, July 31, 2010
(view all comments by Jvstin)
Once upon a time, at College, I came across a theory that was to me novel, audacious, and helped reinforce the idea that what I was going to learn in college was not just going to be more high school, but was a whole new type of learning.
That theory, as expounded by one of my professors, was simple. All fairy tales, she said, every single one, had at its bottom a sexual context. Some were cautionary tales, she said, tales meant to warn young women about the dangers of sex outside of marriage. Others were symbolic rites of passage, suggesting the transformation between girl and woman by means of various symbols. Others were meant to show the transfer of bonds between a girl and her father and a woman and her husband.
This old theory was firmly in mind as I began to read Allison's Wonderland, an anthology of erotic fiction based on fable, fairy tale, myth and legend. Readers of my reviews know that I am well and familiar with Ms. Tyler's previous work--both as an indefatigable anthologist and a writer of her own right. That work, in the main, however, has been kinky, sexy, hot contemporary erotica. Characters that you could meet walking down the street in Los Angeles, or encounter in a sawdust-floor bar in deepest Texas.
This anthology, on the other hand, is a little different.
Some of the stories in this collection, such asJanine Ashbless' Gold on Snow and Georgia E Jones' The Walking Wheel, are explictly set in a fairy tale or historical fantasy world. Others take the idea and theme of various stories and transform them into contemporary contexts, sometimes very much a tale sprinkled with magic. Charlie, in Portia Da Costa's Unveiling his Muse meets a fairy queen of his own creation.Sometimes, though, the only magic needed are the interactions of the protagonists (such as Ms. Tyler's own Rings on her Fingers.
All are most delicious and the quality of the tales are high--and hot Ms Tyler has many of her "Regulars" contribute stories--herself, of course, Kristina Lloyd, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Sommer Marsden, and others. Ms. Tyler has slaved away at getting a high quality of authors in the genre to contribute to the anthology.
There is a wide variety of fairy tale subjects to be found here, too. If you were afraid of reading ten variations on Red Riding Hood, relax, Ms. Tyler has carefully crafted an anthology of a wide variety of stories based on original fairy tale inspiration. She also has provided a wide variety of sexual themes, combinations, and kinks. What other anthology are you going to find an imaginary (or IS she?) lesbian dominatrix mermaid? Or a Greek God in an online chat room?
The stories and authors temper and tone are appealing, in general, to a wide variety of readers of this genre.
Readers of Ms. Tyler's other anthologies, especially, are going to be quite taken with this set of tales. Readers of the A. N. Roquelaure Beauty novels will be quite satisfied as well.
Really, there are few readers of erotic fiction who will not find something to their taste in Allison's Wonderland. So, why not take a trip down the rabbit hole, and find out where it leads you? You won't regret it.