1) L.A. Witt – Static
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (July 15, 2011)
I have never read a novel with a transgender character before now. Perhaps to soften what can be a controversial topic, the author used science fiction to craft the story. The story is alternately narrated by Damon and Alex, in first person POV. A few times, this became problematic, yet readers need to see the story from both of their sides. I read fiction for escapism, and this book severely pushed the limit. Overall, it was a gripping story with a great HEA. Recommended. --Jem
Damon Bryce is worried sick when he doesn't hear from his girlfriend after she visits her estranged parents, but when he checks up on her, he's in for the shock of his life--she's a shifter, part of a small percentage of the population who can shift genders at will. Thanks to her parents, though, she's been forcibly given an implant that leaves her static--unable to shift--and male. Alex Nichols desperately wants the implant removed, but getting it out isn't nearly as easy as putting it in. The surgery is expensive and dangerous. Left in, the implant carries its own set of risks, with the potential to cripple or even kill him. On top of that, he's carefully kept his identity a secret from more people in his life than just Damon, and his parents aren't the only ones appalled by shifters. Stripped of half his identity and facing serious physical effects and social ramifications, Alex needs Damon more than ever, but he doesn't see how their relationship can get through this unscathed. Especially if Alex is a static male permanently...
2) Penelope Friday – Thrace
Publisher: Manifold Press
A collection of three short stories, each set on the planet Thrace, a not very popular destination due to its bleakness, and the resident alien population of Tsygons, an androgynous species blessed with three eyes and a long tail. Three interesting stories each of which in one way or another explores relationships between humans and aliens, and in some cases love and intimacy between the two. The theme of the ugliness of prejudice features strongly too. --Benjamin
Welcome to the planet Gielgud, crossroads of the galaxy, where the indigenous species has three eyes, a tail – and no gender. Welcome to the city of Thrace; travellers of all kinds wander through here. Most are just looking for a good time, free of the restrictions of their own cultures, but some of them have a more specific agenda in mind. And welcome to JJ’s bar, where all genders and those who are genderless are welcome. This is where adventures tend to start …
3) Lauren P. Burka - Up For Grabs 2
Publisher: Circlet Press, Inc. (January 18, 2011)
Amazon: Up For Grabs 2
This was a really interesting and enjoyable read for me, it’s not something that I'd choose for myself but I am glad I got to read it and I will not make the mistake of passing similar type of books again! Each of the stories were written amazingly well. --Perpetua
A collection of eclectic stories, one giving off vibes reminiscent of Vonnegut while another of Lawerance. Sci Fi abound in mystical properties. Some very nice gems in this anthology. --Merith
As editor Lauren P. Burka says in her introduction, "All erotica is the story of sex breaking free from biological need to become the co-conspirator of pleasure." Never is that more apparent than in the sharp-eyed, sharp-minded stories she has selected for Up For Grabs 2, the second volume of gender exploratory erotica she has brought together by asking the question "What happens to sex if we let go of every assumption we have about gender and start from scratch?" Have you ever dreamed of being so close to the people you loved that you could share your identities, your emotions, and your pleasures? M. Christian has written a story just for you. Do you crave the touch of intersex flesh so much that you will set aside everything you believed about your own sexuality? Raven Kaldera has got you covered. What would the future be like if we had an option beyond male or female, where "it" is not an insult? Elizabeth Thorne takes us on a tour. In a harsh future where the meaning seems drained from life, will gender still matter? Ask Zachary Jernigan. What would happen if our sexualities were defined not by our gender but by specific body parts? Find out what sex is like for a "mouth" in M. Svairini's story of the same name. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/1358819.html.