Title: Help, My Boyfriend’s an Alien! (Mad About the Brit Boys: Book Three)
Author: JL Merrow and Josephine Myles
Pages/Word Count: 80 Pages
At a Glance: It’s kind of hard to go wrong with either of these authors.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Love—and desire—that’s out of this world…
It’s time to suit up, take those protein pills, and boldly come where no man has come before. Take a trip to the future, or do your bit for inter-planetary relations with some close encounters of a very unusual kind.
In this erotic science fiction triple feature you’ll meet a cat that’s anything but cute and cuddly, take a pill that’ll make you fall in love—for a night—and discover desire that transcends the limitations of a human body. It’s a brave new world as you explore the unknown in three short stories that push the boundaries of love in ways both thoughtful and tongue-in-cheek.
These stories have all been previously published, but are now available exclusively in this anthology.
Review: Help, My Boyfriend’s an Alien! is an anthology composed of three short stories in a brief eighty pages. Once again, authors JL Merrow and Josephine Myles have dusted off their archives and come up with a fun collection of flash fiction stories, all previously published; though of the three stories, Myles’ Insta-Love™ is the only one I’d read before, and, in fact, is the first Josephine Myles story I’d ever read back to January of 2011, beginning my long-held love of and appreciation for her writing.
Bookending Insta-Love™ are JL Merrow’s Better Than Cola and Gifted in Tongues, and, given the title of the antho, you can clearly guess that all three stories have a sci-fi theme, but each are unique and wonderful in their own right. Better Than Cola truly has a beauty all its own, though, as it not only takes on the obsession with outward appearance but gender assignments, as well, all wrapped up in an alien species that are more light than substance but can wear the shell of a human and, for all intents and purposes, appear human but must be trained in the art of doing so. I loved the twist of something so banal as a handshake taking on a rather interesting connotation to Summer Storms, and I loved that the species themselves took on a collective identity outside of gender norms. With a sweet humor and unbridled warmth, Merrow brings Nathan and Summer Storms together, and I loved everything about this story’s message, as well as the beauty of its ending.
Insta-Love™ is Josephine Myles’ tongue-in-cheek take on, what else, the insta-love trope, set it a futuristic world where the chemically and cosmetically enhanced Skip meets his match in Wildman, a Gaian “natural” who’s on his Fallow year, which is something like the Amish Rumspringa, just to give you a frame of reference.
In a morning after setting, one in which Skip has woken up without the benefit of the “right emoti-chems,” and to what was supposed to be a one-night-stand with Wildman, the story becomes Skip’s education in sex and love, about confusing sex with love (and the natural chemical high they both inspire), and about taking the time to let a relationship grow from the seed of connection. Of the three stories in the collection, this one offers the most food-for-thought.
Closing things out is Merrow’s wild and crazy and a little bit kinky Gifted in Tongues, in which Torvald “Spitz” Spitzbergen wakes up in a prison cell with a Felid named Tao, and I would say the fur flies, but mostly it’s the sparks between Spitz and Tao that are out of this world. There’s a little prison sex, and, of course, trying to figure out how to get themselves out of the predicament they’ve found themselves in. And, somewhere along the way, the discovery that maybe they aren’t quite done exploring each other a little more. This story is full of imagination and clever dialogue, and is a sexy and imaginative way to close out the anthology, for sure.
It’s kind of hard to go wrong with either of these authors, individually. Put them together in one place, with the right combination of stories, and you’re bound for an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours with a book.
You can buy Help, My Boyfriend’s an Alien! here: