If you follow Jukebox's blog or his stories on the EMCSA (and posts on the associated forums), you might know that he publishes anthologies of his work from time to time. As a matter of fact, the stories in each anthology are ones he plans to post on the EMCSA at a later date - months or even a year after each anthology comes out. In fact, he's told me he already has stories lined up to post well into 2011.
So far, Jukebox has seven anthologies on the market, and he plans to make the eighth one available in a day or two. Coincidentally, that eighth one will have a forward written by me. ;-) Yes, that's right, I've read all those delicious, funny, scary, steamy stories in advance; and now I'm here to tell you about them. Songs in the Attic includes 21 stories, mostly F/f or F/m, and I'm almost positive that only one of them has been posted on the EMCSA so far. I have no idea how long it will be before the others go up, but if you like Jukebox's stuff, you can get the whole book in a day or two. Here's his store.
And here's my forward. :-)
You can’t believe everything Jukebox tells you. Yeah, sure, he blogs about caring so much for his characters that he cries when one of them gets a paper cut; but he also likes to write pastiches of other authors’ work. Darker authors’ work. So for every geekily hilarious yarn in this collection (“Electioneering,” for instance) you have a more sinister tale like “The End Is the Beginning Is the End.” Granted, there’s only one really pitch-black piece here (“If I Only Had a Brain”), but Jukebox can definitely do grim when he wants to.
On the other hand, he can do sweetness and humor like nobody’s business. Witness the profound appreciation for superhero comics that shines through “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody;” or the love for his real-life hypno-domme, Lady Ru’etha, that’s apparent in stories like “Dirty Laundry” and “I Can’t Wait,” which he actually co-wrote with her. And who else but Jukebox would have thought to use Billy Idol’s signature song as the title for a story about a masturbating belly dancer? (Granted, the Rebel Yeller always had more than one image in mind when he sang about “Dancing with Myself,” but I doubt any of those images involved his swishing around in gauzy skirts and a tiara.)
Then there are the various real-life hypnotic techniques Jukebox demonstrates throughout this anthology. It almost becomes a game, trying to identify them all as you read along. Some, like the title item in “Brand New Key” are pretty obvious; but others, like the methods on display in “Unwritten,” are so subtle that you can miss them entirely if you’re not looking. The one technique you absolutely won’t miss, though, is that of “Zero.” The story is just one long, delicious induction – an induction which, Jukebox says in the “Liner Notes,” some of his fans actually use on their partners. You might hypnotize yourself, too, if you read it in the right frame of mind. I did. ;-)
But even if you don’t allow yourself to be hypnotized, you’ll still enjoy the humor, the inventiveness, and the scalding-hot steam (Don’t forget the steam!) that flows from Jukebox’s brilliant, twisted brain. Read. Enjoy. Hypnotize yourself. The choice is yours…for now.
P.S.: Just in case you're wondering, I don't get a cut of the profits; I'm doing this because Jukebox is a friend and the stories really are that good.