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Friday Spotlight: Ciara Ballintyne Puts Exotic in Erotic

August 24, 2012

We have one of my favourite people joining us today to discuss Club Fantasci, a brand spanking new book club she is co-hosting. Please welcome Ciara Ballintyne.

Want some Exotic With Your Erotic?

Do you like spaceships with your erotica? Beautiful, non-human sirens to tempt your hero?

I confess I am a relative newcomer to the genre of erotica. My early forays left me feeling a bit flat. Some of them (not D.C.’s of course!) seemed to revolve entirely around the sex. Now I understand that’s what erotica means (I’m not that silly), but where was the story? Surely this was supposed to be a story with sex, not just…um…. pointless, repetitive sex?

A writer is often admonished never to include something in a book that doesn’t advance the plot, describe the character, or ideally (for those very clever writers) both! That includes sex scenes, and yet when it came to the early erotica books I read, it seemed the writer had forgotten this – in favour of cramming in as much pointless, mind-numbing banging as possible. It was difficult to even argue it had a plot, or met the definition of ‘story’.

Disappointed, I turned to D.C.’s book The Rusty Nail. I was pleased to find it had a story, an actual plot, which didn’t really surprise me, knowing the kind of writer D.C. is – and hence why I decided to give it a whirl. If you like your erotica straight up like bourbon on the rocks, give it a go.

And yet, while I found it an enjoyable, satisfying read, there was still something missing. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

And then someone recommended Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey to me. Erotic fantasy? There is such a thing? Head slap moment. Well, duh, I am totally a fantasy geek girl, of course it makes sense that if I’m going to read erotica, I’d get the most satisfaction from reading erotica in my genre. How could I be so stupid? Not to mention, I’ve always been a cocktail kinda girl, so a little drink (or genre) mixing is right up my alley.

So, are you secretly lusting after the alien heroes and exotic fantastical women littering the pages of your erotica? If so, you might be interested in Club Fantasci, a new video book club. Just like a normal book club – except your hosts ‘meet’ via Google+ Hangout to discuss the book. You get your say on the discussion boards for the group at Goodreads!

Club Fantasci is devoted to the speculative fiction genre, and we intend to include science fiction and fantasy romance and erotica, so if that’s where your heart lies, come along and join us. The first G+ Hangout is on 31 August at 7:00pm CST, and the Book of the Month for August is ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern. Sorry – it’s not an erotica this month. But I am hoping we might review Kushiel’s Dart, or something similar in the future. I get to choose 4 out of our 12 annual books, so I can actually make commitments around this stuff! Feel free to drop by our Facebook Page and make suggestions.

Here’s a bit more about the club:

Club Fantasci is a book club taking the stigma out of speculative fiction. We want to expose you to the full gamut of the speculative fiction genre, including science fiction, hard SF, militaristic SF, high/epic fantasy, dark fantasy, dystopian, cyberpunk, steampunk, space opera, paranormal, urban fantasy, SFF romance and erotica, and everything in between.

We want to educate readers on good writing in specultaive fiction, entertain with witty banter, and above all have a fantastic time. Fiction need not be literary to be well-written, and good writing need not be boring or mundane! We promise you we’ll do our best to bring you a good book every month, and if not, we’ll tell you why it’s not! For a bit of light fun, we’ll also be featuring a wine of the month and picking a song that best fits the book. So bring your book, keep that wineglass topped up, and don’t forget your i-pod!

Your hosts are David Lowry, Dionne Lister (author of Shadows of the Realm), entertainment personality and model Shannon Million, and myself – your resident fantasy writer/lawyer extraordinaire combo!

Club Fantasci is also featuring a “Wine of the Month” – August’s pick is a 2011 “Suited Muscat” from Sort This Out Cellars Winery in Las Vegas, NV. Club members are entitled to a discount – check out the club Facebook page for more information.

You can learn more about us by:

Joining our group on Goodreads

Liking our Page on Facebook

Checking out our Website


Thanks, Ciara! I will definitely check out the club.

Folks, you connect with Ciara online via the following links:

Ciara Ballintyne –

7 Comments leave one →
  1. ciaraballintyne permalink
    August 24, 2012 11:33 am

    Thanks, D.C., for hosting me!

  2. August 24, 2012 8:01 pm

    Gee who was that wise person who recommended Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey 😉 Seriously though I have a thing about plot – no matter how “sexy” the novel without a good plot it will not do a thing for me.

    Great article! and D.C. Thanks for keeping the story in sexy stories 🙂

    • ciaraballintyne permalink
      August 24, 2012 11:50 pm

      I agree – and it’s the cardinal rule, isn’t it? If it doesn’t advance the plot, or show character, or both, then why is it there? I’m all in favour of sexy – but I want it to show me something important to the story! And yes, all due credit to you for recommending Kushiel’s Dart. I desperately want to read the sequel but I haven’t bought it yet because I know as soon as I do, no one will see me for two days!

  3. August 25, 2012 12:54 am

    Thank you for allowing “Club Fantasci” to be a part of your blog!


  1. Friday Spotlight: Ciara Ballantyne Puts Exotic in Erotic « Club Fantasci
  2. Friday Spotlight: Ciara Ballantyne Puts Exotic in Erotic |

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