The worst one

Fuck it.

WTF RATING: 5/5.Warning for everything.  Do not read if you are weak of stomach or weak of anything. Seriously, turn back now.

Are you turning?

Okay. Fine.

You got nobody to blame except yourself. And me.

And fucking, fucking Fortunato.

Staggering back, Fortunato pulled his shirt open and saw that the long, shallow cut across his chest had already stopped bleeding, would not even need stitches. He slammed the door to the hallway and walked across the room to kick out the plug of the phonograph. And then, in the strangled silence, he turned to face the dead [17- or 18-year-old] boy.

The power rippled and surged inside him. He could see the blood of the women on the dead boy’s hands, see the trail of blood that led from the crude pentagram on the floor, see the tracks where the boy had stood, the shadows where the women had died, and there, faintly, as if it had been somehow erased, the marks left by something else.

Lines of power still lingered inside the pentagram, like heat waves shimmering off a highway in the desert. Fortunato ground his hands into fists, felt cool sweat trickle down his chest. What had really happened here? Had the boy somehow conjured a demon? Or had the boy’s madness just been a tool in something vastly larger, something infinitely worse than a few random killings?

The boy could have told him, but the boy was dead…

He turned to go again, and again he couldn’t leave the room.

You have the power, he told himself. Can you walk away from here, knowing you have the power, refusing to use it?

Sweat ran down his face and arms.

The power was in the yod, the rasa, the sperm. Incredible power, more than he knew how to control yet. Enough to bring the dead back to life.

No, he though. I can’t do it. Not just because the thought made him sick to his stomach, but because he knew it would change him. It would be the point of no return, the point where he gave up being completely human.

But the power had already changed him. He had already seen things that those without it would never understand. Power corrupts, he’d been told, but now he saw how naive that was. Power enlightens. Power transforms.

He unfastened the dead boy’s belt, unzipped the bell-bottomed jeans, and pulled them off. The boy had craped[sic] and pissed in them when he died, and the smell made Fortunato wince. He threw the jeans into a corner and rolled the dead boy onto his stomach.

I can’t do this, Fortunato though. But he was already hard, and the tears rolled down his face as he knelt between the dead boy’s legs.

Scene break and THANK GOD FOR THAT.

He came almost immediately. It left him weak, weaker than he’d thought possible. He crawled away, pulling his pants back up, sick and disgusted and exhausted.

The dead boy began to twitch. …

"Look at me," he said to the dead boy.

The dead boy’s hands clawed at the floor, gouging out bloody splinters. Slowly he pulled himself onto his hands and knees, and then lurched clumsily onto his feet. He turned and looked at Fortunato with empty eyes.

The eyes were horrible. They had that death was nothingness, that even a few seconds of it had been too much.

"Talk to me," Fortunato said. Not anger anymore, but the memory of anger, kept him going. "Goddamn your white ass, talk to me. Tell me what this means. Tell me why."

The dead boy stared at Fortunato. For an instant something flickered there, and the dead boy said “TIAMAT.” The word was whispered, but perfectly clear. Then the dead boy smiled. With both hands he reached up to his own throat and ripped it bloodily out through the skin of his neck and then, while Fortunato watched, tore it in half.

Yep. A single word of shitty foreshadowing (that actually refers to a space monster summoned by Egyptian Masons who get magic from raping people, because sure). That is what you buy with corpserape.

-“The Long, Dark Night of Fortunato,” by Lewis Shiner, in Wild Cards I. That’s right. The first fucking volume. They ledwith this. This is one of the origin stories that the whole team, George R. R. Martin included, thought, “This will make a great way to introduce these surely-to-become-beloved characters.”

How to know your therapist is terrible

WTF RATING: 1/5. Bad, but SFW.

Fortunato’s writer has a story without Fortunato in it! That’s got to be better, right? Everything is improved by the absence of a sorcerer-pimp. Instead, it’s about one of his hookers, who gets depressed and tired of hooking, and is on heroin, and is trying to get clean so she sees a therapist.

The woman on the other side of the coffee table had a blond crewcut and wire-rimmed glasses. She was around forty. No makeup, a man’s gray sportcoat over a while t-shirt, loose drawstring pants. Dyke, had been Veronica’s first impression, and so far nothing had changed her mind.


SPOILER: It’s not better.

Bush was a joke, Hartmann told her. His campaigning against drugs was sheerest hypocrisy, given what his CIA had done in Central America. …

Veronica found herself talking for hours about her childhood, the terrors of Catholic school, the tangled genealogy of her aunts and uncles and cousins, the hypocrisy of Catholic sexuality in which teenaged girls routinely gave blow jobs but recoiled in horror from the thought of losing their sacred virginity.

Also, this story chooses some really weird moments for political opinions.

It turns out the therapist Hannah is indeed a lesbian, and she brings Victoria home and has sex with her, because lesbians just do that when it’s against every code of ethics ever.

"What are you doing to me?" [Veronica] whispered.

"Seducing you," Hannah said. "If I do anything that scared you or you don’t feel comfortable with, just say so." …

"I’ve got three o’clock set aside for you. If you want to talk some more."

"Just talk? Or do you fuck all your patients?"

There was a short, hurt silence. “You’re the first. I suppose I should feel like I’ve pissed away all my ethics, but I don’t.”

That’s okay, then!

And they’re happy! For a couple days. Then they go to the bank and while they’re in line a psychic takes over Hannah’s brain and makes her grab a security guard’s gun and shoot a dude, presumably for something to do other than wait in a bank line.

So Hannah’s in police custody and it turns out she was once a member of a SCUM-type violent radical feminist group, because sigh. Veronica goes to a pawn shop to buy a gun, and the cashier is a dick.

The man leaned forward. “No, you look. The law says I’m responsible for what I sell. I don’t like your looks, I don’t have to sell you shit.” He straightened up and his voice softened. “So why don’t you be a good little girl and run along home to Papa?”

In that moment Veronica saw her entire life as one humiliation after another, all at the hands of men, all of whom felt they were privileged to decide her destiny. From the father who never acknowledged her, to Fortunato who told her how to dress and how to smile,

Wait, are we acknowledging that Fortunato is a douchebag? Suddenly I like you better, hooker lady!

to Jerry who expected her to love him just because he loved her, to the countless men who’d used her and walked away. She was sick of it. For once she wished she had Fortunato’s power, could reach out with her mind and crush this pompous, ugly little man to jelly.

Except that Fortunato’s power runs on sperm, which is a thing best not thought about much by anyone.

The fluorescent lights overhead flickered. It should have distracted her, but instead she felt connected. The lights flashed with the rhythm of her breathing and she knew she was the cause. She felt the power flowing through the wired, flowing out of the grid and into her mind. The wild card. Croyd. It was happening. The picture on the TV rolled, then turned to snow. The second hand on the big, electric clock next to it stopped, then swung back and forth like a pendulum, keeping time with the flashing lights. The man started to turn toward the TV and then went pale. He sat down slowly, his arms crossing tighter, as if he were cold. Sweat beaded his face.

"Are you hurt?" she asked him.

"I don’t know." His voice was weak, and higher than it had been.

She hadn’t crippled him, apparently. Beyond that she didn’t care. “Give me the gun.”

"I…I don’t know if I can."

"Do it!"

He got onto his hands and knees, fumbled a key into the lock, slid the back of the display case open. He had to use both hands to lift the gun onto the counter. Veronica reached for it, then realized what she’d done. Why did she need a gun?

She ran into the street, waving for a cab.

I was genuinely excited! This writer’s shittiness often expresses itself in poorly-defined powers, so I wasn’t real sure what was going on there, but by god, even if she got it by having sex with the guy who was reinfecting everybody with the superpower virus for a while, it’s a woman with a non-vagina-related superpower! Those are rare as hell in Wild Cards! Lightning magic fueled by feminist rage is a step up!

It’s cleared up by a line from a guy in the next story:

"Apparently, she has the power to make men sick. I’ve known a few women like that myself."

Oh for fuck’s sake, Wild Cards.

-“Horses”, by Lewis Shiner, in Wild Cards VIII: One-Eyed Jacks

What to do when trapped on an alien spaceship

The answer is bone.

The people we’ve got here are Tom Tudbury, aka the Turtle, the one written by GRRM and who’s actually pretty interesting, cause he’s got superpowerful telekinesis but is a nervous schlub who can only use it when he’s safe inside his homemade floating metal tank thing. Then there’s Cosmic Traveler, who can fly and make himself intangible and is one of the drug-induced superpower personalities of Captain Trips, the botanist hippy. He is also actually interesting sometimes, even with the lameness of “my character’s power is he has a lot of different powers,” since all the experimenting with finding the right combinations of drugs to bring them out has pretty much wrecked his life, and also all the power personalities are dicks.

Asta aka Fantasy is a minor character and a girl, so her power is a ‘mesmerizing dance’ that makes men think she’s hot. There is a vanishingly small number of female wild cards whose powers are non-vagina-related. That’s what women do, right? Vagina things?

They’ve all been captured by aliens who are poncy dillholes.

WTF RATING: 3/5 - Awkward, awkward superhero spaceship sex.

A squeak from Asta brought his head up. The creature was back.

"I am Cosmic Traveler," he announced, and then paused as if awaiting a fanfare. Asta and Tom stared at him, fascinated. "That ridiculous little man has sent me here to ascertain the whereabouts of our captors, and to inform you that he is concocting some, no doubt utterly unworkable and highly dangerous, escape plan."

Well, the thing about the superpowered personalities being dicks is interesting in theory.

Asta wriggled forward on the bed, rising silkily onto her knees. “You can move at will through the ship,” she whispered. “Can you also return to Earth?”


She stretched out her arms, the bones of her clavicle etched beneath the white skin. “Would you be willing to take me with you?” she purred.

Tom wanted to point out to her that first, what made her think the man was telling her the truth? and second, even if he could withstand the cold and vacuum of space, how was he going to take her?

Oh, women, with their sexy clavicles and poor grasp of astrophysics.

She arched her swanlike neck, and lifted her hair with her hands. The gestures forced her small, upright bosoms against the leotard, the nipples hard knobs beneath the thin material.


"I can be very generous to people who help me, and my employer might be able to make an interesting offer to a man of your unique abilities."

The total incongruity of the situation left Tom breathless. He wondered if this woman was really going to shuck it, and screw with this stranger right in front of his wondering eyes. Surely the man would realize that more pressing matters were facing them.

Protip for all books: acknowledging out loud that something is stupid does not make it any less stupid.

But Cosmic Traveler was going for it in a big way. Asta’s gyrations had set him to panting, and his fingers were working spasmodically at his sides. He shot a nervous glance over his shoulder toward the door, and tom saw lust and fear battling it out on his smooth blue face. Lust won.

With a breathy “I agree” that was half groan and half words, he tottered to the edge of the bed. Asta was already stripping out of her blue jeans. Beneath them she wore pale pink tights. They and the leotard were quickly removed, and she held out her arms. Traveler collapsed with a moan onto her thin, white body, and they began frenzied foreplay.

Tom stands around being embarrassed. He is pretty much the audience stand in at this point.

Ten minutes later they were still at it, Asta, with increasing irritation, saying “Come on! Come on!” Harsh, grunting sounds periodically erupted from Traveler as his blue ass pumped vigorously

his blue ass pumped vigorously

his blue ass pumped vigorously

and with increasing desperation, up and down, up and down.

The ring of a boot heel pulled a gasp from Asta, followed by a wild shriek as Traveler sank throughher prone body, and vanished into the depths of the bed. Tom, too, almost lost it, and he rushed to the bed to ascertain if Asta was still alive. She was lying deathly still, and he reached out and touched her bare shoulder. She shrieked again, and Tom, startled by the outburst, lost his balance and pitched headfirst onto the bed. The Takisian [alien] goggled at the bed, then yelled, “Captain, he was—” The closing of the door cut off the rest of his words.

The aliens all look exactly like humans, because thinking of stuff is hard.

Cosmic Traveler returned.

"Well! I certainly hope you don’t have to serve as a sex toy for Takisians. You’re singularly lacking in the most rudimentary erotic skills."

"Me!" yelped Asta, shoving Tom away. "You’re the one who couldn’t get it-"

"And what are you sniggering at, you tubby little man," roared Traveler. Tom hadn’t sniggered, not really, but the ludicrousness of the situation had drawn a sound from him.

"Do you know what they have planned for you?" Traveler continued, "Vivisection! Do you know what that means? I can’t imagine why they seized you. You must be the most paltry of aces. Shaking like a bowl of Jell-O, and sniveling like a reluctant virgin." He shot a smoldering and resentful glance toward Asta, who threw him a bird.

Tom exploded. “Would you just get the fuck out of here? Fuck off! You think you’re so fucking smart, but you’re stuck too, just like the rest of us. You can’t get off this ship. If you could, you would have. Not get out. get out!” Tom charged at him, waving his arms wildly about like a man shooing chickens. Traveler went, his features looking decidedly curdled.

Later Captain Trips takes some other drugs and turns into his surly dolphin-man form. So, you know, problem solved.

-“Relative Difficulties” by Melinda M. Snodgrass in Wild Cards II: Aces High

It’s rough out there for a broad national stereotype

Volume 4, Aces Abroad, has two cover variations that are somehow both the greatest thing I have ever seen:

Unfortunately, the book itself is pretty dull. It’s mostly just racism. Since we’ve established that the US treats the alien virus deformed people terribly, does everybody else treat them even worse? Yep! Does Japan have nothing but geishas and emotionally repressed businessmen? Indeed! Are the Muslims wife-beating zealots whose every line is 100% Allah-related? You betcha!

Mostly it’s just annoying, but every once in a while it’s stupid to the point of wonderful.

WTF RATING: 1/5.A little violence.

But there will still the occasional bad nights of dreaming.

—Coming up out of the Fourteenth Street station, heels clicking smartly on the dirty concrete, traffic muttering down from above. Hearing the voice a few steps up at street level saying, “Just give us the purse, bitch!” Hesitating, then going ahead anyway. Fearing, but—

She heard the second voice, the Aussie accent: “G’day, mates. Some problem here?”

Cordelia emerged from the stairwell into the sweltering night.

Cordelia is the niece of the werealligator. I forgot to mention last time that the werealligator is gay and has AIDS. Topical! I think maybe the psychic alien cures him, I forget.

She saw the instant tableau of two unshaven white punks backing a middle-aged woman into the space between the short row of phone carrels and the plywood butt of a shuttered newsstand. The woman had tight hold of both a yapping black poodle and her handbag.

"Now hand it over nice and easy, one cliche to another."

Sun-burnt and rangy, the man Cordelia assumed was an Aussie

Cordelia’s not real quick on the uptake.

faced down the two youths. he wore a sand-colored outfit that looked like a rougher, more authentic version of a Banana Republic ensemble. There was a bright, well-cared for knife in one hand.

Visual approximation:

"A problem, sonny?" he repeated.

"No, no problem, dickhead," said one of the punks. He pulled out a short-barreled pistol from his jacket and shot the Aussie in the face.


It simply happened too quickly for Cordelia to react. As the man fell to the sidewalk, the assailants ran. The woman with the poodle screamed, momentarily harmonizing with the cries of the dog.

Coredelia ran to the man and knelt beside him. She felt for the pulse in his neck. Almost imperceptible. It was probably too late for CPR.

For a guy who has been shot in the face.

You know, I think it is.

-“Down in the Dreamtime,” by Edward Bryant, from Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad

The care and feeding of your werealligator

The third volume, Jokers Wild, centers around the chase for a couple MacGuffin books. These were stolen from an evil Vietnamese crimelord or something. They are his personal Every Bad Thing I’ve Done Ever In Extensive Detail Diary and a book of rare stamps, presumably to sell to recoup his losses from the other crimelords stealing his lunch money.  He’s the personal enemy of Brennan, aka Yeoman, who raises the question of why you would pick a superhero name that is exactly as bland as your real name. His author is one of the guys who takes over a lot of the heavy plot lifting, and it is pretty obviously because he was the one with nothing better to do. Googling reveals that there is a John J. Miller who wrote The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football, but sadly this is a different person.

  You won’t be seeing much of Brennan here, since he doesn’t even have a power. He is just a guy with a bow and arrow. His abilities are equal parts Mystical Asia pseudo-Zen bullcrap and being shit boring.

Anyway at some point the books get eaten by a werealligator, so the animal-telepathic hobo induces vomiting in a restaurant bathroom.

WTF Rating: 3/5. Gross, but no penises.

She looked back down at the alligator and began to search through his mind for the trigger to force him to vomit up the books. Bagabond directed the alligator toward the stall as she uncovered the memory of poisoned meat.

The psychic feedback almost did the trick for her too.

The alligator vomited the contents of his gullet onto the floor and into the stool. The stench of half-digested food shook even Bagabond, inured to most aspects of life and death.  Calming the agitated reptile, she got up and gingerly fished for the plastic-wrapped books. Thankfully, it didn’t take long.

Putting “Calming the agitated reptile” at the beginning makes every sentence better.

Calming the agitated reptile, I bought some milk.

Calming the agitated reptile, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

She rinsed off the package in the sink. The alligator whipped his tail, smashing the stall partition into kindling. He growled deep in his throat, a discontent, hungry rumbling.

Reaching out to the alligator brain, Bagabond began the process of separating Jack’s humanity from the reptile mind. In little more than a minute, Jack lay shivering on the cold tile floor where the gator had been. She handed him his clothes as he curled up fetally against the smell and the memory.

The Smell and the Memory was one of Proust’s less celebrated works.

"It had to be done." She moistened a paper towel and gently wiped his forehead.

"Stop being such a drama queen. Sometimes you have to turn into a gator and vomit. It’s something we all go through. It’s called puberty."

Now, we’ve had plenty of sex over the past few weeks, so here’s some violence!

Skipping to a couple pages later:

"Jack! Move! Now!" But even as Bagabond shouted her warning, she saw Jack face the killer. As the man caught Jack’s eyes, the shapechanger’s face grew salt and the snout extended, teeth sharp and prominent. For an instant the thief hesitated, allowing the capo’ bullets to slam into him. Then he attempted to bound over the giant alligator that now barred his path to the window.

As he leaped, the alligator’s head swiveled up and clashed jagged-toothed jaws on the killer’s foot. Screaming in shock and pain, the man pinwheeled in midair, blood spraying into the room from his truncated ankle. He crashed through the glass backward, still clutching the books to his chest as he curled up like a wounded snake.

Outside there was a thud and a groaning of transmission gears. The Mafiosi [oh yeah, there’s some Mafia guys. They’re boring.] ran to the window and fired futile shots after the accelerating garbage truck.

"Bastard fell right into the truck!" The shooter at the window turned back to the room. "Don Tomaso, what do we do now?" he said off in the direction of the dead man.

The corpse said nothing.

The shooter did a little dance to avoid the alligator, which rumbled and swallowed contentedly.

-From Wild Cards III: Jokers Wild, one of the volumes where the author of each part isn’t clearly marked. Probably Leanne C. Harper, since Bagabond is her character.

Compendium of bizarre similies

"I’m Mack the Knife, you filthy creature!" Anger swelled like his cock.

Selections taken from Volume VI: Ace in the Hole, which is about a primary election and has a bitchinly stupid cover. Every time I look at it I love it more.

AVERAGE WTF RATING: 1/5 - Mostly hilarious with only bits of violence and no porn.

Fabulous Ace in the Hole cover

[Tachyon] thrust his little finger into his ear, and wiped out the moisture left by the sudden thrust of Sara’s tongue. It had felt like someone driving a Q-tip dipped in icy Vaseline into his ear.

Two for one bad product placement special. You’re welcome, toiletries industry.

Her words bounced off his wedge of back and chased each other like arboreal animals up the Marriott’s soaring organiform atrium, which she’d overheard a reporter from some fringe journal describe as Antoni Gaudi’s trachea.

The Crystal Palace had never been more than a front for Chrysalis’s real avocation, which was brokering information on everything that went down in J-town. Close observers of the scene took it for granted that sooner or later she’d reel in a thread and find it had a cobra tied to it.

The cobra was named Hartmann. And Chrysalis pulled his string just at the moment when he was swollen with venom and quickest to strike.

I don’t think that’s how fishing for snakes works.

A frown of jovian proportions creased Bruce Jenkins’s forehead. Since the only hair remaining to the man was a tiny ruff over each big red ear it looked at if his entire head was buckling like earthquake-torn Earth.

She was crying, then, the tears rushing out as if someone had punched a big awl through her eyes and hit a giant reservoir of grief. …She clung to him like a baby opossum…

In particular, Sara Morgenstern’s writer, Victor Milan, has a special gift.

He could actually see [the plane] there through the polarized glass, fat and white and glistening like snot in the July morning sun.

He also writes Mackie Messer, a smelly German hunchback who can make his body vibrate so that his hands can cut people’s heads off. Those two last ones were on the same page.

She had to find an indivisible one to protect her. Or the creature that clung to the fur of night’s black belly would have her… She had to find someone with the strength to shield her, someone who would accept the only coin she had to pay with. Before day’s placenta burst.

His brain had gone nova. His heart was an exploding turbopump.

"You fucker, you fucker!" Mackie Messer screamed, spewing fried pork rind crumbs at the screen. His skinny, twisted little body was practically levitating about the taut hotel bedspread, like a speck of superconductor caught in a magnetic field.


The pork rinds tasted mostly of salt and grease. Failure tasted like shit.

He circled like the shark in his song, who wears his teeth in his face.

I am not entirely sure where else one would keep teeth.

Motion was effort; she had rigor mortis to the depths of her soul.

"We can’t rely on Tachyon anymore." She forced her words out like lumps of plasticine through a window screen.

I…have no idea what that would be like.

Even with the medication, Puppetman could feel Tony Calderone’s pain. It tasted spicy.

The pain killers lay like a blurring fog across his mind, but the pain ate through them like acid.

"He throbbed like the kicked groin of a mixed metaphor."

He pushed out from under the array of press boxes, hanging over the packed court like the Death Star. Eel-like he flowered between shouting men with strained shirt buttons and fat women in pastel dresses, every face shining with sweat and grease and greed for the spoils of the love feast of capitalism.

Mackie Messer is also a racist communist. Focus, Wild Cards.

A startled Cronkite wheeled back on his desk chair, barking out oats sea-dog style, as Jack put his foot through the safety glass, then punched out to widen the hole.

Walter Cronkite is in this book. So is Jesse Jackson. He agrees to run as vice president on the mutant mind control politician’s ticket.

The brainstorming for these books involves a lot of guys shrugging and saying, “Sure, why not.”

The three dots of the [gun]sights rose before her eyes like fat white moons seeking auspicious alignment.

Bleating in terror, a tall, gangly man with gray hair fringing a narrow promontory of skull came boiling out of his chair like a stork frightened from a canebreak.

Why use one metaphor at a time when you can use like a billion?

And, my special favorite:

The front of his jumpsuit was red-splashed now, as by a spastic eating spaghetti in red sauce.


Fortunato needs to recharge his superhero batteries, so he has sex with a birdlady, as you do. Peregrine’s power is she has wings and is hot, or something.

WTF Rating: 2/5.Just some good old fashioned terrible sex. Mostly.

As Fortunato crossed the room she put down her glass and stood up. His left arm slid between her wings, his right around her waist, Her mouth was soft and tasted of cognac and opened immediately under his. Her tongue moved expertly across his teeth and then reached deep into his mouth. Her legs moved apart and her wings folded around him and he felt like they’d merged into a single organism.

Are there any words as inherently sensuous as “organism?” 7th grade biology textbooks are hot.

He could feel the heat of her pelvis through his pants leg and her wild card power roared through her body and into his like a nuclear explosion….

He found the bed by instinct. The rest of his senses were out of control. He searched Peregrine’s dress for a zipper and she said, “Forget it, I’ll buy another one, I want you to fuck me, fuck menow.” Fortunato grabbed the cups that covered her breasts and tore the dress down the middle. Her breasts spilled out, pale and perfectly rounded, the nipples broad and only a little darker than the skin around them.

"Perfectly round" is one of those codes, like "bags of sand," that tells you far more than you wanted to know about how many actual boobs the writer has ever encountered in the wild.

He took one in his teeth and she clawed at his tux shirt, popping the studs loose to bounce and clatter across the floor. She ripped off his cummerbund and pulled his trousers down to his knees. She gripped his penis in both her hands and it would have hurt if it hadn’t already been so swollen and aching that he’d thought it was going to split lengthwise like an overrripe fruit.

Let’s take a moment to interject:ow, ow, ow.

Underneath the velvet dress she had on nothing but a garter belt and black silk stockings. her wings pulsed in time with her breathing. Her pubic hair was thick and soft as lambswool.

Baa Baa Black Sheep is now ruined forever.

She lifted her feet, still in their black pumps, onto Fortunato’s shoulders and reached up to grab him around the neck. “Now,” she said. “Now.”

"Are you sure? You look pretty comfortable just hanging out doing your crazy gymnast shit."

When he went into her it was like plugging into an electric socket. Hot, bright purple lines of energy pulsed around their bodies. He’d never felt anything like it in his life. “Jesus, what are you doing to me?” she whispered. “Don’t answer. I don’t care. Just don’t ever stop.”

-from Fortunato’s section of Wild Cards III: Jokers Wild, by Lewis Shiner

In case you were wondering, the aftermath does include the line “I’ve heard of afterglow, but this is ridiculous.”

Some people get heat vision. Some people get this.

Lesson: You can wax philosophic all you want, the fact remains you are writing about a lady killing people with her vagina.

WTF Rating: 3/5. Freaky shit, definitely NSFW. About average for Wild Cards.

His hoarse grunts and the beat of his groin against hers set a counterpoint to the ticking of the bright yellow dimestore “Baby Ben” alarm clock on the bedside table. Roulette pulled her topaz eyes from Stan’s brown ones, watched the second hand sweeping smoothly across the face of the clock.

Time. The ticking of a  clock, the wash of blood through her veins driven by the inexorable beating of her heart. Fragments of time. Fragments marking the passage of a life. Ultimately it came down to this. It respected neither wealth, nor power, nor saintliness. Sooner or later it came, and silenced that steady pulse. And she had her orders. …

She drew breath - a gathering of will and power - but there was no release. It required hate, and all she felt was uncertainty. She lay back, and summoned an image of horror.The agony of labor, knowing it would soon end, and she would hold her child, and all pain would be forgotten. The doctor’s eyes widening in terror. Struggling up to gaze at the thing between her legs…

Her taut belly went flaccid, and an added warmth washed through her vagina, an imitation of passion as the poisonous tide flowed free. Howler’s eyes suddenly bulged, his mouth worked, and he recoiled from her, his rapidly swelling cock rasping harshly along the soft tissues of her vagina with his abrupt withdrawal. Hands wrapped protectively about his quivering discolored member, he gagged several times and emitted a choking scream. A glob of spittle ran over his chin in a thin thread, and the dresser mirror exploded in a crystal waterfall littering the bed with glass fragments. …

Sound like a fist took Roulette across the right cheek, raising a mottled bruise on thecafe au laitskin, coaxing a trickle of blood from her ear. Indrawn breath caught in her throat like a jagged block, and sickness filled her belly. Howler’s agonized face hung above her, and she knew she was looking at death. His chest was heaving, lips skinned back from teeth, and a tide of blue-black was rising from his now completely black and swollen penis into his groin and belly. …

For an instant Roulette contemplated that sagging wall; pictured it falling, pictured the fat, lower-middle-class couple in the next apartment staring at the tableau she would present. Naked woman holding naked man - cock swollen to stallion proportions, whole body swelling as the poison exploded blood cells, the trail of the poison marked by blue-black discolorations.

-from Roulette’s section ofWild Card’s III: Jokers Wild, by Melinda M. Snodgrass

Given that she goes by the name Roulette, she can’t keep this hidden too well, which raises the question of how she ever gets a date. There are a whole lot of women in the world who are very pretty and won’t kill you with their vagina.

The flamboyant psychic alien is actually one of the better characters

She rolled over and snuggled close, her buttocks pressing into his groin. “What else is so different between Takis and earth?” …

"Women, for one thing."

"Are we better or worse?"

"Just different. You wander about free after you reach childbearing age. We would never allow that. A successful attack against a pregnant woman could wipe our years of careful planning."

"I think that’s horrible too."

"We also don’t equate sex with sin. A sin to us is casual reproduction which could upset the plan. But pleasure, now, that’s another matter. For example, we take attractive young men and woman from the lower class - the non-psi people - and train them to service the men and women of the great households."

"Don’t you ever see the women of your own class?"

"Of course. Until age thirty we grow up together, train and study together. It’s only when a woman reaches childbearing years that she is secluded to keep her safe. And we still get together for family functions: balls, hunts, picnics, but all within the walls of the estate."

"How long are the little boys left with their mothers in the women’s quarters?"

"All children are left until they’re thirteen."

'Do they ever see each other again?”

"Of course, they’re ourmothers!"

"Don’t be defensive. It’s just very alien to me."

"So to speak," he said, snagging the gown and running his hand up her leg.

"So you have sex toys," she mused while his hands explored her body, and she fondled his stiffening penis. "Sounds like a nice idea."

"Want to be my sex toy?"

"I thought I already was."

-Degredation Rites, by Melinda M. Snodgrass, in Wild Cards 1

Sex slaves, whatever, that’s cool. As long as they’re not psychic.

Meet Fortunato. You’ll be seeing a lot of him.

Origin story.

"I am Shakti," she said. "I am the goddess. I am the power." She smiled when she said it, and instead of sounding crazy it just made him want her even more. Then her voice broke into short, rattling breaths as she came, shuddering, throwing her head back and rocking hard against him. Fortunato tried to turn her over and finish it but she was stronger than he would have believed possible, digging her fingers into his shoulders until he relaxed, then caressing him again with aching slowness.

She came twice more before everything turned red and he jknew he couldn’t hold back any longer. But she sensed it too, and before he knew what was happening she had pulled away and reached down between his legs, pushing one finger hard into the root of his penis. It was too late to stop and the orgasm took him so hard that it lifted his buttocks completely off the bed. She pushed his chest down with her left hand and held on with her right, cutting off the sperm before it could shoot out, forcing it back inside him.

She’s killed me, he thought as he felt liquid fire roar back into his groin, burning all the way through to his spinal cord and then lighting it like a fuse.

"Kundalini," she whispered, her face sweating and intent. "Feel the power."

The spark rocketed up his backbone and exploded in his brain.

-The Long, Dark Night of Fortunato by Lewis Shiner, in Wild Cards I

The lesson here is that sperm will give you either superpowers or a seizure.