Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review Tuesday: Coming Together Presents M. Christian (#erotica #charity #lgbtq) )

Coming Together Presents: M. Christian
By M. Christian
Coming Together, 2010

Is it unethical to review a book that I edited?

I’m not pretending disinterest. I am telling you right up front that I was the one who decided on the order of the sixteen stories in this anthology, to emphasize the contrasts and optimize the flow. I was responsible for tightening sentence structure, fixing spelling and punctuation issues, and removing excessive ellipses. I wrote the (admittedly enthusiastic) introduction.

I didn’t choose these stories, though. That was the author’s decision, as is the case with all of the Coming Together Presents charitable erotica series. M.Christian is solely responsible for the wonderful diversity in style, in theme and in sexual orientation you’ll find in these tales. He donated his considerable talent to benefit Planned Parenthood, which receives all proceeds from this book.

Well, I guess you can decide on your own whether to believe my review or not.

Coming Together Presents: M. Christian showcases the astonishing versatility of its author. A few of the tales (“Services Rendered”, “A Hard Night’s Work”) are straightforward tales of satisfying sexual encounters—the sort of thing you might expect from an erotica anthology. They’ll turn you on. They’ll make you smile. The former is M/F, the latter M/M. Mr. Christian likes to mix things up.

These two tales are great fun, but most of the stories in the book go deeper. “Last Tango in Paris, Texas” is a frenzied F/F tale with a bittersweet ending. “Grizzly” deals with a man coming to terms with his homoerotic desires. “Fragments”, a lyrical tale set in Barcelona, documents a female sculptor’s struggle to capture her conflicting desires in her art. “Evolution” is a beautiful, gut-wrenching piece about a lesbian couple where one member is transitioning from female to male.

M. Christian is well-known for his sci-fi and speculative fiction. This volume includes two science fiction pieces. One is the light-hearted polyamorous tale “On One Hand”. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I won’t tell you the title of the other.

Broadly speaking, Coming Together Presents: M. Christian should be categorized as erotica. Some of my favorite stories, though, have little or no actual sex. “Missing Alice” is a romantic F/F tale about the difficulty in recognizing what you really want, with heartfelt kisses, but nothing more. “Four Views of Mount Fuji” believably evokes the sexual ambivalence of Japan—a country the author has never visited.

If you’re already an M. Christian fan but you haven’t read this book, you should add it to your bookshelves

If you’re not familiar with this talented author, the variety in this collection makes it a good place to start.

Either way, your purchasing the book will support a worthy cause.

(You can also help Planned Parenthood by buying my latest release, and by commenting on my recent charity Sunday Snog.)

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