Let’s say it upfront: most of the material in Meatmen books is porn. Whether that puts it in a ghetto is a point for debate. I contributed to 14 of the books, the Murphy’s Library series to another, and original stories to another six. Most of my original stories were sexually explicit. But I don’t think one reads my stories for arousal.
Meatmen 12 (1991) - Robot Love
Meatmen 15 (1983) - The Nine Billion Names of Penis
Meatmen 19 (1994) - The Sparkle Spinsters in Little Red Riding Crop
Meatmen 20 (1997) - A Wedding in the Family
Meatmen 21 (1997) - Link-Up
Meatmen 22 (1997) - Straight Man’s Burden
Let’s say it upfront: most of the material in Meatmen books is porn. Whether that puts it in a ghetto is a point for debate. I contributed Murphy's Manor comic strips to 14 of the books (with cartoon annotations), the Murphy’s Library series to another, and original stories to another six. Most of my original stories were sexually explicit. But I don’t think one reads my stories for arousal.
The 12th Meatmen book was a special on science fiction, which is right up my alley. It was also the first time I had done a sexually explicit cartoon story. I had some fun with it sexualizing popular consumer products, and adding to Asimov’s three laws of robotics.
My second entry was also a science fiction story. The name obviously parodies a famous story by Arthur C Clarke -- the similarity quickly goes south from there.
My work appeared in all but one of the first 22 issues of Meatmen. I was not invited to contribute to book number 18, which featured S&M stories. The editor did not think that S&M was a topic I could do convincingly. And from the Murphy’s Manor comic strips, which held the line of an “R” rating, you may reach the same conclusion. But how could I let a challenge like that go unanswered?
The Sparkle Spinsters characters were devised for Gay Comix. “Riding Crop” is still the latest Sparkle Spinsters story. It’s the only one that was sexually explicit.
“Wedding” is pointedly not sexually explicit. The main character is gay, and men fall in love with him on first glance, but he is a virgin and proud of it. Love comes first, then sex. Maybe. If you’re looking for sexual thrills? Well, on the last page he takes his shirt off.
I regard “Link” as my best story. It works on a gimmick: how the new electronic media and forms of communication change the way that sexual contacts happen. Cell phones, fax machines, Internet, bulletin boards, social media — all offer opportunities for sex with a person who isn’t actually present. the challenge to myself was for Gary to have virtual sex using these devices, but never real sex. I developed the plot by asking myself what kind of a character would have a life filled with virtual sex and without any physical contact? A person who is effectively a captive in his own home. And probably a loser.
By 1997 what we now call a 3-D printer was in the technological pipeline, although I didn’t know what it would end up being called yet. I used it, calling it a [Hewlett-Packard] Repli-Jet.
My final story for Meatmen was also based on a gimmick. The ground rules: blend my literary favorites into a single story. Result: a Gay Science Fiction Gilbert and Sullivan story. You could probably find a bit of Flashman as well. The main character does look a bit like Sir Arthur … But I think of him more as the “Pale Young Curate” from The Sorcerer. And Captain Wynter is an obvious clone of Sir Joseph Porter KCB from HMS Pinafore.