I'm Vinnie Tesla; I'm here to tell you about my new book out from Circlet, The Erotofluidic Age. It's my first single-author collection, and I'm very proud of it. It's kind of hard to categorize, but the problem is a surplus of categories, rather than a dearth. If anyone knows what the Library of Congress number for Victorian mad science pornographic farce is, I'd be delighted to learn. Comparisons to prior work are tricky. I briefly considered "A S&M Gilbert and Sullivan" and "P. G. Wodehouse with more bestiality," before rejecting them. Reviewers have made suggestions as diverse as The Prestige and the works of Thorne Smith.
I also designed the cover myself, and I think it managed to capture the spirit of the book effectively.
The Erotofluidic Age consists of three stories (two novelettes and a novella, according to Wikipedia, though I don't know when I last heard someone actually use the word novelette in a sentence).
The first, The Ontological Engine, or, The Modern Leda, tell the story of an ancestor of mine, Daedalus Tesla, who, if not precisely a mad scientist, is certainly an... unconventional thinker. I've posted about it here before, including a fun excerpt.
Miss Pierce's Position picks up his story a few months later, adding Miss Minerva Pierce, a woman whose intellect and perversity prove to rival his own, a situation he appreciates about as much as you'd expect.
The third story, which comprises more than half of the book, is The Terminando, wherein two of Daedalus' assistants manage to build a dimensional-travel craft that is more innovative than durable, and in their efforts to get home, must contend with the Ministry of Erotofluidics, a project that turns out to involve a great deal of strapping people to orgasm machines.
The excerpt below has no orgasm machines, but it does introduce the Violas and the Brotherhood of St. Joan, who play a central role in much of the story. The narrator, Victor Dalrymple, has escaped a Ministry Terminando (think something between a press-gang and an Assizes) to attempt to make his way to London in search of a replacement thermionic valve for his craft.
In some areas of endeavour, there is but a single perfect way to perform them; and all approaches are excellent exactly insofar as they approximate it. In others, there are as many forms of excellence as there are excellent practitioners, each adept perfecting his own craft, distinct from any other before or since. Such a realm, I believe, is cock-sucking, and just as there has never been a fellatrix so perfectly Eleanor Dalrymple-y as yourself, so the heights of Alexander Weaverdom I experienced that afternoon were beyond any I had ever before known.
He devoured me with an urgency befitting our risky circumstances, yet I venture that he would likely have displayed a similar impatience even in perfect seclusion. He groaned approvingly when I rested my hand on his head, and, by increments, I soon found myself pulling him down onto my rigid affair, heedless of the pomade that now coated my hands, egged on by his muffled sounds of encouragement, even as his eyes watered and his face flushed.
At last, he pushed back against my hands and then, after a few heaving gasps, took my shaft in his hand and squeezed. “What a marvellous cock you have, Dalrymple,” he murmured to me, though I blush to quote it. “How I long to taste your hot spunk.”
I gasped at that confession, and my cock surged in his hand.
“Say that again, and you shall,” I admitted to him.
He nodded, stroking my cock. “I want you to spend in my mouth, Dalrymple. I want to take your sperm in my–”
Some sixth sense alerted him to the imminence of my climax, and he sealed his lips over the head of my member just as I bit back a long groan and ejaculated in several long surges.
I closed my eyes, overwhelmed by the sensation, and when I opened them again, he was seated across from me, taming his hair with one hand and dabbing at his lips with a handkerchief in the other. “Best put that rammer away, or the rest will be wanting some, too,” he said, nodding to my still-exposed genitals.
“Just so,” I said, and had only just fastened the last button when a train-butch suddenly thrust his head through the compartment’s curtains. “Newspaper, si–” he began, then, seeing that I was already adequately supplied, began again: “Candy, cigars, roast nuts?”
“No, thank you,” I said. My meagre funds left no room for indulgences. I inclined my head, however, towards my compartment-mate. The butch followed my motion and noticed him for the first time, swallowing hard and paling slightly. He opened his mouth, presumably to repeat his practised pitch, but no sound came out.
My new friend seemed neither surprised nor perturbed by this odd response, but smiled reassuringly. “I’ll have a packet of nuts, if it is not too much trouble,” he said.
He might have said “I’ll have your spleen on a pointed stick” for all the pleasure the butch showed at the news.
The butch yelped and disappeared.
There was a moment’s silence.
Then the butch was edging back into the car, quite the reverse of his original heedless rush. He extended the waxed-paper bag between two fingertips. The bag was taken, and silver flashed through the air in a sparkling arc. The boy had barely the presence of mind to fumblingly catch the tossed coin after it after it had bounced off of his sternum. “A shilling for your troubles,” my seatmate said.
The boy stared at it, saucer-eyed. “Thank you,” he mumbled.
Weaver cocked his head and raised an eyebrow.
“…sir.” said the butch.
A second coin followed the first. “Excellent lad. Now be off, and God keep you.”
The butch disappeared in an instant, and my seatmate took a nut, then offered the bag to me.
I gratefully took as many as seemed consistent with courtesy. “Did that boy know you?”
He chuckled. “Not personally,” he said.
“You were very generous with him,” I said.
“I do what I can to show that we violas aren’t such terrible monsters.”
“Monsters!” I exclaimed. “Why, if you are any sort of exemplar, I shall have to join them myself!”
My new friend positively threw back his head and howled with laughter. I chuckled wanly myself, concerned that I had somehow revealed my ignorance of this ontosphere’s peculiarities. He leaned forward and companionably gripped me by the shoulder. “Unless you have discovered the secrets of ontological engineering, I am afraid that may prove difficult.”
I gaped, but he was fortuitously occupied with wiping the tears of mirth from his eyes, and failed to notice my expression.
I was mulling how to further probe my new friend’s knowledge of these matters when he ventured: “I say, not to pry, but do you know where you will be staying in London?”
“I do not!” I admitted. “How did you guess?”
He leaned forward. “Quite frankly, Dalrymple, you appear to be a man beset by troubles. Your trousers, fine though they are, have seen better days, your hair is a mess, and, most strikingly of all, you have apparently failed to note that you have boarded the northbound train to Manchester, not the southbound to London.”
I used several words which I try not to deploy lightly, but which seemed entirely warranted by current circumstances.
“Further,” he continued, “if I am any judge of such things (and I fancy that I am), you had not spent in several days, at least.”
I pursed my lips. The bare rudiments of such a plan as I possessed were now in shambles. I doubted I could even afford a rail ticket to London, the shorter distance having consumed more than half of my funds.
Weaver cleared his throat. “My club does have spare rooms,” he ventured. “Generally available for brothers in need of them, but a friend of the Brotherhood such as yourself would be welcome to stay for a short time.”
I shook my head sadly. “You have already shown me considerable kindness, Weaver,” I protested. “To take further charity from you–”
“Well, perhaps it needn’t be charity,” he interrupted. “Are you a man of trade?”
“Of a sort,” I equivocated. “I have some skill in book-keeping….” Then I drew a deep breath and gambled. “And some little knowledge of… of ontological engineering.”
Weaver raised his eyebrows. “Practical ontological engineering?”
“Extremely,” I responded, with all the conviction I could muster.
“You are serious, aren’t you,” Weaver breathed.
“Then, yes, I believe a barter could be very mutually beneficial.”
* * * *
The club in question was, Weaver revealed, the Fraternal Order of St. Joan.
“This is–pardon my asking–a papist organization?”
“Not at all,” he reassured me. “It is, by and large, a perfectly ordinary gentleman’s club.”
“Good cigars, bad port, late-night rubbers, and uninformed political opinion?”
“I see you have some familiarity with the genre.”
“The Daguerreotype Society is my preferred watering hole in London. Or, at least it was, back in–” I caught myself before saying more than I meant to. “–its heyday.”
* * * *
From the station, we caught a hansom-cab to the club, which turned out to be a rather imposing brick building with a neoclassical façade, dominated by Joan herself, twice life-sized, in marble, decked in a suit of plate mail, hair cropped scandalously short, and gazing out at the busy street with a sort of martial calm. We passed that unnerving sentry’s scrutiny into a tiled receiving room, where Weaver had a brief consultation with a fresh-faced young man, then led me through a handsome common room with a large fireplace. A dozen or so brothers were taking their leisure, reading the newspaper or clustered about the billiard tables. As with many clubs, the members of the Order of St. Joan appeared to be rather a type. At first glance, I thought them rather a young group, but a second look showed a fair proportion of grey hairs among the assembled gentlemen; it was the smallish builds and clean-shaven faces of the Joanites that had misled me. Before I could make further study of the matter, we had reached a stairwell, which proved to lead up to a snug but well-appointed room on the first floor.
“It isn’t much,” he said as he led me in, “but–”
“Not a word of it!” I interrupted him. “You have been an enormous benefactor to me already. I do not know how I can thank you enough.” I shut the door behind him, and it closed with a satisfying click. “But I do have a notion of how I can start.”
I pressed him up against the shut door and kissed him, his mouth opening eagerly to me after a moment, his hands sliding under my jacket to embrace me. We enjoyed each other’s mouths for a long moment before I pulled back and gasped for breath.
“Your generosity with me is an area where I am not in a position to even the score at the time. Your cock-sucking, however, is.”
He drew breath between his teeth, and his hands slipped down to his trousers, where they began to unfasten the buttons.
“I’m going to suck your cock, Weaver,” I announced. “You denied me the opportunity on the train, but you won’t deny me now.”
His expression changed. “My… cock,” he said, in a curious tone.
“Yes,” I persisted, and attempted to emulate his own thrilling knack for randy language: “I’m going to take your rigid pego in my mouth and suck on it until you spend.”
When Weaver spoke, it was in a curious sort of flat voice. “You don’t know what a viola is, do you?”
I swallowed hard, suddenly feeling very much on the spot. “Well… it’s a sort of Whiggish… group,” I ventured.
Weaver nodded slightly, and his hands reversed their prior process, re-fastening his trouser buttons. He disentangled himself from me and opened a cabinet on one side of the room, revealing a small but well-stocked bar. He poured two whiskies, and handed me one of them.
“Dalrymple, I am, as I have told you, a viola. That means that, although I am a gentleman, I have the body of a woman.” He took a largish drink of his whiskey as I digested this information.
“Where?” I asked.
He snorted, followed by a brief but intense coughing fit. “Under my clothes, you great twit!” he gasped between coughs and gulps of breath.
“So you’re really a–?”
With an effort, he composed himself. “I am really a gentleman,” he said firmly, “though I was not born so.”
I digested this intelligence. “So all the members of your club…?”
“Are the same in this regard.”
“Fascinating!” I said, looking at my friend in a new light. He, in turn, gazed fixedly at his drink. I realized that he was apprehensive as to my reaction.
“I’ve never gamahuched a gentleman before,” I allowed. “But, if you will permit me, I should very much like to essay it.”
He grinned and rose to his feet. “I was so hoping you would say that.”
I'll be posting here for the next few days, so come back often, ask questions, critique my fake ninteenth-century prose, and, of course participate in....THE CONTEST...