From the mailbag

I thought I’d pull out a few questions I’ve received and answer them here. If they’re funny enough, I add questions to my FAQ permanently and send the person who asked a prize. These questions, however, are so awesome (or freaky) that I felt they deserved a blog post. They’re all Grimspace related, so maybe other readers were secretly wondering the same thing but didn’t have the chutzpah to inquire.

And now, onward!

Elise asks:

Can Vel have sex in human form? Has he ever? For that matter, what’s his stuff like in his natural form?

I cannot tell you how I laughed to receive these questions. I have been told by another reader that I managed to make Vel appealing, mysterious, and yes, even erotic, but this is the first time anyone has ever asked about his package. But here we go.

Yes, Vel can have sex in human form, but it’s more mimicry than anything pleasurable for him. I mean, he’s wearing a human suit, basically. Imagine having sex while wearing a condom all over your body that’s several inches thick. Just because it’s possible, that doesn’t mean he’ll enjoy it.

And yes, Vel has had sex in human form. I’ll say this much: you met one of Vel’s former lovers briefly in Grimspace. I will not tell you more, however, because it would spoil a free short story that will be forthcoming, probably in December.

Finally (and I can’t believe anyone wants to know this), I did research praying mantis sexual organs when I was writing this book. Vel has an adapted system, similar but not identical to the praying mantis. That is to say, he has a series of barbs and slits designed to interlock with a female of his species for the exchange of genetic material. It’s a more functional arrangement than humans have. The barbs offer no sensation whatsoever; they’re simply present to allow the Ithtorians to hook together long enough to do what’s needed. The slits, however, do offer some pleasurable sensations, which another species can act upon. Sex-for-pleasure is a foreign concept to his people, but he’s been in exile a long time.

Adam asks:

Do you think Jax will ever do it with Dina? If March were eaten by aliens, maybe. Because that would be hot.

No. Sorry. Even if March is eaten by aliens, it’s not going to happen. Dina isn’t attracted to Jax that way.

Melanie asks:

I liked the book, but I don’t understand how you can say they proved there’s no such thing as the soul, yet people still have religion, all that Mary worship stuff. How does that even make sense?

To my mind, the two are not mutually exclusive. Think of all the things science has “proven”, evolution, for instance. How many sects are there today that deny it because it goes against their theology? Science and religion have always been at odds in that way, a question of evidence versus faith. Why wouldn’t that continue to be so?

Well, that’s all for today! I hope y’all found this edifying. If you have a question, feel free to email it to me. If I pick yours for a blog post or the FAQ you’ll win a prize, just like Adam, Elise, and Melanie.