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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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02/21/2005 Archived Entry: "Blasphemy"

Blasphemy
Edited by M. Rode
205 pages
Published by Torquere Press
Available as a downloadable PDF or LIT file ($4.95), or on CD-ROM ($9.95)

Reviewed by Lene Taylor

Dear Readers, am I the only one who reads anthologies through as if they were novels? I think I must be, since almost every anthology I've read gets a bit...repetitious. I suppose they're meant to be taken like vitamins, one a day, rather than ingested all at once. But let us proceed on the assumption that this is my problem, not yours. In any case, Blasphemy is a fine collection of gay porn (mostly male, a few lesbian stories) that should satisfy anyone looking for some hot, well-written smut that pushes a few boundaries. Don't worry, there's nothing terribly kinky here (aside from some light S&M), but the scenarios are, well, blasphemous. Priests fucking! In churches! On altars! In alleys! Everywhere!

Well, as my friend Kitty would say, dog my cats! Priests fucking - people, other priests, demons, vampires? Jesus-fucking? Yep, pretty blasphemous - no argument here. What surprises me is how limited the concept of "blasphemy" seems to be; all but four of the stories in this collection are about breaking Judeo-Christian taboos. To be sure, they are fine stories - wonderful language, good dialogue, interesting characters, hot hot sex - but so many of them? Are we so locked into one worldview that nothing else seems sinful? This is why I so heartily applaud the four stories that are not about scandalizing Jesus and his Dad. "To Worship the Breaker of Horses" focuses on a Greek statue come to life (and here's a nice link to a picture of the statue in question), raising issues about the true nature of gods and what we might owe them. "A Deeper Shade of Stars" is - are you ready? - a science fiction tale about the rules we take with us and what it means to break them.

The two best stories (as judged by your reviewer) in this anthology could not be more different. "To the Marrow" is a short, angry, raw piece of fiction about women and life and death and blood. Women have such a complex relationship with blood; it's refreshing to see it dealt with so directly and unflinchingly. And with sex. Did I mention that all the sex in this book is really hot? Finally, my personal favorite of the entire collection - and it contains some extremely hot sex - is "Home Ice", by Tulsa Brown (possibly the coolest pen name ever, and if it's her real name, I'm insanely jealous) . This is the kind of story that makes you want to smack people who say that smut/porn/erotic writing is trash. No religion here, other than the kind you find in small towns, built on the deities of sports heroes. In real life, breaking family traditions is far more blasphemous than fucking in the pews at church. The wrath of God? What about the wrath of Mom and Dad? "Home Ice" is a love story and a coming-of-age story and a comedy and a really hot number all at the same time. I love you Tulsa Brown!

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