Come closer, and fertilize me with your reproductive stalk…

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!)

I’ve been playing with a version of the Stable Diffusion 2.0 AI image generator tuned to human faces, looking to take the images out of my head and drag them into the light.

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!

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.

Thanks to a special arrangement with the Nobilis Erotica podcast, you can listen to the first two chapters here!

I am just incredibly, incredibly proud of this book. Like, I am absolutely giddy that it’s almost out. If you like science fiction and you like sex, I suspect you’ll probably like it too.

Check it out here! If you back the crowdfunding, you can score a copy before pub date for less than you’ll find it anywhere else. (And stay tuned for new perks coming soon!)

New projects in the pipe!

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:


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.

(And yes, you can also get a Team Tentacle T-shirt if you like.)

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.

Live-stream writing event coming up!

Join me and my co-author Eunice Hung Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 11:00 AM Pacific time/7:00 PM London time for a live-stream event! We talk about the book publishing process, how to co-author together, and how to start your own novel…plus you’ll be able to watch us begin work on a brand-new book!

DETAILS

Image by pascal stöckmann. There’s something unsettling about a camera pointed square at you, isn’t there?

It’s almost here! Where did the time go?Join Eunice and I for a live-streaming event on April 23, where we will answer questions about writing a novel, co-authorship, publishing, details about the world of the Passionate Pantheon, the trials and tribulations of working entirely remotely, and whatever other general random tangents that our brains drag us to (based on past experience)!All this, plus you get to watch the very start of the writing process for the fifth novel in the Passionate Pantheon series!

When: Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 11 AM Pacific/2 PM Eastern/7 PM London time, for at least two hours (but knowing us, probably a lot longer, because we don’t know when to stop).

Where: Facebook Live. Follow us on Facebook for more information!

What: You know that saying, “Everyone has a novel somewhere inside”? One of the most common questions we hear is “I’ve always wanted to write a novel, but how do you get started?” Another is, “I’ve always wanted to write with someone else, but how do you write together?”

Why: You can get your answers questioned…wait a minute, strike that, reverse it. (Although we’re always happy to have our answers questioned, if there’s folks with more expert knowledge in the livestream!) Plus people who attend will get a secret perk when the crowdfunder for the third novel, The Hallowed Covenant, goes live!

We’ll address both of those questions (though protip, you probably won’t start your novel(s) in quite the same way we started ours!), and talk publishing, writing, and the creative process. We co-author in quite an unusual way, so if the way we work sounds appealing, let us tell you all the mistakes we made so you don’t have to!

You’ll also be able to watch us begin a brand spanking new novel together! (Caveat: spanking not included.)

We plan to create a new, blank Google Docs file and start the fifth Passionate Pantheon novel right in front of you. It won’t just be us telling you how to start a novel; you’ll be able to see it happen!

The process itself—the conversations we have, the mechanics of how we write, the world-building, all of it will be on display for the whole world to see, warts and all. (Gulp!) You’ll see the dead ends, the changes, the moments when the plot or characterisation clicks—all the things you’ll probably experience during writing yourself, played out live in front of your eyes.

Sign up for the mailing list to be notified early about the hows and wheres. We will also post more information on the website at Science Fiction Erotica by Eunice Hung and Franklin Veaux as the event draws near.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it cost anything? Nope, it’s totally free.

Can I ask questions? Please do! We love questions, the quirkier the better!

Who is invited? Anyone over eighteen. These novels do contain erotic content, after all!

Do I need to be interested in science fiction erotica? Nope. You’ll probably find something valuable even if you’re interested in some other genre.

Have you ever done this before? Nope! We will be just as interested as you in how this goes. It may all crash and burn! Fun times.

Will you be repeating this sort of event in the future? Who knows! No idea. Depends on how well this first one goes, so I guess we’ll see!

Watch the birth of a new book!

She lives in London. I live in Portland. This is what our writing sessions look like.

My co-author Eunice Hung and I have now finished four books together in our far-future, post-scarcity science fiction theocratic erotica series. The first two, The Brazen Altar and Divine Burdens, are out now. The third, The Hallowed Covenant, goes to press in a few months, and the fourth, Unyielding Devotion, publishes next year.

The reward for finishing a novel is you get to start a new one, so we’re gearing up to start the fifth, as-yet-untitled book.

And for this one, we’re trying an experiment. We have a ton of ideas we plan to introduce in the fifth novel…and we want to invite you along for the ride!


For Book Five, we’re planning something really unusual. (Fitting, because our writing process is also unusual.) We’ve had countless people ask how we work together, and countless more ask “how do you even write a novel, anyway?”, and one of the rules of good writing is “show, don’t tell,” so…

Beginning in April, we want to live-stream the start of Book Five. That means you can ask questions, see the conversations we have before and as we’re developing a book, and watch how the story changes from concept to final printed book. If it goes well, we might even consider making this a repeated event.

Whether you’re a fan of the Passionate Pantheon series or just interested in the process of how co-authorship works, or you simply want to write a book but don’t know how to start, we hope you’ll find the live-stream interesting.

We’re just starting to plan it all. As the plan comes together, we’ll be posting on the Passionate Pantheon blog. Interested? Drop me a comment!

Fragments of SquiggleCon: Writing Erotica

The various evil things spearheaded by my crush notwithstanding, being able to spend time with her in Europe was fantastic fun.

For the past several months, we’ve been talking about collaborating on a writing project. She has built a fascinating world—a quasi-steampunk, high-tech, post-scarcity society with advanced biomedical technology ruled over by more or less benevolent AIs, worshipped as gods, who are fascinated by human sexuality, and so have bent the entire society toward the intersection of sex and religion.

It’s a fun (and hot!) place to visit. We want to create a book of erotic short stories set in that world.

While we were all in Europe, she and I officially started that project…using her body as a canvas. She brought a collection of fountain pens with her. I spent a couple of hours in the orgy room, beginning the writing of the book..on her back.

This his is, I think, probably the most unusual way I have ever started writing a book.

I have no idea when it will be finished; there are a number of writing projects ahead of it, and I’m still shopping for a publisher. (I am considering pitching it to Cleis and Circlet.) Still, I’m really excited about this book!

As a side note, writing on human skin with a fountain pen is remarkably difficult. Also, remarkably fun.

Fragments of SquiggleCon: Black Iron in Lincoln Cathedral

I’m now back in the US after spending a week in Europe with the extended poly network, in which we rented a manor in the English countryside for debauchery and mayhem (an event we called “SquiggleCon 2”), followed by a week in Boston with my crush, who is now my “um, something something relationship,” as we’re calling it.

Now, a week in the rural English countryside with more than a dozen sex-positive, kinky people might seem invitation to nonstop orgiastic bliss, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong to think so.

But having reached A Certain Age, namely, that age where orgies and similar sexual shenanigans are not exactly a rare event, but being in the English countryside is, Joreth and I took a couple of days off to explore the nearby towns.


As regular readers may already know, my first professionally published novel, Black Iron, comes out this October. It’s a Discworld-style romp through an alternate 19th-century England, one where Queen Victoria doesn’t exist, the Protestant Reformation never happened, the Colonies are still Colonies, and the British don’t drink tea. It features a princess and a ruffian and an overworked police constable and undead things made of other things.

Inspired by one of the scenes in the book, in which the Lady Alÿs, the aforementioned princess, is attending a formal dance aboard Queen Margaret’s airship when she witnesses a strange little man Peter Pan over the edge in the wake of an Unfortunate Discovery, Joreth decided to make a dress modeled after the one the character wore to the dance. And since there’s no cosplay like cosplay in an 800-year-old Gothic cathedral built atop a 1,000-year-old Norman church, we packed up, headed into Lincoln, and did an all-day photo shoot in a magnificent cathedral.

Lincoln Cathedral is magnificent indeed. I’ve been to some amazing houses of worship—I’ve seen Mass at St. Peter’s in Rome and at Notre Dame; I’ve visited the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (Церковь Спаса на Крови) in St. Petersburg, Russia; I’ve looked out over Reykjavík from atop the peak of Hallgrímskirkja in Iceland; and I’ve climbed the 409 steps to the top of St. Mary’s Church in Gdańsk, Poland—but Lincoln Cathedral may be my favorite. It’s immense and beautiful and grand and awe-inspiring, and I spent two days of my seven days in England there.


Joreth and I literally spent a solid day running about Lincoln Cathedral, camera in hand, and I think some of the images we got are quite grand. Take a look!

My new book!

I was out on the porch enjoying the lovely Portland weather this morning when the postman came by with the advance review copies of my new novel, Black Iron,, straight from the publisher.

No, it’s not about polyamory. Not at all.

So what’s it about? Well, that’s kinda hard to say. It’s a bit steampunk, if you interpret “steampunk” very loosely. It’s about a heist, kind of. Well, it’s really a murder mystery, sort of. No, wait, that’s not quite it. It’s a story of political intrigue, in a manner of speaking.

Think Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books or Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only set in an alternate 19th-century London where there’s no British empire and the British don’t drink tea. (Joreth read the first draft and described it this way: “Imagine if Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman had a love child who grew up on a steady diet of George RR Martin.”)

It’s the same kind of loopy, over-the-top humor that you see in books like Night Watch or Hitchhiker’s Guide, the sort of absurdist comedy that’s really social commentary.

There’s a petty thief and a princess, of course, because if you have a 19th-century heist political intrigue steampunk murder mystery, you have to have a petty thief and a princess—it’s required by law. There are undead things, after a fashion. There’s a cameo by Doctor Frankenstein; in this world, his experiments worked, but not quiiiiiiiite the way he expected them to.

There are airships. The New World colonies are still colonies. Oh, and people die, because we now live in a world where Game of Thrones is a thing, so gone are the assumptions that sympathetic characters are immune to being killed.

It’s also available for preorder on Amazon (pub date is October 1).

Oh, and if you know anyone who would like an advance review copy, let me know!

Well, it looks like we did it again…

We wrote another book! Yep, you read that right. Eve and I have just finished another book…and no, it’s not about relationships.

This book is called Black Iron, and it’s a novel. No, not a poly novel. A novel set in 1855 in a world where the Protestant Reformation never happened, the British Empire doesn’t exist, the Colonies are still Colonies, and the British don’t drink tea.

But there’s still a war in Afghanistan. It turns out that there are some things you can change, when you’re building a new history, and some things you…well, can’t.

Oh, and it’s a comedy. Think Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams, if they’d grown up on a steady diet of George RR Martin. (Yes, people die. This is the new normal for fiction. Get used to it.)

Here’s an excerpt to give you a taste:

Priorities, Thaddeus thought. Gold was nice. Life was better. Time to do what he did best.

He turned and bolted, feeling a swish of air as the dagger passed through the space he had just vacated. A moment later he was through the door and in the warren of tiny, confusing alleys that together made up the dock district of Old New London.

The sun was nearly gone. Sensible people were heading home, and people of Thaddeus’ sort were not yet out. Thaddeus chose a direction at random and plunged off as fast as he could, weaving through the crowd of laborers and merchants of the petty sort. Behind him, the door to the tiny shack, really little more than a pile of planks coaxed by a trick of the carpenter’s artifice into believing it was a storeroom, banged open.

Run now. Think later.

The dock district was a tangle of lanes and alleys, some of them little more than crevices between rows of warehouses. It hadn’t been built so much as thrown up. The engine of commerce was constantly arranging and rearranging the architecture, and many of the pathways seemed more like accidents of urban geography than anything intended to conduct traffic.

Thaddeus saw an opening between two buildings on his left, completely deserted. He darted through it and flattened himself against the wall. His pursuer flashed by the opening, a blurred shape in the failing light. Thaddeus exhaled slowly. That should buy him a few moments.

He crept carefully down the alley, cursing his shoes. The hard soles, so practical for walking down broad, well-paved streets, slapped on the rough cobblestone. Even a blind rat could follow him, Thaddeus thought.

The passageway opened up into a wider space, with alleys heading off in all directions. A young girl, perhaps in her tenth year, looked up at Thaddeus with an expression of suspicion. She was dressed entirely in rags.

“D’you have a shilling, mister?”

Thaddeus paused for a moment, panting. “No. I don’t have a shilling. I should have a lot of shillings, but I don’t. Listen, there’s a bad man chasing me. Which way should I go?”

She looked Thaddeus up and down appraisingly. “That’s a rum qab y’ got.”

“What?”

“I ken your qab.” She held out her hand. “Give it t’me.”

Thaddeus looked around wildly. He could hear feet pounding down the alley toward him. He took off his top-hat and handed it to the girl. “Which way do I go?”

She examined the hat with a critical air. Thaddeus felt his hands curl into fists.

“There,” she said, pointing. “That way.”

“Thank you, little girl. Don’t tell the bad man where I am, okay?”

She nodded.

Thaddeus ran down the alley she had pointed to as though all the legions of Hell were behind him. Not that there was much difference between that and one person hell-bent on murder behind him. Past a certain point, it stopped mattering how many people were trying to kill you.

The alley extended barely twenty yards before it ended in a rough brick wall. Thaddeus stopped. The girl had sent him down a dead end. Refuse-dumps lined both sides.

Behind him, he heard a voice, glutinous and sibilant. “Little girl, have you seen a man run this way?”

“Maybe,” she said. “D’you have a shilling?”

“Oh, yes. I have a shilling for you,” came that slithery voice.

There was a pause. Then, “He’s that way. Down Ambush Alley.”

Thaddeus felt his heart freeze in his chest. “Oh, you impudent little urchin,” he thought to himself. He flattened himself against the wall, as far in the corner as he could get. The refuse-dumps were almost empty and offered little cover. He crouched in the deepest part of the shadow, holding his breath.

A shadow loomed in the far end of the alley, a man-shaped hole in the fading light. He was nearly silent. It was easy, when you have the proper footwear. The knife gleamed in his hand.

Thaddeus held himself still. The shape glided closer. He willed himself to melt into the shadow.

Another step closer. Another. The man was cautious, wary of cornered prey. Closer.

Thaddeus exploded out at him. The man reacted almost instantly, the dagger thrusting up and out.

Fortunately, there is a world of difference between “almost instantly” and “instantly.”

They crashed into each other. The dagger flashed and gleamed. Thaddeus brought his foot up. The hard metal tip collided hard with a particularly sensitive portion of the man’s body.

The man fell, eerily silent. The dagger skittered across the cobblestones. Thaddeus leapt past him, heading back the way he had come.

The child was still standing where she had been. Thaddeus’ top-hat sat on her head, nearly covering her eyes. She looked solemnly at him. “D’you have a shilling now?” she asked.

We’ve launched a Web site where you can sign up for pre-order information. Check it out!

Never do this: How self-published erotica authors harm their sales

A while ago, I wrote about a new project I’ve launched, an uncensored erotica search tool for Amazon. Briefly, a couple years back Amazon started removing listings for some self-published erotica from the search results on their Web site, especially for non-traditional erotica that deals with subjects like BDSM. I discovered they do not, however, censor search results made using their API, so I built a tool that uses the Amazon API to do searches.

The site I built also keeps a database of Amazon erotica, all neatly arranged by category, so that visitors can either search Amazon directly or browse erotica by category.

That’s when I discovered a problem.

A lot of books listed in the database, probably about 15% of them, go to 404 pages on Amazon when you try to follow the link.

“Huh,” I thought, “that’s weird.” The books are still there, but the links don’t work.

I looked further and discovered the ASIN—the Amazon Standard Identification Number that Amazon assigns to all Kindle books—had changed in the links that were broken. An Amazon link goes to a specific ASIN, so if a book’s ASIN changes, the old link breaks and the book lives at a new link on Amazon.

Needless to say, this is bad. If you are an author and your book’s ASIN changes, every link that anyone has ever posted to your book on Amazon breaks.

This happened to Thorntree Press books when we moved to a new distributor. Our new distributor removed all the old listings for our books from Amazon and re-listed them, causing them to live at new ASINs and breaking the old links.

I looked closer at one of the broken links and discovered something interesting. The book was still on Amazon, but with a new listing date. The new listing date was after the date the book had been added to Red Lit Search:

If you have self-published a book on Amazon and you wish to make changes to the book, you can upload a new file in your KDP Dashboard and you will not change your ASIN.

It is very important to make changes to your self-published book this way.

It seems that a lot of self-published authors will make changes to their books by deleting the old listing and re-creating a new listing with the changed file. Do not do this. You will break every existing link to your book, which will hurt your sales.

Instead, you can use the KDP Dashboard to edit your book and upload a new content file without breaking existing links. To do this:

1. Log on to your KDP Select Dashboard.

2. Find your book. There is a button labeled “…” to the right of your book’s listing. Click it and choose Edit Details from the popup menu. It looks like this:

3. In the book’s Details page, scroll down to the Upload Your Book File section. Click the Browse button and upload the new contents for your book.

Your ASIN is how the world locates your book. On Amazon’s site, your book’s listing is attached to the ASIN. If your ASIN changes, this will break any links to your book; and if your book is self-published erotica, there is a chance that it will not turn up in searches on Amazon’s Web site, now or in the future. That means that links to your book are the only way people will find it.

If you self-publish on Amazon, it is very important to do everything in your power to keep your book’s ASIN from changing. I can not stress this enough! Do not make changes to your book by de-listing and re-listing it. This will make your book harder to find.