Summoning the Succubus

I have a great respect for Lilith. Whether she is a vampire, a succubus, the first wife of Adam, or the goddess who seduces us away from the path of enlightenment, she is a figure of astonishing power and independence.

To some she is a monster, symbolic of great evil. To others she is a feminist icon. I love The Passion of Lilith by Pamela White Hadas. In Eden, Lilith is contemptuous of Adam’s dependence on order and reliance on rules:

He had the Word,
had it from high, while I,
previous to alphabets, superfluous as ampersand,
curled on chaos still, my edges blurred.

Adam is her first love, but she is wild and untameable, and leaves him behind, ‘sucking his thumb.’

She is a recurring theme on this blog – see, for example, In the Garden, Succubi – An Origin Story and In search of the Dark Goddess – and having written a short story myself about a lesbian succubus it’s inevitable that a story about Lilith as a lesbian succubus would catch my attention. However, if it is difficult to find a good vampire story in the haystack that is the world of vampire fiction, venturing into the world of succubus fiction feels almost like an exercise in futility. (See Sexing the Succubus – Out of the erotica frying pan and into the horror fire.)

Gabriel Argonne’s Summoning the Succubus, published April 2014, is an erotic short story that is well written but… not really a story. With my fussiness about Lilith and succubi, I am, I admit, quite a hostile reviewer, but I was in the mood for something like this, and it was free for review…

Lilith is summoned out of the void by three men doing black magic. She has a tail, small horns, black curly hair, and a determination take over the world. She can read minds, and influence minds, and she controls and feeds off the sexual energies of those she is intimate with.

This Lilith is indeed a fearsome succubus – but she is too strong, too selfish and too uninhibited for the story to work. She is a protagonist without an antagonist. There are no obstacles for her to overcome. The people around her are too easily and too absolutely under her control. In fact, there is no story in the end.

Even the erotic elements – and ultimately this short story is primarily erotica – suffer from her strength. She is too much in control – far better, in my not so humble opinion, if she had been summoned into our world in a way that kept her movements constrained, her powers limited, so that the story became about her struggle to achieve freedom – and of course that struggle could have involved submitting to her captors’ sexual fantasies and hunger.

Where this story almost works is with Sadie. The story’s blurb (‘lesbian encounter’) and chosen category on Amazon (Erotica / Lesbian) had roused my curiosity about a lesbian succubus, but ultimately Lilith is not a lesbian and her encounter with Sadie would have been more erotic if it had been seduction without mind control.

About Frank

A Sci-Fi & Fantasy author and lyrical poet with a mild obsession for vampires, succubi, goddesses and Supergirl.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Succubus and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Summoning the Succubus

  1. Hi Frank,

    As one of the uninitiated and at the cost of being labelled an Ignoramus, I would like to ask, ” Succubus?” Is it a linguistic abstraction created to support fiction? If so, can I presume that the characteristics of a Succubus are something that show up as a story unfolds?

    Shakti

    • Frank says:

      The incubus and succubus are demons from ancient folklore and myth. They are the marriage of sex and the supernatural. In the case of Lilith, she was born in Ancient Sumeria, a spirit of the air, but has evolved from humble beginnings to become the goddess who represents the passionate and chaotic side of women in the same way that Eve represents the compassionate and enlightened side of women – at least, if you can keep her away from the Catholics and their compulsive misogyny.

      The succubus and incubus are used to explain things like nocturnal emissions and dreams of sex, and perhaps to explain away real life infidelity. But also women of overt sexuality who are seen as wicked and demonic might be considered to be succubi.

      As long as sex is believed to be shameful, people will talk of incubi and succubi as examples of the evil, demonic forces of sexuality. But society – in places – is growing more accepting of sex, and in recent years the succubus and incubus are growing more popular in fiction, sometimes even in heroic roles. As with the vampire, their nature is hugely variable…

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