Venus On the Half-Shell

VenusImagine a planet dominated by a life form that maintains the soul of all past generations, allowing one day for each past life to control both body and mind. Then since thousands of generations have lived on this planet, each would only regain control—sentient life—for a single day in hundreds and thousands of years. Now imagine a dominant life-form that arose, not from apes, but from cats. Oh, they look basically human but with strange eyes and in perpetual heat. Also, unlike cats who only have nine lives, these civilized felines have thousands of lives.

Let’s make it tougher. Imagine a world dominated by a species where the male and the female forms are very different. The females are shaped like large pyramids with many short legs and move around all day eating the grass through their underside mouths and awaiting the return of the shiftless males each night. The males are shaped like huge dirigibles (zeppelins) and spend the day floating and cavorting in the air, propelled by powerful flatulence. At night the males moor themselves to the top of the pyramid-like females where they find not only a convenient mooring post but also a feeding tube (what! cud again tonight?) and even the appropriate female organ to enjoy some sexy-time with as they eat and recuperate from a tough day chasing clouds.

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New Titles At XFX To Finish Out the Year

BizarreExperiment Literature means a lot of things to a lot of people. When we started the XFX group on Yahoo years ago I noted that some books were considered very experimental, even shocking, back when they were written but today they seems rather tame: mainstream fiction.

This last quarter of the year I decided to include a classic, but very experimental at the time, work by Geoffrey Chaucer but at the last minute opted for a more modern retelling of The Canterbury Tales by Peter Ackroyd. To this I added a book I had recently read called Punkzilla: it’s not too wild but it does experiment with narrative so it”s quite interesting at times. Of course we needed a Science Fiction book and Philip K. Dick’s excellent Time Out of Joint is sufficiently mind-warping to do the trick. Then, as long as you’ve been twisting the little gray cells, Scott Adam’s (of Dilbert fame) offers the “Thought Experiment” titled God’s Debris. The final title is from Russia and what little I know of it, I expect a good story in Sergei Lukyanenko’s Labyrinth of Reflections.

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City of Night

RechyJohn Rechy’s highly autobiographical first novel, City of Night, might also be considered the first openly revealing novel to explore what we now consider LBGT life in America.

It’s interesting to recall the controversy that this book caused back in the ’60s and to recognize that today we even have gay marriage. Let’s take off our hats to the late Barney Rossit who almost single-handedly used the alternative voice of Grove Press to bring us such exciting and thought provoking literature.

I found that you cant always tell a score by his age or appearance: There are the young and the goodlooking ones—the ones about whom you wonder why they prefer to pay someone (who will most likely at least not indicate desiring them back) when there exists—much, much vaster than the hustling world—the world of unpaid, mutually desiring males —the easy pickups. . . . But often the scores are near-middle-aged or older men. And they are mostly uneffeminate. And so you learn to identify them by their method of approaching you (a means of identification which becomes instinctively surer and easier as you hang around longer). They will make one of the standard oriented remarks; they will offer a cigarette, a cup of coffee, a drink in a bar: anything to give them time in which to decide whether to trust you during those interludes in which there is always a suggestion of violence (although, for some, I would learn later, this is one of the proclaimed appeals—that steady hint of violence); time in which to find out if you’ll fit their particular sexfantasy.

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