The aliens have been lingering over the city for a year, so people mostly ignore them. What do they want and when will they take it?
I’ve read a lot of science fiction stories that start to
dabble in the world of horror. Nothing intense and outright, but enough that
when you close the last page, you do have goose bumps running up and down your
arms. This short story doesn’t flirt with that line. It is firmly in the horror
realm of writing and completely creepy. I don’t think I’m going to want to be
eaten any chicken for a little while now…
My biggest question as I was reading this was WTF?!?! Who
thinks its funny to dance a chicken carcass across the table? Or the road? Or
really make a dead anything dance at all? This is where the horror aspect comes
in… there was just something so graphic and horrifying about that imagery.
Something that I still can’t get out of my head as I write this review…
The imagery, the graphic nature and the questions that this poses (what do the aliens really want?) in this short story left me feeling seriously uncomfortable. Not in the least bit interested in picking up another Alien Sex short story again for a little while… too many ick factors going on in my brain (although I’m still super intrigued for the next story)…
Title: When the Fathers Go Author: Bruce McAllister In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!) My Bookshelves:Aliens, Science fiction Dates read: 31st October 2019 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: The leaders of Business understand the risks, and in turn, the diplos of interstellar politics, the greeters and runners of interstellar R&D are all common men and women.
What is lie? What is truth? Will she ever know how much truth Jory has shared with her and how much is a horrible, horrible lie?
This story is so incredibly confusing. Mostly because it is
all about lies. Most stories, even if they feature lying are still filled with a
hint as to what the truth is. This tale doesn’t have that hint of sanity about
it. It’s just a mess of insanity and craziness. Something in which I just
couldn’t figure out what was or wasn’t happening.
I really liked that it was difficult to figure the truths
from the lies in this story. It emphasised not only just how harmful they can
be, but how they can entirely change the way we view and live our lives. Especially
when what starts out as a lie at the beginning of the story ends up being a
truth… and vice versa.
In the little descriptor that the author wrote, there is an
emphasis on the fact that lies mostly affect women. Which is why this short
story has a heavy emphasis on the impacts which the husbands’ lies have on the
woman. After all, she’s the one who eventually has to live with all of the
fallacies built on one another.
Title: Husbands Author: Lisa Tuttle In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!) My Bookshelves:Science fiction Dates read: 29th October 2019 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: I’m sure I’ve got it right.
What are our husbands to us truly? Would we survive without males in our lives? This story finds a unique perspective on such perplexing questions.
One of the most alien thing to some people is the opposite
sex. Actually, we all have moments some time that make us wonder if we’re cut
from the same cloth. This story explores some of that, but also just what it is
about our perceptions that can so heavily impacted upon gender ideals. What is
it about gender which makes everything that little bit different and unique?
Why do we find it all so confusing?
This short story is almost three independent stories which tie
together. All deal with how we see gender, and all ask the question – how much
of it is real and how much of it is just a part of our perceptions? It’s the
first non-gross story in this collection. There are mentions and descriptions
of the opposite gender and the ways in which we decide to divide our
Personally, I loved two things the most about this story – firstly,
the way in which the three husbands are described at the beginning of the
story. It made me laugh, and wonder just what kind of animal my own husband
would be. Then, towards the conclusion of the story there is a description of a
second splitting of people. In a world that is only filled with women, they
still manage to find their own divide and lines which can’t be crossed.
Title: No Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod Author: Philip Jose Farmer In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one) My Bookshelves:Aliens, Lust Dates read: 24th October 2019 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: You got too much invested in the Mafia and General Motoers, I say you gotta kick the money habit too.
If you like Tarzan, you probably won’t like this story… this is a far darker and more twisted version than what Disney led you to believe.
This short story kind of ruined Tarzan for me. It was disturbed,
kind of disgusting and really, really weird. Not something that I plan to ever
read again. Not the kind of story that I would allow my children to read. But also
way more realistic than the Disney version I know (I haven’t got around to
reading the classic yet). Which is probably why I found it so sickening – the
realism made me go “huh” this is what probably happened, not the nice version
One of my favourite things about this short story was the
cadence with which it was written. There was a lilting sense to the words.
Something that definitely surprised and thrilled me. And also kept me reading,
when, in many other circumstances I would have decided to put this aside. After
all, I don’t really want my childhood favourites to be destroyed by an
incredibly weird story.
Actually, to be honest, this story is just weird. Uncomfortable,
filled with bestiality and just downright weird. Which I’m starting to get very
used to in this collection… they’re all weird, unusual and not quite what I want
to read. But also something I can’t put aside and forget about…
Title: The First Time Author: K.W. Jeter In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this) My Bookshelves:Aliens, Lust, Science fiction Dates read: 21st October 2019 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: All the other stuff was just what he’d been dreaming.
Everyone remembers their first time. Although I don’t think that this young boy really wants to remember his first time. Especially when it was so… gruesome.
Everyone’s first time is memorable. I just hope that it’s
not memorable like this… because this is just downright, horrifyingly
disturbing. Makes me incredibly glad for my awkward, uncomfortable “first
time”… at least it wasn’t like this!!!
I am completely fascinated by the human body, our inner
workings and what makes us tick. It’s probably why I love medical shows so
much… they’re pretty good at exploring that aspect of my fascination. Yet, this
short tale has kind of put me off for the time being… there’s fascination. And
there’s just this. This horrifying level of ick… but I want share too much more
because it’s well worth a read and you need the surprise like I had it!
Like so many stories in the Alien Sex collection, this is super weird and super uncomfortable. Which of course means, I kind of loved it. it was brilliant and entertaining. Dark and twisted. And really made me think a little more about my own “first time”.
Title: Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex Author: Larry Niven In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again) My Bookshelves:Contemporary, Humour, Superheroes Dates read: 15th October 2019 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: It would be unreasonable to assume otherwise for a kryptonian.
Could the Man of Steel reproduce? How is he supposed to ensure the success of the next generation? This tale might just have all of the answers…
This might be one of the funniest stories I’ve read in a
while… I was laughing out loud so much that my dogs got scared and ran away. There
was just a great, sarcastic, satirical take on the Superman stories… one that I
really hadn’t thought about. But now, I just can’t stop thinking about it…
Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex is a great tale that makes you wonder how Superman, or indeed, any superhero could reproduce. After all, their superpowers are going to affect their offspring and the way they have sex. Superman maybe more so than some others (although, can you imagine The Thing? On second thoughts, maybe don’t… get that insane image out of your brain…). There are so many questions that need to be answered after reading this… so many. And I’m also not sure that I want them answered, because this is just kinda… well, weird.
There are so many ways in which this short story could just be disgustingly ick. After all, we’re talking about reproduction of a prominent public figure. Yet, the way that Niventells the story, the language he uses and the unique format… it was completely brilliant. It is only as I’m writing this review that I remember that there’s a bit of an ick factor there… mostly I just seriously enjoyed the tale and the questions that it raised.
Title: The Jamesburg Incubus Author: Scott Baker In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!) My Bookshelves:Lust, Science fiction Dates read: 30th September 2019 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: They start, slowly, romantically, this time, as though the three of them are fitting together, following something innate and inborn rather than dictating their private needs and wants to one another.
St. Jacques is a pretentious, boring teacher. Until he eats some mouldy bread… and he begins to transform into an incubus.
Tales of alien adventures don’t normally include tones of
Christianity. Or at least, none of the science fiction tales I normally read
do… which made this tale incredibly weird and uncomfortable in some ways. But
also very unique and interesting…
The most uncomfortable about this short story was the sexual
preferences of St. Jacques. At first the idea of an incubus was seriously
fascinating… until the young women he was preying on in his dreams were
somewhat younger than I was imagining. Things just got steadily weirder and
more uncomfortable from that point on. Although, I suppose that that was kind
of the point…
Most tales I read about incubi have an intense paranormal
spin. It’s about demons and angels. Right and wrong. Good and bad. Not so much
with this tale… there is a weird moment of epiphany at the end. But, mostly it’s
about a weird bread mould which can alter perceptions and feelings in dreams… a
part of my life I would probably rather remained untouched.
Title: How’s the Night Life on Cissalda? Author: Harlan Ellison In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect) My Bookshelves:Aliens, Lust, Science fiction Dates read: 22nd September 2019 Pace: Fast Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: Capote’s voice instantly dropped three octaves.
The creatures of Cissalda just want someone to love. Again and again and again. In the most intensive of ways. There’s a fairly high chance that they’ll just love their partners to death…
This is so completely disturbed. And I LOVED it. There was
this wonderfully sassy, sarcastic and fun voice to the narration of this story.
One that helped make this feel a little less disturbed, and a little more
plausible. It was still incredibly disturbed, and I still felt slightly dirty
for even reading it. But I also loved that it had me laughing out loud because
it was truly out there.
Sex seems to be an incredibly potent topic, one that “makes
the world go round”. Alright, it kind of does, because without it, we wouldn’t
have the next generation… but it’s still a kind of difficult topic to approach.
I read a lot of sex stories in my romances, but they’re about romance and the
ideal which is completely unrealistic. This tale on the other hand was about
pure, unadulterated lust. An alien race arriving on earth, and literally sexing
its inhabitants to death. Lust and sex do have their downfalls…
This short story felt like a bit of a warning about how we
let sex and lust take over our lives. The one person who isn’t going to succumb
to the carnal death slated to the others doesn’t because he told the truth. In
doing so, he betrayed his lover from Cissalda, which is probably bad, but I
kind of like that he survives because he told the truth. Even if it means he’s
about to die alone and abandoned…
Title: War Bride Author: Rick Wilber In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!) My Bookshelves:Science fiction Dates read: 16th September 2019 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: James stands, his head nearly touching the light fixture in the apartment’s living area.
James is about to leave the planet with a mysterious Pashi. But what are the costs? Is it something that he truly wants to do?
This story was a little familiar. Although it took the
author’s little spiel about why he wrote this story to really drive home just
why it was so. It was reminiscent of the Allied Forces leaving Vietnam after
the war. Both leaving lovers behind, and, in some cases, trying to bring them
home with them. Something that I can’t quite fathom. But by placing an American
at the centre of the story, it made it much easier to understand.
Not only was this a great reversal of roles in that an
American was part of the weaker group, but it was also a great gender reversal.
James is the “war bride”, not some poor, unwilling female. I liked that it twisted
and turned everything on its head, but still kept enough familiarity that you kind
of spent most of this story scratching your head in confusion.
The vague descriptions of the alien race helped to enhance
the feeling of “otherness” which was inherent in this story. It made you
imagine something that wasn’t quite human, but you couldn’t quite picture her
fully. Just as a vague shadowy figure who is ripping James away from everything
that he knows and loves. Possibly to save him, but it also stops him from being
able to ever return to a world that was important to him…what I imagine many of
the “war brides” of the Vietnam War went through themselves.
Title: Her Furry Face Author: Leigh Kennedy In: Alien Sex (Ellen Datlow) Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!) My Bookshelves:Lust, Twisted romance Dates read: 27th August 2019 Pace: Medium Format: Short story Publisher: ROC Year: 1990 5th sentence, 74th page: Annie clung to Douglas’s legs, whimpering.
Douglas isn’t sure how he feels, but he knows that Annie is special. How special is yet to be seen. This is a short story that will make you incredibly uncomfortable.
There is a warning at the beginning of this story that says
it will make you uncomfortable. An acknowledgement that it’s not quite what it
should be. And it’s a warning worth listening to. The only reason that I gave
this a good star rating was because the writing was so brilliant and enjoyable
that I really didn’t realise how disturbed I felt until I had turned the final
pages of this story. Actually, it took about half an hour to sink in how
uncomfortable this story made me. And then I just sat there in stunned silence…
Some people truly don’t understand how to love what they
have. In most circumstances this always comes across as refusing to settle and accept
that there is love in their lives. In the circumstances under which this story was
produced – it’s not such a trifling inability to accept the world. It is something
far more disturbed and insidious. Which kind of highlights the horribleness of never
accepting and embracing the love that you do have.
I recommend this story to almost anyone. Okay, it’s
seriously disturbing and I really don’t know how I felt after I finished it.
But the strength of the message and the talent in the writing is intense. It is
beautiful and kind of makes you feel less horrible about what you’re reading. It’s
definitely a story that you should pick up. Just one that you need to read with