Thursday, January 19, 2017

Updates and the H-space MGB in 2017

My original plan was to hit 2017 running, and that happened... if you count tripping on your shoelaces and faceplanting on the ground so hard you knock the Earth out of orbit.


I was going to go back to logging word counts on Twitter.  As you haven't seen any word count tweets on Twitter you can assume January has not been a productive writing month for poor Hydra.

There are reasons for this - a bad medical diagnosis for a family member (it was expected), other work on the side eating up time, a bout of winter flu striking just when I thought I'd cleared it all - but I won't bore people with the details as they're irrelevant.

I have been considering what to do with the H-space Monster Girl Bestiary.  On the one hand, I really like how the background stuff is shaping up and how it slots into the wider universe I've hinted at in other stories.  On the other, the short stories have been gradually creeping up in length to the point I find it hard to keep to the weekly schedule and get other things written.

The and is the important thing here.  I enjoy writing the short H-space stories, but I can't for the life of me think of how to properly monetise them, and as vulgar as it is to talk about money, it is essential if I want to continue doing this.  Maybe Patreon?  It is something I've been considering, but I don't want it taking too much focus away from the novels and short story collections, which is what does pay the bills.  (And I definitely don't want to make readers wait as long for Succubus Summoning 301 as they had to wait for 201!)

January is pretty much a bust at this point, so I'll use what's left of it to work on putting a stockpile of new stories together.  My plan is to start posting new Bestiary stories from the beginning of February onwards.  The one change is I'll post new ones every two weeks rather than every week.  I have a strange relationship with self-imposed deadlines.  They're a great productivity aid for me up until the point when I get too close to the end of the treadmill and then everything locks up.  A fortnightly schedule might avoid that problem as well as giving me adequate time to sink my teeth into longer projects (like Succubus Summoning 301 and mystery Nicole novel).

So, the H-space Monster Girl Bestiary isn't going away.  You don't need to worry about it suddenly going on hiatus (like some other projects I'm also eager to rescue this year).  I have too many monster girl ideas for starters!

The other thoughts I'm having is how to give the setting a little more depth.  As you might have gathered, I love writing me some death-by-snu-snu, but it does have limitations if the humans are killed on sight in every new region they enter.  I think it's time to give the poor beleaguered soldiers some "friends".

No, this probably won't turn out too well for them.  😈

Anyway.  I'm still alive, but expect January to be quiet with some kind of normal service resuming in February.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Horror Movie Review: SiREN

I don't normally review movies, but I saw this one a couple of nights ago and thought it might be of interest to succubus/monster girl fans.

Four dudes on a hedonistic stag night get redirected to Ye Mysterious Strip Club Out In The Middle Of Nowhere, do some ill-advised and foolish things, horror hijinks ensue...  Okay, so it's not the most original of setups - think Vamp or From Dusk Till Dawn - but this trope has always been a good starting point for liberal splatterings of blood and tits.  Groom-to-be Jonah's (Chase Williamson) act of foolishness is to bust what he thinks is a sex-trafficked girl out of the basement.  However, Lily (Hannah Fierman) is a little more exotic than she first appears and what follows is a whole heap o' sex 'n' carnage (but mostly carnage).

The film can be seen as a prequel/sequel to the "Amateur Night" segment of anthology horror film V/H/S with Fierman reprising the succubus/demon character of Lily.  Although, given what we learn about Lily's race in this film and what happens, I suspect it's more likely we're seeing a different 'Lily' here.

I was pleasantly surprised with how the film played out.  The quartet of stags were refreshingly normal rather than teeth-grindingly douchey and there was a noticeable lack of characters being evil just for the sake of being evil.  Lily wants her chosen "mate" (an unwilling Jonah) and the mysterious club proprietor, Mr. Nyx (Justin Welborn having a lot of fun in the role), wants his property back.  It's a sign of good storytelling when the writer sets up a bunch of characters, lets them go, and the story plays out naturally as a consequence of the characters' competing goals bouncing off each other.

I also liked some of the other horror fantasy touches, such as the memory-extracting leeches, that hinted of more weirdness going on in the world than just a demon in the basement.  Everything seemed to fit together for a reason rather than things happening for the sake of having cool fx on screen.

On the negative side, this type of film is best when playing to the baser emotions and SiREN is maybe lacking in power here.  It has the sex and strippers you'd expect of an erotic horror, but it doesn't quite have the raw heat of something like Basic Instinct.  The same is true for the horror - not enough gore and shocks for your hardened gorehound.  And as much as I like seeing main characters not be the usual one-dimensional jerks, it does mean you lose that vicarious pleasure of watching jerks meet horrible ends that other films of this type rely on.

Overall I enjoyed the film mostly for how the plot played out.  I didn't find it massively erotic, but Lily is adorable for a blood-splattered, bollock-ripping waif from hell.

Isn't she just adorable...

"I like you."