Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Reads: Vox; Merry Gentry

I want to share a couple recommendations in adult fiction. The first is Vox, by Nicholson Baker. This is a "realtime" story of two people having phone sex, almost like a transcript (or log). I was drawn to it, because so much of SL is essentially a conversation. This particular conversation is intriguing and varied, as the man and woman share some lush fetishes and fantasies. The hot talk moves smoothly through both pornographic imagination and gritty realism. If the woman was a player in SL, I would be smitten. I particularly enjoy the contrast between the sexual tastes of the man and woman, and where they find overlap. One fictional character doesn't tell me all I want to know about women, but I do appreciate every lesson I can get.

My second recommendation is the Merry Gentry series. The author, Laurell Hamilton, is more famous for her Anita Blake vampire novels. (I haven't read them.) Merry, or Meredith, is a faerie princess/detective/hedonist, living in the contemporary USA. Over time, the author fills in some of the history and details of a world in which the Seelie and Unseelie Courts live openly, kind of like Native Americans on reservations (or District 9, complete with weapons you shouldn't take lightly). I would have enjoyed more about the world, but it's mostly a backdrop. For better or worse, the focus is Merry's extraordinary destiny, and the dozens of men she needs to fuck along the way. She has to be a slut, but it's for good reasons, see, and the faerie are cast as very sensual, sexually-liberated immortals. (Substitute Second Life for the Faerie Courts, and many of the lines still make sense!)

So, there is a lot of sex, including exhibitionism, multiple partners, orgasms that produce epic magical effects, and (occasionally) some sort-of force or fleeting D/s. The erotica tends more towards poetry than anatomy, and that's OK. But combined with the first-person female point of view... what should have been stimulating scenes sometimes left me impatient for the next plot twist. Or maybe I just wanted more repeat action, rather than yet another combination of hair color, latent demigod, and position. I'm being picky, but with affection. Sometimes the sex is very, very good. Overall, the series held my attention for four books. The insecurity and emo dialog of the men eventually cooled my interest. Apparently, even if we're immortal and we can have messy supernatural sex with a royal hottie, men need a lot of ego stroking. (Another SL parallel!)

I cheerfully welcome recommendations on reading, in comments here or IMs in SL. I'm currently rereading The Fountainhead for several reasons, including now being knowledgeable enough to understand and study the D/s relationship between Howard and Dominique.

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