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Apocalypse Sex, edited by Jennifer Levine

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What would you do if it was the end of the world? Yeah. Me too. Well, I suppose that’s what I like to think I would do. Some days it feels as though I’m going to have to wait until the end of the world before it happens again. It’s even been suggested that my getting lucky again will be one of the signs of impending Armageddon.

But I’m digressing here and running the risk of sounding a little maudlin. This is from the publicity material for Apocalypse Sex:

What will the end of the world look like? Will it be an environmental disaster or a nuclear flash? If you had time, if you knew you were going to die, what would you do?

For the characters in the new erotic anthology from Circlet Press, the answer is easy: you have sex. And you don’t have Tuesday evening sex, either. You have we’re-all-about-to-die sex. You throw away your inhibitions and your fears and your worries, and you have—as the anthology’s title says—Apocalypse Sex.”

Circlet Press have been producing enjoyable and entertaining fiction for eighteen years now. Whilst the title and premise for Apocalypse Sex might sound a little grim, the content is a collection of short and satisfying gems that combine the dystopian ‘end of days’ with a utopian ‘night of nights.’

There are five stories in this collection, beginning with J Daniel Sawyer’s ‘Buried Alive in the Blues.’ It would be a cliché to describe this as an emotional roller-coaster, but I can’t think of a better way to explain the clever blend of grim science fiction, near-paranormal themes and the skilfully executed eroticism. This is one of those clever narratives where, if I tried to explain the story, I’d reveal too much. All I can trust myself to say is that it’s a superb story and brilliantly well-told.

Then there’s Elizabeth Coldwell’s ‘Expiry Date.’ Again, you have to admire the way the authors in this collection blend the bleakness of the world’s end (or, at least, one characters impending doom) with the optimism that is inherent in sexual excitement. Elizabeth Coldwell produces a narrative that touches on science fiction and erotica and delivers a compelling, entertaining story.

The same can be said for every piece in this collection. The stories are clever, intriguing and sexy. As editor Jennifer Levine observes: “The stories in this collection cover different time periods, sexualities, and apocalypse scenarios; they range from the lighthearted to the dark and foreboding, from a feeling of hope to one of despair. But I hope you’ll find in each of them, as I did, a little bit of love, a promise of redemption.

It’s a book you have to buy: otherwise you’re missing out on the end of the world.

Apocalypse Sex, edited by Jennifer Levine
(Circlet Press, 2010; ISBN B003QP4F0W)
Available at: Amazon


© 2010 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

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