Dirty 30: a review

 

 

As Rose Caraway writes in her introduction to the ‘Dirty 30’ anthology: ‘There is power in erotic 51uoNnKDMtL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_storytelling. Our fantasies are infinite, and just as much a part of us as our arms and legs. Between identity and desire, we are complicated and beautiful and intense. And so is Erotica.’

It’s my pleasure to have a short story featured in ‘Dirty 30’: ‘The Honeymoon’ – telling of temptation and of relationships not being quite what they  appear. My own work often explores the darker side of desire, revealing what’s unconsciously hidden, or purposefully concealed.  Stories which play out similarly tend to make me smile and there are plenty of those in this collection: cleverly structured tales that offer a wry surprise and a bold twist at their conclusion…

Among my favourites are ‘Return of the Snow Queen’ by Tamsin Flowers, and Janine Ashbless’ ‘Sweet Hel Below’. I was in a swoon with both these tales, which play into my own love-affair with fairy tales, and with Norse mythology. Exquisitely told, and seriously seductive, both stories delve the struggle within us, between light and dark. Tamsin’s story, inspired by ‘The Snow Queen’ surveys the ease with which we are tempted (albeit within a world in which a sliver of magic mirror may distort our vision and lead us astray). Janine’s portrayal of  the Norse underworld is no less enchanting, exploring our fascination with mortality, and the dual nature we each harbour: of shadows, doubt and putrefaction, versus our vitality and capacity for self-sacrifice and love.

dirty 30 anthology janine ashbless

RA Goli’s ‘The Seer’ also draws on Norse mythology, using that rich seam of magical lore to explore universal truths: our desire to know what awaits us, and to understand what aspect of our frail humanity will bring us true contentment.

Sommer Marsden’s ‘Thunderclap’ and Malin James’ ‘Canvas’ also evoked a strong reaction from me, using gorgeous prose to delve emotional truths. In similarly sumptuous literary style is Brantwijn Serrah’s ‘Life Drawing 101’, and ‘A Polite Fiction’, by Terrance Aldon Shaw.

Meanwhile, Chase Morgan’s ‘Honey, I’m Home’, Elliot deLocke’s ‘Torrid Zone’, Sonni de Soto’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ and Michael Lewis’ ‘The Thief’ each use action and suspense to enhance their atmosphere of highly-charged eroticism.

And, I MUST mention Landon Dixon’s ‘Moby Tit’, and Spencer Dryden’s ‘The Dude’, which are both masterpieces in their own, unique style. Landon has skilfully woven his bawdy ballad of a man obsessed with breasts, while Spencer’s story, told anecdotally during  a radio phone-in, uses the brevity of dialogue to keep us hanging upon the turns of the tale, until the marvellous ‘punch-line’ of the ending.

Dirty 30 rose carawayIt’s always a delight to work with Rose, whose enthusiasm for our genre is inspirational and uplifting. I love her forthright attitude towards erotica, and sex! As an author and editor, Rose encourages us to read (and write) to liberate our sexual fantasies, to expand our self-knowledge, and to express ourselves without shame or inhibition.

Hooray for erotica!

As Rose says: ‘Erotica can be whatever we want it to be’.

The Dirty 30 anthology is incredibly diverse, well conceived and executed, and damned hot!

Time to discover your new favourites….

Find ‘Dirty 30’, published by Stupid Fish Productions, here

 

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