Friday, 7 September 2012

Hot or Not | The Dirty Streets of Heaven

Remember when I went to America, and The Speculative Scotsman was host to a month's worth of guest posts?

Remember how one of the bloggers I asked to entertain you all in my absence smartly parlayed my gentle suggestions of more standard subject matter to talk, instead, about sex?

Justin Landon's tongue-in-cheek review of the best and worst sex scenes in contemporary fantasy fiction was a huge hit — both with me and mine and, according to the analytics, you and yours. It's sprung to mind whenever I've come across questionable erotic content since, so I thought the thing to do was to fold what is admittedly a touchy subject into a semi-regular series of features.

Beginning today, and continuing whenever I see something particularly filthy - say a sex scene that makes me wince - I'll run an installment of Hot or Not, wherein I ask exactly that. There will be abbreviated arguments, and evidence by way of brief excerpts from the texts in question, but the final decision is on your shoulders, folks. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to judge whether a specific sex scene is - you guessed it - hot... or not.

With which, we begin.

And what a corker we have to start with!

The Dirty Streets of Heaven is the first volume of Tad Williams' urban fantasy series starring one Bobby Dollar, an advocate for the Highest's interests on Earth. His daily bread is to represent the dead on their day of judgement: to make a case for the soul's salvation whilst his old adversary pleads for its eternal damnation.

But as the blurb of this headlong new novel insists, Bobby Dollar is far from your average angel, so he isn't above falling for a lovely lady... nor indeed an evil demon.

I've bolded a few of the best bits from Williams' description of this dodgy dalliance:
"I rolled over and wrestled her to the floor again, then began to lick and kiss and nibble my way from her face to her toes and back up again,stopping somewhere in the middle of the second traverse to nose my head between her things. She yanked down one of the flimsy curtains surrounding the bed and let it settle over us, then took an end of it and looped it slowly and lovingly around my neck, using it as a bridle to speed me up or slow me down as I indulged myself in her astonishing, wonderful wetness. I heard her cry out my name until even that last word disappeared into less articulate sounds. but as much as I loved the taste of her, the cold skin and the warm, salty damp, I couldn't wait long — in fact, I couldn't wait any longer. As she lay catching her breath I sat up between her thighs and began to position myself over her, but she was not going to let me do it, not yet. She rolled me onto my back, putting a finger over my mouth to silence my questions, and then squatted on her heels above me, teasing my hardness with her own silky softness, rubbing back and forth without allowing me to penetrate, until I was almost as desperate as in the most frightening moments of our struggle, with her knife pressed against my neck. Then, as if we still struggled, I suddenly summoned my remaining strength and wrestled her onto her back. This time I was the one who stabbed at her, and she was the one who gasped out a cry that sounded like agony. Cold, cold, her skin was so cold... but inside she was as hot as a furnace. I cried out then, too, shocked and amazed and overwhelmed that it could be like this — that anything could be like this." (pp.236-7)
As did I.

But wait, it gets better! Because the bearers of the aforementioned hardness, not to mention the astonishing, wonderful wetness our dear Dollar is so in awe of... well they decide to go at it again, as follows:
"'Ooh,' she said, reaching down and giving me a squeeze. 'It appears your chariot is no longer swinging low, Mr. Dollar.' Her voice dropped down to a husky rasp. 'What do you say, Wings? Would you like to... carry me home again?'" (p.239)
So bad. And yet so, so good! :D

There's your evidence, anyway. Now it falls to you folks to make the call: are these excerpts from The Dirty Streets of Heaven hot, or not?


  1. Not hot. Not even close. Any sex scene that brings to mind Eric Clapton is not a hot sex scene!

  2. It made me laugh, maybe I laughed because of some inate childishness but any sex scene that makes me laugh just isn't hot.