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Deep Inside: Extreme Erotic Fantasies, by Polly Frost Book Review | SFReader.com
Deep Inside: Extreme Erotic Fantasies, by Polly Frost Genre: Mixed Genre Anthology Publisher: Tor Published: 2007 Review Posted: 1/21/2009 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 2 out of 10
Deep Inside: Extreme Erotic Fantasies, by Polly Frost
Book Review by Nick DeMarino
Have you read this book?
Literary smut...the final frontier? Hardly—in the modern era there have been plenty of authors who have elevated the craft above the ranks of spoiled genre fodder. Whether it be De Sade, Sacher-Masoch, or Reage, someone invariably inverts socio-sexual norms and satirizes popular and pseudo-underground culture.
Enter Polly Frost, author of the sf/horror erotic short story collection Deep Inside: Extreme Erotic Fantasies.
"The preoccupation with 'likableness' in today's popular-culture world drives me crazy. And it's not very sexy. Since when do you have to like someone to be turned on by them?" Frost hits the nail on the head here; her characters instigate visceral emotions—hate, attraction, repulsion, and of course, lust. Take for example the protagonist of "The Dominatrix has a Career Crisis." The flakey, never-grow-up Californian is at best pitiful, and at worst, the epitome of all that is wrong with the current generation of 20-somethings. And she's still sexy. Frost casts you into her world in an unforgiving manner, forcing you to take in details through her eyes, to see think her thoughts and feel her fantasies.
Characterization is Frost's finest suite. Each of the ten stories is told by narrators whose voices are distinct and insular. The ivory tower hipster protagonist of "Playing Karen Devere" could never narrate "Test Drive," or rather, if she did, the nature of the story and its resolution would be entirely different. From the opener, "The Threshold," wherein a Catholic school races to lose her virginity before it's taken by an alien cult, to the closer, "Deep Inside," wherein a mystical dildo entrepreneur is the object of Twilight Zone-esque revenge, nary a story in Deep Inside falls flat.
As for the sex scenes, let's just put it this way: Frost is the first writer I've come across that makes tentacled aliens ("The Pleasure Invaders") and animated entrails ("The Orifice") sexy without being campy. She also deserves praise for rarely repeating tired sexual aphorisms and trite metaphors. While her vivid imagination leaves little to the imagination, the language is open to individual interpretation (i.e. your version of "extra-hard, extra-long nipples" may be quite different than mine). The key words here are "relevant details."
Deep Inside is best read slowly, a story or two at time; it's best to savor each setting and collection of characters in all their luscious details. There are plenty of weird stlaes of depravity, but also a few heartwarming stories, such as "Test Drive," a tale about body image and sexual rediscovery. The ideas in this book are both timely and timeless, like all good science fiction and fantasy. Who knows, you just may find your fantasies become more fantastic because of this book.
There's icing on this erotic cake: Deep Inside has zero Count Dracula/Orlok types. Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, am I ever sick of those nocturnal revisions.
*note: I wonder how Frost got the rights to use the name of a trademarked drug in "Viagra Babies"?
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