Alyssa reviews Women on the Edge of Space

Women on the Edge of Space is a chapbook of four sci-fi, erotica short stories. While it is billed as an anthology, it is neither long nor consistent enough for that to be an accurate descriptor. It contains the following four works:

1. “The Many Little Deaths of Cicilia Long” by Shanna Germain
2. “Fair as the Moon, Clear as the Sun” by Laurel Waterford
3. “Adrift” by Kaysee Renee Robichaud
4. “Unfolding Her Wings” by Elizabeth Black

There is a bit of a disconnect in the subject matter. The first short story is what I wanted this collection to be, considering the ambitious presentation of the chapbook: science fiction in essence, with erotic content that is integral to, but not the overall point of, the story. In the latter three short stories, while science fiction is present—the stories are set in the future, in space, and contain multiple instances of zero- or low-gravity sex—sci-fi is largely used as a backdrop for erotic fiction. The fourth story works with this, though, showcasing human normalcy and family amid futuristic technological advances.

All of the relationships portrayed in this collection are woman-on-woman. I was particularly pleased with the fourth story for including committed polyamory, and a pregnant woman in an erotic narrative without fetishization; and with the first story, for the central character’s lesbian relationships taking a back seat to her relationship with the cosmos, i.e. nature, which is presented in an erotic manner. As such, I vastly preferred the first and last stories in this collection. The second story is enjoyable, but the characterization is somewhat unrealistic. The third story is decent, but reads essentially like Star Trek fanfiction. This isn’t essentially a bad thing, but does not lend well to originality.

I would not go out of my way to recommend this collection, but if you’re looking for sci-fi lesbian erotica, it will be worth the three dollar ebook price on Amazon.