Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beautiful horror, horrible beauty

First, a quick note: my new story, "If Wishes Were Horses," is all ready to post, but the EMCSA has been offline most of the week, so I decided not even to try sending it in. Hopefully, the problem will be fixed a few more days and I can e-mail Simon; but if it continues, I'll just post the story here next weekend.

And now on to today's main event.

I've been reading Perdido Street Station, my first dip into the widely-acclaimed fiction of China MiƩville; and while it's been very good so far, yesterday it suddenly became great. Lovecraftian-MC great. Now I'm even more interested in this book than I was before, and I plan to buy MiƩville's real Lovecraftian pastiche, Kraken, next. Let me tell you, folks, this guy knows how to describe what Lovecraft only hinted at.

Here's the bit I read yesterday, with a little setup. Perdido Street Station takes place on a world where several sapient species live in a magical/steampunk/Dickensian sort of city (sorry, that's the best I can come up with; this world is totally unique). The main character, Isaac, is a scientist who was given an unfamiliar caterpillar-like creature earlier on; and it grew to dog-size before cocooning itself inside its cage. Fortunately for Isaac, he's out of the office when the cocoon finally bursts. Instead it's his friend Lublamai and a nasty little creature named Teafortwo who get to meet the newborn.

Note that Lublamai's research space is downstairs, and Isaac's is upstairs on a wide landing that goes all around the building. This will help you picture the scene a little better.

And now on with the show.

Lublamai and Teafortwo looked up at the screech and discordant plucking of torn wire. The sound seemed to start above them and wash throughout the room. They looked at each other, then up again.

"Wassat, guvnor...?" said Teafortwo.

Lublamai walked away from the desk. He glanced up at Isaac's balcony, turned slowly, took in the whole of the ground floor. There was silence. Lublamai stood still, frowning, gazing at the front door. Had the sound come from outside? he wondered.

A movement was reflected in the mirror beside the door.

A dark thing rose from the floor at the top of the stairs.

Lublamai spoke, emitted some tremulous noise of disbelief, of fear, of confusion, but it dissipated soundlessly after the briefest moment. He stared with an open mouth at the reflection.

The thing unfolded. The sense was of a blossoming. As expansion after being enclosed, like a man or woman standing and spreading their arms wide after huddling foetally, but multiplied and made vast. As if the thing's indistinct limbs could bend a thousand times, so that it unhinged liked a paper sculpture, standing and spreading arms or legs or tentacles or tails that opened and opened. The thing that had huddled like a dog stood and opened itself, and it was nearly the size of a man.

Teafortwo screeched something. Lublamai opened his mouth wider and tried to move. He could not see its shape. Only its dark, glistening skin and hands that clutched like a child's. Cold shadows. Eyes that were not eyes. Organic folds and jags and twists like rats' tails that shuddered and twitched as if newly dead. And those finger-long shards of colourless bone that shone white and parted and dripped and that were teeth....

As Teafortwo tried to bolt past Lublamai and Lublamai tried to open his mouth to scream, his eyes still fixed to the creature in the mirror, his feet skittering on the flagstones, the thing at the top of the stairs opened its wings.

Four rustling concertinas of dark matter flickered outwards on the creature's back, and outwards again and again, slotting into position, fanning and expanding in vast folds of thick mottled flesh, expanding to an impossible size: an explosion of organic patterns, a flag unfurling, clenched fists opening.

The thing made its body thin and spread those colossal wings, massive flat folds of stiff skin that seemed to fill the hall. They were irregular, chaotic in shape, random fluid whorls; but mirror-perfect left and right, like spilt ink or paint patterns on folded paper.

And on those great flat planes were dark stains, rude patterns that seemed to flicker as Lublamai watched and Teafortwo fumbled with the door, wailing. The colours were midnight, sepulchral, black-blue, black-brown, black-red. And then the patterns did flicker, the shadow-shapes moved like amoeba in a magnifying lens or oil on water, the patterns left and right still matching, moving in time, hypnotic and heavy, faster. Lublamai's face creased. His back itched maniacally with the thought that the thing was behind him. Lublamai spun to face it, gazed directly into the mutating colors, the dusky vivid show....

....and Lublamai no longer thought of screaming but only of watching as those dark markings rolled and boiled in perfect symmetry across the wings like clouds in a night sky above, in water below.

Teafortwo howled. He turned to see the thing that was now descending the stairs, those wings still unfurled. Then the patterns on the wings caught him and he stared, his mouth open.

The dark designs on those wings moved beguilingly.

Lublamai and Teafortwo stood still and silent, agog, slack-jawed and shivering, gazing at the magnificent wings.

The creature tasted the air.

It looked briefly at Teafortwo, and opened its mouth, but the pickings were meagre. It turned its head and faced Lublamai, keeping those wings spread and enthralling. It moaned with hunger ... The air hummed with the taste of Lublamai. The creature salivated and its wings flickered into a frenzy, and Lublamai's taste grew stronger and stronger until the thing's monstrous tongue emerged and it moved forward, flicking Teafortwo effortlessly out of the way.

The winged creature took Lublamai in its hungry embrace.

So...what do you think happened to Lublamai? Pretty much what you'd expect. What you'd hope for. ;-) And the best part is, this creature isn't alone. In fact, it's the runt of its litter. I'm expecting Perdido Street Station to get a lot darker after this, and that suits me just fine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is that: Sacrifice...or preparation?

What is it about splaying women on top of grave monuments or in other poses that suggest they're about to become (or already have become) victims of some ritual? Whatever it is, I find it hot as hell, and I hope you do too. Here are a few of my favorite examples of the phenomenon.

At left is a series of photos I found on Nick Santoso's gallery at Model Mayhem. Note not only the woman on the gravestone at the end, but also the woman just above her, who looks like a third bride who got edited out of Big Trouble in Little China. All she's missing are the white eyes.

Just below are shots from Natalie Lines, the Yerbury Studios website, and Nicholas Taylor.

Now here are images from Draconian Artworks, Luis Royo, and Nic Marchant.

Lastly, here's one from Matt Hoyle that makes me think the Sleeping Beauty story would make a damn fine EMC piece. Maybe one day....

***Unless otherwise attributed, all images above come from either Model Mayhem or Deviant Art.***

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bellydance unbound

Checking my e-mail this morning, I found a link from sylvrgirl to this amazing video. You can imagine, if you like, that the dancer has been kidnapped and brainwashed, then left temporarily abandoned by her mistress. She wakes slowly, not knowing who or where she is; but knowing something has happened to her. She resists, but only feebly; and even her movements toward resistance end up being more puppet-like than human.

It's only fair to suggest that, if you like what you see, you should check out the original link and read the story behind this project. There's more going on here - and there will be even more, if the dancers find enough backers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coming soon: a new thrall EMC story

Remember when I teased you way back in April with the idea of turning my morning Virtual Hypnotist session into an EMC story? Well, what with one thing and another, it's taken until now for me to write enough that I can say more about it. I didn't want to commit myself to any sort of schedule, you see; so I just kept my mouth shut and did a little bit here and there until finally, this very morning, I finished the rough draft.

I also settled on a title not long ago: a different one than the three I mentioned as possibilities before. The story will be called "If Wishes Were Horses"; and that, combined with the picture above and the three previous possible titles, might give you a clue about the plot...if you know your mythology, anyway.

Well, I said I didn't want to commit myself to a schedule with this story; but I figure it will take me at least one more week (possibly two) to polish it well enough for submission to Simon. So I think it's safe to say you can look for it on the EMCSA either at the tail end of November or else early in December.

BTW, the picture above comes from Kassandra Vizerskaya and is called (in rough English) Helen and her Horse.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lovecraftian musings...and art

Recently the students at the Rhode Island School of Design were issued a challenge, to illustrate some of H.P. Lovecraft's scariest scenes and monsters. At left is what I consider to be the best of their efforts, a Shoggoth painted by Craig J. Spearing that IMO is just begging to become a book cover. But there are lots of other goodies at this website, which it's only fair to say I found through io9. Dagon looks pretty awesome, too; as does a creature I feel sure the judge misidentified when he guessed it was a ghast (IMO, it's clearly a denizen of Innsmouth).

Anyway, looking at these images makes me think of the difficulty in turning creatures this squicky into subjects of mind control erotica. You can go the route Tabico and I did in The Icky-Squicky Spider, intentionally using the horror to illustrate the depth of the MC; or you can go the route I tried in Octopus Vulgaris, trying to find something beautiful amidst the squick. I doubt Lovecraft ever found anything beautiful in his creatures, and I have no idea if I succeeded or not. But I do know it's easier to make these things beautiful with words rather than images. Some of the student art I linked to above is funny, but the only one I'd call beautiful (Chun Lo's Dhole) looks more like something from an SF novel than anything from Lovecraft's mythology.

No, let's face it: if you ever saw one of Lovecraft's monstrosities in real life, it would be squicky, not beautiful at all. That's part of what I hinted at in Union, Reunion, when Allie has a moment, after submitting to the lake monster, where's she's hurting and horrified and thinks, "It's not supposed to be like this." That bit actually came from a dream of mine: a dream in which I submitted to a Lovecraftian monster and it was cold and slimy and painful, not pleasurable at all. The pleasure only came after I was "converted," which brings me back to the motivation of "The Icky-Squicky Spider."

I don't know; maybe you have to turn to Clark Ashton Smith if you want beautiful MC-monsters. I still recommend The Maze of Maal-Dweb, for all its overwrought prose. In fact, I recommend almost anything by Smith - and you can find it online at The Eldritch Dark.

But this was meant to be a post about Lovecraft, so I guess I've strayed a bit. I hope you don't mind. ;-) And I hope some of you will respond to these musings. Do you find anything beautiful, anything erotic, in any of Lovecraft's monstrosities? Do you have to reconfigure them in your mind, in order to do so? Or do you just separate your horror from your erotica entirely?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My God, it's full of stars

Here's something you probably don't know about me: I really, really love astronomy. So, okay, that's probably not the sexiest thing you've ever read on my blog. But what if I told you I'd found a way to add fetishy goodness to this uber-nerdy obsession? What if I told you that, in my everlasting search for the perfect MC photomanip, I realized how beautifully a starfield or nebula could complement a dazed eye or orgasming crotch? Thus was born this post.

The model for the first five images is named Narkiss, and that's pretty much all I know about her. My old alley cat friend e-mailed me this photo ages ago, we admired her trancelike expression together, and that was that.

I know even less about the second model, but at least you can find the site where she came from by checking the stamp at the bottom of her picture.

Oh, and speaking of stamps, you'll notice that I've added my own to these manips; so if you want to repost them, please do me the courtesy of keeping my credit on there. And I, in return, will credit the creator of the delightfully named Level Fourteen Druid for giving me the perfect font.

Just one more note before I get on to the manips. For the two or three people actually interested, I found all the outer space images in this post at the Hubble website gallery; and I've listed the name of each galaxy, nebula, etc., I used just above the picture I used it in. You shouldn't have much trouble finding more images of them - and lots of fantastic desktop backgrounds.

Now, let's start with CL0024 and its dark matter ring:

Next up is Hoag's Object.

Now here's spiral galaxy M74.

And here's a lovely little snippet of V838 Monocerotis.

Lastly, because I know my audience (and I know what I like!), here's an anonymous nude woman being mindfucked by the glorious Orion Nebula. I think this one is my masterpiece. ;-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things: JessiKa Violet

I have to admit, I've always had a thing for dreadlocks. Unfortunately, I'm a little old (not to mention a little white) to wear them properly. A Native American, on the other hand, can apparently get away with dreads just fine...especially when she dyes them fuchsia.

Meet JessiKa Violet. Yes, that really is how she spells it. She has a fantastic look; and like most of the folks I enjoy, she has galleries with more pictures on both Model Mayhem and Deviant Art.

The pic above is by W. Forrest Photography, and so is the first pic in the row below. After that are photos by Cool Hand Luke (where JessiKa is wearing Ego Assassin) and Nick Perks.

Next up are shots from Roperookie (where she's wearing Vile Sindustry), sideshowsito, and Roperookie again.

Lastly, here's another shot from sideshowsito and two shots from Vincent Lions in which JessiKa is modeling Ego Assassin again.

***As usual, all models, photographers, and latex designers in this post have their own galleries on Model Mayhem and/or Deviant Art.***