Sunday, July 04, 2010

Why the shame?

So I was on one of my night time internet trawls – distraction behaviour when I should be writing – and I came across this.

It was the marketing blurb that interested me:

“Longing for sizzling stories of sexy demon lovers, seductive vampires seething with oral metaphor, kinky succubi ready for nameless sins? Are you slavering to taste the obscene forked kiss of tales that titillate and terrorize?

Wow, sounds scorching. Where’s the button with the little shopping trolley icon?

“This isn't it.”


“If you want unsurprising, comfortable "erotic horror," you've got the wrong book Go back to reading Fangs For The Mammaries XXIV

Um...yeah. Guess I’ll slink off with my tail between my legs. Thanks for the slap on the face.

Okay, so you checked the date, saw the anthology is about ten years old, probably out of print and are wondering why I’m blathering about it now.

I think because it struck me as a perfect example of the inferiority complex genre fiction – always a whipping boy for the critics in their ivory towers – suffers from, and that’s just as true then as now. It screams defensiveness – “We’re not like those other stories you think might exist, we’re important, serious work.”


Seductive vamps and their ilk are the bread and butter of the horror genre. People buy horror books and pay to go and see horror movies because they want to read/see those tales. One of the things that used to bother me back when I was devouring horror anthologies was so many writers were trying so hard to avoid the usual horror conventions their stories ended up being not what I bought the book for in the first place. Why the shame? Isn’t the purpose of Erotic Horror to ‘titillate and terrorize’?

Nothing against the book. I’m sure it’s very good. There are a lot of good writers amongst the contributors. I found it odd they chose to define it by what it isn’t rather than what it is.

Wouldn’t mind reading that hypothetical Fangs For The Mammaries XXIV though...

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