What probably irked me a lot, and I’m sure the author did that consciously, is that the “aliens” are not aliens at all; it’s humans who went on their land, and it’s not that Tsygons are different, they are who they are, and it’s not humans who have to accept them, it’s Tsygons who should agree to humans on their planet. In a way or the other, as usual racism takes over and Tsygons become the aliens: they have 3 eyes, a tail, and no-sex. That is probably the second point I liked of the story: this is not really a gay romance since Jed, human and man, falls in love for V367L, nickname “V”, who is no man or woman, zie is V.
If you are thinking this will be a kinky story of sex between different species, forget it; the love story between Jed and V is almost innocent, kisses and cuddles, and the only little kink is the V’s tail that has to be placed in the contest. Indeed the story is more about the concept of acceptance and breed ethic than a love story, but this is not something that diminishes the fascination I felt for the futuristic world Penelope Friday built.
Electric High: As in the previous novella the author didn’t indulge in the kinky factor, and told basically a sci-fiction story with ethics, in this second novella she told a very ordinary love story. Rayme is a bartender in a Tsygon pick-up bar and he is gay. He has also no issue at all to have intra-species relationships and so he could be well a candidate to fall in love with an alien, but the author decided to give him an old fashioned affair with another human, Zeth, a patron of the joint. The following story is as ordinary as it can be, long night where Zeth waits for Rayme’s shift to end and long morning spent in bed. The only trouble to their story is again very ordinary and simple, Zeth is not so generous with info on his life and job, and Rayme realizes he has fallen in love with a complete stranger.
An Equal Opportunity Murderer: And as if the author heard my previous comment in the last novella she explores the sexual side of interracial relationships between humans and aliens, and this time she gives us details. The plot about two fellow case workers, the futuristic word for cops, one human one alien, investigating on a strange series of murders, moves soon on their private relationship. Nick is wondering how he fell in love with X7612 “X”; Nick is bisexual, so it’s not that he has nothing against the idea of having a love affair with a man, but what troubles Nick is that he cannot really assign a gender to X, in a way Nick needs to categorize his feelings, and X is unsettling him.
I really liked how the author welcomed the readers into this strange world, leading them step by step until the final stage, into the bedroom.
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle