Scary Authors: The Alchemist, The Sadist, The Madman And The Cannibal

First up… guess who’s novella/connected short stories were just accepted?! No, me, I meant me.

Not so long ago I posted a couple of sites where you could read Aleister Crowley for free, and threw in a UK documentary for chuckles. It’s a little over the top and sensationalised but still interesting.

Well, it seems it was part of a series called Masters of Darkness, and I’ll share the others with you now on the equally bizarre alchemist and mathematician John Dee, sadistic Marquis De Sade and ‘mad monk’ Rasputin (not an author, you got me, but come on, he’s fascinating). There’s a book about him I’d really like to read which apparently cuts through the myth, which I’m endlessly in favour of.

I’ve also added a documentary about Issei Sagawa, the student of avant-garde literature who murdered and cannibalised his girlfriend and, due to a technicality, served only fifteen months. Yep… He now makes his living writing and talking publicly about being a cannibal.

I missed an exhibition in London of John Dee’s library a year or two ago, I’m still annoyed about it.

John Dee

The Marquis De Sade (disclaimer: Andrea Dworkin talks a lot of tripe)

Rasputin

Issei Sagawa

Belle Epoque To Belle De Jour – Biographies Of Sex Workers

Good morning my little mobile phones that won’t charge properly until a new battery is fitted, how is everyone?

As you may know, recently I read My Blue Notebook by the Belle Epoque courtesan Liane De Pougy (and Mineko Iwasaki’s book, though she insists Geisha did not do that) and it led me on a trail of other fascinating women of the demi-monde, as they were known.

One thing I have learnt from reading these and other books is that, from the very beginning, there have been two distinct approaches to sex work. In Roman times slaves were captured and kept in ramshackle huts to be worked to death, while women choosing to enter sex work filled in the appropriate form, got a licence and became her own mistress, sometimes living in luxury. The first kind, which still happens today in various forms, is a terrible thing and we must do what we can to help, but the second does not affect the first.

Choosing sex work doesn’t somehow insult the lives of those who didn’t. Belle De Jour received criticism during her book tour by those claiming “she shouldn’t have entered sex work because she didn’t have to,” but who are we to judge? She did it, sometimes she enjoyed it, sometimes she didn’t, just like any other job. We are all different with different experiences; just because something terrible happened to one doesn’t make it impossible or wrong for another to have good experiences. Life is a mysterious pathway with many twists and turns and, if someone isn’t hurting another, let’s just keep our eyes on our own feet.

OK, with that out the way, let’s hop in!

City of Sin: London And It’s Vices by Catherine Arnold

The author has written for fascinating website Whores of Yore (it’s creator Kate Lister explains it’s use of the term whore here).

 Beginning with the aforementioned Roman slaves and brothel workers, we move through history discovering which parts of London attracted which type of strumpet (Gropecunt Lane was as downmarket as it sounds) and who the infamous of the day were. As well as this we glimpse the sexual morays of the era, such as this great Tudor example of how things never change: “Another visitor, the Swiss physician Thomas Platter, was impressed with the joie de vivre of English women and their habit of frequenting London’s many taverns in an Elizabethan equivalent of a girl’s night out: ‘they count it a great honour to be taken there and given wine with sugar to drink; and if one woman is invited, then she will bring three or four other women along, And they gaily toast each other.'”
Rival to Belle Epoque courtesan Liane de Pougy, Carolina Otero was a Spanish dancer noticed by men from a young age (12, euw) after running away from a boarding school which essentially treated her like Cinderella. From there she became a sensation, performing on the stage in New York, Russia, Germany and the famous Folies Bèrgere in Paris.
Her life reads like fiction: she broke up a gambling cheating ring (and had a terrible habit herself), was patronised by kings, always picked the wrong man and had no qualms about slapping anyone who bad mouthed her, in front of a full restaurant or not. In short, she was fabulously entertaining.
Dancing at the Folies Bèrgere 1898:

No, it’s nothing like the TV series. The ‘real’ Belle de Jour (so to speak) reads books in the original French, named herself after surrealist Luis Bunuel’s film and mixes high culture with low filth. For example: “At one point, discussing the paintings of the Italian renaissance and the Low Countries, the conversation segued elegantly to the revelation that there is an exhibition at the Royal Academy of pictures of women with come on them. If true, I am so there.”

She’s a noir heroine, a modern woman of the demi-monde, the educated courtesan, a continuation of a tradition as old as humankind. Her exploits are addictive enough to pull us into her life, including her heartache over a man who went on to sue her after she was ‘outed,’ and to leave us curious for more.
Brooke Magnanti giving a talk at Oxford Union Debate Society
 So there we are. Let me know of any you’ve enjoyed that haven’t been mentioned here!

Bizarro Erotica: Taken Hard At The Magical Time Travel Sex Resort

My tiny (10,000 word) surreal, bizarro, weird and any other adjective erotica novelette was released today with New Kink. Sometimes I get the urge to write rude things and, being me, they end up just as odd as the usual stuff.

P.S. My artistic partner in crime and cuddles Bill Purnell did the front cover, he’s a very clever pickle.

Here’s the Amazon link.

New Kink proudly presents…

takenhardnewkinkmadeleineswann

Before you get too excited, let’s give this video a shot. The beloved Sauda Namir reads an excerpt for us in a series called Bizarro Bedtime.

Bizarro Bedtime: S3 E4: Madeleine Swann from Sauda Namir on Vimeo.

With a gorgeous cover from artist Bill Purnell, and a lot of kink packed in a small package, let’s see what she’s about.

“Lillia Gardens is the largest erotic resort in several dimensions. It’s home to colourful flora, weird creatures and time travelling visitors, all ready and willing to get filthy – like Wonderland or Oz but smuttier.

Each story follows a woman from a different era who recieves a mysterious card inviting them to the Gardens, including Sam, a modern Western woman in a failing relationship; Aysun, a member of a Sultan’s harem and Itzel, a Mayan princess. Overseen by their mysterious guide Rex, a rainbow half-man half-bird, they experience all the strange and wonderful things the resort has to offer from vagina seats in the park to a sensory depriving tube.

But it can’t be sunshine and orgasms for everybody, and the Garden needs payment…”

Zombie Lovers, Light Bulb Heads And Social Disease: Bizarre Book Club 17

Today’s pretentious book picture is brought to you by Leigh-On-Sea’s The Book Inn. Words galore!madeleine-swann-bizarroGood day weary travelers! Come inside my humble abode and rest your tired bones. have some soup. No, I wasn’t going to rob you, merely draw an amusingly upturned moustache upon your lip.

Let’s get on with the latest recommendations, shall we? There are a couple of books I’vezombie lovers anonymous madeleine swann berti walker promised to read but, never fear, I just haven’t done it yet – their turn will come.

1 The Pulse Between Dimensions and the Desert by Rios De La Luz. This book of short stories contains fiery Spanish poetry mixed with mostly English words (the author is Mexican American) and strong elements of magic realism, from stress related time travel to fruit containing photographs.

I did Spanish at college and was pleasantly surprised by how much I remembered, but even if you don’t know a single word I imagine it’ll be easy to understand in context. Each word is sprinkled in magic and El Paso dust, reminding us of the proud heritage of the cleaning women characters.

2. Zombie Lovers Anonymous by Berti Walker. Don lived through the zombie apocalypse. There aren’t many people left, but neither are there many zombies anymore. Those left fill their days with going to the bar and hanging around. One day Don decides to visit his ex girlfriend, who has unfortunately (or fortunately) become the undead, and Don just can’t help himself.

Joyously perverse and very entertaining, it made me laugh in several places. It’s erotica with a sense of humour and horror sensibilities. Sometimes it teetered on the edge of revolting but never went too far. However, this is me we’re talking about, I could be very different to you.

madeleine-swann-social-disease-anderson-prunty3. A Light Bulb’s Lament by Grant Wamack. Grant Wamack’s twitter proclaims him to be “A mind-bending entity who happens to be a novelist, rapper, urban mystic and book slinger.” Well, I don’t know about you, but that sounds exhausting!

The person waking with no memory is a common theme, but this time it’s a dandy with a light bulb for a head. The world is dark and snow bound and he, along with a pretty girl with a good singing voice and an amoral professor, have to figure out how to escape the evil Telemarketer.

I enjoyed this a lot, it appeals to my silly sense of bureaucratic humour, and I grew quite close to the characters. It was good fun.

4. Hi, I’m A Social Disease by Anderson Prunty.  As expected from the title, it shows the ugly side of humanity in a variety of ways, from surviving the apocalypse to sideshow revenge. It’s brutal, the characters are lonely and tortured, but it’s well written with enough strangeness and imagination to keep it interesting for me.

Just when I’d wonder if I was reading pure violence and unpleasantness, which isn’t my cup of tea, something very odd or beautifully described would happen. There’s intrigue in this mire.

Well, there we have it, I’m off to skip with rainbow unicorns with massive…ears. Until next time!

Excerpt From Upcoming Surreal Erotica Read For Bizarro Bedtime

Well hello there. Sometimes I write rude things because…well, why not? And, because I have a weird brain, that’s just how they turn out.

Sauda Namir – burlesque performer, model and all round pretty lady – reads one of the stories from my upcoming story collection with New Kink books, Taken Hard At The Magical Time Travel Sex Resort. Daft name, fun words. Hopefully anyway.

Here is Episode 4 Series 3 of Bizarro Bedtime:

New Story: Live Performance At The Grand Guignol

Among other things I like to write erotica, and it just so happens I have another tale out with Forbidden Fiction. I’m working on getting a collection together, so if you like that side of my writing there’s more to come.

This new story features a Victorian actress determined to be taken seriously. When she lands a part in The Grand Guignol she decides not to get involved with any of her co-stars, but that all changes on the opening night.

Enjoy!

Bizarre Book Club 12: Chuck Tingle Special

You have to hand it to Chuck Tingle – he’s found his niche. He’s cornered the market on bizarro, absurdist and plain weird erotica and he clearly has a sense of humour. At least…I hope he does? chuck-tingle

Never once in my Hallucinogenic nightmares did I imagine such sexual tomes as “Pounded in the Butt By My Own Butt,” it’s sequel “Pounded in the Butt By My Book Pounded in the Butt By My Own Butt” and the haunting classic “Pounded by the Gay Color Changing Dress.” He has a gay Unicorn series, for God’s sake, how can you not be fascinated?

He’s an elusive man who likes to play with the truth on social networks (meaning he talks nonsense) though he did give one interview for The Observer which you can read here. Bear in mind in his daily routine he claims he will eat “a big spaghetti breakfast, roll out of bed and then take a shower or a bath in the upstairs bathroom if my son lets me. Work on my Tae Kwon Do and meditate to come up with next tinglers.  when one of them sticks in my brain I write it down that night if ted cobbler’s keeping his trap shut and not keeping up the whole block.”chuck-tingle5

Who is the elusive Mr Tingle? Perhaps we’ll never know. In the meantime stop by his amazon page and check out such future gems as “My Billionaire Triceratops Craves Gay Ass,” “Glazed By The Gay Living Donuts” (which I just bought and will be discussing on our podcast in two week’s time) and “Chuck’s ‘Living Object’ Tinglers.”

Chuck Tingle’s Amazon Page