Orchids are cool, in a “nature is horrifying” way. There are species of orchid that have evolved structures that look like insects, which they use to lure in insects searching for mates.
Some orchids use these insect visitors to pollinate themselves. The insect does its thing and then flies off, horny and frustrated and covered with sticky pollen, but otherwise none the worse for wear.
But some orchids are carnivorous. They lure insects to their doom, slowly digesting their prey alive as the ill-fated insect struggles helplessly.
And some orchids mimic insect pheromones, sweeting the honeytrap with the same signals that female insects use.
I’ve been thinking quite a lot about sexual parasitism of humans lately, in no small measure because I’ve finished the first version of the Xenomorph Hiphugger Strapon, a Giger-esque nightmare sex toy first conceived by my wife Joreth. Imagine an alien facehugger that wraps around the subject’s hips, then incites the subject to seek out victims, violating them in a parasitic frenzy. As creepy as this image is, it’s table stakes in the game of real-world sexual parasitism, which is horrifying.
Anyway, that’s got me thinking: what if an alien species created mimics of human females to lure in the male of the species? (An idea for a horror novel with this theme is bubbling in my brain; stay tuned!)
What I’ve come up with so far is…well, pretty horrifying.
I’ve started work on a small, AI-illustrated graphic novella (is a graphic novella a thing?), though with all the projects in the pipe right now—including a version of the hiphugger strapon optimized for oral violation—it may be a while before it’s finished.
Preorders for The Hallowed Covenant, my new post-scarcity science fiction erotic novel with Eunice Hung, just went up today! And man, I am really, really excited about this book.
This is probably my favorite book I’ve ever coauthored. We take a deep dive into what it’s like to live in the City, along the way touching on themes like:
• How do you have a system of justice in a post-scarcity society with no police or codified laws?
• What are the AIs the people in this society worship as gods? What are they like?
• What do transgression and atonement look like when there’s no such thing as law?
And of course there’s lots of sex, much of it involving kinks so exotic they don’t even have names.
The novel follows seven friends as they wrestle with changes in their lives, set against the backdrop of the Festival of the Lady (the AI god of art and creativity)—think Burning Man in a society with a tech level that makes Star Trek look late Bronze Age, but more hedonistic.
The first two novels in the Passionate Pantheon universe have done so well people started asking us for audiobook versions, and guess what? We delivered! The Hallowed Covenant has an audiobook, narrated by the amazing (and incredibly sexy) Francesca Peregrine.
This has been an incredibly productive year. Well, years, actually. The last three years have been the most creative, most productive time in my life. And I’m pleased to share some of that creativity with you!
First up, a new novel, The Hallowed Covenant! This is the third book I’ve co-authored with the marvelous Eunice Hung. It’s also the third book in the Passionate Pantheon series of far-future, post-scarcity science fiction theocratic pornography.
Yes, we invented a genre.
Anyway, I’m incredibly proud of this novel. We explore (I think) some really interesting ideas about autonomy, responsibility, atonement, and forgiveness, amidst all the really hot super-kinky sex.
This is also the first Passionate Pantheon novel that will have an audiobook version, narrated by the amazing Francesca Peregrine. She had some lovely things to say:
Favourite chapter so far: a description of a festival that basically sounds like Sexy Sci-fi Burning Man. I want to…go there? Like….now? Immediately, please. Give me chaotic, beautiful art blended seamlessly with hot people Doing It. @franklinveaux and @Eunice_Serina
The book publishes this October. Preorders are up on Barnes & Noble and Amazon, but watch this space! You’ll be able to get a copy before pub date at a special price (and an early peek at the audiobook and the fourth novel in the series, Unyielding Devotion) if you back our crowdfunding next month!
I’ve also just launched a new website for makers who like sex: Tentacle Love. This is a DIY site full of tutorials and tips for making your own silicone sex toys, and includes downloadable 3D printable molds for you to cast sex toys yourself.
I’ve been making silicone sex toys for a while, so from time to time I also plan to put one-offs on the site for sale. These aren’t your typical sex toys, oh no—my tastes being what they are, I’ve made everything from kazoo ball gags (yes, seriously) to double-sided tentacle gags to…well, stranger things.
The second book in the Passionate Pantheon series of far-future, post-scarcity erotic science fiction, Divine Burdens, I co-authored with Eunice Hung is out!
This is…unusual erotica.
When Eunice and I wrote the first book in the series, Divine Burdens,, we spent a lot of time shopping it around to publishers, who kept telling us there was no way to sell it. Erotica, we were told over and over (and over!), is niche. People like what the like. Someone who reads shapeshifter werewolf porn won’t read shapeshifter vampire porn. Unless the book fits a genre, there’s no way to reach its audience.
Well, these books don’t fit a genre.
They’re kinky AF, they are set in a far-future society ruled by AIs who are worshipped as gods through ritualized sex, and they have fetishes so exotic they don’t have names (we checked).
So not what most publishers wanted.
Well, we persevered, and now the second novel is available! And the third is in its fourth draft, and the fourth is in its second draft, and we’re planning the fifth…ahem. Anyway.
So, yeah, this book…isn’t like the first. The first book was Utopian post-scarcity erotica. With this one, we wanted to see what would happen if we took a post-scarcity society and flipped the Utopia on its head. Divine Burdens is erotic horror.
Top athletes competing for the honor of running through a forest for three days, pursued by Hunters trying to capture them and commune with the God of the Hunt through their bodies! An exile being taken to the temple of the God of the Deep and face violation by tentacle! A volunteer playing host to a sacred parasite that lives within her, flooding her body with powerful aphrodisiacs while she and her fellow volunteers undergo rituals that are half religious worship, half medical exam!
“Amakoli will preside over tomorrow’s Winnowing,” High Priest Henlith said. “Right now there are, correct me if I’m wrong, twelve contestants competing to be this year’s Sacrifice. After tomorrow, there will be four.” He raised a mug. “Tomorrow, we will measure the worth of the contenders. Tonight, let us feast!”
A ragged rowdy cheer filled the hall. Savine leaned over to Lija. “Do you think you’re going to make the cut?”
“I don’t think it,” Lija said. “I know it.”
“Arrogant,” Amakoli said from her chair. “I like it. That’s a winner’s attitude.”
“Care to make a wager?” Savine said.
“What did you have in mind?”
“Simple. If you make the cut, I’ll be your bondslave. If you don’t, you’ll be mine.” Savine bared her teeth. “I mean to make sure you don’t.”
“Shall we say five days?”
Lija snorted. “You don’t sound very confident.” She glanced at Amakoli, who watched their negotiation with interest. “I propose a counter-offer. If I make the cut and you don’t, it’s fifty days, beginning the day after the end of the Sacrifice.”
“And if I make the cut and you don’t?” Savine said.
“Same. Fifty days.”
A small drone of gold metal shaped like a wizened old man fluttered down from the ceiling on crystalline green wings. It whirred mechanically as it opened the book it carried. “Bet recorded,” it said in its musical voice. Savine smirked at Lija.
After dinner that night, the great hall erupted into a boisterous party, rowdy even by the standards of those who worshipped the Hunt. Music filled the space, dominated by deep thrumming percussion that set the floating globe-lights to vibrating. Mood-altering substances flowed freely from the Providers, from large tankards brimming with intoxicants to small crystal vials filled with hallucinogens and libido-enhancing liquids. Contract drones darted about recording bets. Lija heard her name mentioned several times.
Brin approached Lija with a teardrop-shaped vial filled with faintly glowing liquid that danced with tiny blue specks. “Drink this,” she said.
“Okay.” Lija swallowed the contents and chased the sweetness down with a shot of brandy. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “What was it?”
“Dunno,” Brin said. “I asked the Provider to give me something interesting.”
The fires in the huge fireplaces roared high. People danced in the space around the long table. Occasional small groups of two or three or four went off to the little screened-in alcoves, to come out some time later happy and, frequently, with less clothing.
Kerrim and a bare-chested Jassin whirled by, dancing with each other. Kerrim held a large mug and, against all odds, spun about without spilling whatever was in it. “Lija!” Kerrim called. He waved the mug in her direction. “I just made a bet with Liat about whether or not you’ll be the next Sacrifice.”
“Oh? Did you bet for or against?”
He grinned. “For. Let’s toast!”
Lija looked around. “I don’t have a drink.”
“Here, take mine.” He handed her the mug and summoned another from the Provider at the end of the table. “To you and a successful Hunt!”
They smacked their mugs together. Lija drank the clear liquid. It burned her throat and stung her eyes. “By the Hunt, what is this?”
“Potent!” Kerrim said.
Jassin grabbed her hand. The three of them whirled together. The world softened around the edges. Lija’s body flushed. Her face grew warm.
Jassin and Kerrim linked arms and danced in a small circle around Lija. She giggled. Across the room, she saw Tatian and Amakoli talking in a corner near one of the fireplaces. Then Jassin scooped Lija off her feet. She squealed as he twirled her through the air.
“Hey, I was thinking—” Kerrim started. Lija grabbed him and kissed him. He melted into her arms. “Mmm, you read my mind!” he said when she broke the kiss.
“Don’t be greedy!” Jassin said. He put his arms around Kerrim and kissed him deeply.
Lija’s vision went fuzzy. A face swam into view. “Would you like to kiss me?” Lija asked the blurred shape.
“Yes please,” Savine said. She draped her arms around Lija and kissed her gently, with great attention, tongue flicking lightly across Lija’s lips.
“That’s nice,” Lija giggled.
“If I win our bet,” Savine said, “I am going to enjoy hurting you so very much. I will hurt you every single day for fifty days.”
“If,” Lija said.
We’ve put a tremendous amount of love and work into every aspect of these books. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe. There are places where a six-hour conversation becomes two lines in a book.