Ode on a Grecian Yearn

After a slight Esoterotica hiatus I’m back on my bullshit with another Multiple-Choice Misadventure! And I haven’t learned anything about historical accuracy since the last one.

You are Daphne. Not the one from Scooby Doo — I mean the Greek nymph. You’re currently on tinder. Not the app — I mean that you just had to turn into a goddamn tree to stop that horndog Apollo from dragging you into an evening of epic poetry and chill. He seemed nice enough when you were talking to him on Tinder (and I do mean the app that time,) but in person… he’s a major creeper. Not creepy enough that he would try to fuck a tree, your plan totally worked there, but he was definitely too skeezy for you to want to touch as a human.

Which leaves you at an impasse. A woman’s still got needs.

Once you’re sure the coast is clear, you turn back into a human and since you are being written by a man you immediately admire your breasts in the reflection of a nearby lake for about five minutes.

You still don’t have any plans for this evening, so you take out your phone and find that you have three new messages from eager suitors.

The first message appears to be yet another dick pic from Zeus, only he’s a swan in this one. Eeewwwwww.

The second message is from a man named Pentheus. There are pictures of him next to his chariot, lounging on the balcony of his palace, giving a speech at so–waitwait, palace? Scroll back. Yeah, that’s his own frickin’ palace.

Whoever sent the third message has profile pictures of themselves posing with the corpse of a giant boar they’ve killed, and… one of them wrestling a lion? Ohmigod is that really HERCULES macking on you?!

To respond to Pentheus and have him buy you whatever the Greek equivalent of Cosmopolitans were, turn to page 2.

To respond to Hercules because you want to give the Hydra a run for its money as far as head goes, turn to page 3.

Continue reading Ode on a Grecian Yearn

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Book Review: Meddling Kids

Subgenre: Uptempo Eldritch Sleuthpunk

That cover made me check the prices of old Monster In My Pocket sets on Ebay. Then I balked at the starting bids, read the book, and got far more fun out of it than if I’d spent the same amount of money on stale plastic figurines. The only accurate description I can come up with is that it’s like if P.G. Wodehouse did a line of coke off of a Hot Fuzz DVD.

Continue reading Book Review: Meddling Kids

In Praise of Subgenres

Biopunk and solarpunk and silkpunk are apparently things now. You can argue about whether or not any of these things qualify as “punk,” like people have been doing with the political implications of steampunk. Or you can go the route of electronic music and just embrace categories breaking down into more and more specific subgenres. Because I know darn well what my shtick is, I’m taking the second route.

Here are some overly-specific subgenres for a few books I’ve read in celebration of categorization.

 

City of Stairs: Covert spectaculesque godwave



Love is the Law: Acerbic magickal punkpunk

Continue reading In Praise of Subgenres

Review – Molotov Hearts

Okay okay yes I read a rom-com and I’m not going to mince words with some “it’s a romantic comedy BUUUUT-” qualifying statements. Molotov Hearts by Chris Eng is an entertaining book whose plot centers on two people who catch feelings for each other. It isn’t solely about the love between the guy and the girl though, it’s also about the love for and within the punk scene. In the same sense that this review is about my love of minor spoilers.

Socially-maligned high schooler Jenn watches the punk kids loitering after school, particularly the cute guy always reading physics textbooks. After a fight with her abusive mother she sneaks off to join their punk house, dumpster dives, suffocates at basement shows, and gets to smash. But such a plot summary overlooks the hand-sewn details.

Molotov Hearts’ plot is propelled almost entirely by women’s agency. Jenn takes the initiative to goes over and talk to the punks and her dude, Becky bails her out at school after they break up, other punk girls front bands and lead the dumpster-diving excursion. There’s no synchronized shouting of “girl power” to oversell things, women getting shxt done is just the default state of the Molotov Hearts world. Jenn’s authoritarian mother is full of agency and fairly evil, but eh, representation isn’t always enough without class consciousness. And is this book ever conscious of its class! The life of the punk house isn’t a glamorized Lost Boys carefree adventure — the dumpster diving scene is as filthy and dangerous as it is calorie-dense, most of the punks dress themselves from piles on the floor (if they do dress themselves) and there’s an appropriate lack of headboards. It reads like it’s drawn from actual bummy quasi-commune experience rather than someone trying to piece together what dejected punk kids do based on Rancid and MxPx lyrics.

But that’s all window dressing, albeit window dressing that knows it should be old bedsheets instead of actual curtains. I wouldn’t have stuck with the book were it not for the characters. Jenn is smart and resourceful, but not tritely hypercompetent. She doesn’t get everything right; her friends straight-out tell her that her priorities are pretty screwed up at one point and there really aren’t enough books out there willing to let their protagonists be wrong about things. Or have friends that call them out on it and then¬†actually talk about what’s going on. But even if fidelity to actual human behavior isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of fun and snark as the punks play off each other and pwn some posers.¬†

If I had a consistent rating system Molotov Hearts would get 4.5 out of 5 somethings. Let’s say 4.5 perfectly good wheels of cheese pulled out of the Safeway dumpster.
(I’m only marking it down because it doesn’t acknowledge that Blink-182’s first album was pretty legit and if we can’t have petty squabbles like that then what’s the point of a subculture anyways.)

New News!

Aaand after several months of the tedious domestic stuff that comes with living in a city where the housing market is being devoured by AirBnBs, I have writing stuff to promote and blog stuff to somewhat feel ashamed about the word “blog” when doing because it’s not pleasant as onomatopoeia.

I don’t know what the deal is with certain other ebook retailers’ listings, but Barnes & Noble has the ebook version of Northern Dandy up for $2.99! Sashay through a multiple-choice misadventure by pushing fingers into your screen instead of risking paper cuts!

A few months back someone noticed that Esoterotica’s spoken word albums were up on Spotify, something they didn’t necessarily agree to. Instead of going through some convoluted legal process, they decided to just run with it and get their own account and playlists going. Here’s one I made for them, and the only band I’m embarrassed to have on it is The Hippos.

There’s a lot more stuff lined up for me in the fall so expect whatever service you’re reading this on to blip slightly more frequently than it has. Until then, buy my (current) book!