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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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spam and books
waiting
seperis
So there comes a time when you realize that your spammers possibly know more about you that your family does.

Case in point: most recent headers, received today:



These Guys Are Much Too Hot to Be Straight

Watch Twinks Lose Their Cherry

Frat Boys Getting Their Asses Pounded!!!1!



So to give a breakdown of my spam.

Viagara's up, up, up, again, and so, apparently, are a large number of extremely repressed college males who need to be spanked, taught a lesson, or deflowered, take your pick. Narcotics are making a serious comeback, offered from Mexico, Canada, and a country I'm not convinced exists in this particular dimension. No Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, but several highly questionable business offers. Someone desperately wants me to know stock prices and how I should buy, buy, buy now.

My breasts and orgasms are being left alone, but strange offers from bored househusbands have come to my attention, and a distrubing number of promises to remove my wrinkles.

*looks at spam* I do *not* have wrinkles.

Also, a few casinos, a couple of herbal remedies, and a few too many headers that don't actually spell anything readable, though if you squint and read them backwards--no. They still don't make sense.

Fictional Adventures

Usually, I buy new authors only after I've read a page or two in to see what I'm dealing with. Dark Father, which is probably one of the worst horror novels in the history of mankind, and Damon both gave me two things--a fairly traumatizing look at sex, and a raging headache trying to figure out the plot at a very young age. You know there's a basic wrongness to a book when you're not even able to giggle guiltily about reading omgsex!!!1!, because you're just that confused about how everyone got to this situation. And to be honest to myself, my primary focus wasn't the sex--one promised me vampires, the other promised me an evil child around my age, and let me point out, neither of those expectations were fulfilled.



What I remember best, and still find amusing, is the fact that a heterosexual bathroom scene was my first introduction to anal sex. And not in a good way, since the author was so indirect it took me an inordinate amount of time to figure out where the penis was going since it obviously wasn't hanging out in the vagina. After working out the concept, I turned my attention to trying to figure out how that worked, since my most recent memories of anything in that area was Very Young and a Thermometer, and man, that had been *really* freaking annoying. In retrospect, I may have been less worried about it if just once, the author had mentioned lube.



Anyway, I picked out Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy, since I tend to trust female authors more than male when I want something more character driven in my fantasy/sci-fi. It didn't look too scary. It had a nice cover and I read the backs and thought, I shall be wild and crazy and buy the whole series! Since actually, I have found it is a guarantee that if I don't *right then*, I will never, ever find the rest of the books again.

I'm still not sure what the author was going for. I'm almost sure there's some really great symbolic meaning, or a great mythological moment, behind her--unusual choices, that me, being less well-read in Well-Read Literature than many, just wasn't getting.

The problem really started when I started saying the namse out loud.

Okay, here's the thing. What I *read* isn't necessarily related to verbal. So a written word is, to me, a written *word*. I won't actually *get* what I'm calling these characters unless I say it out loud, or something in the book connects me.

Such as, it took me a really, really, *really* long time to recongize the names of the main cast. Say, book two.



Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar.

I picked up this one when it dawned on me that Saetan was the Lord of Darkness in Hell. They sort of had to *print it out just like that* for me to retrospect and go, huh, then say the names out loud to go, ahh.

*sighs*

As yet, despite having read the series, I'm not seeing any really--well, resemblance to any actual known religion. Trust me, when you realize the character you're rooting for is kind of the, well--you start wondering what's going on and what you missed along the way.

I'm missing some serious theology, mythology, or some really strange new interpretation, because no matter *how* I read it, I'm not getting this as a retelling of anything even vaguely related. Totally possible and likely I just haven't read widely enough to see what she's basing it on.

On the other hand, and this is what just kills me, maybe she isn't. Maybe she was just *really* fond of the names and just tossed them in there for fun.

On the other hand, they were a really, *really* fast, fun read. I picked up the books on Sunday and finished the last one today after work.

After trying to work out what on earth she was doing with these character names and figure out what she was trying to symbolize, I turned my full attention back to the fact that you will be hard pressed to find a series that is so very blase about sexual mutilation.

I was only a few pages in when one poor guy lost his testicles to rats in a most deliberate and really unfortuate occurrance. Lots of really unhappy men wore really uncomfortable rings around their cocks that could, would, and *did* cause immeasurable amounts of pain every few pages. We hit the gamut from castration by degrees, oral removal of female sexual organs, sexual molestation of children, rape, mutilation of children, skinning, cooking of living people, burning, chopping, cannibalism, magical sex-related disease, and then back to the sexual sadism, yet strangely....

She never wrote an actual sex *scene*. These people apparently fuck twenty-four seven, but man, you couldn't get a description unless someone was getting something really, really mutilated in the process. Now true, she didn't linger on any one scene in loving detail or anything--we're not talking American Psycho With Unicorns--but the sheer number kind of began to make you feel like you had seen a lot.

I'm thinking that reading this one before age, say, fourteen, could have really, really fucked up my ideas on sex quite a bit. I'm not sure it hasn't now. Anytime teeth are going to be anywhere near anything I consider fairly vital to a decent sexual experience and WORST CASE SCENARIO hits, I'm just going to feel a little vulnerable for a while.

I was *years* getting over American Psycho.

Still, once you get past all that, it was kind of a fun read.



Oh look, another ad for Viagara in my inbox.


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Frat Boys Getting Their Asses Pounded!!!1!

that one actually appeals..... College!Clex, anyone?

And at least they aren't mentioning teeth!

*snicker*

*shudders*

You are evil.

I was thinking how interesting a spam porn title challenge would be. *g*

These Guys Are Much Too Hot to Be Straight

We're too pretty to die! *sniffle*

You're going to think I'm nuts when I tell you I really, really like the Black Jewels trilogy. Oh well :D And if she was referencing any specific mythology I couldn't suss it out, either, I just got a little "blasphemer!" giggle at the names and went on :) One thing I will say, though, isn't it interesting to read a female author exploring how a female-dominated society could get just as fucked up as a male-dominated one? Heeheehee.

Oh, no, chica, getting past my instinctive wincing, I really enjoyed them a *lot*.

Though I had my most ashamed moment when Daemon and Lucivar were in a stable or barn or shack or something, and Daemon started hitting on Lucivar, I was all----oooh! Incest Slash!

*sighs*

Combined with those names....

But yes, I enjoyed a lot. Could *not* put them down.

isn't it interesting to read a female author exploring how a female-dominated society could get just as fucked up as a male-dominated one?

I liked the trilogy, too, although I never understood why she used the names "Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar." None of them seemed to be characterized as particularly evil in her universe.

She never wrote an actual sex *scene*.

You know, I've read the Black Jewels Trilogy quite a few times, and I never realized that until you pointed it out. Huh. And I wonder now about what they've done to my view of sex. Hm. I should read them again sometime soon.

I think fanfic has seriously screwed up my ability to relate to actual published books. I keep waiting for the climactic sex scene after all the angst, then am vaguely surprised when they skim over it.

*sighs*

My only really powerful complaint is that Saetan left Sylvia. *Dammit*. I was matchmaking them in book two.

I think fanfic has seriously screwed up my ability to relate to actual published books.

I cannot watch or read anything anymore with going "Hm. They could totally be screwing." And also, I became incredibly excited when I discovered the Nightrunner trilogy by Lynn Flewelling. Because it's like extended slash, without as much sex.

Oh, go for The Bone Doll's Twin and The Hidden Warrior next by Flewelling, if you haven't already. Gender-bending with slashy subtext that will no doubt become het text by the third book...

I think fanfic has seriously screwed up my ability to relate to actual published books. I keep waiting for the climactic sex scene after all the angst, then am vaguely surprised when they skim over it.

Oh, I get that way, too: I always am surprised when the big sex scene ina book or a movie is so vague or Rated R. I always think, gimme the NC-17, with a side of kink.

I read the Black Jewels trilogy my..sophomore year of college, I think. Only the first two were out at that point and I remember waiting very impatiently for the third one to be published. I still want a sequel. You're right on all counts--while she makes allusions to theology, there really isn't something there to figure out. As near as I can understand, the Blood worship the Darkness and Mother Night, who created the Darkness. I thought it was an interesting twist on the "Dark is bad, Light is good" standard line you tend to find in high fantasy.

As for the sexual aspects--they were hard-core even for *me*, and I kept wanting to see a sex scene that *didn't* involve someone dying in some gruesome manner. (See Daemon and Jaenelle's first time for the only scene I know of). But for the most part I think it worked with the books. This wasn't sex and torture for the sheer 'fun' of it (see Laurell K. Hamilton for how to write it gratuitously), this was sex in a way that advanced characters/plot.

And now that I've said all this? If you liked these, read the Kushiel trilogy (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, Kushiel's Avatar) by Jacqueline Carey. They're longer, better-written, have wonderful characters and plot, an actual theology and mythology, and the sex scenes are fantastic. They're also nowhere near as heterocentric as the Black Jewels trilogy, which I very much appreciated. I believe all three are out in paperback at this point. Don't get me wrong, I like Black Jewels. But Kushiel are some of my favorite books, period.


ou're right on all counts--while she makes allusions to theology, there really isn't something there to figure out. As near as I can understand, the Blood worship the Darkness and Mother Night, who created the Darkness. I thought it was an interesting twist on the "Dark is bad, Light is good" standard line you tend to find in high fantasy.

I coudln't even find a baseline to work out from. Which I'm fine with, because it is kind of cool, and I like the name Daemon. Pretty name. Very old people, though. Man.

And yes, I loved the dark thing too.

As for the sexual aspects--they were hard-core even for *me*, and I kept wanting to see a sex scene that *didn't* involve someone dying in some gruesome manner. (See Daemon and Jaenelle's first time for the only scene I know of).

Yeah, if she'd extended that just a little, Iw ould have been happier.

And I love you. I know what to buy now. thank you *so* much for the recs. *hugshugshugs*

And now that I've said all this? If you liked these, read the Kushiel trilogy (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, Kushiel's Avatar) by Jacqueline Carey.

Soooo good. I really enjoyed those books

These Guys Are Much Too Hot to Be Straight
Watch Twinks Lose Their Cherry
Frat Boys Getting Their Asses Pounded!!!1!


*snerk* I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets those...

And not in a good way, since the author was so indirect it took me an inordinate amount of time to figure out where the penis was going since it obviously wasn't hanging out in the vagina.

*snorts* Okay, totally not good. I hate that kind of writing, where I have to re-read three times to figure out what the heck is going on...

Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar.

*cracks up* Although, I wasn't much better with some of the Terry Pratchett names. I got to the end of Assassin (Oh, I think that's the wrong title) before I clicked that Djelibeybi was pronounced "Jelly Baby".

Lots of really unhappy men wore really uncomfortable rings around their cocks that could, would, and *did* cause immeasurable amounts of pain every few pages.

It's so wrong that that idea kinda of turns me on. Mind you, I'm mentally imaging lots of graphic slash sex scenes to follow...

We hit the gamut from castration by degrees, oral removal of female sexual organs, sexual molestation of children, rape, mutilation of children, skinning, cooking of living people, burning, chopping, cannibalism, magical sex-related disease, and then back to the sexual sadism, yet strangely....

See, I was okay reading this over lunch until I hit "oral removal". Then, I had to stop eating, finish reading the post, and leave my apple for later. I cannot say "EWWWWWWWW!!!" loudly enough.

I'm thinking that reading this one before age, say, fourteen, could have really, really fucked up my ideas on sex quite a bit.

I'm thinking now of sex books read before 14. Lets see... Anne Rice's "Beauty's Release" at age 12 probably explains my fondness for the idea of sex slaves (ah, I remember that year. Sitting with a friend, and exchanging novels with the sex scene pages marked for easy reference *g*). Scary thing is that some of those mental images have stayed with me, and still occasionally pop up in fantasies.

"Lottie" something - which I know had sex scenes, but can barely remember. All I remember is that she had a baby and the midwife suffocated it... (Um, that sounds harsh, but it was supposed to be an unmarried woman in the 18/19th century and it made far more sense at the time).

Wilbur Smith books. Yes, the action, plots and characters were good, but it was the sex scenes that really made me sit up and pay attention.

Hmmm... "Clan of the Cave Bear", and those books... I know they had sex scenes, but by that time, I wasn't as solely focused on sex.

Ummm... "First Wives Club" and I still remember the sex on top of the boardroom table scene. I should read that book again some day. I remember it being far more satisfying than the film.

Wow. I was a total bookworm at school. I read far more novels than I do now, and yet, those are the only ones I cn clearly recall. Huh.

See, I was okay reading this over lunch until I hit "oral removal". Then, I had to stop eating, finish reading the post, and leave my apple for later. I cannot say "EWWWWWWWW!!!" loudly enough.

Try reading it cold. I mean, she was torturing him--I cna't figure out *what* that little grey box over his penis was supposed to be doing, and I don't *want* to know...but man.

MAN.

*shivers*

I'm thinking now of sex books read before 14. Lets see... Anne Rice's "Beauty's Release" at age 12 probably explains my fondness for the idea of sex slaves (ah, I remember that year. Sitting with a friend, and exchanging novels with the sex scene pages marked for easy reference *g*). Scary thing is that some of those mental images have stayed with me, and still occasionally pop up in fantasies.

Beauty's Punishment. Actually, that was college. I couldnt' mark for the sex scenes, as there were so many.

But yeah. Sex slaves. *g* Kinkyness.

I'm taking notes on your book selections here. Every time I go into a bookstore, i know it's a crapshoot on getting something I want to read.

One of my favorite still is Darkchild by Sydney Van Scyoc, I think. Title's not handy. That series, actually. I"m not sure why. He's really not easy to find, either, though I need to check Amazon soon adn see what they have.

I cna't figure out *what* that little grey box over his penis was supposed to be doing, and I don't *want* to know...but man.

*boggles* I'm just going to banish those thoughts from my head now.

Beauty's Punishment. Actually, that was college. I couldnt' mark for the sex scenes, as there were so many.

*leers* I *know*. Dude, me at 12? Was incredibly pleased by finding that book. Let's see... I forget the names, but I read the second one at 12, and the third one at about 16, and then... never read the first. But, yeah... yay for erotica.

I'm taking notes on your book selections here. Every time I go into a bookstore, i know it's a crapshoot on getting something I want to read.

Heh. Um... let's see. My staples are Neil Gaiman (cool, atmospheric, 'everyone and his dog loves him') and Terry Pratchett (humour, fantasy, interesting word-play, dialogue-based and easy-to-read novels). These days, I get my erotica needs answered directly by fanfic. (*cheers* Yay for fandom!)

"First Wives Club" I'd definitely suggest.

Can I also send out an anti-rec for "Swordspoint"? It's slashy, but... eurgh. It's one of those books that I finished and went, "What the...? That was it? That was all that happened? Damn, that's a lot of hours I'm never going to get back."

Other people have loved it, but... I don't like something so subtle that I have to stop and think and wonder if I "got" the end or not.

One of my favorite still is Darkchild by Sydney Van Scyoc, I think. Title's not handy. That series, actually. I"m not sure why. He's really not easy to find, either, though I need to check Amazon soon adn see what they have.

Haven't read it. Then again, I'm at the stage of not having read most books. Robert Jordan's fantasy series is good, but not sexually exlicit (And they're *long*. The series is up to about 8 or 9 books now. Mind you, it's great for sitting down and getting totally emerged, just reading one after the other. But since each new one takes about two years, you forget what was happening with the many subplots while you wait for the latest release.)

They've gotten a really odd idea about me somewhere along the way--they seem to think I want to see young girls getting deflowered, and am afraid of being unable to satisfy my woman. *checks pants, just to make sure* Hell if I know...

Yeah, when I used to get the penis ones, I just kind of had to stare and go, huh.

with all the inches they offered, I could have several penii by now, though. *mulls*

There was an item on rec.humor.funny once of a letter to a British science journal that went something like this: "I don't know why everyone is so upset about spam. Why, I've answered every piece of spam I've gotten this year, and my penis is now 43 meters long..."

(Deleted comment)
I'm doen with it!

Well, no, I have scenes in the middle to finish, but the ending is done! That sort of counts a little.

But aww, an ICON! *happy* THANK YOU!

*hugshugshugs* I will finish a scene tonight. Promise. You can even check on me if you want to.

I need to get around to reading the Black Jewels books, evidently. One thing -- Half.com is fab for finding those books you can't find on the shelves, and often for cheaper even with the shipping. The only catch is waiting on them all to arrive so you can read the next one in the series...

You're one of the few dissenting female readers on the trilogy I've heard. Most of them liked it, which surprised me.

I read it, and didn't like it, but not enough to put the book down. I agree on the sexual mutilation and odd ideas on sexuality. The main character, the girl was too Mary Sueish all powerful all liked for my taste. The book had a Madonna/whore complex going on, with the Mary Sue as the madonna (even tho' she was also sexually abused), while the vast majority of the powerful women were these domineering sexual sadists. Well, except for Surreal. The men also used sex as a weapon, usually to control women or regain power over women. It was all very strange. So in the Black Trilogy universe, sex is power, and it seems that power corrupts. E.g. the mutilations and manipulations.

As for a theme, one reviewer said it was a clumsy execution of Wiccan woman worshipping power. IMHO, it was Mary Sue in a dark fantasy setting with poor gothic literature. The author did a great job of worldbuilding and setting up the systems of magic and political factions. I just didn't like her characters.

But again, I know a lot more people who'd completely disagree with me and enjoyed the book.

Re: Black Jewels trilogy

The author did a great job of worldbuilding and setting up the systems of magic and political factions. I just didn't like her characters.

I did read and enjoy them, but you hit every one of my problems with the entire series, though Jaonelle didn't bother me as much, possibly because she never had her own pov. But I'm with you on the entire sex = power = corruption thing--that really *really* started to get to me after a while, since I couldn't quite put my finger on the reason it bothered me.

I really, really wish she'd worked on developing her characters more thoroughly--and stopped calling Daemon The Sadist every fifth time she referred to him. Grrr.

Re: Black Jewels trilogy

Jaonelle rang every Mary Sue button for me. But YMMV. Her view of sexuality does nothing for me.

IMO, Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series executed the same concept better. Political intrigue, (healthier) BDSM elements, strong/flawed heroine, great world building, dark fantasy, better characterizations.

Have you read the other book in that universe, The Invisible Ring? It features Daemon, but takes place a couple of hundred years in the past.

I didn't care much for Bishop's other series, about the witches and Fae.

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