intense sensations

An erotic incest story that escaped Amazon’s ban

Posted on: January 22, 2012

Pump Six and Other StoriesPump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are some really exciting things happening in science fiction these days and ten of them are in this collection by Paolo Bacigalupi.

The blurb on the back says there are eleven stories but I could only find ten. Still, they are very good value. In fact I own this collection as a paperback and an audio book because I liked it so much. I enjoy flicking through and reading passages again and again, as well as listening to the stories while I’m cycling serenely in the gym.

I’d like to recommend this author to more people but usually I only get as far as “Paolo – um.” Why can’t authors have simple names like Vanessa and Wu?

My favourite story in the collection is called The Fluted Girl. It is very rich in ideas, shows a mature command of narrative structure and is sensual and sensitive. There is actually more than one fluted girl in the story, two sisters, Lidia and Nia, who perform a kind of musical pornography for a wealthy patron. The horrific conceit of turning these girls into flutes is tempered by Paolo’s seductive handling of language and metaphor.

All eyes turned to the pale girls on stage. Lidia could feel their eyes, hungry, yearning, almost physical as their gazes pressed against her. She moved her hands beneath her sister’s shift, clasping her close. Her sister’s hands touched her hips, closing stops in her fluted body. At their new embrace a sigh of yearning came from the crowd, a whisper of their own hungers made musical.

This must be one of the few erotic incest stories still available on Amazon and there are other things in the collection far more terrible, yet these stories have a rare literary quality that sets them apart. I enjoy the way Paolo writes. I love his language, his plots and his ideas.

What higher recommendation is there than this?

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