Literary adventures and commonalities

This weekend I went to a nice reading at Other Change of Hobbit – Mary Anne Mohanraj was reading from her new not-yet-published novel, The Arrangement. Though I haven’t read Bodies in Motion, her book of linked stories, I’ve heard her read from it. What I notice about Mary Anne’s writing is the subtleties of character, established very quickly, so that I expect everyone to be complicated.

We all admired the new paperback of “Bodies”, & Mary Anne talked interestingly about writing, her experiences in the publishing industry in the literary fiction market, and then about the current market for erotica; she says that most successful erotica authors are women. Her erotica series, Wet, is printed on waterproof paper & she demonstrated for us how you can pour a glass of water onto it and it just rolls off. You can read it in the bathtub.

Mary Anne has a huge amount of projects, among them the Speculative Literature Foundation and DesiLit. She’s got a long-running pre-blog-era blog & was a founder for Strange Horizons and Clean Sheets.

I always think it’s interesting how many people we know or knew in common from various scenes. Many people from University of Chicago show up in my core groups of San Francisco people, science fiction, literature, sexuality, & poly – and Mary Anne is just one of the many with those multiple intersections. They are people almost guaranteed to have the most fascinating & eclectic book collections! After Mary Anne’s reading we headed over to Lori, Guy, and Steven’s house – another U. of Chicago connection, with role-playing games definitely in the mix – and I got to wallow around in Lori‘s reference books – the Dictionary of Languages – note our common interest in myth & women pirates & warriors & Inanna & that sort of thing – shelves and shelves of sex and erotica books – Anthologies – comic books – And Steven’s books on war and philosophy. In short, I could happily get lost in their house for months.

It’s nice to be around all these people – they’re inspiring, fun, smart as hell, and I have the feeling of intellectual security that they also know about the broad range of knowledge I have, so don’t see me just as a poet, or geek, or gamer, or history and science fiction buff, or sex radical; they know what it means to be all of those things at once, because that’s what they are too…

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