OFF LIMITS by Ellen Datlow

OFF LIMITS

Tales of Alien Sex
edited by

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Twenty-one entries, most appearing for the first time, reprising Omni editor Datlow's 1990 anthology, Alien Sex. The best is a reprint: Robert Silverberg's ``The Reality Trip,'' about a shy, unhappy alien hiding out in a servomechanism that looks like a man. He tries to escape the advances of an exuberant hippie who writes hilariously awful poetry, then falls in love with her. Sherry Coldsmith turns in the lyrical ``Lucifer of Blue,'' a story told from the point of view of a prostitute serving the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. Here, the alien is a slimy, satanic customer representing fascists or maybe just war. Susan Wade's ``The Tattooist'' concerns a woman who reluctantly tattoos an alien penis--the moral being, no doubt, that all penises are alien. That's the conceit here: Sex itself is what's alien. Unfortunately, though, most of the gathered tales are mediocre: John Kaline's ``Dolly Sodom'' is just a transcribed dream, while Joe Haldeman and Jane Yolen's collaboration, ``Sextraterrestrials,'' is not a story at all but some poetry the two wrote while playing around on the Internet. Other pieces, such as Scott Bradfield's ``The Queen of the Apocalypse,'' show promise but seem unfinished. It's as though Datlow were bored with her smooth productions of the past and wanted a more experimental feel. The result, however, is extremely uneven.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-14019-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1995




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