Alien Erotica by Cecil Washington is an eclectic blend of fantastic poetry and short stories that border on the surreal. Washington's work is rooted in 20th century ideologies and social issues such as racism, interracial relationships, and genocide. His lead characters are often of African American descent set in futuristic settings facing extraordinary dilemmas. Also equally entertaining is the infusion of modern day references to present day icons such as Jesse Jackson XII speaking at Colin Powell High School for commencement exercises and characters viewing films by Spike Lee XIV.
Two of the stories that were most interesting to this reviewer were entitled Oreo and Bad Medicine. Oreo dealt with an ancient voodoo curse that bonded a white slave owning mistress to her black slave lover. The antidote to break the curse is a very simple act of forgiveness, but has proven to be impossible to obtain for the past three centuries. Even by modern standards, the cure would be a challenge for any woman; it is indeed a tall order.
The second story, Bad Medicine, involves an African American doctor who is delivering medical supplies to a remote Aryan separatist colony that left Earth to isolate themselves from non-white people. Their racist beliefs have stewed for eons to the point they developed an intergalactic treaty to ensure they have no part of any technology, medicine, vaccines, music, food, supplies developed or originated by non-whites. They also refuse interaction with non-white persons on any level, i.e. delivery of supplies to their home world. When he arrives, he learns that a plague has stricken the Aryan colony and their race is faced with obliteration. The doctor is torn between honoring the Hippocratic Oath and saving the Aryans or letting them perish. The plague's cure requires injecting the Aryans with a vaccine made from live tissue from non-whites which is in direct violation of the treaty. He could also choose to keep galactic peace by letting them die by following their self-imposed belief system.
Other stories involve vampirism, sex robots, telekinesis, mental telepathy, intelligence boosters, and other surreal topics. Overall, Cecil Washington's Alien Erotica is an entertaining read; it is an easy and quick departure from the 'drama-filled' novels of modern day. The title is a little misleading because although there is intimacy among the characters (all are not alien) and adult language is used; it is not an overly sexually explicit novel by today's standards. Obviously this book is not for everyone, but if you are open to some creative writing and exploring the sci-fi/fantasy genre you might want to give this book a try.
Reviewed by Phyllis
APOOO BookClub, Nubian Circle Book Club