Thursday, December 12, 2019

By Way of Farewell: Best of the Decade

A Farewell to Arms and Legs and Everything In Between

I think the time has finally come to call it quits on Erotica for the Big Brain*. I did not arrive at this decision without a lot of soul-searching. 2019 has not been a good year for me: With the deaths of my younger brother in March and my mother in November (after three months in hospice), grief, depression, and worry have been almost constant factors in my life, and they have taken their emotional and physical tolls, even as I struggled to complete the novel that had occupied me since June of 2018. (It was finished on November 8, just five days before my mom's passing.) I simply have had no time for blogging. Professionally, I am moving in a new direction, towards fantasy, and need to focus my energies there in order to have a chance at success. The broader market for erotica seems to have collapsed of late--or is, at least, in serious recession--let alone demand for the more challenging literary forms that require some thought to appreciate. I never expected to be a popular, best-selling author, and it mostly doesn't bother me that so few people know and appreciate my work. Telling myself the kind of stories I have wanted to hear--bringing them into existence at last--has been its own reward: All the hours I spent writing and editing have helped me hone my skills. I am proud of the work I have done; it has paved the way for the work that will occupy me for the rest of my life.

(*) I will not be deleting the site: All the helpful pages will remain in place, including The Erotic Writer's Thesaurus, links, and writer's resources. I may occasionally update the Books by TAS page as well. However, I will no longer be blogging on a regular basis, or adding any significant new editorial content to the home page.

It would be patently uncool, however, simply to pull the plug and run. In looking back over the past seven years of 'Best of' lists, I thought it would be appropriate to re-share some of my favorite titles. So here, my farewell gift to you, faithful readers, is EftBB's final list, 'Best of the Decade', the titles that have stayed with me, haunted me, and inspired me:


The Lure of Dangerous Women and Beneath Sea and Sky 
(short story collections by Shanna Germain)
Amorous Woman (Donna George Storey)
Never: An Erotic Retelling of Peter Pan (Elizabeta Brooke)
Twentysix (short story collection by Jonathan Kemp)
London Triptych (Jonathan Kemp)
The Innocent’s Progress (Peter Tupper)
Come, Let Us Sing Anyway (short story collection by Leone Ross)
Roadhouse Blues  (short story collection by Malin James)
Adultery: The Scarlet Alphabet (Rod Kierkegard)
Cover Him with Darkness, In Bonds of Earth, and The Prison of the Angels 
(Janine Ashbless, Book of the Watchers series) 
Volksie: A Tale of Sex, Americana and Cars (P.M. White)
Libidinous Zombie (ed. Rose Caraway)
Desire (short story collection by Kathryn O’Halloran) 
Lust in the Dust: An Anthology of Post-Apocalyptic Erotica (ed. Janine Ashbless) 
The Pleasure Dial (Jeremy Edwards)
The Killer Wore Leather (Laura Antoniou)
Extraordinary Deviations (short story collection by Raven Kaldera)
One Night Only: Erotic Encounters (ed. Violet Blue)
The Gentlemen’s Club (Emmanuelle de Maupassant)
Constraint (Siri Ousdahl)
Wanderlust  (ed. Megan Lewis)
Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms  (ed. Sacchi Green)
Thrones of Desire  (ed. Mitzi Szereto)
Named and Shamed  (Janine Ashbless)
Viking Thunder  (Emmanuelle de Maupasant)
Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica (ed. D.L. King)

(some older titles, not necessarily erotica):

Quiver (short story collection by Tobsha Learner)
Kushiel's Dart (Jacqueline Carey)
The Bloody Chamber and other stories (Angela Carter)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Patrick Suskind)
Mariette in Ecstasy (Ron Hansen)
Bitten: Dark Erotic Stories (ed. Susie Bright)
Crash (J.G. Ballard)
The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments (Margaret Atwood)
The Sparrow and Children of God (Mary Doria Russell)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Shirley Jackson)
Blood Meridian and The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin)
American Gods (Neil Gaiman)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury)

(and you may insert your favorites here, too!)