“The Digital O” in Best Erotic Fantasy & Science Fiction
Read the short story “The Digital O” in Cleis Press’s anthology Best Erotic Fantasy & Science Fiction, edited by Cecilia Tan and Bethany Zaiatz. “The Digital O” follows a pair of lovers who disagree on what to do once their service robot develops an interest in sex.
The two of them — his lover and his lover’s machine — took up less than half the bed. Theoretically, Rick supposed he could change into his pajamas, slide between the thermal sheets, and let sleep soothe away the aches and pains of the past eleven hours on robotics-repair swing-shift. But the available mattress space was just a byproduct, an unintentional result of the way Corbin tightly spooned against the service bot so much more enthusiastically than he’d ever clung to Rick. No. Sleeping in the space created by whatever bizarre event had transpired was out of the question.
Read the short story “Rescue Wounds” in Circlet Press’s ebook anthology Queerpunk. Editors Cecilia Tan and Kelly Kinkaid selected five stories of queer sexualities explored against a cyberpunk backdrop. “Rescue Wounds” looks at the audacity of physical hookups in a future made mostly virtual out of necessity.
I logged in to my whore, “mine” because I’d settled on him; like all the rest, 19178 perked up his neurons for any number of the Better Class. He was a more experienced whore, nearly three years vined–I’d been looking for one a lot fresher, but he had other points in his favor. He was a local boy, kept in the undergrove across the city. His synapses, vined as they were, stayed snappy. Somehow, after three years of rooting, his brain didn’t have that sluggish, autopilot feeling most whores develop and some Better Class secretly enjoy observing.
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Read five short stories in Circlet Press’s Kal Cobalt collection ROBOTICA. The ebook includes “Charlie,” “The Sex Drive,” “Agrathia’s Freedom,” “Star Fucker,” and “Survival-Compatible.” Each story addresses different aspects of robot sexuality, from the hopeful and innocent to the cruel and apocalyptic.
“What are your options, Cortex?”
“Sliding-scale options include: oriented toward male, oriented toward female, oriented toward companion, and oriented toward human. Non-sliding scale overrides include: asexual and sexual without resevation.”
Emmaya chuckled. “I guess it was too politically incorrect to call that last option ‘slut.’”
Read the short story “Parts” in Circlet Press’s Wired Hard 4. Editors Lauren P. Burka and Cecilia Tan collected gay erotic science fiction for this fourth volume of Circlet Press’s popular anthology series. “Parts” plays with what happens when the line between biological and technological blurs completely.
He inserted RFID tags in hands, GPS nodes in calves, ocular upgrades in eyes. They trusted him as the steadiest hands in the business without ever wondering how that was the case. They never questioned his lack of tattoos or piercings. Raz was glad. A machine inserting mechanics was immediately political; as it was, he simply served a fetish. Two fetishes, really — his and theirs.
Read the essay “Gender Evolution” in Reality Sandwich’s Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age, a 2008 Tarcher/Penguin anthology of essays and articles originally published on the webzine Reality Sandwich. “Gender evolution” addresses the move beyond gender as static or binary, and what comes next.
As I gathered more information about those on the cutting edge of gender-smashing, I began to question the term bisexual and its implicit nod to a binary gender system. “Bisexual” self-limits to two genders, and in its very construction seems to imply “attracted to men and also to women,” rather than “attracted to people regardless of gender.” I questioned terms like monogamous and polyamorous as well — if I did not prefer having one partner at a time, nor having multiple partners at the same time, but instead wished to enjoy relationships in whatever form and number made sense in that particular situation, what was the word for that?
You can also read “Gender Evolution” for free here.
“Hot Eats” in Country Boys
Read the short story “Hot Eats” in Cleis Press’s anthology Country Boys: Wild Gay Erotica. Editor Richard Labonte curated sixteen hot tales of gay men outside the urban sprawl. “Hot Eats” follows a small-town diner proprietor as he wonders whether to make the moves on an out-of-town cinematographer who could be as conservative as the town itself.
I watched him eat. I could say something, anything, to get the dialogue started, especially now that he was committed to the meal and a more or less captive audience. Especially now that he was licking the buttery mashed potatoes off his fork. Especially when he wrapped his lips around the beer bottle so perfectly.
I fetched his slice of pie instead, my cheeks hot.
Read the short story “A Recipe For…” in Richard Labonte’s Boys In Heat, a 2008 anthology by Cleis Press. “The love-’em-and-leave-’em style is what Kal Cobalt’s ‘A Recipe For’ is all about,” Labonte says in the introduction. “A Recipe For…” is set in the raunchy world of after-hours chef culture.
Halfway down the alley, there was a lone dim light, and beneath it, the glare of a cigarette’s ember. As I got closer, I could make out the man who was smoking: tall and scrawny, wearing a white, food-stained apron underneath a black leather jacket. He had close-cropped salt-and-pepper hair and deep, hard eyes. He gave me a jerky little half-nod and said, “Hey.”
The Belt in Best Gay Romance 2008
Read the short story “The Belt” in Richard Labonte’s Hot Gay Romance 2008 from Cleis Press. “However romance happens,” says Richard Labonte in the introduction, “however long love lasts — a heartbeat to a lifetime — it’s a wonderous thing. [...] It happens in Kal Cobalt’s ‘The Belt’ — at the end of a belt.”
Tobin crawls. As he nears David’s feet he lowers himself further, moving forward on forearms and knees till David’s scuffed black shoes are directly beneath his chin. This close, he can feel David’s heat, a strange, penetrating warmth like that of a few stiff drinks. David hasn’t showered yet; he’s stopped smelling like cologne and started smelling like a man.
Read “The Lift” in Cecilia Tan’s Best Fantastic Erotica. This 2007 Circlet Press anthology showcases the winners of their international contest for the best erotic science fiction and fantasy. “The Lift” is also the print debut of Xon Xaedin, a psychic interrogator of the highest governmental class until his talent turned against him and forced him into isolation and black-market work.
The soft murmur of thoughts, like a hundred children mumbling fitfully in their sleep, followed Xon even now, in the dead of night, sneaking in beneath the blanketing effect of the rain and the ingenuity of his chemist’s creations. Xon had learned to tolerate them at this level; there was no other choice. Silence was not a luxury afforded him. Human contact was out of the question.
“The Guy In The House” in Hot Gay Erotica
Read the short story “The Guy In The House” in Cleis Press’s anthology Hot Gay Erotica. Editor Richard Labonte describes the story as “about the sinister house on the block where all the boys go for sexual satiation.”
“Hey.” He came down the ancient creaking stairs toward me; inside, no amount of maintenance could hide the fact that the house was aged and failing. Thomas was bottle-blond, with a constant ironic smile and dangerous eyes. I always tried not to look too hard at the tattoos that covered half his skin. Looking too hard made them move.
“Hey,” I replied. I’d never figured out how he could keep the windows wide open and still end up with so much darkness. Entering the house was like being swallowed.