By Janelle Reston, 2018
In the golden age of erotica (maybe ten years ago?), short story collections were the dominant format for publishing explicit fiction. Editors such as Rachel Kramer Bussel, D.L. King, Alison Tyler, Sacchi Green and Cecilia Tan regularly brought out stunning themed anthologies studded with literary gems.
The advent of self-publishing seems to changed this. Anthologies have been swamped by “boxed sets” of novellas or novels. Meanwhile, authors tend to publish stories individually, in order to maximize income, as opposed to collecting them into a single volume.
Thus, it had been quite a while since I’d picked up a book of collected shorts. Reading Janelle Reston’s Best Lesbian Erotica felt like rediscovering a lost pleasure.
Although all the nine stories in this volume were written by the same author, they are delightfully diverse, ranging from realistic contemporary tales (“Body Shots”, “Bicycling Puts the Fun Between Your Legs”,”In a Pinch”) to magical fantasy (“Water & Air”, “Making Snow”) to moderately hard-core kink (“Alien Vibes”, “Wordless Surrender”). Every story in the book is well-crafted, smoothly written and sexy, if you enjoy FF interactions (as I do).
My favorite was probably “Alien Vibes”, in which a woman stages a thoroughly believable alien abduction scenario to arouse her lover. The premise was completely original, the descriptions of the “victim's” reactions deliciously real. “Water & Air” was also a stand-out, a lyrical piece about a young woman who believes that her family’s magic has skipped a generation, leaving her ordinary and powerless. She discovers her hidden capabilities only when she connects with another witch. “Wordless Surrender” is likewise remarkable. The hearing-impaired Domme in this story subjects her submissive to new trials in an attempt to deepen their connection.
I’d almost forgotten how much fun it is to binge on short stories every once in a while. If you’re in the mood for some quick and sexy lesbian fiction, give this collection a try.