Because he was a Hugo Award nominee, I decided to get a few books by some of the authors on the list that I hadn’t seen before. So I went over to amazon.com and found a book by Chuck Tingle.
(Not Safe For Work below the line)
Dr Tingle is prolific! I got the highly-rated “Complete Guide To Romance” and… It’s pretty good! I wouldn’t say Tingle’s work is Hugo-worthy (sorry, Chuck) but it’s … interesting! One of the things I like about it is its general comfort and inclusiveness. Tingle writes a pretty torrid scene of getting it on with a unicorn football player:
It’s not long before the unicorn football player behind me starts gaining speed, slamming harder and harder until the beast pushes deep within my asshole and spills out his hot load up my ass. The beast lets out a satisfied groan as he holds deep, filling me with pump after pump of sticky sperm and then, finally, pulling out so that another unicorn can have a chance within my aching human butthole.
The book also has suggestions about how to date inanimate objects, such as airplanes or giant coffee cups. I have to admit I had never really thought about the problem of gaining consent from a giant coffee cup. Tingle’s optimistic and positive throughout. His attitude is that love is what makes the world go ’round:
The most important thing to remember, though, is that regardless of how strange and surreal love can get, no matter how many times the magic of romance can elude you or how often you find yourself confused by the intricacies of sexuality, dating and marriage, one thing is certain above all else. One shining fact remains true no matter where you come from, what color your skin or scales are, or even if your boyfriend is a bus and your girlfriend is a giant cup of coffee.
Love is real.
The only problem I had with the book may actually be a problem with me. I just couldn’t get turned on by imagining giving head to a giant cup of coffee or an airplane. I had to spend a while thinking about my feelings: why didn’t I think giving head to an airplane would be fun? Tingle forced me to confront the scary possibility that his imagination is vastly more powerful and flexible than mine. It made me realize that my erotic sense, at least, is closely tied to things I’ve experienced; I can imagine a situation that I’ve experienced going “more so” in some direction or other, but I can’t imagine it going “vastly extremely more so.”
A number of years ago I got an email from someone asking me why I never did any homoerotic photography. My reply to him was lame: “I’m pretty straight, so I see the world that way and I can photographically represent what I see and imagine – and I don’t imagine that.” So I had to have a “sit-down and think” for a while and concluded that, for me, erotic fantasy depends to a large degree on my ability to put myself into the scene – can I see a role in the picture/movie/story that I can comfortably jump into? If so: I’m good. Otherwise, I get a discernable sense of discomfort as I keep trying to figure out where I am in the scene. Tingle’s writing triggers that in me: I’m neither the unicorn football player nor the narrator so I feel left out and a bit uncomfortable.
The sadsack racist/misogynists who decided to use Tingle as a tool in their annoying childish games – they picked the wrong tool. They should have had John C. Wright write a 400+-page opus of boredom and tried to cram that into the Hugos butt. Presumably they thought “‘Space Raptor Butt Invasion’, that sounds bad!” Wrong space raptors.
- Overall: 5/10 stars
- 8/10 for surrealism
- 8/10 for acceptance and accessibility
- 3/10 for eroticism
- 9/10 for making me think outside my little box