Can't Live Without You
by Reed Manning, futuristic erotica (1987)
Fictionwise, $0.49, ISBN N/A

Can't Live Without You was originally published as a short story called A Hard Ride Home back in 1987 in some kind of magazine and in 1996 shows up in the anthology by Circlet Press called Earthly Pleasures. Author Reed Manning has a huge collection of naughty short stories written and this is just one of them. I wonder why he opts to sell these stories separately instead of compiling them and selling them as collections.

I purchase this one on impulse and I wish I haven't. In the future, there are a bunch of sex-slaves genetically created to please horny men called the Suni. Later they become free citizens free to take up any trade they wish other than the usual flesh trade, but they still need to achieve orgasm in order to live. Therefore, in this story, our hero Alan is stuck in a broken spacecraft with a bunch of Suni engineers (females, naturally) who need to get laid if they can fix the spacecraft and take them all home so Alan has to put out or go down.

Of course, with this being a smutty story, much of the success of this story depends on how great the sex scenes here. Here is the bad news: the sex scenes here are actually tamer than your 87-year old Granny Besheba's House-shags-Gray's Anatomy orgy fanfiction put up at under the pseudonym Chantelle Funbags. They are shorter than that Legolas/Harry Potter slash fiction put up by 11-year old "danradcliffelvr15" at Journalfen although the sex scenes are obviously more anatomically possible (and accurate) than anything the amazing imagination of "danradcliffelvr15" can come up with.

Therefore, there really isn't much that Can't Live Without You is good for. No hot sex, no good story, not much else. At least that story by "danradcliffelvr15" will be good for laughs whereas this particular story isn't bad enough to mock. It's just too short to cause any impact, positive or negative, on the reader. I suppose it's a good thing that it's going for literal pennies so that readers purchasing this story can't really say that they've been cheated of any considerable sum of money.

On the other hand, I will be most interested in checking out a collection of Reed Manning's works if he ever decides to put out one. There's something about his playful and irreverent style that suggests to me that I may enjoy his other and hopefully longer works.

Rating: 49

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