The Administration Series is a series of futuristic dystopian novels by Manna Francis. It contains the following books:
- Mind Fuck
- Quid Pro Quo
- Games & Players
- Quis Custodiet
- First Against the Wall
- For Certain Values of Family
- Blood and Circuses
The books contain three novels, three novellas and a collection of short stories. A complete list can be found here.
Valantin Toreth is a fairly happy sociopath. He also holds a senior-level position at the feared Investigation and Interrogation division, in a world where torture is a legitimate part of the interrogation process.
Keir Warrick, corporate director in a system where corporate privilege is institutionalized, is developing a 'sim' system that places its users in a fully-immersive virtual reality.
The books follow the lives of these two men, the strange, slow-building relationship between them, and the lives of their families, friends and enemies, set against the backdrop of the oppressive totalitarian bureaucracy that is the Administration.
Oh, and, there is sex, BDSM, food, violence and the occasional family gathering. You have been warned.
The Administration Series contains examples of:
- After the End : it's implied that the Administration was created in response to a nuclear catastrophe. Details are never given.
- Anti-Hero : Toreth, for a rather stretched definition of 'hero'. Warrick, to an extent.
- Anything That Moves : Toreth. Preferably anything that moves and is slightly reluctant.
- Bed Trick : Invoked for one of the couple's sessions, in the short story Wait For It. Subverted in that it's completely consensual, and Warrick knows what is going on.
- Big Brother is Watching : downplayed. The citizens of the Administration have the freedom to live their lives as they want... as long as they don't criticize the government within earshot of anyone who counts. Played straight in that any form of organized resistance is met with the black uniforms of Int-Sec and a trip to I&I.
- Black and Grey Morality : to quote the inspiration for the series :There are no bad guys. There are no good guys. There are only better guys, and worse guys.
- Bondage is Bad : Averted. Warrick's relationship with Toreth borders on unhealthy not because of Warrick's kinks, but because he practices them with a violently possessive man who hurts people for a living.
- Brains and Bondage : Warrick is a tech genius and a brilliant hacker. He is also a sexual submissive and masochist. Toreth, who tops for Warrick, is no slouch in the intelligence department either- he is the youngest to get promoted to the position of Senior Para in I&I.
- Casual Kink : While the characters' specific kinks are thoroughly explored, the fact that they're kinky isn't seen as anything special.
- Crapsack World : the European Administration, arguably overlapping with Crapsaccharine World. America, with a theocratic bent.
- Elevator Going Down : Elevator going up, in the short story Smoke and Mirrors. Then the elevator gets stuck. Then they find out that the building has caught fire...
- Europeans Are Kinky : The sexually liberal attitudes of the European Administration are contrasted with America's extremely conservative bent.
- Free-Love Future : Europe, Twenty Minutes into the Future . Homophobia is nonexistent and kink has lost most of its stigma. And while promiscuity is not common, the main character's promiscuity, in itself, is not seen as a negative trait. Contraception is mandatory, and STD Immunity seems to be invoked.
- Friends with Benefits : Warrick and Toreth, in the beginning of their relationship. Later, Toreth does his best to convince himself that their relationship is this, but it gets... complicated. Dillian and Cele, in Wine, Women and Cushions.
- Government Procedural : Mind Fuck, Quis Custodiet, Unlucky Break.
- The Immodest Orgasm : Male example in Warrick. Is incapable of having any orgasm but this.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence
- Kinky Cuffs: Toreth's version of an apology present. Along with a Slave Collar.
- Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: Sex in the Sim. There's a reason the first book is titled Mind Fuck.
- Police Brutality : Occasionally invoked during Int-Sec arrests, but not their usual way of doing things, particularly with corporates.
- Police State : The Administration.
- Population Control : Enforced by the Administration in the form of mandatory contraceptive implants. Couples (or single women) have to apply for government permission to conceive.
- Oppressive States of America : America, Twenty Minutesintothe Future .
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized : played brutally straight in First Against The Wall.
- Room 101 : I&I level D, to the civilian population. Psychoprogramming, to the civilian population and I&I employees.
- Safe Sane and Consensual : contrary to all expectations, Warrick and Toreth's sessions... most of the time. Toreth tests out the BDSM equipment to ensure its safety, knows enough about bodies and hurting people to make sure Warrick isn't hurt beyond a few bruises, and the safeword means "stop", no questions asked.
- Safe Word : Plastic Duck
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism : slides to the cynical end and jumps off the edge.
- The Sociopath : Toreth and most of his co-workers. Justified in that I&I- and, to an extent, other Int-Sec agencies- prefer people with a low/nonexistent sense of morals, as the job includes state-sanctioned torture.