review: Pounded in the Butt by my Irrational Bigoted Fear of Humans who were Born as Unicorns Using a Human Restroom

This review is  going to stray a little from the text itself. I’d like to apologize for that, both to my readers (who come here to be amused or find erotica) and to the author, Dr. Chuck Tingle, whose works are smart and shrewd and entertaining, and have evolved into damned clever social commentaries.

But I am angry this morning. Because of a clusterfuck not of his making, Chuck Tingle has been nominated for a Hugo Award. Whatever the intentions of the people nominating him,  there are a lot of us who have come to appreciate Tingle’s work. We hoped this might bring him some broader appreciation as people took the opportunity to read him, and see for themselves how he uses the tropes of scifi and the workaday necessities of shortform self-published erotica to create something new and amusing.

Instead, more established authors who have already earned the respect of their peers are using it as an opportunity to kick downwards, and it’s fucking disgusting. I spend my free time knee deep in pseudo incest and ABDL kink and God alone knows what else, looking for the glimmers of craft that shine through, enjoying (and sometimes cringing at) the broad sweep of human desire, and then I get…this:

There’s a way to have both. Requires either a) CT satiring the hell out of the RPs, or b) CT withdrawing.

Uh huh, only Chuck already satirized the hell out of the RPs (they appear here as the Scoundrels, for the hard-of-reading), and for his pains got called a rabid puppy. So you just keep on moving those goalposts, that’s swell.

Although I will admit I’m a bit boggled by someone who doesn’t know who Chuck Tingle is, and therefore gets to call him “they” even though that’s not how he’s chosen to present his persona, but who nevertheless is intermittently psychic enough to know he’s not a minority and only in it for the cash. That’s a neat skill, and I wish to God I could flawlessly discern the personal details of people’s pseudonyms so I could sort out the motives of some of the stuff I read.

Lest we forget, these demands for a gracious withdrawal by Tingle are being made by another Hugo nominee, so “graciousness required of thee but not me” is the rule here. Because that’s a noble stance, and in no way plays right into the fucking puppies’ paws by making the Hugos look like backpats-for-the-in-group.

The goddamned Hugos, Jesus, why is this self-righteous shit creeping into my ragged little subgenre and spoiling my fun? Fuck the lot of you. (Except the original If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love; that was breathtaking and made me cry, and I was so glad it got awarded. Even in the midst of today’s bad mood I have to throw some love at that.)[1]

Title: Pounded in the Butt by my Irrational Bigoted Fear of Humans who were Born as Unicorns Using a Human Restroom.

Author:the Hugo Award nominated Chuck Tingle.

bigoted humans restroom

WhatWhat: Honch thinks he sees a unicorn using a human restaurant, and has a heart attack. But Kipper is a human (even if he was born a unicorn) and saves his life, just in time for Honch to go get pounded in the butt by a manifestation of his own bigoted fear.

Money Quotes:

Just because I get disgusted when I see a unicorn trotting down the street, doesn’t mean I hate them, or even that I’m afraid of them. I just don’t want them anywhere near me. (loc 4)

For those of you having difficulty reading along at home, that is Honch speaking. Honch is the bigot from the title. He doesn’t represent the author’s views, and has (like the Scoundrels) been created entirely so the author can point out the problems with his beliefs. I know: reading is hard.[2] Keep at it. I have faith in you.

It’s a quiet night here in North Carolina, the sound of country music wafting out from the nearby stereo as the waitress kicks back and looks at her nails behind the counter. (loc 14)

Okay, this is going to be complicated, so take a deep breath and try to follow along as best you can. Even though this is shown as a scene in which Honch feels at home, and therefore you might think the author is condemning the South, country music, and waitresses with (no doubt red) nails, there’s a second, more sophisticated reading possible. It’s entirely likely that the author is mocking us-the-reader for having such firm preconceptions about just what sort of settings we’d find bigots in. Get it? The text is nudging you about your own prejudices. Wow. Imagine.

Unfortunately, I’m much weaker than I realized. Instead of displaying my aggression, I end up crumpling into the unicorn’s arms. (loc 67)

Sort of like if you nominate someone for something, and instead of outrage they provoke enthusiasm and support?

“Well, that’s a start,” says Kipper, “but it’s not really the point. The point is that these people can be anything they want to be. It’s not your business how they identify. Why would you want it to be your business when you can’t even tell? I mean, honestly, think of all the humans born as unicorns that you’ve peed next to and never even know.”

This is the kind of topicality and acceptance I’ve come to expect from Tinglers.

The irrational trans-species fear rolls his eyes. “Oh my god, I’m asking if you want to bang it out.” (loc 206)

The sentient fear has manifested as a unicorn-horned restroom sign, in case you were wondering.

Why not let people identify however they’d like: human, unicorn, plane, whatever. (loc 302)

Why not, Honch. Why not indeed.

Verdict: Chuck is a kinder, wittier person than I am.

 

 

 

 

  1. Do not start with me over whether that little gem is speculative or I will hammer a nail through your goddamned eye. That is as obtuse and bad-faith a misreading as claiming (about the author of this and this mind you) “CT’s brand of gay fiction appeals to straight dudebros“.
  2. This is sarcasm. I do not believe for one second that the people misreading Chuck Tingle’s intentions are doing so because they’re poor readers. I wish I did. That would be a more pleasant thing to believe than that they know perfectly well they’re lying about someone lower down the writer-hierarchy just so they can condemn him and dissuade Hugo voters from reading him without bias.

 

review: Space Raptor Butt Redemption

Title: Space Raptor Butt Redemption

Author: Chuck Tingle

space raptor butt redemption

WhatWhat: Astronaut Lance Tanner, last seen in the Hugo-nominated Space Raptor Butt Invasion, stands trial. The charge is being too weird for space, and the lawyer argues that a serious, historical institution like space travel can’t be associated with Lance and his raptor lover Orion. Worse yet, Lance’s mission was funded by Scoundrels Inc., and even though he didn’t know that he’s somehow guilty by association. But a demonstration for the courts wins Lance his freedom and his raptor.

Money Quotes:

I am world-renowned astronaut, Lance Tanner of the Earth Outpost Program, sanctioned with the unequivocally important role of searching out planets that could one day be inhabitable for human life as Earth becomes more and more toxic. (loc 20)

So Lance’s Earth, much like the real one, is drowning in dangerous levels of toxic smug?

“I don’t support bad guys,” I try to say as clearly as I possibly can.

The reporter just stares at me blankly. “So you’re not going to come out against them?” (loc 66)

Lance is basically being subject to a level of bad faith argument rarely seen outside of Twitter. It’s a dark day in the Tingleverse.

It takes a long night of working with helpful friends to translate my words into something that sounds even the slightest bit like a speech fit for a courtroom. (loc 78)

I feel like I’ve had a glimpse at the author’s process.

“Okay,” I counter, “but did you ever think that something could be dumb…and good?”

There is more chatter from the jury box.

The lawyer laughs. “Ha! In space stuff? Not a chance, space is for smart people.”

“Maybe that’s why nobody likes it enough to get a rocket off the ground,” I offer. “You know Chuck Buckarooski once said ‘An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way, and artist says a hard thing in a simple way.'”(loc 152)

You will never convince me that the Bukowski-quoting Chuck Tingle doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing.

“Have you ever heard of Andy Kaufm–” I start but the lawyer interjects. (loc 159)

The performance artist? Why yes, I have. Up on this layer there was a movie made about him, called Man on the Moon. He was entirely unlike any other performer, and a lot of people disliked that about him.

“So you’re telling me that you would rather just not go into space at all?” I ask, suddenly much more upset than I expected to be and in an entirely different way. “The core of the earth is dying because of these guys, right? The fate of the planet is up to astronauts exploring new worlds and inspiring others to do the same, and your answer is just to burn it all to the ground because my version of sace is not serious enough for you?”

“It was funded by Scoundrels Inc,” the lawyer repeats like a skipping record. “You wouldn’t have been up there in the first place if it wasn’t for Scoundrels Inc.” (loc 207)

 

pronouns
I’ve never seen the “tsk” sound more clearly illustrated.

When assholes are assholes you don’t react by shutting it all down and doing half their work for them, you react by finding joy in the darkness. (loc 242)

Verdict: I’M NOT CRYING. YOU’RE CRYING.

 

recap: Slammed in the Butt by my Hugo Nomination

Title: Slammed in the Butt by my Hugo Nomination

Author: Chuck Tingle

slammed hugo

Recap:

We open on an oddly self-aware note:

I’ve been writing my whole life and, somehow, despite the overwhelming odds, I’ve become successful at it. Who would have thought? (loc 4)

And this intriguing hint:

While I’ve dabbled in everything from horror to non-fiction, my personal taste lies firmly planted in the realm of gay erotica, particularly that of the dinosaur and unicorn variety. (loc 15)

I wonder if that only applies to Tuck Bingle, or to our own Chuck Tingle as well?

Then Tuck gets an unexpected email:

“Congratulations, Chuck Tingle,” I read the subject line aloud to myself. “Your book, Space Raptor Butt Invasion, has been nominated for this year’s short story Hugo Award.”

Of course this is very exciting news, save for two important flaws; my name is not Chuck Tingle, and I have never written a story titled Space Raptor Butt Invasion. (loc 30)

Tuck Bingle ruminates on the eerie similarities between himself and this unknown Chuck guy, including their names and choice of genre. He tries to email back to tell the Hugo people they’ve got the wrong guy, but his email fails to deliver because “this address is located on a different layer of the Tingleverse.” (loc 40)

There’s some fairly dense exposition about how Tuck’s been playing around with the concept of the Bingleverse, and reality is a stack of parallel worlds of varying degrees of gayness.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the stack is your universe, the universe of the reader. In this upper universe, homosexuality is simply a type of sexuality for humans to experience and enjoy. (loc 56)

Somewhere out there is there a universe where scifi/fantasy is simply a genre for people to read and enjoy, without endless fucking arguments about who’s doing it wrong? Nah, probably not.

Tuck expresses his faith that the author has put him here for a reason, and then says that the author would like him to remind us that there are reasons to suspect he’s been living in one of the deeper layers of the Tingleverse for years:

He doesn’t have time to tell you about the fact that my mailman is hunky unicorn in leather, assless chaps, or that the last flight I took was delayed because the planes were all having a hardcore gangbang on the tarmac.(loc 69)

Also the author wants us to know that this is a short story whose main function is getting off.

He says, “bare with me.” (loc 69)

…I don’t even think “bare” is a typo.

Tuck talks out loud and a barista comes over to be the voice of the author. I mean, he’s fully aware that he’s the author’s mouthpiece. He explains that the readers are way up on the top level of the Tingleverse.

“You see, up there, nobody actually realizes they’re in a tingler. They’re the readers, and for the most part their lives are pretty ordinary; no dinosaurs, no bigfeet, no living objects pounding each other in the ass all day.”

I scoff. “I doubt that, if there’s no dinosaurs then what do all the dinosexuals do?” (loc 101)

But in our world, Chuck is the only dinosexual. It’s very sad, when you think about it. Then the barista explains that Chuck has been nominated for a Hugo Award (which must not exist in Tuck’s world because the barista has to explain what it is). Not everyone is happy about the nomination:

“The guy who wrote Game of Bones?” I ask. “That fantasy series?”

The barista nods. “They made a TV show, too. On this layer it’s just a simple daytime sitcom about brutish men in a fantasy realm boning each other, while in deeper layers it’s called Game of Moans and is slightly more explicit. Even deeper in the Tingleverse it’s called Game of Butts, which doesn’t even rhyme, so you can see where their priorities are. Anyway, he has a show on the highest level of the Tingleverse, too, and he’s pretty upset about Chuck’s nomination.” (loc 121)

Shots of get-over-yourself-ness have been fired.

“I want to help Chuck Tingle win the Hugo Awards,” I finally blurt. (loc 137)

Me too, Buck. Me, too.

“What do you need me to do?”

“Get fucked up your butt by the Hugo Award nomination,” the barista responds. (loc 161)

Okay, I can’t match Tucks dedication to the cause.

Suddenly a muscular living object steps into the coffee shop, causing customers to flee in terror. It’s the rocket-shaped Hugo Award, and its name is Kelpo.

Tuck suggests they go out for dinner.

“It’s cute, I get it,” the barista says, “but we like to come in at four to five thousand words for these things. A date’s probably going to push us over the word count. (loc 184)

He relents:

“Alright, just one date, but I’m only going to take like, two sentences to describe it, tops. After that you’ll each get a line of dialog and then it’s right to the fucking.” (loc 191)

In many ways that’s the perfect date.

I’m not surprised when we end up back at his place, which is a massive clear display case for large awards. (loc 196)

THAT SENTENCE ALONE SHOULD WIN A LARGE AWARD.

“You like what you see?” I question, wiggling my muscular rump playfully at my historic science fiction and fantasy award lover. (loc 224)

I have read a multitude of versions of that sentence, but this is my favourite yet.

There’s sex, and at the moment of orgasm Tuck has a vision:

I see a man who looks a lot like me, only slightly older and wearing a bright white Tai Kwon Do uniform. He’s writing in his bedroom, which looks remarkably like my own except there are posters of famous wrestlers and shirtless men all over the walls. (loc 254)

Chuck talks to Tuck, sounding just like his twitter feed, and basically tells him love is real. The Hugo voters, he admits, probably won’t think he’s a good writer; they’re likely to get hung up on the spelling errors.

Oh, my heart. I feel personally guilty.

But Chuck assures Tuck it doesn’t matter. He knows he’s a good writer and that love is real, and that’s all that matters.

 

 

recap: Space Raptor Butt Invasion

Okay, so obviously this is a thing that has to happen. Instead of our regular quick-and-dirty reviews, this is a slightly more detailed recap of HUGO AWARD NOMINEE CHUCK TINGLE’S HUGO-AWARD-NOMINATED Space Raptor Butt Invasion.

I can’t even explain how happy it makes me to type that.

space raptor butt invasion

The story opens with some deft set-up and some less-deft mispunctuated dialogue:

“It’s gonna be a long year for you up here.” My fellow astronaut, Officer Pike, says. (loc 6)

I like to think that Pike’s name is a Star Trek shout-out. Anyway, our narrator (Lance) is being left behind IN SPACE on Zorbus to spend a year manning the outpost alone, as part of the Earth Outreach Program. They usually work in teams, but due to budget cuts the Small station on Zorbus will only have Lance.

Lance is unconvinced his sacrifice is worth it.

“I know you’re right, but what is it helping to have me just sit out here like this. We already know that there’s not enough oxygen on thei rock to sustain life.

Pike smiles. “But there could be! There is hope and you know it.” (loc 27)

I don’t understand how hope fits in here, but that’s probably exactly the sort of scientific stuff that the people who usually vote on the Hugos are all over. I mean, they can probably appreciate this stuff on a whole other level than I can. The upshot is, Earth is only going to be inhabitable for ten more years, even with population control.

Lance gestures to a window, which is an excuse to show us some scenery. I won’t bother quoting, but basically its grey and hilly and space-ish.

Pike reminds him that other people have it worse. People always do that to me when I complain, too, and it never actually helps much. But Lance is shocked out of feeling sorry for himself:

“You know it could be much worse.” Pike offers. “In station sixteen on Kerlin they don’t even have a gravity drive.” (loc 36)

Lance invites Pike to play one last game of ping pong, but just then Shuttle Five Alpha arrives and Pike has to leave right fucking then, no delays. He offers an ominous warning before he leaves:

“All joking aside,” he says. “Don’t think too hard out here, stay light.”

I give Pike a strange look, not quite fully understanding what he means.

“Space can get a little strange.” Pike tells me. “People can start seeing things…” He trails off. “Anyway, just take care of yourself.”

Lance sets out to cross “the hills of space dust” (loc 82), and to his surprise spots a space suit wearing figure next to “our perpetually worthless terraforming station.” (loc 82)

The figure mounts its vehicle, which from the cover art appears to be a Space Segway, and vanishes into the distance.

Vance wonders if he’s hallucinating. Once he’s safely back inside the main station he asks the computer, but it confirms he’s alone and will be for a year. Lance falls asleep on the couch, still perplexed.

I awaken to the sound of a loud knocking on the hatch door, and then sit upright in a frantic moment of confusion. (loc 111)

At first he thinks it’s Pike, but then he remembers he’s all alone. IN SPACE.This is quite obviously an allusion to Fredric Brown’s Knock, and proves Tingle’s work not only has literary merit but also an awareness of science fiction canon, as befits a Hugo nominee.

Lance walks over to the hatch, identifies himself as Lance Tanner of the Earth Outpost Program, and lets the visitor in. Lance is a badass in the tradition of Captain Kirk, and he’s also going to fuck whatever’s out there, in the tradition of Captain Kirk.

Perplexingly, the stranger laughs at the mention of Earth, as though he’s heard of it before. DUN DUN DUN.

The three-fingered stranger introduces himself as Orion, and then removes his helmet.

There beneath the tinted glass is the smiling face of a voracious velociraptor, one of the most feared dinosaurs to ever roam the earth. (loc 146)

The raptor says that he was told that Zorbus was uninhabitable, and when Lance asks who told him we get this shocking reply:

“The raptor scientists back on Earth Two.” The prehistoric beast responds flatly.(loc 146)

Okay wait. If the dinosaurs fled Earth, why is this one speaking English and calling its planet Earth Two? Weren’t they long gone before humans, English, and the word Earth? Is this a subtle clue that the dino is, in fact, hallucinatory?

Orion chuckles over the theory that dinosaurs died in “some kind of ice age,” calling that “revisionist history.” (loc 159)

He confesses that he, too, is all alone IN SPACE and Lance suggests they hang out together.

They play ping pong. I’ve visited CalTech and JPL and I found this part entirely believable.

Over the next few days Lance comes to see Orion as a sweet and gentle soul, and also starts to feel attracted to him.

Our difference in species surely couldn’t classify me as gay, could it? (loc 183)

Things come to a head, as it were, one night after they’ve been playing ping pong and eating astronaut ice cream. Lance asks if Orion has ever wanted to try sex with a human.

“Yeah, I mean, who hasn’t?” Orion offers. “The thing is, I’m a pretty big dinosaur and human women are just to delicate. I would probably crush one if I tried.” (loc 192)

Lance makes the obvious suggestion, and Orion counters that he’d have to top. Lance double checks on the implications:

“I mean, it’s not gay if it’s a dude raptor and a dude human, right?” I ask.

“Totally not gay.” (loc 203)

With that out of the way they get down to it.

“I am a filthy little human.” I repeat, coyly, then pull down the waistband of his space briefs and remove Orion’s enormous raptor rod. I grip it tightly and then start to pump my firm grip up and down over his length. (loc 217)

Are you sure this isn’t a little bit gay?

Now without a limit to his dominating deep throat, Orion pushes me down until my head is pressed deep into his lap, my eyes and nose forced up against his rock hard reptile abs. (loc 237)

Long-time Tingleversophiles will already be aware of the significance of abs.

“Pound me like the homo spaceboy that I am.” I beg. (loc 244)

I know they said this wasn’t homo but you have to appreciate the character development for what it is.

“I’m the one who decides who gets fucked around here.” He says, slapping me hard on the ass. (loc 244)

Dude, there are literally only two of you here. That’s not much of a decision.

“Oh fuck, you’re the best dinosaur bud a guy could ask for.” I whimper. (loc 255)

“So you’re going to take my Jurassic load up your asshole and you’re gonna like it.” (loc 292)

“Please fill me with your nasty dino load!” I cry out. “I want your jizz inside of me!” (lol 303)

After some sex and sparkling dialogue, Lance decides that his year on Zorbus isn’t going to be so bad after all.

Questions for Book Club:

  1. The first rule of Book Club is don’t talk about Book Club. That’s not a question.
  2. Bearing in mind the importance of population control in this futuristic scenario, what do you think is the relevance of Lance’s discovery of the joys of buttsex?
  3. Read over Pike’s warning to Lance. Does the appearance of a comma in the first dialogue tag here signify anything? Could the entire dinosaur thing be a product of Lance’s imagination? What details support the idea that it’s all hallucinatory?
  4. So is Zorbus inhabitable or not?