QSFer Elizabeth A. Schechter has a new queer fantasy book out, and shares a great guest post with us:
Not Where I Thought We’d Be
I was going to write a blog post about the eroticism of food. Was being the operative word. I’ve been fighting with it for about a day and a half. The topic that seemed to be so interesting to me when I first thought about it just won’t come out of my head and onto the page. And I finally realized why.
There’s something more important that I need to get out of my brain. Something I need to say. Something that needs to be shouted from the rooftops.
What the actual fuck is going on here?
You all know what I mean. I’m writing this on August 14th, 2017. It’s been two days since domestic terrorists descended on Charlottesville, Virginia. Since white supremacists and home-grown Nazis, encouraged by the words and deeds of our own government, murdered one woman and injured 19.
We’re supposed to be better than this!!!
I mean, really! Every science fiction story I’ve ever seen, every hope for the future I’ve ever read or watched or heard, by now, we’re supposed to have learned something by now. It’s been sixty years since World War II. It’s been one hundred and fifty years since the Civil War. We’re supposed to have grown up!
But really, maybe that’s my problem. I’m fond of saying that, if I were to hand in a manuscript that included the events of the past few years, my editors would send it back and tell me it wasn’t realistic. Fiction, at least, has to make sense. The real world doesn’t. Which, I think, it why I spend so much time in the worlds I create. There, at least, even if everything goes pear-shaped for my characters two-thirds of the way through the book, I know everything will turn out all right in the end.
So what do we do? What do we do when the people in power won’t even say the words to condemn the hate? When the authorities use rubber bullets and tear gas on peaceful protesters trying to protect their homes, but stand by and watch when the white men with the tiki torches incite riots?
What do we do?
What can we do?
And, more personally, what can I do? What can I, as an approaching middle-aged mother and frequent writer of erotica, do, other than point out that the Emperor is not only wearing no clothes but that he’s currently in a freaking dumpster fire that’s threatening to spread?
If I were writing this book – what am I saying? I did write this book, or at least, I wrote the books on what happened after. Rebel Mage is the aftermath. The world we’re seeing now is a really short step to the world where Matthias is born. A world where the Other is something to be afraid of, where ignorance is just another way to control the masses, and where those in charge prey on the people who they’re supposed to serve.
I’ve seen where our path is going. And I’m very, deeply afraid that the apple-cart is going way too fast to be stopped.
But it must stop. This downhill spiral into hate and destruction must end, before it destroys everything and everyone. The people who look at the world now and recoil in horror have to take the wheel and get things back under control before it’s too late.
Because it’s 2017. And we are better than this.
About the Book
“They’re gone?” Tam sputtered. “They can’t have gotten far. We can track them, get out of here—”
“And go where?”
Matthias spun, raising his bow as the unfamiliar voice rang out. Men came around the rocks, men that Matthias would have sworn hadn’t been there before. Tam and Solomon moved to flank him, staying back out of his line of fire. The men came closer, and one of them stepped forward. His skin was nearly as dark as Solomon’s, his hair hanging in long, thin braids down his back. A pendant rested against his pale shirt. The symbol on it was familiar, and Matthias heard Tam groan.
“He’s a Finder,” Tam whispered. “He knew we were here the whole time.”
“Of course I did,” the Finder agreed. “We’ve been watching you since before dawn. And waiting for you.” He gestured to the men with him. “Take them.”
Matthias fired, drawing another arrow from his quiver as the first one left the string. But the first arrow never found its target — the Finder waved his hand, and the arrow burst into flame.
“He’s a mage!” Solomon gasped.
“This way,” Tam shouted, grabbing Matthias’ arm. Matthias turned, sprinting after Tam, and almost crashing into him when Tam came suddenly to a stop. In front of him were more men, all dressed similarly to the Finder, all of them armed with energy pistols.
“Lay down the weapons,” the Finder called from behind them. “Raise your hands into the air. And please, don’t try anything, Mage. I would hate to harm any of you.”
Matthias swallowed and looked at Solomon, then bent and set the bow down at his feet.
“Good. Now, Mage. Take five steps towards me. Then kneel.”
Matthias licked his lips. “Why?”
The Finder laughed. “Because I told you to. Because I could have killed you already, and I haven’t. That should tell you I want you alive. I wish to talk. So please. Do as I say.”
Elizabeth Schechter has been called one of the top erotica and alternative sexuality writers in the world. Her writing credits include the award-winning steampunk erotic romance House of Sable Locks, the science fiction BDSM duology Tales from the Arena, and the Celtic fantasy Princes of Air. Her shorter work has appeared in anthologies edited by D.L King (Carnal Machines), Laura Antoniou (No Safewords), and Cecilia Tan (Jingle Balls; Like a Prince).
Elizabeth Schechter was born in New York at some point in the past. She is officially old enough to know better, but refuses to grow up. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and son, and a most accepting circle of friends who are both very amused and very proud of the pervy, fetish writer in their midst.