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Pluto In Furs: Tales Of Diseased Desires And Seductive Horrors Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B08338KN1D
- Publisher : Plutonian Press (December 23, 2019)
- Publication date : December 23, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 738 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 309 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 107461173X
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,409,125 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The Tangible Universe - Jeffrey Thomas
Dermatology, Eschatology - Kurt Fawver
It's Hard to Be Me - John Claude Smith
The Gutter at the Bottom of the World - David Peak
Walking in Ash - Brendan Vidito
The Silvering - Thana Niveau
Stygian Chambers - Orrin Grey
Behemoth - Clint Smith
When Scott Dwyer handed me a freshly-printed copy of fledgling Plutonian Press's 'erotic horror' collection, Pluto In Furs, I had some doubts. The cover art was compelling, but with a marked air of salaciousness. And while I have no fundamental objection to smut, I tend to look for it in places other than my Weird Fiction. But Dwyer (the editor of the collection and found of the press) assured me in no uncertain terms that this was not a simple 'dirty book' full of cheap' thrills. I still had my misgivings, especially given that all but two of the authors were unknown to me. Scott talked a good game, though, and several conversations had already assured me of a sense of kinship in our literary ethics, so I resolved to give it a shot.
And then Jeffery Thomas exploded all over me in a shower of ruptured carbuncles, oozing chancres, and such staggering depths of unwholesomeness that my wife opined upon the necessity of a second bath after I read a paragraph to her in our hotel room last autumn. I couldn't recount a time in memory where a story caused such bile to rise in my gorge as did his opening piece, The Tangible Universe. But what troubled me most profoundly is that amidst the filth, amidst the horror and the sleazy depravity...there was a kernel deep inside of me yearning to creep forth and murmur in the quietest tones, "I get it. I get how that connection can fire. I want to be sick in a bucket, but I -get- it." I found myself feeling a sense of understanding. Of sympathetic tenderness. Of, dare I say it, guilty complicity in all the sordid goings on.
And I knew then that Scott was right. As the collection unfolded, all manner of connections were being drawn. Across time, across space. Across species lines, across GENUS lines. Across the veil between living and dead. But whatever the trappings, the one trait that every connection had in common was a shared sense of the horrific and the erotic. Some ran slightly more vanilla, some even further afield than Thomas's alluringly revolting opener. But each one provoking in its own right, posing questions, generating sensations, firing, connecting, disturbing, unnerving.
Not every story worked perfectly for me, but on the balance the collection was consistent in theme and of a very high caliber of writing. My thoughts were decidedly provoked, and far more than I'd expected. I found myself asking an array of questions and the answers left me with a host of conflicting feelings. And at the end of the day, I rarely find myself asking for more than that in a Weird Fiction collection, let alone one themed around dark erotica.
Even the ones that 'didn't work' for me were still good and thematic. I enjoyed them to a letter. They merely didn't reach the sweaty, dubious heights of the true masterworks in this assembly.
Speaking of which, a slick-fingered tip of the hat to Devora Gray, whose unique take on the murky borderlands between innocence and experience (and the creatures that roam either side of that peripheral line) made 'The Wolf At The Door' a strong favorite. And it comes with a ready-made soundtrack for reading!
John Claude Smith's brilliantly-rendered exploration of identity and assimilation, 'It's Hard To be Me' left this Kansas boy thoroughly creeped out, unnerved, and filled with awkward wonder. I struggle to remember the last time I felt myself pulled so viscerally into a short story, but I breathed deeply of this one.
The redoubtable Gemme Files hit one out of the park and on a deep, deep drive into the soil with her rumination on lunar metamorphosis, procreation, and surrender of self. 'Worm Moon' was everything I expected from the title, and everything I've come to expect from Gemma. It was splendidly executed and evoked unfamiliar and alien sensations in a manner well-befitting the collection.
And again, all of the stories had merit. I'd gush about each in turn if it wouldn't make this review half as long as the collection itself, so I am only calling out a few that really struck me. Thus, I cannot close without mentioning my personal favorite. Canadian author Brendan Vidito hit me right in the feels with his haunting, heart-rending take on the intersection of anxiety and precognition, especially his deft handling of how it interplays with an intimate, doomed relationship between two people very much in love. Its only shortcoming is that it wasn't twice as long, because I think I could have read that one forever.
All of these and more await, from time-spanning obscene phone calls transmitted through umbilical cords to a dark-hearted flirtation with the beloved trope of a svengali film director practicing dire magicks in the California desert. They're all good and they all provide exactly what is advertised: on the cover, in the introduction, and in the editor's earnest explanation over a glass of beer at an Irish pub.
That inexorable connection between sex and death. Erotica and horror. The acceptable and the dark fringe. Whether it is disgust, titillation, or a heady mixture of the two...each of these well-crafted 'tales of diseased desires and seductive horrors' is bound to make you feel something.
Five stars gladly (if a bit guiltily) given and a hearty recommendation if you've the dark turn of mind required to truly suck the soggy marrow from the bones of these tales with the gusto they deserve.