Erotica Readers & Writers Association
Home | Erotic Books | Authors Resources | Inside The Erotic Mind | Erotica Gallery
Adult Movies | Sex Toys | Erotic Music | Email Discussion List | Links

'08 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Epublishing: A Different Way
Choosing an Epublisher
Your Milage May Vary
Understand Your Contract!
Reasonable Expectations

by Louisa Burton
The Publishing Biz
Critiquing: To Give and ...
Commerical vs. Literary...
Antiformalism for Fun &...
So You Want to Write a Novel
The Story Idea
Planning Your Novel...

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
5 Steps to Success
Opening Passages
Let's Get Critical
Writer's Block
Learning Lessons

Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Be a Finisher ...
Listen to Your Characters
Conferences: Act Now ...
Starting an Erotic Story
Exercises & Writing Prompts
Revising & Rewriting
Copy Editing
The Manuscript Critique
How to Submit Your Work
Reading as Craft

Guest Appearances

Adventures in e-Publishing
by Lisabet Sarai

For the Love of Man
by Laura Baumbach

How to...Influence Editors
by Alison Tyler

Marketing your e-Book
by Brenna Lyons

2008 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Role Play
Busy Doing Nothing
Picture of a Fish & Chip...
What I Did With My Summer

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Naughty Cookies...
Tie Me Up, Please …
The Smut-Writer’s Holiday
Never Trust the Narrator ...
Compare and Contrast
Following the Pen
Naked at the Farmers Market
Im Easy, But Im No Slut
Good Girl Gone Bad
Pleasures of the Dark Side
Slow, Spare and Sexy

Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Raising Daughters
Jamie Lynn
The Good Old Days
Election '08
Traditional Marriage
Campaign 2008
Free Will

Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Masturbating on SSRIs
Sex and Disability
Besides Ourselves
Adjusting our Contrast

Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Sex Is All Metaphors
Turn-ons and Squicks
Sexual Truth
Fickle Muse
Porn, Erotica & Romance

Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Alison Tyler
Ashley Lister
Debra Hyde
Donna George Storey
Jeremy Edwards
Kristina Wright
Rachel Kramer Bussel

Erotic Hot Spots
by William S. Dean
Interview with Tilly Greene
Interview with Devyn Quinn

Getting Graphic
with William S. Dean
New Times for Readers...
The Future in Words ...
Interview with Fantagraphics

On Writing Erotica

The Accidental Pornographer
by Lisabet Sarai

The End of Innocence
by Lisabet Sarai

Get Them Off in High Style
Helena Settimana

So, You Want To Write Erotica?
by Hanne Blank

Web Gems
Hot Movies For Her

Best Fantastic Erotica
edited by Cecilia Tan

Book Review by Ashley Lister


Best Fantastic Erotica by Cecilia Tan

You’re going to think I’m an idiot but I was sat for ten minutes looking at the title of this book in confusion. I was thinking, in a way that mirrors inebriation but is actually natural stupidity, “Can stories be so good that they deserve to be called The Best and Fantastic?”

Of course, the cure for my idiocy—on this occasion as on many others—was assisted by a little reading. A glance at the blurb and the introduction revealed that this collection of stories comes from Circlet Press’s international contest searching for the finest examples of erotic science fiction and fantasy.

Consequently, I donned my reading glasses and prepared to boldly go where no one had gone before.

Like a lot of people, I’ve harboured fatuous reservations about the genre of erotic science fiction and fantasy. I don’t object to contemporary erotica where superbly handsome and virile men are paired with devastatingly beautiful and wanton women. I don’t object to sexual athletics and prowess that combine Herculean erections and Niagra-esque orgasms. But for some reason, if the characters are going down up on a spaceship, or fingering someone’s precious ring in Middle Earth, I tend to think the narrative is stretching the bounds of my credulity.

So, with those bigoted opinions clanging through my thoughts, and my expectations limited to an anticipation of Horny Hobbits or a new Borg sect that put the “ass” into “assimilation” I braced myself to face some brave new worlds.

Best Fantastic Erotica begins with Arinn Dembo’s "Monsoon." The bleak and barren landscape where the story is set had me thinking of Frank Herbert’s Dune or Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine. Reading a little further I discovered the alien landscape was not “in a galaxy far far away,” but set a little closer to home in India. And then I was lost in the universally adored fantasy world of damned good storytelling.

Monsoon is the story of a photographer and a country that is alien to him. Although the world may seem familiar and quantifiable through a camera lens, what you see isn’t always what is there. "Monsoon" is exquisitely written, and Dembo deservedly won first place in Circlet’s contest. A fantastical story, but based so firmly in reality, the author pulls off that cleverest of tricks so the reader understands everything and comes away blissfully confused.

Best Fantastic Erotica is also not without humour. One of my favourite stories from this anthology is "Capture, Courting and Copulation: Contemporary Human Mating Rituals and the Etiology of Human Aggression." The title alone is irresistible and the story produced by Carolyn and Steve Vakesh is an outstanding achievement of eroticism, wit and perhaps the most grownup realisation of dungeons and dragons that this reader has ever seen.

Catherine Lundoff’s "Twilight" is the story of a half-blood vampire in the clutches of her hot and horny nemesis. I didn’t realise Catherine and I shared the same passionate interest in vampires but she brings the undead to life in this story with a glorious sense of innate sexiness and fun.

"Smoke," by Jean Roberta, cleverly twists the familiar theme of “be careful what you wish for.” Jean Roberta’s protagonist is an independent lady—alone at the beginning of the story, although she’s wishing she wasn’t. This devilishly exciting tale is told with Jean Roberta’s typical wit, passion and enthusiasm making the whole experience so thoroughly enjoyable.

There are eighteen stories in this anthology and Circlet say it is the largest publication to come from them yet. The stories mentioned above are just a few of the genuinely exciting tales in this thoroughly enjoyable collection.

Best Fantastic Erotica is the result of four years of hard work from Cecilia Tan and her editorial team at Circlet Press. She embarked on this anthology with the intention of finding the best fantastic erotica and the results speak for themselves. Having approached this book with the reluctance and reservation of a reader uncomfortable with the blending of fantasy and erotica, I have to admit, Best Fantastic Erotica deserves its title for being fantastic and the best.

Ashley Lister
May/June 2008

Best Fantastic Erotica

(Circlet Press; May, 2008; ISBN-10: 1885865600)
Available at: / Amazon UK

© 2008 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

About the Author:
Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms.His most recent work, Swingers: True Confessions from Today's Modern Swinging Scene (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753511355), a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his first title published under his own name.
Ashleys non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.
Websites: /

  E-mail this page

Search ERWA Website:

Copyright 1996 and on, Erotica Readers Association, Inc.
All Rights Reserved World Wide. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or
medium without express written permission is prohibited.

'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
Review by Oranje

The Fold
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Spooky

Review by Spooky

'08 Book Reviews


Best Bisexual Women's Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Fantastic Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

Bound Brits (ebook)
Review by Ashley Lister

Deep Inside: Extreme ...
Review by Cervo

Dirty Girls
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Hide and Seek
Review by Ashley Lister

Hurts So Good
Review by Ashley Lister

J is for Jealousy
Review by Ashley Lister

K is for Kink
Review by Ashley Lister

Lust Bites
Review by Ashley Lister

Open for Business
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Rubber Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Rubber Sex
Review by Victoria Blisse

Seriously Sexy
Review by Ashley Lister

Sex & Candy
Review by Ashley Lister

The Shadow of a... (poetry)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Victoria Blisse

Tasting Her
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Tasting Him
Review by Ashley Lister

Tasting Him
Review by Kathleen Bradean

White Flames
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Yes, Sir: Female Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn


The Art of Melinoe
Review by Ashley Lister

Demon by Day
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Gemini Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

Gothic Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

The Hidden Grotto Series
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The House of Blood
Review by Lisabet Sarai

In Too Deep
Review by Ashley Lister

In Too Deep
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Donna George Storey

Review by Victoria Blisse

One Breath at a Time
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Out of the Shadows (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Rose B. Thorny

Seduce Me
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduced by the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Serve the People!
Review by Donna G. Storey

Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Sunfire (eBook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Templar Prize
Review by Angelika Devlyn

The Wicked Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Wild Kingdom
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gay Erotica

Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance '08
Review by Vincent Diamond

Hard Hats
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Donna George Storey

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

The Night Watch
Review by Lisabet Sarai


America Unzipped
Review by Rob Hardy

Best Sex Writing '08
Review by Rob Hardy

Bonk: The Curious Coupling
Review by Rob Hardy

The Book of Love
Review by Rob Hardy

Casanova: Actor Lover ...
Review by Rob Hardy

Dishonorable Passions
Review by Rob Hardy

Flagrante Delicto (photos)
Review by Jack Gilbert

The Flesh Press
Review by Rob Hardy

Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Humble Little Condom
Review by Rob Hardy

Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
Review by Ashley Lister

Man O Man! Writing M/M...
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Not So Invisible Woman
Review by Ashley Lister

Swingers: Female...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Who's Been Sleeping in...
Review by Rob Hardy