Friday, 5 July 2019
And here's my foreword:
I grew up during the Cold War. The threat of the world ending hung over us; we were recipients of countless nightmarish TV programs about nuclear devastation and a government booklet called Protect and Survive which gave such spectacularly inadequate advice as propping an old door to make a family bomb shelter. At my family church they told us how the End Times prophecies were all coming true, and that the Second Coming would happen (accompanied by nuclear Armageddon) any day now. I was a teenaged member of CND; it seemed like the only protest I could make.
Then in 1991 the Cold War ended. We were suddenly safe. “History,” the pundits told us, “is over;” Western Liberal Capitalism had won, and the rest of the world would just fall peacefully into line now.
How little did they know.
Now, 28 years later, the Doomsday Clock stands at two minutes to Midnight — the closest it’s been since 1953 — and non-proliferation treaties are being torn up. Faith in pluralistic democracy has crumbled and we’ve voted demagogues and neo-fascists into power all over the planet. Medieval-style religious fundamentalism is running riot. Environmentally, we’re officially going through a Mass Extinction event. And of course there’s Climate Change. As I write this, scientists are warning that we’ve got twelve years to get enough of a grip on carbon emissions just to keep global warming to under two degrees.
We’re all fucked, at best guess.
Which leads me to the subject of this anthology.
I don’t know whether the human race will still be around in a century — or if it is, in what form. But I know that if we’re here we’ll still need sex and eroticism, just like we always have done. Not simply for biological procreation, but for solace and connection, validation and escape, identity and hope. Our humanity in all its aspects, good and bad, is expressed in our sexuality.
When I put out the call for Lust in the Dust I hoped that the drama of the apocalyptic theme would spark authors’ imaginations — but I was knocked out by the variety of takes on the subject. Here you will find sombre stories and humour, literary fiction and porno-style romps, grief and defiance and love. Some of these tales will be challenging reads. Some won’t be for you. And there’s one story that made everyone involved in the production of this book cry.
My heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful authors who contributed. And my enormous gratitude to Anna Sky of Sexy Little Pages, who got the ball rolling, and to Lisa Jenkins of Sinful Press, who caught the ball in mid-air.
If you’re reading this book in the ashes, remember us.