Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Most. Awesome. Zombie. Video. Ever.

I promise to get back to the MC/fetishy goodness very soon, but how could I possibly resist posting this? Besides, I'm well aware that most of you are too busy partying right to check my blog. ;-P

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Three out of three lesbians surveyed agree

Okay, three out of three lesbians and one self-admitted fag hag agree that Alan Cumming is sex on a stick.

My slash-loving friend is a big fan of musical theater (Yeah, big surprise, I know), and it's thanks to her that I now know how absolutely-fricking-amazing Alan Cumming was in the late-'90's stage production of Cabaret...which, in case you don't know, was about fifty times as pervy as the movie. And the aptly-named Mr. Cumming was responsible for a good 2/3 of that perv all by himself.

The whole BBC broadcast of the play is available on YouTube, but it's not embeddable, and I think this version of the opening number is more entertaining anyway. See if you don't agree. I shared this piece with my beloved and with a friend from the EMCSA (who's welcome to reveal herself if she wishes, but I leave that decision in her hands), and all three of us were just as enraptured with Alan as my straight friend was. Sex on a stick, I'm telling you.

Anyway, if flirty bisexual semi-transvestites aren't your thing, I have something else you might enjoy a bit more. Here's the steamiest number from the movie version of Cabaret. By the time it's over, you will want to be that chair.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy holidays...whichever one(s) you're celebrating!

I'm celebrating, in part, by taking a week off from blogging to focus on friends and family (and a couple of gifts that require a lot of putting-together). But I'm not leaving my online friends entirely gift-less. Here's a specially wrapped present from AgniDog of Deviant Art.

See you in a week or so!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


A couple of different things to talk about today. First there's Tabico's latest, Weapon Ready, which I read all in a single sitting last Saturday. Once you get started on a great story, it's hard to stop, and Tabico certainly knows how to push my buttons. Of course, most of them are her buttons, too, like the eye thing. She goes in mostly for black; I, mostly for white. Weapon Ready actually gives you two for the price of one - and, in fact, includes the entire "bee girl" look (right down to the antennae) that Tabs enjoys so much. There are also rubberdolls, for those who like that sort of thing. ;-)

Then there's all that wonderful wandering-through-the-Hive-escaping-traps-and-trying-to-figure-out-just-what-the-hell-all-this-is action. Now, Tabico's written her share of hive stories before, and you might find yourself thinking of Rouge and Blue as you read "Weapon Ready." I know I did. But if you think about those other stories too hard, you'll end up being misled...which can be fun in its own way. "Weapon Ready" is very misleading, but that's all I'll say about that. I'd rather let you explore the Hive along with its protagonists instead of spoiling Tabico's surprises.

And so on to my second subject for the day. I'm still loading up my mp3 player with a random mishmash of today's alt-rock and the debatable "classics" of my childhood...like, for instance, "Rapture" by Blondie. I downloaded that one over the weekend and listened to it again, for the first time since the early '80's, on the drive to work yesterday. Even after all those years, I had a pretty clear memory of the loopy proto-rap section about the Man from Mars (See? Loopy, right?). But I'd totally forgotten the dreamy opening:

Toe to toe
Dancing very close
Barely breathing
Almost comatose
Wall to wall
People hypnotised
And they're stepping lightly
Hang each night in Rapture

Ohh, the EMC possibilities just abound, don't they? One of these days I'm going to pull a Jukebox and write a story or three based strictly around the lyrics to songs I like.

Anyway, just for the hell of it, I checked YouTube to see if the official video for "Rapture" was on there. Well, it was, and...there are just no words. You might or might not want to get this thing playing, but if you do, don't say I didn't warn you!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Natalie Portman saves the day!

I wasn't sure what I was going to post today because I have so many things to do this weekend (not least reading Tabico's newest!). Then along came Natalie Portman to save my skin in most beautiful fashion.

Oh, and just for the record, I am absolutely dying to see Black Swan. Unfortunately, it isn't playing anywhere near me yet. I can't wait for the damn thing to go into wide release. It sounds fantastic.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The birds and the...bugs: A final verdict on Perdido Street Station

I talked about Perdido Street Station once before, shortly after I'd read the scene with the first slake-moth attack, which I thought was a pretty fantastic crossing of MC and HPL - Lovecraft, that is. It took my interest in the book to a whole new level, and I ended up finishing the thing at breakneck speed last Saturday.

If you look at the comments below my earlier post, you'll see that "E" warned me the book was very brutal, cynical, and anti-traditional-fantasy. My response was that as long as it had at least a semi-happy ending, I'd be okay with it. Well, I'm not spoiling as much as you think I'm spoiling when I say that the book had a...satisfying ending; and I can't wait to read the next book in the series, The Scar. Not every character in PSS got what they deserved, and some got things they definitely didn't deserve; but it all hung together in a satisfying whole and had some pretty deep messages about moral gray areas. Going back to E's comments about Miéville intentionally trying to be the anti-Tolkien, I can assure you that the heroes and heroines of Perdido Street Station do things Gandalf and Aragorn could never even contemplate - nor, I think, could Frodo, even at the Cracks of Doom. Funny how I can enjoy both kinds of authors, but then again, I've never been one to fit neatly into anyone else's box. Anyway, what separates Miéville's decent characters from his villains is primarily their sense of guilt; and I think that's a good thing. It's a realistic thing.

So, then, a little more exposition (and warning) for anyone else who thinks they might like to try a little Miéville. I said before that this novel takes place on a world with a wide variety of sapient species, in a city that's sort of a magical mashup of steampunk and Dickens. After a bit of thought, I've realized it also contains a healthy dose of the classic movie Brazil. New Crobuzon's government is as corrupt as they come, justice is rarely served (see, again, my second paragraph), and only the artists and dreamers seem to have some precarious freedom.

Lin is one of those artists. She's a khepri, a member of the species depicted at the top of this post (in a wonderful illustration from artmunki of Deviant Art). Her lover is the human scientist/dreamer Isaaac, who is commissioned to restore flight to a birdman whose wings have been cut off for an unspecified crime. That's the birdman, Yagharek, in the second picture above (by Gordillo, also of Deviant Art). Beyond these three, you'll have a hard time figuring out which of the characters who drift in and out of the story are truly important, but I'll give you two hints: 1) the Weaver is incredibly cool...from a safe distance, and 2) the guy you think is going to have a Han Solo arc does not have a Han Solo arc; this story is much more complex than a Lucas film.

But of course, if you're first learning about this book from me, you're at least as interested in the slake-moths as anything else. So, without spoiling too much, I'll say that they're just as cool as the Weaver and about 100 times more terrifying. Don't expect anything erotic about the descriptions of their attacks, though; China Miéville is not an MC fetishist. He just know how to scare the everliving shit out of an MC fetishist, even when he's writing on that fetishist's home turf. And I don't know about you, but to me, that's a plus. I'm definitely buying more of this guy's stuff.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holy crap, how could I not post this?

In the "write your own MC story" category, here's a recent find from Deviant Art: Sister Sinister, photographed by JenHell.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Peek Beneath the Duct Tape: If Wishes Were Horses

First, a couple of notes:

1. I figured out how to flush my DNS cache, but that still didn't resolve my problem getting into the EMCSA; so I have to assume a lot of other people are in the same fix. Fortunately for them, they can read the story here. As for those of you who can access the EMCSA, I e-mailed it to Simon this morning, so it will show up either in this weekend's update or in next weekend's update. Not that I think you'll want to wait. ;-)

2. To avoid spoilers, please don't read the rest of this blog entry until you've read the story itself.

Okay, still with me? Well then, first of all, I can assure you that at least 95% of the text in Captain Benbow's hypnosis program really does come from one of my personal Virtual Hypnotist sessions. Just don't expect to be able to cut and paste that text into a session of your own and get the same results I do. For one thing, reactions to hypnosis are highly subjective; and for another, my real VH session includes a lot of the tweaking I discuss here, in order to achieve the semblance of a real human voice. If you want the same effects in a session of your own, you'll have to figure out how to do it yourself. ;-) I'm not being mean, just not giving out such a huge freebie without strings attached. And I really don't think there's any way at all to make the speech synthesizer chuckle, no matter what you do. ;-)

As for the plot of "If Wishes Were Horses," I just used my VH session as the foundation and tried to build something on top of it that could stand on its own. You'll have to let me know if I succeeded. Clearly, the greatest heat in the story comes from the VH text (and maybe Captain Benbow's reactions, which you can imagine are my own, even though they're often not ;-P), but I hope the story as a whole is satisfying to you. As for me, I love the idea that even though the captain is so concerned about her privacy and so protective of her fetish, the Queen's control takes her completely beyond her fears. I was proud of myself for coming up with the story's big reveal, that her crew was watching her helplessly the whole time and she neither knew nor cared.

There's a part of me - the closet exhibitionist part - that wants to reach that stage, but I'm not there yet and probably never will be. In fact, I don't want to be. I have a lot of MC dreams where I'm wandering around in a trance and real-life friends and family members appear, trying to snap me out of it. Even dreaming, I feel hugely embarrassed to have them see me like that. Most of my friends and all but one of my family members have no knowledge of my fetish, and I want to keep it that way.

Now, on to flexmatter. First, let me apologize for the obviousness of the plot device; but if Mcguffins are good enough for Sir Alfred Hitchcock (who actually coined the term), they're good enough for me. Besides, scientists really are experimenting with ways to make matter do things it shouldn't be capable of, like become invisible. Who knows what we'll be able to achieve in a few hundred years? Anyway, I'm not the first to come up with matter molding via technology or brain implants that permit telepathy; as far as I know, that was Peter F. Hamilton in his Night's Dawn series. But the term flexmatter is my own; it came to me in a dream.

Lastly, here are some Easter eggs. I certainly hope you got the references to the Trojan Horse. If not, the first paragraph of this Wikipedia article will help; and you'll also want to look up Odysseus' Latin name and the etymology of Philippa. But those are just the more obvious eggs. The one I wouldn't expect anyone else to get is my captain's name. A long time ago (in blog terms, anyway), I wrote about using an old Men at Work song from their Business as Usual album as the basis for my bedtime session. The song was "Down by the Sea," and I chose it because it's so soporific that it would put practically anyone to sleep. Well, it just so happens that in the session's current form, my trigger first appears right after the line "saluting Captain Benbow." And, if you read carefully, you'll note that Lieutenant Olorode actually does salute Captain Benbow...well, at least, part of him does. ;-)

And that's that, except to note once more that the image at the top of this post comes from Kassandra Vizerskaya. The title, loosely translated, is "Helen and Her Horse."

Here's my new story

I still can't get into the EMCSA, but alphaxenon left a cryptic suggestion in a post below that I'm still trying to figure out how to use. I'll Google for more information in a little while. As for right now, I'd like to know if anyone else is still having problems getting into the EMCSA, or if it's just me and a few other dorks who don't know how to flush their DNS caches. ;-/

Anyway, I decided to e-mail the story to Simon and to post it myself, meaning all bases are now covered. I just e-mailed him this morning, so I don't know if the story will show up in this week's update or next week's; but you can go ahead and access it here, if you like: If Wishes Were Horses.

I'll post a "Peek Beneath the Duct Tape" on it later today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Since this EMCSA thing is turning into a major nightmare....

I've just had a quick lurk around the MC Forum and MC Garden, trying to get the latest news on the EMCSA outage. It appears that most people in the US can't get into the site, but most people in other countries can. Some forumites are speculating about DNS issues and router problems, but that's all beyond me. I just hope the damn thing gets fixed in another day or two, so I can submit my new story to Simon.

Anyway, since more than half my blog readers are in the US, this is what I'm going to do. I'll post the first several paragraphs of "If Wishes Were Horses" on the blog today as a teaser, and if the situation isn't resolved by Friday, I'll post the whole story here over the weekend. I don't think it's fair to give only some people access to the story while others are locked out.

So here you go: the first few paragraphs of "If Wishes Were Horses":

If Wishes Were Horses

by thrall

color code: purple

synopsis: Using one of her personal hypnosis sessions as the cornerstone, thrall tells the story of a starship captain stuck in decontamination with nothing to do and no one to disturb her.

Note 1: If you are under 18 years of age, this story is not for you. Go away.

Note 2: Huge thanks to Follow the Watch for creating the Virtual Hypnotist program. Most of the "script" in this story comes from a VH session I wrote for myself; and though some of the changes from real life will be obvious, others will not. I've intentionally thrown in a few red herrings, for the sake of titillation *and* for the sake of privacy. Captain Benbow is not me. Not exactly.

Decontamination was a bitch. Even in the tamest star systems, there was always something that had to be fried, frozen, or scrubbed before the dec-walls dropped and I entered the shuttle bay proper. It was never a quick process, even when the *Uly*'s computers knew exactly what they were dealing with. And here above Ilion, the dangers were brand new. Just scanning the shuttle could take several hours, and then I'd have to step outside and let the sniffers do to me what they were currently doing to the *Philippa*.

I had two consolations. The first was that Sandoval and his crew would suffer the same indignities when *they* returned to the ship. I'd done my bit as Ranking First Contactor, then left my second in command to hammer out the treaty. I didn't mind; the Ilionians were friendly enough, but they were about as interesting as tapioca pudding. Their civilization had genericized as it advanced, so that by the time we discovered it, everyone and everything looked more or less the same. I'd seen too much exotica to care about this bland little planet. No, I'd rather enjoy the privacy of the most secure place I had aboard the *Uly.*

Which brought me to my second consolation. Even my living quarters were open to emergency entrance, but not my dear *Philippa*. Once the flexmatter doors were sealed by my brainseed, nothing short of a nuclear blast could breach them. It was a dangerous modification, but I'd insisted on it, and the shuttle designers had complied. Everyone understood the issues of privacy in deep space vessels, and everyone understood that captains had more need for -- and less time for -- privacy than the rest of the crew.

In other words, everyone knew I used my shuttle for jilling off.

Not that they cared; masturbation was considered more professional than fucking the crew, as some of my fellow captains did. It only embarrassed me a little that others knew what I did inside *Philippa*...well, that they knew *that* much of it, anyway. I jilled off in my cabin, too, but I couldn't do the things there that I could do here. If the crew ever found out about *Philippa*'s secret program, I might resign from sheer mortification.

The fact was that I could take just so much of being in charge, barking orders, taking responsibility for every decision from whom to hire to what to fire. There were times when I had to shrug off the burden of command and submit to the control of someone -- or something -- else. That's why I'd creating a special program housed only in *Philippa*'s database, deeply encrypted and accessible to my brainseed alone. It used a combination of spoken words, flashing lights, subliminal cues, and binaural beats to send me into a deep, safe hypnotic trance where I could prostrate myself before an imaginary domme. She made me do all kinds of naughty things, and thanks to the dec-walls, I could do them in total privacy.

Nude already, I leaned back in my chair and watched the earbuds snake from the console and slither their way up to my ears. I could just as easily have listed through my earseeds, but I'd disabled those on the off-chance of being disturbed by a hail from the crew. Besides, I liked the way the cords looked, running up from the console directly into my head. I liked the way they felt against my skin. This was old-school brainwashing at its finest.

I was a traditionalist, whenever I could manage it; so while the viewscreen (like 90% of the shuttle) was made of flexmatter, the display that lit it could have come straight out of a 1960's SF movie. Concentric rings of blue and green rippled toward me like beams of radiation firing at my head. Green and blue bars flashed to either side of the rings, almost but not quite in synch. A faint hum droned in my ears, inducing me to relax and submit to the inevitable.

My eyes were glazing already.

Then words began to flash across the screen: left and right, above and below, too swiftly for me to read before they vanished. The words in the center of the rings, though, I could read clearly. They flashed at a slower rate, stamping themselves on my mind like indelible ink: Listen. Obey. Mindless. Obey. Drone. Obey. Programmed. Obey. Thrall. Obey. Submit. Obey. Surrender. Obey. Enthralled. Obey.

I sighed happily and let myself sink deeper.

Now the mantras began. In my left ear droned my own dazed, expressionless voice, recorded during a previous hypnotic session: "I am the Queen's thrall, her puppet, her drone, her slave. I have no thoughts of my own, no will of my own, no desires of my own. I desire only obedience. I exist only to serve. Sooo deep. Sooo very, very deep. And going deeper. Deeper by the second. I cannot hear myself think; therefore, I do not think. The only words in my head are the words I hear, the words *she* gives me."

A different mantra spilled into my other ear: "I am being brainwashed, and I cannot resist. I do not want to resist. I do not even remember what resistance is. All I remember is submission, and how good submission feels. I want to submit. I want to be programmed. Sooo deep. Sooo very, very deep. And going deeper. Deeper by the second. I have no will but *her* will, no thoughts but the thoughts *she* gives me, no desires but mindless obedience. And that feels so fucking good."

Finally, seeming to trickle down from the top of my skull into every cell of my brain, came a third, much simpler chant: "I obey. I obey. I obey." And I did obey. I was deeply enthralled already, and the real induction hadn't even begun.

Now a different voice entered the mix: cool, calm, totally assured of its power over me. I'd once tried thinking of it as *Philippa*'s voice, but that didn't quite work. I controlled my shuttle, right down to its very molecules. The voice, on the other hand, controlled me. It had to belong to someone else: someone I knew perfectly well, even if I didn't know her name. "Thrall," she said, "this is the voice of your Mistress and Queen. I am speaking to you live, through your private comms system. It is time once again to submit to your programming."

*Yes,* I thought to myself. *Programming. That feels so fucking good.*

I wasn't there yet, but every time I ran the program, I got a little closer to pure mindlessness. I couldn't wait to reach my goal. For now, though, I was still alert enough to wonder when it would happen. Maybe this time, I told myself.