appeal, we will make public statements both when he does so and when the appeal ruling is issued.

These are official WisCon actions, and will not be affected by future philosophical or policy discussions.

The subcommittee would like the WisCon community to know that we have been constrained both in what we can do and how we can explain it by matters of confidentiality on all sides. We believe the whole question of confidentiality in harassment complaints--who it benefits, who it protects, and who it constrains--is a matter for deep community discussion. As we continue this broader conversation in the coming months, we look forward to your involvement.

We have decided to sign our names to this decision as an act of transparency and an acknowledgment of WisCon's previous failures in this regard, although it is WisCon's policy that harassment incident subcommittees be anonymous. Our choice is specifically not intended to bind or influence any future harassment subcommittees.

We apologize again to Elise Matthesen, to Lauren Jankowski, and to our membership for WisCon's substantial failures in following up on their reports and completing this process.

Please direct any questions and comments to the member advocate, Debbie Notkin, at memberadvocate@wiscon.info.

Debbie Notkin, chair
Ariel Franklin-Hudson
Jacquelyn Gill
Jim Hudson
Jackie Lee
ceciliatan posted to circletpress July 17 2014, 12:46

Ten Dirty Books #10: Three Writers on “The Marketplace”

Our final Dirty Book is the multiple volumes of the Marketplace series, which, after a tangled and sordid publication history, is now available in its entirety from Circlet. We got so many requests to write about the series that we decided to do something a little special for this one. What follows is three (3) appreciations by three different Circlet writers. The eponymous first volume is reviewed by long-time Circlet writer Tammy Jo Eckhart, author of the Beyond the Softness of his Fur Furry BDSM series.

What drew me to The Marketplace was a simple fascination with the idea of a formal world out there where it was perfectly normal to be an owner or a slave. I bought the 1993 Rhinoceros edition and had it signed by the author using her then-pseudonym Sara Adamson. I later got the Mystic Rose Books edition from 2000, and now you can buy this book from Circlet Press in multiple forms.

There are plenty of kinky novels out there, but even after all these years, “The Marketplace” holds a special place for me because of its groundbreaking nature. It was written by a leatherwoman, not a romance author or a wannabe, but someone who knew her subject matter. Back in the early 1990s we didn’t have a readily available stream of dubious online experts we could glance through in an hour and pull out some ideas to toss into a novel. If you wanted to know how a riding crop felt, you needed to feel it; if you wanted to know how masters and slaves interacted, you needed to meet some and spend time with them. Antoniou knew these things because she had firsthand experience and lots of kinky friends.

Fantasy novels about leather or BDSM had been around for decades when “The Marketplace” came out, but for the first time I can remember, the focus wasn’t on the fantasy or the kink but on the characters. While the novel may seem to examine the training of four potential slaves — Robert, Claudia, Brian, and Sharon — it gives enough time to their trainers, Grendel and Alexandra, and their support staff, to fully develop them in the reader’s mind. While the program is harsh, they really care about their trainees, their business, and each person in that house. For a growing dominant like me this was very reassuring to read.

“The Marketplace” also went beyond the orientation limits of most books, not only in the 1990s but also today. This international community of slaves and owners has a few hard rules, and one of them is bisexuality for slaves, at least in practice. Once you’re in the system, once accepted for sale within that mysterious world, you never know whom you might be kneeling before, or what you might be asked to do. Gender identity and role identity are fluid and best personified in majordomo Chris Parker.

From the very beginning of the novel, Antoniou makes it clear that no one should be in this world unless they are geared toward serving, not merely getting off. For those of us who felt the same way, the look into what service really means was invigorating and affirming. Service isn’t about sucking someone’s dick or taking a good flogging; it’s about doing whatever is needed and desired and taking pride in your work without letting yourself be drawn into the me-me-me mentality so many of us find in public dungeons.

Antoniou uses just enough description to get your mind working and your groin geared up for action. While you might find yourself getting aroused, you needed to keep reading to see if our quartet of stereotypical slaves could become competent servants that you’d want helping around your house. If you were submissive, you wondered if you could handle training like they did. You felt this way because this is a well-crafted world with engaging characters that grow – a rare thing for the novels found in porn shops at the time.

While the world of “The Marketplace” doesn’t exist, the feelings and needs Antoniou reveals do. That is what keeps you reading as she expands the world.

Robotica author and Fantastic Erotica contributor Kal Cobalt writes about The Trainer:

For the longest time, I ignored The Marketplace. Somehow, I’d picked up the idea that it was just another unrealistic fluffy bit of pseudo-BDSM stroke fic, like Anne Rice’s Beauty series.

For once, I’m glad I was dead wrong.

I started reading just after I’d realized that “genderqueer” didn’t fit me anymore and “trans” did. As I zipped through the books, my Marketplace-loving partners kept snickering and eagerly asking me where I was in the series, oh, and who was my favorite character?

You see, I’m also a switch, and have heard often enough that I’m impossible. (Someone I knew refused that ANY switch existed, convinced that I simply hadn’t chosen or accepted my “side” yet. This lasted until they actually witnessed me playing both ways, at which point I was christened “real.” Sigh.) So watching Chris Parker be the uber-dom AND thrill to every moment of submissive opportunity…well, I went through a lot of underpants.

This also disabused me of a writing “rule” I had absurdly failed to shed previously. In the vein of Chekhov’s gun on the mantel in the first act which must be fired in the third act, I had decided that much of the lack of invisible-minority characters in pop fiction was a simple structural problem: mention on the page that they are trans, gay, invisibly disabled, what have you, and it must serve the story, which gets complicated, and so we don’t get mentioned. Thankfully, everything from BBC’s SHERLOCK to Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK have shown how to illustrate invisible minorities — or, indeed, have that trait serve the story — with a serious minimum of fuss. As it should be. I never made the connection, though, until Chris Parker.

Until him, I hadn’t been exposed to a trans character I could relate to who was not in the story to have Trans Problems. I had never read a trans character with whom I could truly identify. As a porn author in their 30s with all of fiction at my fingertips, I’m not sure whether this is a failing of my search terms or whether Laura Antoniou was a vanguard who remains unmatched.

The Trainer gives me a blueprint, a way to properly integrate people like me into fiction without focusing unduly on one particular set of traits that, honestly, don’t get too much airtime in my day-to-day. It opens up a new vista of writing for me — something that can be personal and honest without gazing too deeply into my navel.

All that said, The Trainer has to have one of the most satisfying endings I have ever read. I will not spoil it, but I do believe I pumped my fist and laughed out loud while reading, and smirked about it for days. You don’t even really know you’re waiting for it, but when it happens, you know it’s exactly what you’ve ached for all along — just like those slaves who are told, one day, that there is a Marketplace.

The Academy is reviewed by Madeline Elayne.

I have a confession to make: I’m a smut snob. If a dirty book isn’t well-written, with compelling, flawed and fully realized characters, and if the “good stuff” isn’t more about what goes in in those characters’ heads than about which bits go where, then no matter how amazing the premise or how delectable the plotline, my libido will be as limp as a wet noodle.

I also happen to be pretty damned kinky, poly, and queer, and my taste in the smut I prefer to consume tends to run that way as well. Unfortunately, I am a voracious reader, and while there is a lot of quality erotica out there, and a lot of kinky poly queer erotica out there, I find myself often having to sacrifice one for the other to accommodate my limitless cravings for more words to consume. Good, straight, vanilla smut or not-so-well written queer kinky smut can both be entertaining to read, but I have to admit that neither really does too much to make me very turned on, and isn’t that the point of one’s favorite dirty book?

Lucky for me, there occasionally comes along a book that has both my two arousal-inspiring criteria in spades. The Academy is at the top of that list. It also happens to be the only book in my list that can both turn me on, and make me cry. Word to the wise – don’t read the chapter “the Nurse” by Karen Taylor without a box of tissues handy.

The book is actually a collection of several short stories by some extremely talented contributors and woven into a cohesive storyline by the inimitable Laura Antoniou. The different voices are a huge asset to the re-readability of the book, and they have the added bonus of creating a dizzyingly diverse cast of character personalities, body types, gender identities and orientations. Best of all, it’s clearly diversity not for diversity’s sake, but because it’s more interesting, and by extension more titillating, that way. My favorite scene in the book is a conversation in which the cis-het characters bemoan the fact that they are actually in the minority in the Marketplace. Nothing has made me want to be part of a fictional world more, let me tell you!

Most importantly, though, the Academy makes me look at the fantastic tales woven into it, and say to myself “that is what I should be doing right now – making more of this!” Any writer who’s ever experienced writer’s block can tell you how important it is to keep those types of inspiration close to their nightstand…and to the bottle of lube.

Thank you for reading! Ten Dirty Books is now over, you can resume your ordinary lives as if this glorious week and a half was some marvelous dream.

However! If you want some free books to take back with you to Mundania, you can still participate in our giveaways. Post an essay about your favorite Circlet book or story below to win a print book, or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook to win the Circlet ebook of your choice. The Rafflecopter giveaway ends at midnight tonight, so act fast.

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Mirrored from Circlet Press: Welcome to Circlet 2.0.

ceciliatan posted to circletpress July 16 2014, 12:53

Ten Dirty Books #9: Violet Vernet on “Memoirs of a Voluptuary”

The Dirty Books series is drawing to a close…or perhaps ascending to a climax. Today, sherlockian scribe Violet Vernet vividly evokes the carefree debauchery of her new favorite turn-of-the-century novel. At the bottom of the post, you can participate in our Dirty Book project yourself and win some dirty books of your own. And come back tomorrow when multiple essayists finish off the series with a classic of modern BDSM that is very dear to Circlet’s collective heart.

Ask any collector to name a favorite piece, and most will cite their latest acquisition. I discovered Memoirs of a Voluptuary only a few months ago and have since become thoroughly entranced with this charming Edwardian schoolboy romp. I’m an ardent fan of the pornography of this era, and especially that which includes homosexual acts. The very phrase “Edwardian schoolboy romp” sets my voyeuristic heart aflutter.

Though published in the early twentieth century, it is purportedly a memoir written years after the events described. It is a classic naughty Victorian schoolgirl tale, except with bisexual boys – rather more unusual for the era. As with most anonymous vintage porn, the provenance is murky; it was likely published in 1905 by Charles Carrington, neè Paul Harry Ferdinando. His connection to fin de siècle notables such as Oscar Wilde, A. C. Swinburne, Sir Richard Burton, and Aubrey Beardsley – who were then regarded as sexual outlaws, if not outright mollies – makes the question of Memoirs’ true authorship an intriguing one. Like most Victorian pornographers, the writer is well-educated, and probably a youthful person, if the carefree Edwardian slang and jargon are any indication:

“You are doing it a treat,” said Bob as he wriggled his bottom under my luscious caresses. “It feels ripping.”

The narrator is young Charlie Powerscourt, sent away to boarding school at some indeterminate age ‘past thirteen,’ and quickly learning the arts of love through his more experienced schoolmates: his particular friend Bob Rutherford; Jimmy, the Duke of Surrey; and the exotic dark-haired Gaston de Beaupre, nicknamed Blackie – the most experienced of the foursome. Blackie has “gone better than most of us and had had some adventures with girls.” After few chapters of delightfully frisky bedtime dormitory antics, Blackie regales them with tales of his many erotic adventures – not just sex with men and women, but flagellation, cross-dressing, bisexual threesomes, lesbian orgies, and other frolics favored by the naughty Victorians. Naturally his saucy bedtime tales provoke the school-fellows to even more frequent and enthusiastic bouts of mutual frigging, sucking, and bum-fucking.

Though content to frolic with his chums while on school grounds, during the holidays Charlie’s voluptuous nature drives him to even more risqué adventures with adult libertines. He takes every opportunity to expand his erotic horizons, first in Paris with de Beaupre and his insatiable friend Cecile, then in Northumberland with the aristocratic Jimmy and his erotomaniac bachelor uncle Lord Henry. There is hardly a variation of sexual congress not included in Memoirs. Admittedly some of it I had to skip over – a description of a live sex show includes not just racial stereotyping and uncomfortably young performers, but bestiality, the unsavoury bane of the Victorian “porntopia” orgy scenes. Well, next to rape and incest and… let’s just say the Victorians had some repellent tastes, but they were also uniquely adept at writing the most charming, witty, and light-hearted pornographic adventure stories, full of not just racy sex scenes but genuine affection between sexual partners. We shouldn’t be too quick to judge them by their bawdy fantasies, lest future historians make declarations of our own civilization based on Penthouse Forum or 50 Shades of Gray.

Although each of the highly descriptive scenes in Memoirs of a Voluptuary will not suit every taste, certainly there is something for everyone in this lusty and freewheeling tale. And, oh, the scenes that did catch my fancy, how well they buttered my parsnips! Particularly those set in the boarding school itself, because the four boys are lubricious and eager bedfellows with perpetual stiff-standers ever at the ready for a fond frig, a delightful minette, or breathtaking bum-fuck. Their schoolwork is conveniently scant, their dormitory cozy and private, and the lads are not only high-spirited and precocious but exceptionally good-looking, affectionate, well-bred young men: Gaston de Beaupre with his olive skin and dark lustrous eyes, “full of a reckless dare-devil fire,” Jimmy, the “splendidly-made boy” with sparkling blue eyes and “sweetly-curving, dimpled, rich scarlet lips,” Bob with his enormous cock and “habitual good humour,” and the narrator himself, whose “loveable face” and “enchanting form” not to mention his “jolly little cock,” are irresistible to others. And since this is turn-of-the-century porn, Charlie and his friends don’t just spend, but die away in page after page of delirious waves of nearly unbearable bliss, “the exquisite joy, the glorious, intolerable anguish of the boiling tempest of unbounded pleasure that overwhelmed my being.”

My frequent references to the work in question have had the usual effect. My copy of Memoirs of a Voluptuary is sitting on my coffee table, and I know exactly what I shall do with it.


Violet Vernet is the pen name of a writer who lives in New York City. Her Sherlockian pornography has previously been published in Circlet’s Elementary Erotica anthology as well as in another Sherlockian collection, My Love of All That is Bizarre. You can read her other Victorian writings, assorted fan fiction, and erotic short stories at archiveofourown.org/users/MissViolet and her GoodReads author page at www.goodreads.com/violetvernet.

Post an essay about your favorite Circlet book or story below to win a print book, or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook to win the Circlet ebook of your choice.

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Mirrored from Circlet Press: Welcome to Circlet 2.0.

ceciliatan posted to circletpress July 15 2014, 13:08

Ten Dirty Books #8: Elisabeth Schechter on “Kushiel’s Dart”

Today, multiple award finalist Elisabeth Schechter describes her relationship with a modern kinky erotic SF classic. And once you get to the end, you can do social media stuff to win free books from us. Come back tomorrow for Velvet Vernet’s appreciation of another Victorian classic

In 2001 or 2002, I received as a gift an autographed book. Actually, I received two copies of said book, both from the same people — friends who had gotten free books at the Book Expo in New York. I offered to give them back one copy, and brought it to their house. Waiting on their front steps for them to get home, I did what one does when you’re waiting and you have a book at hand — I started reading… and changed my life forever.

That book? Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey.

I have fallen into books before. I’m a reader. It happens. But this one… this one was sexy and kinky and all kinds of hot. And it was something that you could pick up at any bookstore. All of a sudden, sex, and more specifically, non-vanilla sex, was on the mainstream bookshelves!

I was hooked. I read the heck out of that book. I pre-ordered the next books in the series and read them voraciously. I joined Livejournal groups devoted to the Kushiel fandom. And when I heard about a play-by-email role playing group based on the series, one that was officially sanctioned by Jacqueline herself? I joined it.

Two years later, I was running it.

The Night Court ran for five years total, and I made friends there that I treasure to this day. It was the place where I learned how to put together a plotline, how to write so that my characters had different, distinctive voices (at one point, I had five separate characters, and one of them no one knew was me.) And, most importantly, I learned how write sex scenes. In early 2008, I posted a scene between one of my characters and another, and had someone later tell me that they forgot they weren’t reading something Jacqueline had written.

A few months later, I sold my first story to Circlet Press (for those of you keeping score, that story was The Hand You’re Dealt, which appeared in Like a Sacred Desire.) The characters in that story, Steven and Nick, are very loosely based on characters from The Night Court.

Now, five years later, I’m living a dream that I’ve had since I was a child. I’m a multi-published author, with three novels under my belt and more coming. I’ve been nominated for awards, and I have people who recognize my name and ask for my autograph. And I can honestly say that if it hadn’t been for Jacqueline Carey and Kushiel, it would never have happened.

And yes, I have told her it’s all her fault.


Elizabeth Schechter is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Central Florida with her husband and son. Her most recent work includes the Pauline Reage Award finalist House of Sable Locks, published by Circlet Press in 2013.

Elizabeth can be found online at http://easchechter.wordpress.com/

Post an essay about your favorite Circlet book or story below to win a print book, or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook to win the Circlet ebook of your choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mirrored from Circlet Press: Welcome to Circlet 2.0.

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