Alison's Wonderland edited by Alison Tyler
Spice Books, $13..95
Alison's Wonderland, an erotic collection based on fairy tales and myths, has officially earned a spot on my list of favorite erotica anthologies. In fact, this book is one of the few erotica works I own that has managed to keep me hot story after story.
When I think of my favorite collections, the best are those that are diverse - many different sexualities, the inclusion of both kinky and vanilla pieces, and in particular, the ways in which the stories reflect the theme in different ways. Alison Tyler has created a collection in which such variety exists. While I would have liked to have seen a few more gay/lesbian pieces, Ms. Tyler does showcase threesomes that require characters to slide along their Kinsey scales. We also get a good blend of kink and vanilla, showcasing both the sweet and sadistic side of things.
Best of all, these stories interpret the theme of fairy tales in delightfully different ways. Some, such as Janine Ashbless' "Gold on Snow" and Georgia E. Jones' "The Walking Wheel" are true fairy tales, with more sex thrown in. Most of these stories take fairly tale themes and adapt them to contemporary settings and situations. "The Three Billys" by Sommer Marsden and "The Midas F*ck" by Erica DeQuaya are particularly excellent examples of these. And some stories simply take the supernatural/fantastic elements of fairy tales without creating a direct analog from old stories to present ones. Bryn Haniver's "Mastering Their Dungeons" and A. D. R. Forte's "Moonset" are my favorite examples of these.
I always try to come up with some constructive criticism when doing a book review, but I'm hard pressed to think of something I didn't like about Alison's Wonderland. This collection is impeccably selected and edited. Two days after finishing the book, the only real criticism I have is that in "A Taste for Treasure," T.C. Calligari has a character who goes by the name of "Jimbo." And when the only complaint I have is with a character's name, that really isn't much at all.