Release the Virgins

by Michael A. Ventrella | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 9781515423843 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 10/13/2019
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, October 13, 2019
I got this softcover anthology - with an autograph by contributor Matt Bechtel on his story "Cracking the Vault" - at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival in Haverhill MA. It's mostly humorous fantasy/SF with the whimsical theme that each story must contain the title phrase. (I chuckled at the editorial comment about having to limit the number of unicorn stories early on in the collection process!) The ways in which the phrase is used range from central themes of the story to tossed-off remarks somewhere in mid-conversation, with some truly inventive variations here and there.

The stories vary widely in theme, tone, and, yes, quality, but quite a few were very good. Among my favorites:

"Are You There, Cthulhu? It's Me, Judy" by Beth W. Patterson: how could I resist a title like that? It's set up like a typical coming-of-age story in which girls at a camp stumble across a stray Lipizzan horse (um, yes?) and adventures ensue - but here, narrator Judy has mental conversations with her beloved deity Cthulhu, in the style of the Judy Blume book "Are You There, God?" As a longtime Lovecraft fan I found all of this hilarious, and the story became even more so when the Mafia got involved - not to mention the ancient burial ground of ugly Christmas sweaters...

"The Fires of Rome" by Jody Lynn Nye deals with Vestal Virgins - a fairly obvious use of the theme phrase - but presents an effective tale of Roman beliefs and the power of faith.

"The Coffee Corps" by Alex Shvartsman is another tale that features some Lovecraftian elements, but with a different tone and spin; it's a sort of "Men in Black" riff, where caffeine can be used to fend off the Old Ones. And you wondered why there are so darned many coffee shops everywhere!

"Brass Tacks" by Cecelia Tan features an attempt at a sex magic ritual, with college politics and personal issues making an entertaining backdrop.

"Old Spirits" by Brian Trent is about ghost dinosaurs seeking mates - er, kinda - and is a delightfully wacky (with notes-of-horror) story that would make a hilarious movie in the right hands.

"Dangerous Virgins" by David Gerrold is a goofy take on porn, fandoms, and what happens when the streams cross.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Chunky's Cinema in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, November 30, 2019

Released 1 mo ago (11/30/2019 UTC) at Chunky's Cinema in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I left this book on a lightpost in front of Chunky's on this bright windy day - hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2019 The The Release Challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2019 Science Fiction release challenge. ***

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