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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  April 13, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Christopher Leeson

Ariel

Ariel Davidson

Please indulge me as I start this column with a brief digression. At the 1970 convention of the Science Fiction Writers of America, Ursula K. LeGuin was presented with a Nebula award for her novel "The Left Hand of Darkness", an excellent and now all too often overlooked work of TG fiction (yes, really!). As described in the introduction to another LeGuin story published in "Again, Dangerous Visions", writer and critic Harlan Ellison swapped his own Nebula award with hers. Unfortunately, this bit of mischief did not go unobserved and a lady began screaming, "Ursula, he stole your Nebula!" When Ellison tried to settle the lady down by explaining that it was just a joke and, after all, they were both Nebulas, she responded "Yes, but hers is for a novel!"

The point I'd like to make with this little story (aside from calling attention to "The Left Hand of Darkness") is that Christopher Leeson is not just a writer, he is a novelist. He doesn't post or publish very often; after all, novels take time to write. Much of what you will find here on Crystal's Storysite was originally posted in serial form, with a new chapter coming out about once a week. Keeping this in mind, you probably don't want to rush through any of them in one sitting. If possible, you should download them and take your time going through them. When you do, you will find well thought out plots, in-depth character development and professional level story construction.

Having said all of that, there are two of Christopher's short stories on Storysite, "Bobbi McGee" and "The Crusader and the Slave Girl." Each of them was originally written about six years ago, but they were each modified slightly later to incorporate images. I don't consider either story to be of quite the same quality as the longer works, but the first one is still pretty good, even if it does follow the now-familiar "turned into a bimbo" story line

If you enjoy the "Arabian Nights" genre, then you will want to read "The Magic Fountain." It is a well put together tale and it also contains some charming imagines. "Tiresisas" and "Under the Moons of Eden" are both fairly hard-core science fiction. They both read much more like paperback novels than they do like the cross-dressing and transformation fantasies that we are all used to seeing here. If you have ever wondered what a TG novel written by a mainstream science fiction writer might be like, these stories may give you a good idea. The last story, "Noel", has a "Twilight Zone" kind of feel to it. Christopher Leeson is an extremely capable and versatile writer, a joy to read, and an excellent example for the rest of us.

Lisa Elizabeth   

I have not read much of Christopher's work before being asked to do this review. This is because magic and sci-fi are not my favorite genres. However, in all honesty I found I enjoyed the majority of Mr. Leeson's work.

"The Crusader and the Slave Girl" was a magic story where a sorcerer uses magic to perform two body swaps. The second leaves the main character in the body of a slave girl. During the rest of the story, he talks about all the problems of being a male in a female body and being used as a sex slave. The curse was that for the first 100 times of intercourse she would be repulsed, but on that 100th time a change would occur. You will have to read the story to know what that change was!

"Bobbie McGee" is another magic story. In this one our Hero/Heroine is transformed by a statue, sent to him from a jilted lover. One lesson learned is 'there is nothing like a woman scorned'! In the end, she finally comes to grips with her change and the fact that she is falling in love with her best friend. One of the better magic stories I've read.

"Under the Moons of Eden" is a Sci-fi story. Unlike the first two stories, which gave one the opinion that they were excuses for sex scenes, this story is a classic! The tale of over five hundred POWs marooned on an alien planet as a place of captivity. The planet has two moons and when they enter into conjunction strange things start to happen. Every day, two soldiers disappear and later two beautiful young females show up! This causes confusion since the women turn out to be transformed males. The rest of the story goes on to tell how the unit copes with the problems of survival and of the main characters ability to deal with his/her transformation. The eventual love scenes are actually a part of the story and very tender and loving. They discover other colonists and eventually learn to survive. Well worth the read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

"Magic Fountain" is set as a lost tale of Sheherazade. It contains all the elements of a good Arabian Nights Tale: a wicked Vizier with a cowardly Magician, a prince who is the object of ruin, a long pilgrimage to undo the spell, and of course the 'They lived happily ever after' part. Prince Ali is transformed by a vial of magic water into the twin of his sister Ayeesha. A quest to find the magic fountain of Marshan ensues with Ali and his best friend Hassan traveling together. While in Marshan, Ali's secret is discovered and she is convinced to learn the ways of a woman before transforming back to male form. So for people that enjoy a good story, this one will fit the bill. If you enjoy heavy bondage and discipline, this will not satisfy your tastes. My own opinion? A good story that I enjoyed reading.

"Prisoner of Tiresias" is a sci-fi story, sort of. It's actually a story of love! The sci-fi/TG twist is that this place is an alternate dimension and as such, genders just happen to be reversed, when you transport to it. The story revolves around Aaron Carter who becomes Erin after she arrives on Tiresias.

The majority of the story is a conflict between those who are now women and those that are now men. It also deals with corruption and deceit in our correctional system. All of this and they seem like sub-plots to the main love story that develops between our heroine, Erin, and a reporter, Rod. Refreshingly, this tale is told with the only sex being insinuated until the end, when Erin and Rod finally have a very tentative and gentle coupling prior to Rod returning to our reality.

This was a very enjoyable story. I looked at the counter and believe that the only reason this story has not been read more is its size! At almost .4Mb it takes a long time to read, however, you will not be disappointed when you take the time to do so.

The final story to be reviewed is called 'NOEL'. This is a celestial story. Lee Scarp is a junior mobster in the '40's, and is trying to take over from the older don. However, he is shot down and ends up in Purgatory. He meets Noel and she becomes his guide through this world of excess, where he can have or do anything he wishes. A lot of what he does is not very pleasant, to say the least. Noel suggests he try sex from a girl's perspective as a way to salvage himself and continue. He accepts and finds he can take on whatever shape he desires. After that experience, he is shown that the cycle just repeats itself until he can learn to change.

I believe that Christopher Leeson has written some fine tales. The first couple were a little heavy on the sex for my own taste but I am sure there are some of the readers that will just love those tales. Find the time to read these wonderful stories... you won't regret it!!

 

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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