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'08 Authors Insider Tips


Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Epublishing: A Different Way
Choosing an Epublisher
Your Milage May Vary
Understand Your Contract!
Reasonable Expectations


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
The Publishing Biz
Critiquing: To Give and ...
Commerical vs. Literary...
Antiformalism for Fun &...
So You Want to Write a Novel
The Story Idea
Planning Your Novel...


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
5 Steps to Success
Inspirational
Opening Passages
Let's Get Critical
Writer's Block
Learning Lessons


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Be a Finisher ...
Listen to Your Characters
Conferences: Act Now ...
Starting an Erotic Story
Exercises & Writing Prompts
Revising & Rewriting
Copy Editing
The Manuscript Critique
How to Submit Your Work
Reading as Craft


Guest Appearances

Adventures in e-Publishing
by Lisabet Sarai

For the Love of Man
by Laura Baumbach

How to...Influence Editors
by Alison Tyler

Marketing your e-Book
by Brenna Lyons


2008 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Role Play
Busy Doing Nothing
Picture of a Fish & Chip...
What I Did With My Summer


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Naughty Cookies...
Tie Me Up, Please …
The Smut-Writer’s Holiday
Never Trust the Narrator ...
Compare and Contrast
Following the Pen
Naked at the Farmers Market
I’m Easy, But I’m No Slut
Good Girl Gone Bad
Pleasures of the Dark Side
Slow, Spare and Sexy


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Raising Daughters
Jamie Lynn
Utopias
Lust
The Good Old Days
Election '08
Traditional Marriage
Campaign 2008
Free Will


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Masturbating on SSRIs
Sex and Disability
Besides Ourselves
Adjusting our Contrast


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Sex Is All Metaphors
Turn-ons and Squicks
Sexual Truth
Fickle Muse
Porn, Erotica & Romance


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Alison Tyler
Ashley Lister
Debra Hyde
Donna George Storey
Jeremy Edwards
Kristina Wright
Rachel Kramer Bussel


Erotic Hot Spots
by William S. Dean
Interview with Tilly Greene
Interview with Devyn Quinn


Getting Graphic
with William S. Dean
New Times for Readers...
The Future in Words ...
Interview with Fantagraphics


On Writing Erotica

The Accidental Pornographer
by Lisabet Sarai

The End of Innocence
by Lisabet Sarai

Get Them Off in High Style
Helena Settimana

So, You Want To Write Erotica?
by Hanne Blank


Web Gems
Hot Movies For Her

Backdraft

Edited by Shane Allison

Book Review by Vincent Diamond

 

Gay Erotica

Editor Shane Allison has picked seventeen hot tales (oh, come on, you knew there had to a cliché in this somehow) that focus on firefighters as objects of desire. From the romantic to the down-and-dirty stories, this book from Cleis Press continues their long-running series of erotica anthologies. Backdraft: Fireman Erotica uses a somewhat politically incorrect title but its contents are right on target.

Allison chooses stories from some familiar names among gay erotica writers. Veterans like Rob Rosen, Simon Sheppard, M. Christian, Shanna Germain, Neil Plakcy and Jeff Mann join newer authors such as Charles Harvey and Elazarus Wills. These authors generate a variety of voices, settings, and styles for the collection. Many of the pieces have a dark side, an element of true-to-life tragedy is laced into several of the tales. It's a surprising touch, one that editor Allison should be commended for.

The collection's opener, "Four-Alarm Fire," is a strong piece from Rob Rosen. Quickly paced, with short dialogue that works well for the characters, Rosen's fireman hints at a dark past and a tragedy that's unvoiced. When asked about the scars on his back, this fireman points to his head and  acknowledges that they only hurt "up here." This is a nice nod to psychological issues that show some realism and depth.

"Safety Zone" from Elazarus Wills is a romantic tale in which a firefighter's own house burns down. Like several of the stories in the book, this one has characters who are involved with/cheating on partners, another nod to the realism of gay sex. In the end, the two lovers end up fighting fires together, and the warm implication of happily ever after lifts the story.

Stephen Osborne's story, "Unattainable" splashes cold water on his character, Bobby, who pines for fantasy firemen when real-life possibilities are already in his life. In a distinctly non-sexy encounter with a fireman, Bobby's first sexual encounter ends badly: no tenderness, no whispered sweet nothings, and no orgasm. It's a surprising choice for an erotica collection, but once again, adds that touch of realism for a distinctive voice.

One of the strongest pieces is "Smoke and Semen" from Jeff Mann. With its strong images of passion and love, Mann mixes firefighting, bears, and bondage into a bittersweet combination of erotic and mourning. The narrator ponders his current lover:  "I've never told him about Aidan, about that passionate love affair fifteen years ago, about Adian's beauty, sweetness, and submission. Nathan doesn't need to know he lives in a shadow." With vivid imagery and a controlled voice, Mann's story is worthy of re-reading.

Another mournful story is "Holding Pattern" by Tom Cardamone. This narrator survived a plane hijacking and spends his days taking pills, watching television and waiting for a lover. After seeing a fellow passenger shot dead right next to him, this is a character who is broken and cold. Ko, his part-time lover who has another boyfriend, comes to him with food and touch, trying to warm something that can't be touched again. "…the permanent passenger who had absorbed the blood of the dead and milled it into ash." There is no hope for this couple yet the story works as poignant reminder of mortality.

Other stories are the more traditional, meet-em, suck-em and fuck-em kind of encounters. Short-term encounters between strangers, men cheating on their partners (both male and female), quickies. These work just fine within the theme; firefighters are an enticing masculine icon, and reading stories about their sex lives is fun. Both as text and subtext though, some of these tales warn readers of the dangers of fire, the embers that never cool, and the warmth that can turn to raw heat with passion. Be warned: this is a hot book, in more ways than one.

Vincent Diamond
November 2008


Backdraft: Fireman Erotica
(Cleis Press; September 1, 2008; ISBN-10: 1573443255)
Available at: Amazon.com  / Also Available in Kindle Edition


______
© 2008 Vincent Diamond. All rights reserved.


About the Author:
Vincent Diamond's short story collection, Rough Cut, was released by Lethe Press in 2008. "An erotic wordsmith," says noted editor Richard Labonte in the foreword to the book, "...erotic fiction that possesses story-telling heft." Diamond's stories have appeared in Screaming Orgasms, Sex on the Beach, Coming Together: Under Fire, Country Boys, Truckers, Best Gay Romance 2007, Hot Cops, Love in a Lock-Up, Best Gay Love Stories 2005 and 2006, in the e-books Feathers, Chance Encounters, Under Arrest, and Play Ball from Torquere Press, and online at Fishnet, Clean Sheets and Ruthie's Club.
More info, with free stories and excerpts, available at: www.vincentdiamond.com.



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'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
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The Fold
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Two
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Fallen
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'08 Book Reviews

Anthologies

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Best Fantastic Erotica
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Best Women's Erotica '08
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Hurts So Good
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J is for Jealousy
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K is for Kink
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Lust Bites
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Open for Business
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Possession
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Rubber Sex
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Rubber Sex
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Seriously Sexy
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Sex & Candy
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The Shadow of a... (poetry)
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Spanked
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Tasting Her
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Tasting Him
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Tasting Him
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White Flames
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Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
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Yes, Sir: Female Submission
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Novels

The Art of Melinoe
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Demon by Day
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Gemini Heat
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Gothic Heat
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The Hidden Grotto Series
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The House of Blood
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In Too Deep
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In Too Deep
Review by Victoria Blisse

Incognito
Review by Donna George Storey

Nicholas
Review by Victoria Blisse

One Breath at a Time
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Out of the Shadows (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Phantasmagoria
Review by Ashley Lister

Reckless
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Seduce Me
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Seduced by the Storm
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Serve the People!
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Signed, Sealed and Delivered
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Sunfire (eBook)
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Templar Prize
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The Wicked Sex
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Wild Kingdom
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Gay Erotica

Backdraft
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Best Gay Romance '08
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Hard Hats
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Leathermen
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Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
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Best Lesbian Erotica '08
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The Night Watch
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Non-Fiction

America Unzipped
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Best Sex Writing '08
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Bonk: The Curious Coupling
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The Book of Love
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Casanova: Actor Lover ...
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Dishonorable Passions
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Flagrante Delicto (photos)
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The Flesh Press
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Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
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The Humble Little Condom
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Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
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Man O Man! Writing M/M...
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The Not So Invisible Woman
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Swingers: Female...
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Who's Been Sleeping in...
Review by Rob Hardy