Emerging Edge Publishing, $7.50, ISBN 978-1-60725-197-2
Fantasy Erotica, 2008
I’m reading the digital version of this book which cost me $7.50. I have to say that I’m surprised at how short this anthology is. My PDF file has 176 pages in total, of which about 30 – yes, 30 – pages consist of either blank pages, fluff pages (copyright page, title page, et cetera), author and editor biographies, and some excerpt from another book from this publisher. This not exactly what I’d consider a good value for $7.50.
Also, this book has an irritating digital rights management or DRM system in place. I can only save the EXE file that was offered as a download once I purchased the book, so if I want to read the book, I have to open the EXE file and get a fifteen-paged sampler. To access the full book, I have to click on the “buy the book” button on my Adobe Reader and key in a long and hard-to-remember numerical sequence to “activate” the book. Anyway, people, if you buy the electronic book, please do not discard the receipt because it contains the all-important numerical key sequence. Amusingly enough, despite the protective measures, there is nothing done to prevent me from copying the entire text of the story and pasting everything on, say, a web page!
Needless to say, by the time I actually begin reading this collection of erotic short stories, I am not exactly in an upbeat mood. By the time I am done with this collection, however, I have to admit, there is a smile on my face. I don’t find the stories here particularly erotic, but some of them are most entertaining. The stories by themselves are very short and therefore I am not going to review them individually. Let me just point out some of the stories I find especially amusing.
Jazz Daladin’s Size Matters is a hoot as it tries to address the age-old problem of male fairies trying to make love to human women. Male fairies are horny toads who like to seduce human women, you see, especially when there is a myth that says giving a human woman orgasm will allow the male fairy to rule as the king of his kind. Alas, the dimensions don’t really go together well, let’s just say, often resulting with the inadvertent demise of the poor fairies. A particularly determined male fairy wants to become king, but he will learn too late that there are some less-than-pleasant parts to being king that the myth left out, heh.
Lily and the Vine Oaks by Matthew Dyne is memorable because it features sex between women and randy oak vines. Yes, you read that right. It’s like a happy pornographic version of the raped-by-a-demon-tree scene in Evil Dead. The trees here are, of course, the good guys. Get your happy oak tree today, folks!
The stories range from being readable but at the same time too short to be memorable to being too amusing for words. Most of the authors aim for tongue-in-cheek humor in their stories and as a result, I find myself chuckling out loud while reading this collection.
I’m hard pressed to say that this collection is worth the $7.50 cover price due to the short length of the collection. Also, the layout of the pages the PDF file that I am reading can be improved. And then there is the annoying DRM measure, although this problem will of course not be present if you buy the trade paperback.
Still, even if the overall packaging is amateurish and leaves a lot to be desired, the stories are worth a look, I’d say, if you have some extra cash left over from the holidays and you want to support some independent authors.