Arsenal Pulp Press
From the skillful editing of Karen X. Tulchinsky comes Hot and Bothered 3: short short fiction of lesbian desire. Think of this collection of over 69 stories as a table spread with delicious finger foods. The limitation of length (1000 words or less) requires the writers to select their words carefully and results in an almost poetic quality to many stories. Although some of these stories are definitely arousing, please note this is not a volume of erotica, but of desire in its many flavors. Tulschisky has assembled a buffet of writers. Some writers are well known and others are new "chefs," offering their first sales.
Savor the imagery of that perfect autumn afternoon in Leslea Newman's "One Fine Day" which brought a smile to this reader and had her humming a tune for hours. Or nibble at the poignant stories like "Sunsets." Written by Denise Seibert, from the view point of a paraplegic, it is a very touching example of a couple connecting despite barriers to communication. While "Holding Hands" from Jean Taylor expands the definitions of making love. Or Michelle Rait's "Dinner with Jane," which evokes tempting a dieter with a decadent dessert as Regina considers the consequences of time spent with Jane.
There are a number of bittersweet tastes to sample such as "The Phase" where Susan Lee reflects on returning to the city of her youth and first lesbian love; or K. Lee's "Don't Tell" which is a letter written by a teen to her "best friend;" or the passing-for-straight coworker in Stephanie Schroeder's "Goodbye Joanna."
A porta-potty setting does nothing for this reader's palate, yet "Porta-Potty Passion" by Sarah Wiseman does have the quirky, amusing quality of forbidden, preservative and sugar laden junk food. While Cara Bruce's adult encounter with Barbie puts a whole new spin on the idea of playing with your . . . uh, food. These are just a few of the tasty treats for readers to enjoy.
Sometimes one is tempted to read short stories in quick secession, like popcorn. This reader found greater pleasure in reading only one or two of these stories at a time and suggests you do the same. Let them melt on the tongue of your mind a bit. Savor the images these writers create before you wander back to the table. There's something here to whet a range of lesbian appetites.