SwingersSwingers by Robert Reed
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

“You know what,” she says. “You and I and everybody…we’re all pretty much aliens to each other.”

when is monsterporn not monsterporn? View Spoiler »

i chose this free tor short not only because of my abiding scholarly interest in the field of monsterporn, but because it was listed under “humor” in tor’s genre dropdown and i was hoping for something short and snappy to start my predawn saturday morning off with a laugh. but this isn’t even a little bit funny, unless your laughter is triggered by characters with names like “marriage” and “caribou,” in which case, try some morality plays – lotsa chortles there for you. i don’t know if my current “everyday is sad!” mood is infecting everything i read, but this seemed much more gloomy than funny, full of dissatisfied couples settling,

She admits that she will marry someday and it might as well be him, and smelling weakness, he says he wants nothing but marriage, which makes her cry and hold herself, confessing that she feels dead but all right, dammit, he wins.

later, entering into a swinger-relationship with the neighbors who wrangle them into agreeing to let an alien into their bed. for diplomacy.

this is where a traditional monsterporn story would get funny.

not this one. this one just got sadder.

and i suppose the ending was meant to be a qualified happy ending, suggestive of hope:

View Spoiler »

but i’ve had more hope for a couple at the end of a story about a girl and a swamp monster. for all their differences, they’ll always have pond scum…

again – maybe my mood, but i wouldn’t go into this looking for comedy.

read it for yourself here:

read my reviews on goodreads

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