Cut through the noise.
At no point in human history has it been both easier to publish yet harder to be noticed. Through 99% of the past, literacy has been the barrier separating the elite—including organized religion—and those simply trying to survive day-to-day. Up until Johannes Gutenberg brought the printing press to Europe, the primary means of communication were sermons and plays. It was very easy to control oral information for the authorities. A severed tongue stilled treason.
Between Gutenberg’s Bible and the rapid explosion of the World Wide Web, books became more and more common and difficult to stamp out. Censorship no longer could solely focus on bards and troubadours, but fought a steadily losing battle against underground pamphlets and other scurrilous publications. Contrary to modern thinking, porn—both visual and written—has existed for as long as humans have interacted.
What is new, are the many e-publishers who have taken the erotic story off the dingy back room shelves, boldly cast off the raincoat and openly called upon writers to submit their best smut. I answered that call, and submitted to four different prompts over the course of several months. The first three were rejected. Not a surprise, because I don’t really write what editors are looking for. I prefer to write quirky.
If I had to pick one genre of fiction I gravitate to the most, it would be science fiction. I do realize that there are as many distinctions in sci-fi as there are in romance, but I tend towards hard science if I had a choice. This is a segue into one of the submission calls I entered for an erotic take on gluttony; more specifically in terms of a Deadly Sin. The setting is in a future where humans have settled other planets.
The story is long, at 4,000 words, and is graphic and disturbing for those that like a nice, neat stroke story. This is not one of those. After the story, I will have a brief explanation as to the reasons I wrote as I did.
As written, this short story could serve as the beginning, the middle, or the end of a novella or novel. I wanted something gritty. Something disturbing. Even so, it’s a lot tamer than it could be.
The title as always came first, but the Black, does not refer to skin color, but the history behind the shade. Black has always meant evil, and foreboding deeds in sinister towers. Sable was a heraldic term, and besides, it’s also a marten, and wouldn’t make sense tied to Feast, while ebony is fine if you’re a piece of furniture.
A staple trope of sci-fi is planets settled by either religious or ethnic groups—with the odd evil corporation tossed in—seeking a harmonious paradise untainted by ‘them’: All the while blithely forgetting that Old Earth had always been riven by sectarian strife and wars of purity.
[The major problem with outsourcing Earth’s excesses to the stars, is that there is a net increase of at least 83 million people each year. Assuming a cold sleep ark could carry 10,000 passengers, then each and every year 8,300 ships would have to leave just to break even. That’s one ship almost every hour-on-the-hour. At that’s at the current population level of 7 billion+. Sci-fi writers sidestep this conundrum by killing off most of the population first with handy plagues, wars or aliens. Sometimes all three combined.]
Anyway, my presumption is that Africa rose to preeminence and left in a massive surge leaving behind the ‘coloreds’ to their fates. They took with them slaves, and allowed immigration to the Empire. Gluttony in this case is not only food, but an entire culture bent on gorging in every way possible to wipe out the past.
Erotica to me does not automatically mean sex. The setting, the tone, the genders; all of these factors make the story work. The sex should feel organic: within the flow of plot, and not a jarring action. But then again, that’s just another label for something that people do every day—even in outer space.
Hope you enjoyed this newsletter and see you next month here, or get your daily spanking, at Spank Me Hard… Please?.