Title: Theory of Love
Author Name & Publisher:
Kayla Bashe, Alain Bell, M.D. Grimm, Asta Idonea, D. C. Juris, Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Mathews, Charles Payseur, Jessica Payseur, Maia Strong, Lynn Townsend, K.S. Trenten.
Publication Date & Length: May 18, 2016 — 80,000 words
In Theory of Love, we wave our geek flag high! Tales from deep space, sci-fi realities, technology, academia, and cosplay are brought together in this collection. In Dale Cameron Lowry’s Far From Home, long-distance spouses fan the flames of passion while fighting to save humanity. Meat Space by Lynn Townsend, brings virtual space and the real world crashing into a new reality. Asta Idonea’s Captive shows us that love can form in any manner of situations. Beta Tester by Charles Payseur immerses the reader—and the characters—in a virtual reality that brings a friendship to a whole new level. K.S. Trenten’s A Symposium in Space, love is a different meal to every guest. Unexpected Dilemmas by Jessica Payseur long-distance lovers face hijacking and natural disaster to be together. Kayla Bashe’s Medic to the Hivemind a stranded student is saved by a mysterious voice with secrets. Being Jake by Lila Mathews shows readers that smart is sexy. In D.C. Juris’ Torn Apart, love provides the will to survive. Shattered Space by Alain Bell shows how love can grow from destruction. Maia Strong’s All ‘Ships May Sail connects cosplay, fandoms, and something more. Trash and Treasures by M.D. Grimm gives us a deal made in interstellar space that could be more than either party bargained for.
In theory, love is easy.
Theory of Love is an excellent science fiction anthology from Toquere Press. It features broken-down spaceships, near-future video games, and Jupiter’s moon Europa. There’s a couple of traces of hard science fiction, too, but this is mostly a sexual anthology.
I was quite pleased to see F/F in balance with the M/M stories, rather than just a token story. The cast is diverse and does include aliens and alien sex.
Meat Space (M/M), Lynn Townsend, is the sensual and tactile of adventure of someone raised within a video game and then “unplugged.” Her unique use of language brings the game and reality to life.
Beta Tester (M/M), Charles Payseur, is another video-game-induced story. I could read a whole anthology of those.
Captive (M/M), Asta Idonea, makes empires rise and fall with an encounter between an Earth military man and the leader of an opposing alien race. Again, evocative, yet serious, it gets to the core of today’s humanity like any good science fiction should.
Medic to the Hive Mind (F/F), Kayla Bashe, offers a butch heroine to drool over amidst action, adventure, and hard choices.
Shattered Space (F/F), Alain Bell, is my personal favorite. It’s just med-porn, reminiscent of any modern science fiction television show. Maybe it was the familiarity brought it to life, but Bell’s wrought tension, sympathy, and care make it great.
Torn Apart (M/M), DC Juris, is difficult to explain, but adorable. As is Trash and Treasures (M/M), M.D. Grimm.
Unexpected Dilemmas (F/F), Jessica Payseur, is a cozy way to wrap things up. The personal drama of a long-distance relationship dances through natural disasters and space travails.
Some stories are duds, at least for my tastes, but that’s to be expected. Overwhelmingly, Theory of Love is fantastic and filled with future worlds I’d love to see more of.
The individual stories can be purchased at $2.49, making a compilation of so many a great deal.
I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads. I was not compensated, coerced, or flattered into an opinion.
~C. E. Case
From Trash and Treasure by M.D. Grimm
Some of the coldness left Ronan’s eyes. He seemed confused again. Why did Tucker seem to confuse Ronan so much?
Then it happened. Ronan nodded. “Deal.”
Tucker barely stopped himself from gaping again. It worked? He was going to have sex? He was going to have sex! He didn’t let himself think about how long it had been since his last partner. It would only depress him. He knew what to do… mostly.
Tucker tossed the ball underhand to Ronan, who caught it with a startled expression.
“What?” Tucker said. “It’s not like you can go anywhere. Your ship’s caput and even if you tried to hack into my navigation system, you wouldn’t get far. My ma designed it and she was the best there was. Just letting you know in case you had a thought of bashing me over the head and commandeering my ride.”
Ronan looked insulted. “I would never do such a thing. I am not a thief or vagabond.”
“Then what are you?”
Ronan’s mouth pulled into a thin line. Tucker shrugged. “Fine. Keep your secrets. Come on, follow me. Let’s both take a well-needed shower.” A blush suddenly crept up his face. “I mean, a shower separately. Let’s take a shower—oh, never mind. Just come on.”
He turned his back on Ronan and called himself an idiot. He dearly hoped he wasn’t making a huge mistake. But he wouldn’t go back on it now. He really, really wanted to have sex.