Archive | January 26, 2015

A Book Review of Sorts: Titan, by John Varley

I’m trying a new thing, wherein I start at one end of my bookshelves and work my way through, and post something about the book when I’m done.

I’ve never done book reviews, and I’m not sure these will count as such. But they’ll tell you something about the book, or, at least, that’s the hope.

The first book to be so read is Titan by John Varley.

The first thing I noted: This is a used copy, not the original cover according to Wikiepedia but what ebay says is a 1980 cover. And there’s so much hype. It’s written like this guy will be the next Robert Heinlein – and if he hadn’t been on my dad’s bookshelf, I’d have never read him.

I read Wizard, the sequel, first, several times, as is my wont, because that’s the one Dad had on the shelf, growing up; I think I found Titan in a used book store & recognized the cover. This was not my first read of Titan, but it had been long enough that I’d forgotten most of the plot.

Two things stuck out enough that the story itself got a bit lost in them:

First, this would make a phenomenal web comic. Check out this fan art. Pastel centaurs (well, most of ’em are pastel) with two sets of genetalia! (oh here’s a pastel one).

All of the imagery is like that, and the story, rambling and disconnected as it can be at times, would probably work great in webcomic form.

Secondly… holy seventies, batman. Now, this is me we’re talking about. Sex in scifi doesn’t bug me. But I hadn’t noticed, on the first read, how Look We Have Sexual Freedom the story read. There’s the incestuous clone-twins, the “we sleep with everyone” discussion, the awkward lesbian crush subplot, the rape… of course there’s a rape. What story with a female captain would be complete without that? O_O In short: yay, you have sex. Maybe have a plot, too?

I actually did enjoy the book as a whole, but found myself skimming large portions of it, and rolling my eyes at ever larger portions. It might have been better on first read… but it’s probably going back to the used book store now.

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Ready-to-Order, a short ficlet for Thimbleful Thursday

He was gorgeous. He had perfect pecs; six-pack abs; smooth skin; short, perfectly-tousled curls; stunning green eyes; and white teeth. He was just enough taller than her to be pleasant, without being so tall as to loom, and, dressed in nothing but blue jeans and a leather collar, he looked absolutely to die for. And he was hers.

The icing on his scrumptious bright-smiled handsome-eyes striking-nose cake (and now she wanted to lick icing off his nose – and she could!) was that this absolutely delicious chunk of manliness had volunteered. He’d signed up for the collar, the leash, the half-nudity, and five years of complete and utter servitude. And the slightly-dazed smile on his face suggested that, so far, he wasn’t regretting it.

She’d watched his recruitment video. She was sure he’d watched her placement video; it was a required part of the matching procedure. And then, because this was her first time doing this sort of thing, she’d watched his processing by remote camera.

She heard that recruits got to keep the abs, etc., when they were done. And that, that was the sprinkles on the icing (She had to try that, really, really had to try that). Not only had he volunteered, but this new, shaped-to-order body was as new to him as it was to her.


To January 23rd’s Thimbleful Thursday prompt, approx. 200 words

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In Which Amrit begins to learn his limits (Fae Apoc, Amrit/Mieve)

First: A beginning of a story which obnoxiously cuts off just before the description,
Previous: IAmrit is Introduced to His New Life.
Fae Apoc, approx. now.

Content Warnings: This setting, although not this ficlet, contains rape, mind control, and dubious consent situations.

This particular story contains kidnapping and slavery, bondage, and will eventually contain violence & Stockholm Syndrome.

Amrit glared at his captor. So she had a trick, great. She couldn’t seriously expect him to just give in, could she? “Fuck – argh.”

She had, of course, jammed the gag in the minute he opened his mouth. “Don’t worry,” she assured him. “I know what you were going to say.” Her invisible force held his arms down while she buckled the gag in place and padlocked it, fuck her. Amrit worked his mouth around the damn thing. It was mostly metal, from the taste and feel, pushing against the sides of his mouth and holding his tongue down. It was irritating, a constant presence, but what was worrying was the way it abraded the sides of his mouth. If it broke the skin, the skin would heal, once the hawthorn left his system. And pulling a gag out when the skin had healed over it would seriously suck.

Her fingers brushed the edges of his mouth. “Tomorrow, I’ll pull together a better gag for long-term wear, since it appears you don’t want to cooperate. Come on. I’m going to put you to bed, and we can worry about the rest tomorrow.”

Bed? The pressure on his chest and arms let up, and Amrit stood. He shook his ankle, which was still chained to the table, only to see the chain unlock itself and snake into his captor’s hand. “Please try not to do anything stupid for the next three minutes.”

Amrit ran. Or, at least, he took off, only to trip and barely miss landing on his face. Invisible hands caught him and put him back on his feet. “That,” the woman pointed out dryly, “does not count as not doing anything stupid.”

Amrit muttered something into the gag, not bothering with trying to make the words coherent. She was stronger than she looked – or she’d figured out how to use her obvious telekinesis to buff her strength. He might not be able to overpower her; he was going to have to figure out how to outsmart her, or just take her by surprise.

Not right now; she was waiting for it. He grunted inquisitively: where was he going?

“Walk straight forward.”

She pressed lightly on the small of his back. “The door at the end of the hallway. The door on the right is the bathroom, and the door on the left… probably won’t concern you.”

Amrit walked straight forward. The door she’d indicated opened into a small bedroom with a large window – covered in a decorative iron grate – and a small bed. Still, it was a bed, with blankets and everything.

“Lay down, get comfortable.” She pushed on the small of his back again. Amrit didn’t need to be told twice. If he wasn’t going to escape right now, he might as well get some much-needed sleep. He flopped down on the bed, twisted until the lock on the gag wasn’t digging into the back of his head, and pulled the blanket up to his hips.

“Very good.” She straddled him, her invisible hands pressing just enough to tell him not to move. “I bet you’re not surprised that I’m going to tie you down a bit.” Her hands were gentle as she locked fur-lined leather restraints around his wrists and ankles. Amrit could still move, but the only way he was standing up was if he took the bed with him. He shifted under her, testing the limits of the bonds.

“You know,” she pointed out, “if you’d just agree to belong to me, we could avoid all this.”

Amrit worked his mouth around the gag. “Uh oo, ayee.”

“Good night to you, too, my pet.” She pulled the curtains closed, leaving Amrit in the dark. “I’ll see you in the morning.”


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