Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Tiger’s Tale
Elspeth is married to Clive, a trader for East India Company. Seeing her lonely and isolated, Clive hires Vijaya to be Elspeth’s maid and companion. The two become fast friends and begin to fall for one another. When Clive catches the two together, he orders Vijaya killed and Elspeth runs away from home to save her lover’s life. Also rushing to her aid is the secret weapon neither Clive nor his hired assassins could have anticipated.
“The Tiger’s Tale” is riddled with symbolism and deep insight on religious and sexual tolerance. The story begins slowly, then quickly advances into a brilliant and beautiful story that could stand proudly beside any acclaimed fable. This was my favorite story in this anthology.
Later Days, Saints
This story is a hilarious first-person account of a young woman’s deflowering of “Elder Steward” and “Elder Harper,” two (naïve) Mormon missionaries who fall easily into her seductive trap. By convincing the two she has spiked their drinks, she leads them on a slippery slope of dirty deeds.
Handsome and Grateful
A witty, erotic retelling of “Handsel and Gretel,” “Handsome and Grateful” follows the brother and sister (both young adults in this version) through their lost trek into the forest. When they happen upon the witch’s gingerbread house, Kilpatrick offers a whole new twist on the hungry witch and helpful woodsman.
Last Times at Ridgemont High
Jeremy, a high school senior, is socially awkward and not at all popular. However, when a zombie outbreak takes out nearly the entire school, he shows the only survivors—sexy cheerleader Dee Dee and hot teacher Ms. Baymiller—how strong and sexy of a man he really is. This is the most bizarre coming of age story I have ever read. I loved it.
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Trini’s “thought experiment” takes first-person narrator Evan on a wild phone sex ride, playing with Dominant/submissive role-play and homoerotic fantasy. The narration moves between the first-person, past tense of Evan’s storytelling and the first-person present tense of Trini’s role-playing. I enjoyed The Manny Diaries, which this story prequels, and I think fans Manny fans will agree that it “Reach Out and Touch Someone” is a fun addition to the mix.
Love Bites: A Survivor’s Guide
Zombies have brought apocalyptic hell on Earth, and Michael is the last living man. Holed up in an old family home on a small island, he’s learned how to cope with the daily struggle of survival. His biggest problem? It could be that he’s running out of supplies and is down to one bullet, with new hoards of zombies coming after him every night. It could be that he’s an adult with an elf-sized imaginary friend—or it could be that he’s fallen for a woman, Tanna, despite the fact that she’s a vampire intent on making him her next meal….
See my review for The Manny Diaries for my thoughts on this sweet and sexy excerpt and more.
“Humuhumunukunukuapua’a” is the coming of age story of close friends Mila and Mina and the love they find they share for one another. This story is short and sweet, but also very sexy.
Santa Claus Is Coming
Evan Ross is on Santa’s naughty list…. Again, see my review for The Manny Diaries.
Mutated States of America
Humankind has relocated to the moon after a worldwide mutagen meshes the DNA of the plants and animals it comes in contact with. Galina is on a mission to return to Earth and test the atmosphere for continued presence the active mutagen, but when she encounters the four-armed mutant Alex, a series of bad choices between the two of them leaves her stranded. Alex’s people believe Galina has come from the stars bearing a gift from the gods, however, her technology perceived by the now primitive people as magic. When they return to his village, they find out that her purpose there is much less magical—but so much more important—than either of them could have imagined.
Lady Cassiopeia’s Amaranthine Palace; or, the Aerial Xanadu
This story is a mesh of urban fantasy, sci-fi, high fantasy, and erotica. Empyreal Bounty crewmember Tanner enjoys his stay at a space-age brothel containing women of all kinds imaginable.
The Blue Morpheus Inn (with Inara Lavey)
Ben, Skyler, and Mary have been friends since early childhood. When the three take a road trip to Redwood Grove, a missed turn changes the course of their outing and blown tire in front of an old, isolated inn (I loved the Rocky Horror Picture Show reference) leaves the three spending the night with hopes of repairing the tire in the morning.
Each room at the inn has a different theme, but the three find that each theme also comes with the fulfillment of an erotic desire in a similar vein as Fantasy Island: Skyler has a threesome with Betty Rubble and Wilma Flintstone; Mary has one with two pirates; and Ben takes on two of Aphrodite’s man-servants.
Betty and Wilma threw me off, but perhaps may have been easier to swallow had their scene come after Mary’s or Ben’s. Mary’s pirate threesome was very “bodice-ripper,” the rape fantasy and BDSM being a vast contrast to Skyler’s Stone Age encounter. Ben’s scene is very surreal and the erotica well executed; however, I thought it would have been more enjoyable had it not been a “coming out” experience for him.
Overall, the Under the Kilt anthology is excellent. While some of the stories are stronger than others, they’re all fun reads. The anthology includes a handful of genres, which makes expectations between one story to the next vary, but given the caliber of most of the collection, one really can’t complain.