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Monday, April 16, 2012

Geek Love, Geek Sex, Geek Worship -- In Other Words, a Typical Writers with Drinks

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Charlie Jane Anders
  • Charlie Jane Anders

The big thing you need to know about the monthly series Writers with Drinks is this: Arrive super early, maybe even an hour before, for your chance at a stool or a booth. The Make Out Room is a pretty big space, but Saturday's installment still felt packed to a fire-hazard-y degree.

For good reason! As organized by Charlie Jane Anders, a writer and science-fiction nerd, five authors brought all the literary cred you'd want. With or without drinks, they read their work while most of the audience stood (and many others sprawled on the floor). Some were making out!

Overall, the evening's tone was a grab bag of comic-book geekery (Los Angeles' Sarah Kuhn), memories of a precocious childhood (local Glen David Gold), plain old storytelling (L.A.'s Amber Benson, who, from her three-season stretch acting on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, boasts a platinum-clad geek quotient), semi-erotic fiction (San Francisco's Malinda Lo), and fully erotic fiction (New York's Rachel Kramer Bussel).

A sex writer by profession, Bussel read her harrowing story of a woman who loves getting smacked by her lover. When the two end up doing it in an alley, one's panty-less-ness is revealed; things get drippy; Handi Wipes are proffered, "because she was a top who came prepared."


Less steamy, more geeky, was the opener, Sarah Kuhn, reading from her book One Con Glory, which details the quest of a comic-book super-fan, Julie, to find a rare action figure. In one funny bit, Julie is getting frisky with a fellow comics geek and self-professed male feminist; not long after, upon ejaculating, he screams out, "Oh, Goddess!"

Glen David Gold - VERONESEPK
  • Veronesepk
  • Glen David Gold

The cake-taker for me was local hunk Glen David Gold, author of the fantastic Carter Beats the Devil. His reading, drawn from a 1975 passage of his (apparently unpublished) memoir, was a fluid evocation of funky-old San Francisco and the rich characters that inhabited it. Gold hit comedic high notes in this sketch of his self-aware pre-adolescence: "Mom, I'm plagued by feelings of unreality," he stresses to his mother, before expressing worry that he'd be known as a square, "the kind of guy who stepped out of the shower to pee."


Part of the series' fun is Anders herself, who invents (improvises?) spectacular stemwinding stories about the authors she's about to welcome onstage. It's hard to convey the plot of any of these raves. To give you a taste, Amber Benson was introduced as a former member of the B-52s (leading Anders to warble "It's not my fault, I'm wearing drama socks!" in the manner of a B-52s lyric, which is isn't); I learned that "lobsterbation" is a thing maybe; and intermission kicked off with Anders touting a "37-minute monologue from the world's angriest bus driver." Laughing with a room of people you don't know, or wincing with them, or sitting on the floor listening in bemused silence, that's a great feeling.

Wanna make out?

Writers with Drinks happens the second Saturday of the month at the Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is $5-$10.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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