Seeding Ero-5

Seeding Ero-5

“ERO-5—Environmental Recursion Operation number Five—or Eros as nearly everyone in the terraforming field affectionately called it, would be a new home for humanity, a place to spread out. It was one of the most ambitious undertakings mankind had ever attempted.”

Quin Riply introduces us to the tale with the dedication, “For fun.” It could have just as easily, and perhaps more accurately, started with a dedication, “For one-handed reading.”

The story begins and [spoiler alert] ends with graphic sex scenes [/end spoiler alert]. This is not romance or erotica; this is porn with far too many of the trappings. The condensed version of the plot is that five scientists—two female and three male—are sent to an alien planet to terraform it and prepare it for humanity. However, upon their arrival on the new world, the quintet just can’t stop fucking one another—in pairs, groups, same-sex, hetero-sex, indoors, outdoors, and so forth. One of the female scientists, the introvert who eventually becomes the group’s linchpin, figures out that the planet is inhabited by deep sea creatures. Those tentacled beings are affecting the humans in such a way as to cause the increased sex drive. And none of the scientists are immune to the hyperactive sexuality. To make acting on their sexual urges even more convenient, all of them were implanted with anti-fertility devices before leaving Earth. Sexually transmitted diseases, however, simply aren’t mentioned.

In addition to the main character, the botanist, Taisia, a bisexual woman who begins the story in the throes of a lesbian sex dream, and by the end is paired up with Robert, a stereotypical “dark skinned and well muscled” man with an “insanely huge” eight or nine inch dick (euphemisms for big black guy with “big black cock”), we also have the female biochemist, Kristen, a heterosexual who’s never been with a woman, but, before the story is done, has had sex with one. Hiroshi, the Asian mechanical engineer, and Daniel, the team’s medic and computer specialist, round out the cast. Noticeably absent are any substantive medical or logistics support.

There is not a single chapter here that doesn’t include graphic sex. In fact, the purported plot gets so buried that the story reads like it could have been titled, Porn Stars in Space. What’s more, not only do none of the characters suffer any of the normal effects of overindulgence; they are always hot, hard, wet, and ready for more.

Somewhere along the line, it appears a decision was made that this tale didn’t need editing. The spelling and grammar are fine, but both head-hopping and literary constructions which must be reread to make any sense abound. “For fun” should not come at the expense of solid storytelling.

As an example of one of my pet peeves when reading porn, we are treated to gems like this one, “He penetrated her shallowly, watching himself dip into her, then pulling back until he almost slipped out. He repeated this, going deeper by millimeters each time.” How she could possibly know that exact measurement without vaginal calipers or some other device, I have no idea.

There is a dearth of conflict to be resolved in this book. The tension is primarily that of a sexual nature. Not surprisingly, the aliens are magical, able to communicate in the humans’ language with no problem whatsoever, and provide much better medical services than the equipment the scientists brought with them.

Again, unsurprisingly, this is a HEA story where, regardless of any compatibility factors, these characters fall in love—because here, sex equals love and these people have a whole lot of sex. This is a tale for those looking for a salacious romp where the science fiction is little more than a backdrop.

A version of this review appears on the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly website.

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