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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

The venom cock just won't stay down.

The first rule of venom cock is, we don't talk about venom cock. I mean, I pretty much avoided this kerfuffle the first time, but the second time around it's just so stultifying that I have to participate. coalescent rounds them up over here (no flamewars, guys--it's a community for a university class, and I won't have you giving the English students a bad impression of my genre.)

That said, the whileaway post is really excellent. I haven't read The Sparrow, but that's besides the point; I think it narrows down the fuss nicely.

Now, I'm not going to talk about venom cock. I am going to talk about the Venom Cock Phenomenon (VCP.)

I will also say that I witnessed, though did not participate in, some of the WFC readings (which weren't as wide-spread as some say--it was more a 45-minute wonder), and the comments were less on the content, and more on the quality of the writing.

And the eye-dialect.

Neither of which I can comment on, because I haven't read the book (well, okay, I read the first paragraph of the excerpt. But I didn't inhale.)

I mean, Anne Bishop and suzych certainly swing some extreme content in their books (ratstration! horse sex!) and while I have heard people making flinchy noises discussing those books, I've never seen anybody moved to actually embark upon an eye-of-argonning of same. (That's what they were doing at WFC, by the way. There: the dirty secret is out. It was a mass, spontaneous eye-of-argonization. Nothing more elaborate than that.)

(Here's where I pull out my entitlement and stand on my privilege as a grown woman raised by lesbian separatists. I got better; so did they.) (I'd stand on my privilege as a man, but I haven't got any.)

The issue wasn't the feminism. The issue isn't the dragon smut, or the female circumcision. Feminism does not need saving from the patriarchy in this particular instance. The issue was that a quorum, even a super-majority, of WFC attendees found the prose in Touched by Venom laughably bad.

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

You may not agree. You may think the book has other virtues that make up for the prose. You may think the prose is good. You are entitled to your opinion. But by all you hold holy, please, people, can we go back to talking about something else? Feminism does not need saving from the venom-cock mockers.

I promise you.

Thank you. You may return to your homes.


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*Holds up lighter in one hand and drink in another*

Amen sistah.

-Tobias Buckell

(and I say that as Anne Bishop's first editor, which may or may not give me something to stand on)
We also like saying "ratstration."

ratstration! ratstration! ratstration! ratstration! ratstration!

The venom cock just won't stay down.

I said at the writing date just now, "I can't believe the venom cock has sprung up again." And then I stopped and added, "Er--so to speak."

Some topics, you can't open your mouth without--

Ack! See what I mean?

silence is the only safety

Anything you say, the venom cock is likely to rise again.

So to speak.
I had no idea that anyone thought the Venom Cock Wank (er, so to speak) was about feminism in any regard. @_@
So to speak.
I agree with you on all of this, but I don't think the SH review was implying that, for example, being feminist is all a book needs to be to be good: she was saying that being feminist in some way or other (which, if it is, was not apparent from the notorious excerpt) was one good thing about this book. I think that's a pretty big distinction that's been lost in some of the reaction to the review. She was also quite willing to admit and discuss the book's faults.

I know it's a boring argument - it's just that it has the word "cock" in it, you know?


"she was saying that being feminist in some way or other (which, if it is, was not apparent from the notorious excerpt) was one good thing about this book."

While also implying at the end of the review that the reason lots of people didn't like it because they couldn't handle feminism.

Tobias Buckell
If you're asking wtf The Eye of Argon is, it's over here.

(she says informatively)

I am not secure enough in my knowledge of fandom history to comment upon The Eye of Argon as a con-based phenomenon, but probably somebody else reading this is.

And maybe that's not what your "?" was about at all. In which case, I apologize for telling you something you already know.
Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

I want a t-shirt.
Sign me up. Bumper-sticker, too.
(well, okay, I read the first paragraph of the excerpt. But I didn't inhale.)

That made me laugh out loud. Which is good because I got some bad news from a friend early this morning and didn't think I could laugh any time soon. Thank you.
I am sorry to hear about your friend, but happy I could help.
Perhaps I have led a sheltered life, what with only having been physically beaten with a Hothead Paisan book the once, but I'm intrigued by the Venom Cock, and I may need to incorporate more Venom Cock into my life.

I think that, with the right marketing push, Venom Cock could become the new CUDDLE PUDDLE. It's a postmodern FUCK! FUCK FUCK FUCK! AND SHOTGUN WEDDING!

--Mad Midnight Bomber Wh- ...er, Huey. Sorry.
Dude, I may need to hire you to work parties for me. Or something.
I have the first venom cock book in a stack of books I'm to review for a website. It is...unreadable. The quality of the writing is at par is just appalling. I've been sitting on it for at least two months, trying to read it--my review may end up being "this book is unreadably bad, don't read it".

I have no idea what the people at Roc were thinking. Actually, I think I do know what they were thinking. In April, see, they have a book called "To Serve and Submit" coming out which has a strong D/s theme. It seems to me to be an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Jacqueline Carey and Laurell K. Hamilton's steamier offerings. I expect I'll only see more in this vein over the next year or so in my capacity as a book reviewer. Then there will be a glut of something else, I'm sure.
Well, yanno, there's some power-imbalanced smuttiness in truepenny's Penguin books, and mine too. So, yanno. We like our smut at Ace/Roc.
Like Marshall Gerard, I just don't care. I don't care who's right and who's wrong. I don't care if the book has any redeeming value.

Liz can think whatever she likes about the book. Nick (Hi, Nick!) can be the biggest jerk in the SFF club scene. (Why does that surprise anybody? Picking fights is his metier.)

Read my post again. I'm not interested in taking sides. I'm interesting in the wankfest, which ranks amoung the most pointless, overinflated, stultifying genre wankfests in the history of the internet, going away forever.

Or at least being mocked interestingly enough so that I don't chew my wrists open lisening to the same tired pointless argument again.

Some people like books that other people think suck. Some horses can run faster than others. Such is the nature of books and of horses.
Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

When you get to Austin, if you see someone wearing that on a t-shirt, it just might be me. To find out for sure, ask me if I know the way to Toy Joy. If the answer is yes, it's me.

Okay, scratch that, because everyone in Austin knows the way to Toy Joy because it is THE ultimate crazy-ass toy store ever, come on, they've got kimchee thingies that you wind up and let run across your desk!
Is "venomcocked" a verb yet? Because it really needs to be.

"Bob's review totally venomcocked Richard's book."

Sadly, I'm not sure what the exact meaning of that sentence is, other than "wrote a controversy-generating review"; it seems like it's more specific than that. Possibly Bob "wrote a review condemning bad writing, which created a firestorm of political or idealist controversy almost wholly unrelated to the book's being crap". I guess that's what I get for not paying attention to the controversy. But geting to incorrectly use the verb "venomcocked" in a sentence, now I'm in Eye of Argon territory!

When I was a magazine editor (admittedly not in SF, but we got a lot of erotica-ish), we would save the best of the absolute worst submissions (the funny-bad ones, anyway, not the boring-bad ones) and have an Argon-style session with them.

Real feminists don't write bad purple prose.
The venom cock just won't stay down.

LMAO. You're wonderful!

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

I can't imagine reading those Left Behind books even if I were an evangelistic Xtian belliever. Sounds like the other end of the same animal.
I choked down the first Left Behind book a couple of years ago just to see what all the fuss was about.

I'm not far enough into Venom Cock-- erm, Touched by Venom-- yet to make a valid comparison, but my first impression-- while LaHaye and Jenkins can't write worth a damn, the problem with Left Behind was not so much the nuts and bolts of its construction as what they did with that construction-- predictable plot twists, cardboard characters, that sort of thing. Here, it's the very construction of the prose that stinks, but I'm hoping she'll do some interesting things with the characters, at least.
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