Saturday, April 23, 2011

Right now, I am reading....

Right now, I am reading... Bitten edited by Susie Bright... and I'll admit that it was the cover that drew me first, a glossy, scaly, almost inter-active creation that made me think, if they work this hard on the outside, then the inside is going to be amazing. And I was right.

In some ways, this multi-author collection of supernatural erotica is more supernatural than erotic, but that's not a bad thing. The themes are the draw here, and that is where the book really earns its buck. An incubus epic that flips the traditional notion of demonic possession on its head, until the incubus is the one who will probably need rescuing at some point. Another demon armed with a tiny pair of scissors, for snipping the souls of her sexual conquests. A magical formula that summons a fuck. And probably best of them all, a truly Gothic, and convincingly arousing story about the bond between undead French aristocrat and a rose - convincing, because anybody who enjoys a bit of Flower Play is suddenly going to find themselves saying "hello" to every odd-looking rose they see.

We hear a lot these days about a recession in publishing, as the publishers themselves tumble over one another to see who can sound the loudest death knell... the Intenet is killing us, Google Books are strangling us, e-books are eating our feet... and maybe sales are down as the traditional printed book struggles to compete with all the alternative forms of readable entertainment that are out there.

There are two solutions. One is for e-books to settle down into a single universal format, and end the absurd Betamax vs VHS war which we are currently in the midst of; and the other is for every publisher to start thinking down the same path as Chronicle, the publishers of Bitten. Transform a book into an event. Both Bitten and another Bright anthology, X: The Erotic Treasury, arrive in packaging that doesn't mere make you want to own them, it demands you do. Add an affordable price (my copy of Bitten came from Amazon for under $12) and you're not simply buying a book. You're picking up a little work of art as well.

1 comment:

Susie Bright said...

Thank you, Jenny. I'll share this with the authors, designer, and illustrator-- all of whom will be really touched. We certainly did put everything we had into it...

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