To celebrate our 25th year of publishing, we’re getting essays and remembrances from many of our authors, supporters, and friends over the years! We just published an essay from author Jennifer Stevenson, whose first pro sale was to Circlet for a book called SEXTOPIA, where she shares a table of contents with such folks as Suzy McKeen Charnas and Catherine Asaro. She has since gone on to publish novels with publishers large and small.
In her essay she hits some key thoughts about why science fiction and sex are perfect bedmates:
When the aspects of human experience being examined are sexual, that’s when science fiction gets really interesting. The axis of change can be physical with respect to the ableness of the characters, whether they are in zero G or two G, whether the characters are in ordinary human bodies or different bodies—alien, animal, vivisected, cyborged, single- or multiple-minded, sky’s the limit. The axis can be private or public—intimate gaze ranging from anonymous to domestic, political gaze from lower class to royals as mediated by the fourth estate, even warfare between sexual soldiers. The axis can refine to include class concerns: rented sex, sexual slavery, bartered sex between unequal classes, all the intrusions of economic power into sex. The axis can range between natural and synthetic, between colonized and colonizer, between mundane and divine, between extreme gesture and minimal expression, between the expected and the unexpected, exploring the meaning of both terminals…in terms of sex. Science fictional sex can be interesting.
Sex itself runs along many axes that cannot, in real life, often be isolated and examined. We come to it pre-equipped with ability and race and class and gender and sociopolitical power and expressive vocabulary and that most elusive and yet overwhelming of all factors, personal taste.
My perpetual disappointment with most erotica is that it doesn’t travel far along any axis. It’s boring.
At Circlet Press, science fiction erotica is interesting.
To read the full essay, find it on the Kickstarter website here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceciliatan/circlet-press-25th-anniversary-best-erotic-scifi-a/posts/1993835