Reader’s Picks: trilby else
Read stories written by trilby else
I’m a mid-forties heterosexual male. Mind control is erotic in itself, for me—a story without sex or nudity can still be painfully arousing, if a self is conquered or seduced or even destroyed. Overt sexuality can, of course, make it better: MF, FF, MM—any way and every way. But the point is the taking/surrender of control. It’s more about the process of a mind being controlled than about the product of that control.
Between “romantic” EMC, with consensuality and a caring approach to the subject, and “sociopathic” EMC in which the subject is a nonconsenting victim, I prefer sociopathy. The point of MC for me is seeing people made to do what they wouldn’t otherwise consent to. In fact, might violently object to. It’s not just the nonconsensuality—I’m not fond of stories where the victim’s mind is free but their body controlled, as they helplessly move and act while unable to resist.
Again, the mind is the point: when a victim is conditioned to want to do as they’re told, to act against their pre-control beliefs and loyalties, enlisted as their controller’s most devoted worshipper, then that’s the sort of story that would appeal more to my particular preference.
Note: it’s a bad thing when someone loses their will to another, even in this fictional context. That is a major part of its erotic charge. I like a story that bears that wrongness in mind. The MCer may be dead to that realization, or may actively enjoy how evil it is, and the enslaved victim may no longer have the desire or ability to consider their victimization wrong. But if the story itself loses track of that, then part of the impact is lost for me. Likewise if the story seems to be an ideological tract that certain individuals or groups “deserve” to be mind-controlled, or makes a hero (or even antihero) of the mind controller: that sort of thing can make an otherwise promising story flat, or even just unreadable. May seem self-contradictory, but there it is.
- Citing a wise comment made elsewhere by MC author Tabico, whom I cite below and who embodies this in her own writing: “But if you think ‘I don’t like hurting people, but I enjoy stories where the protagonist hurts people’ then you aren’t secretly a sadist. You honestly don’t like hurting people, and aren’t going to hurt anyone, but you enjoy the emotions associated with people being hurt and enjoy exploring them in fiction.”
Following from that, a key part of what makes mind control erotic for me is exactly that tragic aspect—the overthrow of someone’s free will by another. In the best stories, characterization makes the victim someone whose enslavement matters, clearly a bad thing but happening nonetheless. On the other hand, pure inductions, “effect” pieces, can also work. Just seeing someone taken control of, either after a hard struggle or in an insidious, indirect way, can work, even if it’s not moored to any deeper themes.
Other story features I look for (not all required, and I can like stories that have none, but these are closer to what I prefer):
- Victim point-of-view: besides keeping that doomed self in the foreground, it’s a more interesting place to be.
- Serial recruitment: tales where slaves make slaves seem hotter. On one level, it reduces the victim further by making them a tool. On a deeper one, it perverts them, so that they not only lose their own freedom but help undermine others’ wills and desires.
- Struggle: instantaneous MC usually doesn’t work for me, unless it reflects something slower, like a slave so deeply controlled that they’re only a gesture or trigger away from total obedience. Watching someone try to fight becoming enslaved does many things—it demonstrates how strong and brave they are, by implication it shows how powerful the MC is, and there’s something erotic about watching the resistance ebb, melt, collapse into confusion, or exhaustion, and then morph into worship, or robotic compliance, or any of a number of other imposed mindsets. (It also makes induction scenes longer and more detailed.)
- Evil commands: some readers have a moral or emotional squick about characters being controlled into hurting themselves or others, and some have a special dislike for MCed characters betraying people close to them. I don’t personally enjoy injury or betrayal as real life events, but since for MC erotica is about the control, a victim who can be made to obey a bad command, and like it, is a very arousing way to dramatize how deeply under control they are. This is fiction—“no actual humans were harmed during” etc. This can all combine: a victim, being programmed into a serial recruiter to help capture and enslave other victims, fights hard against the process, knowing that they’ll be harming others and trying not to let that happen. Such a heroic character is both attractive and sad: this is where the particular hotness comes from that I’m trying to describe.
- Aftermath: stories that feature once-and-perhaps-future MC victims have a special draw—there’s an added vulnerability with the known seduction of giving in, perhaps the sense of still being in some way bound and susceptible, and conversely some courage, as the slaves may risk being collared again to fight the controllers to save others.
Technically proficient writing (i.e., spelling and grammar) is best because it avoids distraction, but even a story rough around the edges can keep me reading if the idea’s good enough.
List isn’t “best” stories, which is impossible. These are chosen mostly because they can lead to more good stories, or—even if they’re less characteristic of a given author’s tastes or style—they’re just good examples, by themselves, of the kind of thing that made me glad I found the EMCSA. There are some standout stories that had special impact on me when I read them, and there are also some authors I’d recommend generally—a reader that shares my tastes is likely (though of course not guaranteed) to enjoy what they do.
Order is random, by the way—alphabetical makes updating complicated, and I don’t believe in ranking. Some stories are better than others, of course, but calling one “best” is hard, and self-defeating. And inevitably wrong, I think.
Anynom customarily does neat and to-the-point induction stories, effect pieces, usually with celebrity characters, but here he addresses some of the ethical issues of mind control, and makes it both poignant and very, very sexy. Believably emotional, and it’s all braided together: suspenseful plot, moist eroticism, and heroines to admire and lust after. The author chose to continue it after the first part, but I found that part worked surpassingly well on all levels by itself.
Lilia Teaches French—Dripping Yarns
The author’s only story so far, but a classic. Long, slow, insidious seduction/programming, with a victim too rapt in the pleasure of the conditioning to know, much less resist. Her reduction to slavery builds to increasing levels of heat, and what she does at the end goes beyond degradation to the other side, to a sort of honor. The kind of sociopathy that’s scariest when it’s gentle.
Revenge or Bust—scifiscribbler
SFS takes the theme of a victim’s struggle against her controller to one of its logical conclusions. He weaves the portrayal of an admirable heroine into the description of an insidious program, and his “gotcha” scene is elegant and almost sad. Another author whose MCers are quite ruthless, but whose victims are three-dimensional, and worth grief when they fall.
Long, delicious hypnotic seduction, struggle by a victim who isn’t sure she wants to but tries gallantly anyway, all beautifully described. I could see the characters—and I liked what I saw. Virtuosity. Another author to read more of.
Quicksilver—Chris Chris, esp ch. 13-14 (Inductions)
One of my favorites, and the only thing I’ve ever found by this author. I mourn this lack. Rich in characterization, balanced in buildup, an excellent mystery that doesn’t lose its draw even as explanations trickle in. A flawed heroine to root for and lust after. Chapters 13-14 are especially erotic, lyrically intertwining FF and femsub images. The end is just . . . read it. Read it.
My Descent Into Lesbian Tit Slavery—CactusJuggler
Lurid title, but ingenious idea. Believable characters, progressive and very erotic degradation. CJ is another author who can portray the MC as something that both repels and seduces the victim. As with Voyer, and others, good news is that this is only one of many varied but distinctive stories.
Call Me Suzy—aimee
Some MC sociopathy is directed inward. This begins aimee’s trilogy of self-destructively masochistic stories from a first-person victim POV. It isn’t clear if the protagonist is the same, but in each she falls victim to a cruel outside power, in an evilly lovely narrative of bewildered lust. Intense, dark, scary, and irresistible. Brave, too, to imagine and to write.
One of the deans of sociopathy, William Lee has transitioned from a very hot series of manufactured images to some text stories on the theme of victims controlled by invading aliens and conditioned to accept the obliteration of their minds with both orgasmic joy and a need to trap others. This story is different. While it uses a lot of the same imagery, and is a very MC-dense and suspenseful tale, it also has a heroine whose own history of victimization and complex mission make her both erotically and emotionally irresistible. More character-driven than most of his work, it hits even harder than the rest of his very hot work for that reason.
Mesmer’s Daughters—Ifurita X
Beautiful writer who manages a neat balance of character, sex, and very watchable MC. Some quietly evil goings-on which may define their own benign nature—Ifurita’s writing is as seductive as her protagonist, and (like the best of the quieter sociopathic writers, like Sara H or Eye) she can make this kind of enslavement seem like a good thing.
Sign of the Rose—Wiseguy
Hmm. Wiseguy is very much an anti-sociopath (more so, because he’s even more inclined to stress consensuality as well as caring.) I like his writing enough to enjoy even the loving-couple romances he does, where the point is neither sex nor MC, but love. He has written an out-and-out ‘pathic piece, Sandman, and it’s a very hot read. But one of my favorites, both for a gently ‘pathic feel and the sheer beauty of the Fdom/FF induction, is this one. The subject’s slow, delicate fall, her struggle to resist, the news that she herself is a dominant now slipping into submission, the final trigger . . . this one managed to be Romantic and push a lot of buttons for me.
Of Cabbages and Kings—Cal O’Shaw
Intense and poignant portrayal of a woman whose enslavement is pervasive and inescapable. Her regressions are very vividly described, but parallel with her drastic and hot reactions to the embedded programming that claims her over and over is a very convincing struggle as she fights for her free will. Very urgent, very moving.
A pair of stories about a cult and the young women drawn into it. Varied inductions, and some winsome friendships and love that both drive and complicate the heroine’s struggles.
This author has a number of FF serial recruitment stories, with women seduced or overwhelmed into blissful slavery to a variety of individuated dommes. Methods and victims vary, but characters are carefully drawn. This story features some great (and significant) imagery, a nicely-degrading initial induction, and some very erotic programming as the victims are indoctrinated.
Identity Theft: How Kara Learned to Dance—impersonateU
A “to be continued” that hasn’t been, for a couple of years now, but worth reading even as a fragment. The dreamy progress and the victim’s drowsy submission each time something’s taken from her are gently horrifying.
Set in an internal Dominant/submissive culture dense with the overt MC that keeps the slaves enslaved, this is also a well-crafted character study of a hypnodomme facing the lure of the leash’s other end.
(Also in random order—I would never try to rank them.)
Eye started something entirely new in erotic MC fiction with the superhuman but humanly very accessible Corelle D’Amber and the whole universe of Ancients. Eye’s writing is smart and musical, and the MC is deeply seductive, even when it’s dark. Many sociopathic things happen, but against that background there’s an almost feudal loyalty, and it runs as often downward, with the dominant risking herself for the sake of her subjects, as it does toward their devotion to her. Eye’s stories are, fortunately, numerous, although she stopped posting publicly for a while after frequent theft of her stories and has not written as frequently after resuming. Hard to pick a favorite, but some standout tales for me include:
Every one of Eye’s stories has intense eroticism woven into awareness of the self being controlled, elegantly described. This story has one of the hottest examples. The degradation of the victim and her ambivalent response to it took an already subtle plot with a charismatic hypnotist even farther. Part of a series, but stands alone.
Tapestry: Unraveling/Tapestry: Worn Edges
Friendly Advice gives one example of her writing at peak “hot” intensity, and “Worn Edges” does the same—its climax is one of the most literally shattering in the genre. “Unraveling,” while steeped in sex both warm and harsh, is a minor-key and delicate story that explores the emotional theme I like with a quieter, almost desperate kind of intensity. Soft pain can be as hideously pleasurable as the harder kind, and mind-slavery can make it more so.
Quick Tempered/Sticky Eros
These two are, in fact, end-stories in different arcs Eye’s written, and are properly enjoyed having read their predecessors. But for sheer impact, these contain scenes that stand on their own. In Tempered, it starts with the “obscene sleepwalker” and goes on to sweet oiled girls and a villainess too deadly not to want to surrender to. In Eros, you’ll have gotten there when you pass the lips. Again, the whole thing is what counts—but these jewels shine in or out of their setting. More to the point, the two heroines of these story arcs are brave and attractive women who make the risks they face that much more exciting.
Ecstasy and Vengeance
Another one that, for me, shines for an outstanding scene: a hypnotic induction that’s subtle, seethingly erotic, poetic, and heartbreaking, all at once.
In My Mind, a Serpent
Literally out-of-control EMC, with devoted followers, and noble and evil controllers alike, equally consumed and corrupted. Slick with very dirty sex, and terribly, terribly sad if you can pay attention to that. I’ve reread it many times.
What Kind of Monster
Not (overtly) part of the epic Corelleverse, this one is about a very different kind of mind controller, and what her power does to her life and those around her. Eye’s writing bespeaks a humane and sensitive personality, and it becomes clear in stories like this that real horror is best seen through the lens of a decent heart.
AK writes fast-paced (nearly all would make excellent, very sexy action movies), precisely-worded tales of gutsy, gorgeous, take-no-prisoners heroines who run up against powerful MCers and, from mission or desperation, take them on (frequently falling victim in the process) but win or lose, they’re gallant and very erotic.
Akiko Takes a Holiday/Love With the Proper Akiko
Samples from two series of tales about agent Akiko Masumi. “Holiday” uses several excellent elements—programmed behavior, layered MC-induced betrayal, sex as part of control, serial recruitment—skillfully, and in an engaging tough-girl narrative voice that ironically stresses the narrator’s vulnerability, especially in her wrenching awareness of what she’s being made to do. Enslavement is seductive as well as hazardous, and Akiko is endearing.
AK’s first EMC tale, “Play Day,” introduced Gina, a heroine who evolves an uncomfortable familiarity with mind control (and her club scene in part 3 of that story is just . . .). The saga expands quite believably, and her sister’s sucked into the plot as it thickens and darkens. Hot and quick, it nevertheless has some great depth. These girls are very much worth knowing, and it makes seeing them menaced with slavehood a guilty pleasure.
This story is darker in tone than some of AK’s other work, with a more languid eros, but it’s just as intense. He finds molten sexual and dominance subtexts in the women of a European music school. A quirky but gallant heroine, varied victims, characters who could be either or both, mysterious and seductive danger. It’s an explicit homage to the movie “Suspiria” but it’s so much more, and if they made this into a movie . . .
A new heroine, and some dense but slick layers of MC as she struggles gamely through, and all sorts of sexy-sinister implications as the net that holds her and hypnotizes her gets more intricate.
The Fay at Fremantle/The Fay and Her Knight
Two SF stories on the ordeal of a heroine whose susceptibility to MC is gene-deep, who undergoes very believable layers of scary/delicious enslavement while someone who’s understandably fallen for her tries to save her before it’s too late. If she’s taught to like it forever, that would be both hot and horrifying
One of those authors who hit on several levels. Sara’s almost exclusively ‘pathic, and her stories of enslavement are almost celebratory. However hard the heroines struggle, the thrill of submission that draws them shimmers off the screen, and her take on control brings an intensity that verges on the religious. It remains a mystery whether the women who may fall are exalted or degraded, but Sara’s liquid style makes it worth trying to solve.
This story has an engaging narrator, a hard-fought struggle, a beautiful and terrible shift from a free to an enslaved—but always fully aware—consciousness, and emotional tags that kept the characters real and worth caring for. Sara’s writing carries a kick, gentle and then intense, and always piercingly believable.
There are dark sociopaths, and smiling ones. Sara’s ‘pathic expression, here most of all, is a blissful grin of ecstasy. Sara explores both dominance and submission and makes them glow, and her supple language makes you believe what happens when mind control works and a slave learns to love her situation. This story has one of the best sustained induction/enslavements I’ve ever read, balanced exquisitely between the mistress’ velvet control, the subject’s helpless collapse, and the narrator’s addicted focus—in form it’s hypnosis, in substance it’s beyond that entirely, and in fact it’s erotic as all hell.
An example not only of her wicked skill at depicting serial recruitment, but also in her knack for twisting even defenses against MC into more ways into a victim’s mind.
Musings of the Opened Mind
Dreamlike even when the heroine is awake, it’s done in mistier hues that are well-suited to the very insidious seduction that happens here. The ending feels unexpected, for all that it’s inevitable. (And hot.)
A Small Case of Curiosity
Quite a few EMC writers put themselves into their stories. Only a few of those can do so without looking like idiots. And only the very best of those, like Sara, can use their “presence” in the story to intensify the erotic effect.
Much more recent, and unfinished, but this one has an especially compelling emotional dimension as well as earnest, likeable heroines facing devastatingly effective MC. Another “aftermath” tale, since it’s a danger they’ve known before.
An author who does some non-MC work and stresses a lot of nonconsensuality and humiliation. Extremely dark, and in his universe cruelty is not only the norm but the heat source for a lot of the eroticism.
The heroine undergoes a mental transformation both degrading and agonizingly addictive, and she’s drawn so as to keep the reader keenly aware of what she’s losing. She’s sucked into self-degrading groupthink, and her attempts to free herself are poignant and moist.
Very sexy tale of a woman falling under a spell, perhaps voluntarily. Quiet but very powerful, and the very last moments are a hammer blow.
One of the premier sociopathic MC authors. His universe is an often grim place with decent people dotted through it, and the victims’ fight is usually lonely and bewildered; sometimes they don’t get a chance to fight. At the same time, both his female protagonists and the enslavement they face are palpably erotic. Not always a lot of sex, but nearly always something sexy. Really too many to pick and choose.
Action-packed from an MC point of view, dense with inductions both seen and implied, it offers a sort of serial victimization for the heroine, and a nested kicker that may not be done when the story is.
In early 2001, Voyer expanded what was a one-part cautionary tale about an accidental and reluctant mind controller into a larger saga with some very watchable protagonists, victims in various stages of resistance, passivity, and adherence to darker control. The threat they face is powerful and hard to know, and they may face a doom which, from Voyer’s keyboard, will be both hot and horrific, but even a fan of ‘pathic plots wouldn’t mind seeing them survive. It’s so hard to decide, though.
A Place for Everything
This one frightens on more than the usual levels, and it may say odd things about me that I find it not only a brilliant piece of dystopian science fiction but a nastily arousing read. What the heroine does, and why she does it, and how she feels to have done it, may stay with the reader for quite a while.
Both a brilliant writer and a very creative MC eroticist, she combines hard-core sociopathy with precise technique. She has a smooth, bright style of writing, and her tales can shift from cool description, readable just for how well she does it, to pulsing, insanely erotic enslavements, and back again.
This is less to call attention to the story than to note my good taste in liking it. :) The story explores a lot of the ins and outs of mind control, with a protagonist to fear, lust after, and in the end, like very very much. As with other authors, this is a place to start. Read and enjoy.
Most of the time, Tabico’s bright, well-written sociopathy is so good it’s scary. Other times, it’s even better. This tale of systematic depersonalization is a tour de force of admirable victims and gracefully merciless evil claiming them and making them obedient pawns for taking more. I’ll say too little about this one because the alternative is never stopping.
Cross My Heart
Tabico is a very deft writer of sociopathic MC, and skates along the edge of squickage without trembling. This story does more. Deriving from her hot and mysterious debut New Tunez, it takes the ruthless MCer’s handiwork further—but more than that, and without seeming to try, it sounds a painfully tragic note in Nicole, who’s magnificent even as she’s enslaved, and even utterly twisted to her Queen’s dark purposes. Erotically frightening and frighteningly erotic.
Kaleidoscope Mind/Hot Oil
Two excellent examples of Tabico’s forte of putting a group of smart, likeable, distinct young women together in a benign setting, and then letting an insidious MC threat cast its shadow, while brave survivors try to figure it out and save themselves and their friends (which scratches my tragedy itch). In form, it sounds like a slasher movie, but Tabico does it better, and much subtler, and way sexier—and unlike in a slasher film, nothing and no one is ever wasted. :)
Another Tabico forte is squick, and she can make enslavement by very non-human entities intensely erotic. She also explores how even a terrifying threat can also tempt. In this as in other ways, her take on EMC may well be one of the most dangerous of them all. Which makes it good. :)
More squick of a different kind. A variety of admirable victims faces an inhuman menace, and as usual Tabico manages to make something horrifying into something seductive—to the reader and to some key characters as well.
This one actually carries a warning, and seeing the cruel things that the mind controlled victims do on command adds a nastier dimension. But as with anything Tabico does, it’s not gratuitous damage—it’s central to the horror, and it’s what makes the horror erotic.
Fascinating victim-POV tale of someone who’s enslaved in a very drastic way, and her strange but powerfully erotic response to it
Iago is a “baroque” sort of writer, lovingly detailing not only how lovely his FF protagonists are but the way they fall helplessly to or prey pitilessly on each other. He’s one of a school who manage to make cult-like enslavement sound more like an opportunity than a problem. A large canon: these are just places to plunge in. Iago has collaborated with several of the other major players—his “Dea” arc is part of EyeofSerpent’s Ancients cycle, and his “Cry of Obedience” flows together with Sara H’s “Pilgrimage” from her Julia Shelton saga into an epic war of hypnotic dommes.
Where the Shadows Lie/In Darkness Bound/To Bring Them All
A deliciously twisted FF rendering of “Lord of the Rings” that’s unrelievedly, intensely sexy, and oddly sad. The second and third stories are collaborations with Tabico that continue the depraved fantasy of “Shadows” with even more virtuous warrior-women, and young apprentices, facing the insidious seductions of what the Evil can do, and has done. Both authors’ stunning skills at showing souls in dire and tempting peril complement each other here to great effect.
Insidious serial recruitment, snares, the betrayal of the unaware by slaves too deeply mindfucked not to love committing betrayal. Told in a gradually more fanatical voice and rising to a disturbing finale. The exquisite details of the arousal, the bent thoughts and distorted relationships, and the rest all intensify the inexorable progress of the larger plot.
Almost dreamlike account of a girl who sees her friend drifting and feels its seduction herself.
Iago ventures into hard SF, for a gripping account of intrepid scientists exploring the remnants of an ancient mind-controlling race, and a heroine with a unique perspective on the old conquerors.
Simon bar Sinister
The Archive’s maintainer is one of its leading (and darker) writers; by this point there’s no question of flattery in saying so. His stories are often wry and can approach the awareness of gentleness if not the practice, but like Voyer’s world, Simon’s tends not to be one where the vulnerable avoid capture for long. Not as overtly tragic as some of the others, but like Voyer, he shows the people who are caught up in this. The MCers may not care, and after they go down, neither do the slaves, but we can, and there’s a sense the author does, too.
It’s been on the Archive a long time, but it’s a classic, and it’s Classical, too, in its clean writing and elegant pace. This story takes a winsome ingenue into deeper subjugation, melds harem and corporate-slave motifs moistly together (even separate from the harem dreams), drips implications of pervasive control and indoctrination, and takes the iconic Spiral to new depths. Hard to speak of “favorites” with any author but this one of Simon’s is one of the hottest reads I’ve ever experienced.
Brief, almost dreamlike, it describes an “industrial” sort of mass-enslavement in a very even way, and shows a quiet sympathy for the heroine.
Cat was a commentator in EMC for years—a charter Reader’s Picker when the system started. She’s one of a number of authors who’ve worked with EyeofSerpent and contributed their own spin and Ancients to the “Corelleverse”. Her conceptions are complex but vibrate with MC sex. Sadly, she seems to have left the EMC world, but her stories are a very worthwhile legacy to it.
This one, first of an arc, introduces both another seductive/deadly MCer, Isis—who also haunts Eye’s own “Quick” arc, above—and a fierce little victim and oft-controlled pawn, Lena, with ambitions of her own. Another Mistress/slave dyad with a different but even more piercing sort of dominance vibe is the arc that begins in “Hollow Life”.
Cat has been moving outward, too. In this one her heroine is a sharply-depicted young woman whose obvious strength of character makes her looming submission to a mysterious female admirer even more compelling. Another arc, which grows more complex but features a bevy of wonderfully rendered victims, and an ornate serial recruitment path.
Arclight first appeared on the MC forum (not, as noted, part of the EMCSA, but where many MC fans gather) with some brilliantly written microstories that commented on discussion topics but turned them into moist fantasies. Lighthearted, these tales are reflected in his signature disclaimer vignettes, but for the most part Arclight’s tales can be piercingly sad, even as they’re too erotic to turn away from.
A soft and sinister retelling of the Arthurian legend as FF MC is both tragic and highly erotic.
And a Time to Forget
A gallant victim, a compelling controller with strangely logical motives, and some hypnotic indoctrination made white-hot with struggle. Twisted love.
The Prodigal Bride
A shivering depiction of life after and during mind-slavery, as a victim tries to come to terms with her old loyalties and the alien ones orgasmically burned into her. Arclight makes her plight as gripping as it is emotional. One of the most moving EMC stories I’ve ever read.
A writer of deeply ‘pathic stories who has a remarkable way of making even a depersonalized victim’s plight both terrifying and riveting. She understands what can really be erotic about a self being overwhelmed and conquered, and while her stories weave sex richly into the plotline, their molten core is about the enslavement and submission of wills. Her spunky protagonists are women who’d be great to get to know—which makes what usually happens to them both scarier and more terribly attractive.
thrall’s debut, a swift, merciless piece about a woman caught by powers that will have their way with her, and make her like it, and hate it.
Another piece that’s dreamlike, and excels at the very difficult feat of portraying an obliterated self in the first person.
The title doesn’t say it all—there are depths to willingness, and the heroine has an agenda of her own that evolves as her subjugation deepens.
Love in a Silver Socket
thrall’s approach to horror is less stark than Tabico’s, but her dehumanized heroine in this hard-SF/alien-occupation take has the same appeal. The slave’s helplessly yearning devotion takes the breath away, as the reader sees what has her mindbound and what it wants her to do.
A Tenpack of Trixies
More exploration of turning people into things. Sexy, pretty, obedient, toylike things. Sometimes extremely dangerous things. thrall’s skill at showing humanity (and its opposite) in the midst of all this is what turns a hot effect piece into a moving, enduring story about love and loyalty.
Someday My Prince Will Come
Speaking of which, this nicely-done piece expresses another of thrall’s themes, the lovers divided by the whim and power of a clever and lethal controller. It comes on as very sociopathic, and it stays true to that, but there’s a warm core of romanticism that lights the ‘pathic structure from inside.
Arachnae, or the Icky-Squicky Spider
A collaboration with Tabico, which showcases both women’s scary-good skill at keeping the eros in “erotic horror” without stinting on the horror. thrall usually doesn’t go this unhuman in her MCers, but she plays this one out perfectly. They write together seamlessly, too—impossible to tell where one stopped and the other picked up again, but the wise reader will be too preoccupied to worry about that.
Another one co-written with Tabico. Tough smart young women take on a sinister mind controller, and some unexpected and sexy things happen. Some very interesting plays on loyalty (and innovative views on how it can twist) and several variations played on the aftermath theme and a character who fights MC slavery because she used to be under it. There’s some dark humor and a winsome protagonist/foil for the action heroines
One of this author’s games is to use song titles as story titles, and makes them work thematically, on some odd ways. Experiments with style and mood, and succeeds. This author has a great deal of skill just as a writer, but beyond that has a sense of what’s at stake in mind control. Another who’s apparently stepped away from MC writing, but worth reading here.
Another piece that makes tragedy erotic because they’re wrapped so closely together. The main character’s experiment in hypnosis seems like a very good idea, and it is. The results get out of control, but the whole issue of control is the erotic focus—and ultimately what the story’s about. A reader might come away from this aroused, but feeling a very deep chill, and know neither would exist without the other.
Who Can It Be Now
An aftermath tale, as a woman flees her brainwasher and tries to reassemble her life. Her enslavement is lovely to watch, and her experiences afterward show the tough person she really is—which makes the fact that she’s enslaved cut even deeper.
The heroine in this one fights hard and hotly against something it seems impossible to fight against at all. The solution she contemplates is chilling, but worthy of her.
Another author with a small but growing canon. Describes his female characters well and gives them depth, so the mind control is between people, and not cartoons.
Sparkle Someone Else’s Eyes
This story combines a very sexual and imaginative public induction with a quieter but seething aftermath in which the victim is oblivious to her captor/controllers’ machinations. A vital and intelligent heroine reduced to a helplessly compliant slave—and by such MCers—without in the least trying either to justify or to demonize them, is rare, and rarely this well done.
A quietly corrupt slide down the sides of a hypnotically-maintained triangle. Love may have something to do with it. This one uses both the emotional and MC dynamics to make a tight, dark plot work, and ends in a way that could let it be continued.
Not active as a writer since late 1999, Daphne has shifted her focus to producing EMC videos, but before that she produced IMO some of the best—erotic, dramatic, and well-written—stories on the Archive. In common with many of the others on this list, her dimensioned and admirable (and very sexy) heroines embody EMC’s “tragic” aspect described above: they’re doomed to fall, but even while that arouses, it’s easy to wish they could escape their controllers. Her dispassionate writing style makes this especially effective—the sex is hotter and the malice more chilling for the way she tells it all so clearly and calmly. (Not all her stories are this dark; all are worth reading.)
Above That Ye Are Able
One of the last tales she posted, its victim is vibrant but heartbreakingly vulnerable, and she’s not the only person being destroyed in the course of the plot. Features some enigmatic evil-dream interludes, intense dialogue-only exchanges both sad and darkly erotic. Like much in the story, they remain mysterious, but what they hint is scary and very hot.
Drawing From Life
A whole array of varied women, imperiled by a horrifying but seductive-to-read-about supernatural MC threat, and they’re each real enough for their fates to matter. At least one of them understands what’s happening to her, and that awareness makes her struggle, hopeless in many ways, both hotter and more memorable.
In Evil Company
Brilliant and deeply ‘pathic tale of MC as a sophisticated covert industry. Wills are destroyed and slaves are made, and it’s all rendered with a restraint that not only keeps the eroticism up front, but has nothing of the sneering tone that characterizes so many other stories of this kind. Soul-damage goes on in several ways and at several levels, and the evil is clear, and neither flaunted nor excused.
It’s a much lighter story than the others listed. but even here, as various women fall under the hypnotic spell, there’s a sense that they deserve better than what happens to them.