Alison’s Wonderland has landed…
… and it’s wonderful! This big, beautiful book turned up on my doorstep last week and, oh, we’re having a magical time together. Alison’s Wonderland is one of those books you want to hold and stroke; you want to leave lying about the place because it’s so damn pretty; you want to giftwrap and give copies to your friends. Ebooks are on the up, and that’s great news for erotica, but this is such a gorgeous reminder of the power of print. I swear, this book is practically truffle-centred, and you simply can’t do that with digital.
Alison’s Wonderland, edited by Alison Tyler, contains nearly 400 pages of deliriously dirty fairy tales. Most of the tales are contemporary, featuring the kind of characters and kinks you’d find in a regular erotica anthology. But running underneath the stories is something very special indeed. So far, I’ve adored Nikki Magennis‘s The Red Shoes, (Redux), a witty and beautifully written spin on Cinderella. I’ve loved lingering in the forest, spying on Snow White in Janine Ashbless‘s Gold, On Snow (oh, those deviant dwarves!). Sometimes, half the fun lies in matching the erotica to original fairy tale. I marvelled at the unfolding of Sommer Marsden‘s The Three Billys, knowing the original tale from the off (clue is in the title!) and getting a real kick of satisfaction from seeing how cleverly Sommer played with her goats and her troll – in a local library, of all places! I was quite a way into Shanna Germain’s smart, sexy story, Fool’s Gold, before I realised we were in the land of Rumpelstiltskin (with added bondage, plus gin and tonic). There are so many top authors in this collection (Donna George Storey, Thomas S. Roche, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Heidi Champa, Saskia Walker …) plus several names which are new to me. I have lots of luscious reading ahead.
Alison has a Wonderland blog where you can find out more about the book (and I’ve been so slow at getting my interview sorted but I’m nearly there!). Amazon UK are already out of stock so get ready to grab it when it’s back! (Or try The Book Depository. Or, you know, go to an actual shop!)
My own story, David, is a vampiric riff on Sleeping Beauty, featuring a contemporary busker and a man in the crowd. Here’s the slow, sultry opening:
It’s hot today. I have a problem with the heat because I sweat and my sweat is pink. Pink sweat attracts notice, forcing me to flee to another town to preserve my secret. But damn it, I like this place and I want to stay.
When I was mortal over forty years ago, I was a woman who lived for parties, sunshine and attention. I would dance barefoot on beaches on warm summer evenings, and late at night I’d still be there, laughing around a camp fire with my beautiful friends, hippies in beads hoping to save the world through sex, love, peace and hashish. I look at my generation now and wonder if we couldn’t have tried a little harder.
But no matter. They’re not my generation anymore.
My sweat is pink and it’s a problem.
A passerby tosses a coin onto the cloth at my feet. Quite a pile I’m getting today. It’s the sun, you see. It brings people out, makes them loose with their cash. And this loose cash is making me feel loose with my morals.
I stare blankly ahead. I’m coated in white body-paint and wreathed in a toga, my hair coiled high and dyed a bright chemical pink. My arms are held in an elegant curve, chin angled to the left. I am a busker, a living statue, and I’m very good at my job. Crowds gather. They stare and smile. A few will move tentatively closer. “It’s like she isn’t even breathing,” they’ll whisper.
And of course, I’m not. I am dead.
My hairline starts to prickle. If it weren’t for my pink sweat, I’d still adore the sun though I realize that makes me atypical. The heat clings like memories, taking me back to those sticky nights of tangled sheets when my cunt would throb with lust for another. Oh, to be vital again! To be fucking someone for the sake of fuck alone, not fucking them with thoughts of their blood in my throat. Or, best of all, to have someone fucking me, to have them holding me down, fearless, brutal and strong.
Because, to my shame, that’s what I crave: a man to overpower me. Once when I was alive, I asked a boyfriend to act as my kidnapper. “Tie me up and gag me,” I explained. “Use me as your plaything. Take no notice of my screams.” But he said he couldn’t do that because sexual expression through violence contravened his pacifism and he viewed our lovemaking as a cosmic union of souls and in this I was his sister. Sister? If you ask me, that’s far worse than what I was suggesting.
This 53 second video clip is of David Beckham sleeping, shot by Sam Taylor-Wood for The National Portrait Gallery. Becks has sod all to do with my story but he’s very beautiful, so any excuse! And I do love this piece of work.