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


FictionCraft
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
Inspirational
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
Iím Easy, But Iím 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
Utopias
Lust
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 Gay Romance 2008
edited by Richard Labonte

Book Review by Vincent Diamond



Best Gay RomanceContinuing their ongoing series, Cleis Press releases another stellar group of stories in this year's Best Gay Romance. It's another anthology filled with vivid characters, romantic scenarios, and an underlying theme of beauty beyond the physical. Themed anthologies often suffer from repetition and dull sameness, but this group of stories has a nice variety of locales, time periods, and lovers, some meeting for the first time, some together for decades.

The seventeen stories come from authors new and experienced. Dale Chase, Victor Banis, Jay Starre, Simon Sheppard, Rob Rosen and T. Hitman have been working in gay male erotica for years. Relative newcomers like Matthew Lower, Max Pierce, JM Snyder, and Shanna Germain contribute stories as well.

The anthology overall is a solid book, and several stories stand out as especially strong.

The opener, “Henry and Jim” is by author J.M. Snyder. It’s a gentle and wistful story, unabashedly romantic that evokes a long-time pair’s love. The first line establishes the bittersweet tone of the piece referencing love letter written long ago. The symbol shows again later in the story in the line, “When we make love now it’s a gentle affair, languid and slow, the movements, careful like turning the crumbling pages of an ancient book.” The implication of Alzheimer’s and its devastating effects are between every line for the reader to discover on their own.

In Shanna Germain’s “Coming Home”, the main character questions his return to the family farm after an unpleasant coming out experience. Germain captures the gritty itchiness of working on a hot afternoon in a hayloft and shows the macho, taciturn personalities of the two country boys. Their clipped dialogue keeps a sense of suspense and tension right up until the charming ending.

In “Falling”, Simon Sheppard uses letters, references to blogs and modern communication to let readers “read between the lines” to make their own interpretation about the narrator’s state of mind. Some might see it as a suicide note; others might see it as a man straining to keep his hope alive in a cold world. It’s a story that needs more than one reading to appreciate.

The theme of beauty beyond the physical is repeated in “What the Eye Reveals” by Jason Shults. Set in the ultra-superficial world of Los Angeles, the narrator and his long-time partner Bob, are stumbling through a difficult time in their relationship. Bob floats through the world, looking for answers in Tarot readings and the pseudo-philosophies of past life readings. With a near-terse pace, the story doesn’t provide answers for the readersor its main characters. Still, the pulsebeat of  love is on every page.

Jameson Currier shows his experience as a writer with deft bookending in “The Country House”. Opening with a line about quarrels between lovers and ending with the same theme, he gives the two stories: a tale of Civil War era lovers wrongly murdered and a modern-day couple who make the lifelong commitment to one another after seeing their ghosts. It’s a sweet story.

Editor Labonte closes the book with one of the most powerful tales, "The Canals of Mars" by Victor J. Banis. Scarred, ugly people aren’t men often found in gay erotica and this tale is affecting. It has a touch of fantasy element: as the lovers grow closer, they grow younger and the scars fade away, the theme of physical beauty that has less power than soulful beauty is once again reinforced.

A couple of the stories feel a bit out of place, more hard-core in tone and subject matter, “Fucked on Kilimanjaro” and “The Belt” would have been home in an erotica anthology that focused on the physical. Jack Fritscher’s “Rush of Love” was an epic poem of an homage to muscle men, with prose that was rich, lush and erotic. Love? Yes, in a transitory way, but still an emotional experience for the narratorand the reader.

Whether you like the notion of happily ever after, or happily for now, Best Gay Romance offers a good variety of stories that gives readers a sweet taste of love between men.

Vincent Diamond
July 2008


Best Gay Romance 2008

(Cleis Press; November 28, 2007; ISBN-10: 1573443034)
Available at: Amazon.com  / Amazon UK


______
© 2008 Vincent Diamond. All rights reserved.


About the Author:
Vincent Diamond's short story collection, Rough Cut, was released by Lethe Press in 2008. "An erotic wordsmith," says noted editor Richard Labonte in the foreword to the book, "...erotic fiction that possesses story-telling heft." Diamond's stories have appeared in Screaming Orgasms, Sex on the Beach, Coming Together: Under Fire, Country Boys, Truckers, Best Gay Romance 2007, Hot Cops, Love in a Lock-Up, Best Gay Love Stories 2005 and 2006, in the e-books Feathers, Chance Encounters, Under Arrest, and Play Ball from Torquere Press, and online at Fishnet, Clean Sheets and Ruthie's Club.
More info, with free stories and excerpts, available at: www.vincentdiamond.com.



  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

Two
Review by Spooky

Fallen
Review by Spooky

'08 Book Reviews

Anthologies

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

Possession
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

Spanked
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

Novels

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

Incognito
Review by Donna George Storey

Nicholas
Review by Victoria Blisse

One Breath at a Time
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Out of the Shadows (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Phantasmagoria
Review by Ashley Lister

Reckless
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

Backdraft
Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance '08
Review by Vincent Diamond

Hard Hats
Review by Vincent Diamond

Leathermen
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

Non-Fiction

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