Authors
Alexandros
Carmine
Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
Geek Love: An Anthology of Full Frontal NerdityGeek Love: An Anthology of Full Frontal Nerdity
Edited By: Shanna Germain
Contributions By: Janine Ashbless
Stone Box Press
ISBN:
March 2013





Reviewed By: Lisabet Sarai

Good evening, everyone. My name is Lisabet, and I'm a geek.

Myopic as a mole, I started wearing glasses when I was seven, but, unaware of the physical requirements, I still wanted to be an astronaut. In junior high school, I won a state-wide televised science quiz show. In high school, the smartest guy in the class dumped me because he said I made him feel inadequate. For years I made my living designing and writing programs (and fixing mistakes in code written by others). Now I teach a new generation about software, trying to show them its magic – how pure ideas, expressed in a formal symbolism, are transformed into artifacts that change the world.

Shanna Germain and Janine Ashbless might very well have assembled their magnificent collection Geek Love especially for me. With more than 250 pages of erotic tales and artwork, the book  celebrates the glories of nerditude in its many guises.

We geeks may not be famous or popular, or even socially accepted, but we're not going to remake ourselves just to fit in. We may prefer books to people upon occasion. We may be obsessed by numbers or machines. We enjoy playing games, both intellectual and carnal, and we're interested not just in reality but in possibility. And although I don't  have any objective data to support this claim, my personal experience suggests there's a correlation between geekiness and kinkiness. Certainly the stories in Geek Love could be viewed as evidence for my theory.

The many dimensions of nerdity make Geek Love fabulously diverse, while still providing a general thematic unity.

Kristina Lloyd kicks off the book with “Black Gold,” an ironic tale set in a post-fossil-fuel civilization where coffee is forbidden but BDSM scenarios can be ordered off a menu more complicated than any Starbucks. Despite its hardcore action, the tale has a romantic slant that suggests some things may never change.

I've never had any personal interest in exploring the “furry” subculture, yet for some reason I found “Goodness, Her Tail,” by Camille Alexa, to be one of the most arousing stories in the book. Suzanne's mundane existence as an office girl is just a facade. She's only truly alive at night, when she dons her ears and whiskers and frolics in the park with her furry friends Mowse and Rattatle Pie. A glimpse of her co-worker Mellie's peachy-pink tail turns her world upside down, and may very well turn you on in the process.

Peter A. Smalley's “The Journey of Mary Freder” begins as a steampunk parody. In classic Victorian epistolary style, a brilliant and talented female lab assistant writes in her journal of her eagerness to prove herself to her illustrious mentor  - Dr. Sextus Halifax, an expert on pneumatic processes and electrical phenomena “recently returned from a Continental sabbatical with that Teutonic colossus of science Herr Doktor Deitrich von Grossenschaft.” The story takes a darker turn as young Mary becomes obsessed with the well-oiled brass-and-clockwork female automaton that is Dr. Halifax's life work.

In “Raid Night,” by James L. Sutter, a woman's patience with her online-game-obsessed partner finally snaps, and she finds herself taking what she wants from him – to his surprise and ultimate delight.

M. Christian's affecting and insightful story “The Hope of Cinnamon” imagines an extra-dimensional world called Stonewall, where men are free to enjoy life and one another without fear or constraints. Gen is a Helper, dedicated to assisting the Rescued –  gay men snatched from the nightmare persecution of Nazi Germany – in their adaptation to Stonewall society. His role requires him to be a mentor, a teacher, and when necessary, a lover. But  Bissou, his latest client, has important lessons to teach him in return.

“Electric” by Wendy N. Wagner is a brief, vivid peek into the mind of celibate genius Nikolas Tesla – a universe of passionate connections shot through with lightning.

Michael M. Jones conjures a geeky gal who inherits her crackpot uncle's hopelessly disordered comic books store in “The Secret Life of Ramona Lee.” Irene, a fugitive AI originally developed by the government, offers organizational assistance – incarnated as a curvy, blue-eyed brunette whom Ramona finds difficult to ignore.

“The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Is Extinct,” by Bill Nobel, offers up a trio of bio-geeks: three horny academics crammed together in a bird watching blind seeking some evidence of a rare species. I won't mention the gender of the characters because, as in many of the well-warped tales in this volume, it hardly matters.

Shanna Germain's  contribution to the collection is original, dark and haunting. One character in “Saving the World” is a transgendered amputee superhero rock star. The other is a craftsperson, a dominant, a lover, whose gender is never revealed. The action in this tale is hot violence laced with devotion. The language is lyrical, raw, and achingly beautiful:

The band behind her, they've got capes over their jeans and t-shirts. But no cape for her. It gets caught in her heels, she says, but you know it's because it covers too much of her. She likes to show off those hot-damn hips, that fine-as-rain-ass, those missing legs that end in something different every show.

Tonight  they're steel filigree from her knees down; leaves and flowers and a hundred tiny metal creatures tucked into the empty spaces. She's got a thing for whimsy wrapped in an enigma tucked into a weapon. Her legs, her feet really, end in six-inch knifed heels that could kill a man. Probably have killed a man. I don't ask most times, because I don't need to know. Sometimes she tells me anyway. And that's when I have to buy a bottle of fine-ass whiskey and walk away from her, go down to the strip where the boys play ball in corner pockets and they're all-too-happy to wield a fist to a face, a paddle to a place where the ass meets the mind.

“Downtime” by Tanya Korval would be at home in many contemporary erotica anthologies, but it fits in well enough here. A couple of young PC techs forced to work late, one a jealous dominant, the other a glutton for punishment, especially when exhibitionism is involved... use your imagination. They do.

“The Pornographer's Assistant” by A.C. Wise is another mesmerizing tale about the word made flesh. A robot amanuensis buried in a desert bunker awaits her long-dead master, whose tales of fleshly excess she used to transcribe. Instead, a desperate, broken girl finds her way to the pornographer's hidden lair and is healed by the power of the pen. 

Craig Sorensen's “Opening Juicy Lucy” includes no robots or electronic marvels, just a geeky college guy who receives an unexpected and intimate request from the cheerleader queen he thought barely knew his name. Like most of Craig's stories, this one features complex and believable characters that make it a joy to read.

A.L. Auerbach conjures shades of Cthulhu with a lesbian slant in “A Great Old Time.” Fans of tentacles will not want to miss this story.

“Binary – consisting of, indicating, or involving two” is Preston Avery's light-hearted evocation of horny gal with a head for math. She meets her match in a guy who can turn a computer programming assignment into a love – or lust – letter.

I read “Morphosis” by Jak Koke three times, and I still didn't fully understand it, at least at an intellectual level, but it moved me nevertheless. According to the author's notes, this story sprang to life fully formed from a dream. Given its shifting imagery and emotional nuances, I find this plausible.

Andrea Task contributes “Who Am I This Time?” a definitely sexy power exchange tale influenced by “Choose Your Own Adventure”. The ties to the geek theme are less strong than in some other tales in the collection, but I'm certainly not going to complain about any well-written story featuring a D/s threesome.

“Voyeuristic Beauty” by Elise Hepner puzzled me, mainly because I couldn't see thematic relevance in this re-telling of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of an enchanted mirror that watches her over her hundred years of slumber. Nevertheless, I liked the deviations from the classic fairy tale. In this version, Aurora doesn't need to wait for her destined prince to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh.

J.A. Shirley's “Fuck the World” is a lot of fun, a conspiracy caper in which two female scientists posing as call girls infect the world's leaders with a virus intended to alter the course of history.

In “At the Faire,” Andrea Dale celebrates a rather neglected corner of nerdiness, namely historical reenactments and creative anachronism. As someone who has personally experienced the earthy influence of a Renaissance Faire, I strongly identified with her heroine, the lusty Mistress Maggie.

Janine Ashbless, like her co-editor Shanna Germain, slips to the darker side in her contribution “Grinding,” which relates a hapless gamer's encounter with an electronic succubus. I loved her opening:

Time was, when humans guarded their souls. They'd fence them about with prayer and rabbit's feet, with four-leafed clovers kept in a pocket or medallions of the saints. In those days, it was only when they slept, and their souls wandered away from their bodies, that I could find them and feed.

It's so much easier now. 

“Command Prompt” by Ed Grabianowski, provides an original take on BDSM and remote control. Harry Markov's “Pages and Playthings” envisions a book that actively alters the consciousness of the reader – and hence reality. “Player Characters” by Lucia Starkey offers new uses for dice.  “Ho Pais Kalos” by Molly Tanzer is narrated by a sentient phallus from ancient Greece, who observes and ultimately participates in the unplanned coming together of two young men studying archeology. Alison Winchester's delightful “RJ-45” offers a wonderfully fresh voice, focusing in alternation upon a savvy female “code monkey” and a lowly IT support gal with a fondness for kink. “F-RPG” by Vivienne Ashe explores the multiple identities players build in role playing games, and the truths hidden beneath those choices.

I enjoyed all the tales above, but three stories in the latter part of the book particularly impressed me. Kirsty Logan brilliantly captures the loneliness of modern Tokyo in her gorgeous lesbian tale “The Purpose of Tongues”:

In the electric city of Akihabara, nothing has a taste. There are endless promises: girls dressed as maids offering tea and cream cakes, girls done up like cats offering bowls of flavored milk, girls plastic-wrapped and LED-eyed with lips like strawberries.

Girls, girls. All delicious. All tasteless.

Then there's Jesse Bullington's funny, insightful “Porn Enough at Last,” set in a post-apocalyptic future where people huddle in isolated bunkers, fearful of contamination, poring over censored hentai porn. The hero (or is it heroine? The author very cleverly avoids telling..) has artistic talent and spends his/her time restoring the pixellated dirty parts and selling the results. The creativity and craft in this story made me grin in admiration.

And the final tale in the collection, Sommer Marsden's “Magdalene,” left me close to tears. A genius misfit fashions the perfect robot companion, the ultimate love-doll, and accomplishes more than he knows. Magdalene must hide her feelings from her Sir, even when he decides to “put her to sleep” after getting involved with a human woman.  

Normally, when I review an anthology, I'll mention half a dozen of my favorite stories. With Geek Love, I just couldn't choose. While some tales impressed me more than others, the collection as a whole left me with a feeling of awe.

Hence this lengthy review, which has already run to four pages – and I haven't even mentioned the cartoons, drawings, paintings and photos yet. Or the fact that this remarkable volume was funded by donations on Kickstarter, made by people who thought the world really needed some geek love.

I don't have space to say much about the artwork or the exquisite visual design – you'll have to buy the book and see for yourself. However, I did want to mention the extensive authors' and artists' notes that conclude the book. Many were as much fun to read as the stories themselves. I'm always curious to learn where other authors' stories come from. Geek Love allowed me to indulge that voyeuristic tendency.

In the author notes, a number of contributors said that they'd actually written their story years ago. These tales had been submitted and rejected multiple times, judged as just too weird for publication, until Geek Love came along – the perfect home for them. Like all of us nerds, scorned and ridiculed, dismissed as clumsy, queer or overly brainy, they were just waiting for the right audience – people who appreciate intelligence, unconventionality, and of course, sex.

 

Editor's note: This book is not available on Amazon. If you want to purchase an electric copy, click on the cover and join the site. I do not know how print books may be purchased.