Now on sale!

How They Scored is now on sale. Get it -- it's funny, sexy, and you're probably in it.

How They Scored is a book about how straight men think and talk to each other about sex. Set among a group of friends as they meet at the remote vacation lodge of a software tycoon to talk about a new business idea, the book also explores issues of privacy and surveillance in the 21st century.

Hap, who works in the periphery of the software industry as a technical writer, has a gorgeous girlfriend and a great apartment in San Francisco, but he's just learned that the owner of the building plans to sell, and it's unlikely he would be able to afford another apartment in the city. He's afraid that moving out of the city will mean the end of his love affair.

Called to a gathering of friends he's known from college and from jobs in Silicon Valley, he has to decide whether saving his apartment and his love affair is worth mortgaging his soul as the newest employee of Dreedle, a fiendish corporation devoted to selling out the privacy of every individual to the highest bidder. In the meantime, the seven men who convene in a posh mountain retreat fill the days trying to outdo each other's stories of sexual adventure.

How They Scored mixes speculation about the loss of privacy in the 21st century with a journey through the beds of the bohemians of San Francisco and Austin, Serbian fashion models, Las Vegas wheeler-dealers, and a "landscape artist" whose life work is a hole in the ground in the middle of the desert.

Read a reader review of the book, or read more about the author.

Some of the blog entries below talk about the issues of privacy and surveillance explored in the book. Other entries narrate the genesis and writing of the novel.

22 December 2009

Uncovering a mysterious blogger

This article on Streetsblog, a progressive pro-bicycle and transit website, is fascinating. The lengthy piece, worth reading in its entirety, explains how Streetsblog staff uncovered the identity of a hyperactive negative commenter with his own website, Commuter Outrage. Evidently the man behind Commuter Outrage, a twenty-something conservative who works in a civilian job at the Pentagon, was digging up material for his screeds during work hours using his employer's (and the government's) resources, and Streetsblog's questions about these practices quickly led the secretive fellow to disappear the entire Commuter Outrage website.

Instructive were the easy-to-understand steps taken by Streetsblog staff to uncover the man's identity, along with evidence that suggested he was blogging on his employer's time. Also interesting was the fact that the attacks by Commuter Outrage and its putative staff (really just this one fellow, apparently) were not some right-wing conspiracy, but just some really energetic (if error-prone) work by one angry little man. It's amazing how much one angry, energetic little guy can do on the internet.

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About the author

Mark Pritchard is the author of a pornographic novel,
Lesbian Camp Girls, as well as two collections of short stories about sex, Too Beautiful and Other Stories and How I Adore You, both released in 2001 by Cleis Press. He has lived in San Francisco since 1979, participating in queer activism, Christian and Buddhist organizations, and the literary scene. With his partner Cris Gutierrez, he published the seminal sex zine Frighten the Horses from 1990 to 1994. He has been at work on novels for several years.

His personal website is Too Beautiful, and he blogs from time to time on San Francisco Metblog and The Rumpus. He's also on Twitter but not on Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace. See more about Mark Pritchard.