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Alien Sex

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  508 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
This is the first Science Fiction anthology to deal with everybody's favorite subject: SEX. The very best SF writers tackle such intriguing issues as sex by telepathy, death by orgasm, the pickup scene on other planets, and what happens when one falls in love with an alien.
Hardcover, 251 pages
Published May 25th 1990 by Dutton Books (first published 1990)
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These 19 works by different, well-regarded authors were edited/selected by Ellen Datlow, who wrote a general preface for the collection. She also wrote individual introductions for each piece. Many of these works were published elsewhere originally. Datlow was once an editor for Omni and while there turned down two of the stories that she selected for her book. Some of the stories here were published in the ill-fated New Dimensions 13, a SF anthology which was deemed too controversial by the pub ...more
Datlow has compiled a series of science fiction works centered around love, science, and alien life. Most of the works will shock you, disgust you, and offend you, but most will be worth it.

Her Furry Face, Leigh Kennedy - **
Reminiscent of Michael Crichton’s The Congo with sign language speaking marsupials, we are introduced to a sad, confused main character who seems to be understood only by his furry faced companion.

War Bride, Rick Wilber - ***
In a very concise story, Wilber details the rever
Genevra Littlejohn
This book isn't erotic for a moment.
What it is, is believable and unsettling--sex is a weird thing, after all, even when it's with a member of your own species, and the stories in this anthology make no move to tone down the weirdness. The unpleasant(and very well-written)story "All My Darling Daughters," a story about what you'll allow to be done to others in the attempt to keep it from being done to you, is probably what stuck with me the most; I haven't read it in a couple of years, but somet
Reading this back to back with Fierce Family was an interesting experience that reminded me just how much time has passed (and how much cultural mores have shifted) since 1990. In contrast to the poly and LGBT protagonists of Fierce Family, Alien Sex features an overwhelmingly heteronormative cast. There's one story that suggests aliens might not sort into human gender categories ("Roadside Rescue") and two with LGBT content ("Dancing Chickens," which the author admits draws its understanding of ...more
Dan Keating
Dec 02, 2011 Dan Keating rated it really liked it
I saw this collection in a tiny bookstore a year or two ago and bought it, largely because it's called "Alien Sex" and I felt like even if it turned out to be crappy, the novelty of owning such a collection would be worth the few dollars it cost.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be an extremely excellent anthology. Among other things, "Alien Sex" has cemented me as a fan of Ellen Datlow, whose eye for good science fiction has created several other anthologies I've liked quite a bit.

Kate  K. F.
Aug 22, 2012 Kate K. F. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anthologies like this one are why I adore reading them, because every story was different and fascinating. This isn't an easy anthology, because each of the stories pushes at the ideas of how sex and gender relationships are meant to. Sometimes that means that the tales go into places that are uncomfortable, but each one is important.

I don't want to go into too great detail about any story as I think this is an anthology that should be read. One thing that all of the stories share is a certain
Aug 06, 2013 Moose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This anthology has to be one of the most interesting and well complied books I've read recently. The short stories ranged from topic and style, but all were well written, thought provoking, and explored the sensational and dark topic of sexuality. Although the title is called Alien Sex, the theme of all the stories was to examine the darker side of humanity.

These stories contain erotic and sensual elements but they are definitely NOT romance nor do they fit in the erotica category. If you are l
Oct 24, 2012 Katrine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was certainly a mixed bag! A depressing mixed-bag, as most of these stories are not about sex at all, but rape and sexual assault. Even the usually bright and optimistic (for a given value thereof) Connie Willis delivers a gruesome tale of sexual abuse of underage children. A well-written gruesome tale of sexual abuse of underage children, but even so! The stories that claim to be sex positive are bizarre and bleak, featuring unlikable characters. Intersting, certainly, but not exactl ...more
Rachel Remer
Apr 05, 2016 Rachel Remer rated it liked it
Some of these were great, some were good, a couple were bad, and every single one of them was odd. Considering the title and theme of the anthology that was pretty on point but it made for some interesting reading. A few of the stories that stuck with me most for a variety of reasons are Husbands by Lisa Tuttle, Dancing Chickens by Edward Bryant, When the Fathers Go by Bruce McAllister, and All My Darling Daughters by Connie Willis.
Sep 14, 2014 Jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't go into this book expecting erotica or romantic type smut. All the stories in Alien Sex have something to do with sexuality, but are not what I would describe as erotic; this is all speculative fiction. As is to be expected with any collection some stories are much better than others. I really enjoyed a few while I found some other dull. Only a couple really stood out from the others, but I enjoyed the book overall.
Mar 26, 2008 Delilah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, bizarre
I picked this book up at a thrift store when I was barely a teen, and the rest is history. But seriously, it remains to this day one of my favorite bizarre compilations, and I wish there were more like it. I reread it every few years just for the nostalgia of growing up with this and Blue Velvet to light the way into the darkness of sexuality I knew was just below the surface out there. This isn't a dark anthology, it is sci-fi, but it's weird, and I love it.
Brian Palmer
None of the stories stood out as being amazing -- in fact, a few I felt compelled to skip over, as they were actually somewhat repellent. Nor is the book nearly as 'exciting' as you might think. But it does tackle a concept that's often left unexplored, and there are some good-quality stories in here.

Worth reading, but not worth seeking out.
Apr 07, 2013 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The forward to this was by one of my favorite authors, William Gibson, and I don't know what i expected when I picked it up. It isn't exactly vulgar, maybe a beter title would have been "Alien Gender", but I suspect that wouldn't sell the copies. It was enjoyable short fiction all in all.
Fifty Shades of Green
Bernie Gourley
Dec 09, 2013 Bernie Gourley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alien Sex is an anthology of 19 works of short fiction that revolve around sex, attempted sex, or sex-like behavior with non-human entities. While the title leads one to believe the book is specifically about sex with aliens from outer space, that’s not the case in all these stories. There are also stories where the object of affection is a lesser primate, an incubus, a new species, and a biologically-modeled robot. As one would expect with life forms from other worlds, the “sexual” act is not a ...more
Dec 25, 2016 Raya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a copy of this book some time ago and over the course of some years, and almost as many moves, it disappeared along with much of my library. (Can I get a moment of silence?) I promptly forgot about it and somehow, it popped into my orbit again. Ordered a copy and I'm glad I did. Ellen Datlow is a legendary editor, and I love her introductions to each story; some were stories that she first encountered while at Omni Magazine, and for one reason or other, slipped through her fingers.

Some of
Gary Whitfield
Oct 04, 2016 Gary Whitfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great collection of short stories on the subjects of love, desire, and sex between humans and various alien races. My firm favourite, and to me the most memorable, being the discussion on the drives of a young Superman and the problems he should have encountered during puberty and later.

Wonderful read when I first read it years ago, and just as thought provoking today.
Jan 23, 2014 Ghilimei rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, e-books
Disappointing, definitely not as cool as I expected it to be; I think some of the stories are just plain awful and I say this trying not to offend anybody who might have liked them.

To me, most of the stories are just sad and depressing, while others try too hard to be shocking and ended up making me nauseous. With only 7 out of 19 stories worth my time, I give this collection one lone star (maybe one and a half not to be unfair to the ones I actually liked).

I only really liked War Bride by Rick
Jia Jung
Dec 26, 2014 Jia Jung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read the 1990 edition with powder blue cover with Miro-esque art on it after I found it on the side of the street and picked it up to send to someone else, only to end up reading it myself.

This is the kind of book that, if pre-teens could have gotten their hands on it in the pre-computer era (I guess I am talking about the people in my generation who are now in their early 30s), would have squirreled it away with hot hands and later combed it for arousing or revealing scenes, only to get blue ba

Author: Various Authors
Published by: Roc Publisher
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA
Rating: 4


"Alien Sex" by 19 Various Authors was a bit dark anthology, sci-fi and fantasy short-story reads. I picked it because of its title ... yes, I did and I found it somewhat interesting... some of it like nothing I have ever heard of or would think of. Like I have said many times .... to get into the minds of some of these authors...leaving me to say WOW! But any way ea
Some clunkers, some gross-outs, and some stars.

Best finds:
The Jamesburg Incubus has a strange, pleasantly surprising ending for a classic sex-demon tale.

When the Fathers Go is trippy while remaining rooted in human emotion and experience.

All My Darling Daughters has a shining use of vernacular, manages to do a boarding school setting without getting bogged down in details, and has a horrifying conclusion. Stays with you.

Love and Sex Among the Invertebrates is a great ending to the collection. It
Bob Rust
Aug 12, 2016 Bob Rust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foreword: Strange Attractors (Alien Sex) • (1990) • essay by William Gibson
Introduction (Alien Sex) • (1990) • essay by Ellen Datlow
Her Furry Face • (1983) • shortstory by Leigh Kennedy
War Bride • (1990) • shortstory by Rick Wilber
How's the Night Life on Cissalda? • (1977) • shortstory by Harlan Ellison
The Jamesburg Incubus • (1990) • novelette by Scott Baker
Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex • (1969) • essay by Larry Niven
The First Time • (1990) • shortstory by K. W. Jeter
The Jungle Rot Kid on the
Mike Kazmierczak
Jan 02, 2015 Mike Kazmierczak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty good mix of stories. All of them are stories about people and beings having sex with an alien of some sort. Not all are aliens from outer space but also just alien-ness of the sex act with new and different partners. There are some real gems here and my favorites are below.

"How's the Night Life on Cissalda?" by Harlan Ellison - The ultimate in sexual intercourse comes for a visit.

"Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" by Larry Niven - The reality of Superman's sex life.

"Roadside Rescu
Sami C
Jul 09, 2015 Sami C rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropbox, anthologies
I was grabbing almost all the Ellen Datlow books I could, and when I got to this title, I thought it would be an interesting take on aliens and sex. Come on, it's intriguing. I didn't read any of the intro, synopsis, etc. Just dove straight into the first story.

And I clearly misunderstood the term "alien". I was thinking "outer space". Not "unfamiliar".

This first story, Her Furry Face, is about (view spoiler)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2009 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: Sharon K.
In the introduction, editor Ellen Datlow writes, "When I first had the idea for this anthology, I honestly intended it to be stories specifically about 'alien sex,' concentrating on the alien as in 'other world.' But as the book began to take shape, I realized that what the material was really about was the relationships between the human sexes and about how male and female humans so often see each other as 'alien' - in the sense of 'belonging to another country or people; foreign; strange; an o ...more
Sep 24, 2013 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a 24 year old book with a terrible title, this had some of the most intriguing and entertaining short stories that address the concept of alien sex and all related topics ranging from serious to emotional to dramatic to comical to heart-touching and even tragic. Some true masters of the pen contribute here including Larry Niven and Harlan Ellison. It's not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination, and I got plenty of strange looks upon bringing the book into public places, but it's wel ...more
Norman Van Der Linde
I found this book an entertaining journey into the stranger recesses of the minds of a group of good writers.
As with all such compilations not all the stories are equally good; some stories I found offensive ('Her Furry Face' & 'The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod'), some were disturbing ('The First Time', 'When the Fathers Go' & 'Dancing Chickens') and there was those few who made a statement ('The Jamesburg Incubus'& 'Saving the World at the New Moon Motel' ).
The gem of this book for m
Laura Stenzel
So... I'm about half way through and I'm taking a break. The writing is extraordinary, these are amazing writers, but the content is a little overwhelming. I'm going to take a small break and read something else and then come back to this one... If you pick this one up, give yourself some space to read it. Some of the stories are quite disturbing, although they are beautifully told. This is not a re-read for me, but I am glad to have read it this once.
Dec 20, 2012 Johanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely mostly not erotic but that was okay. Most of these stories are pretty disturbing, but I imagine alien sex is. Some of the stories sound like first drafts in a college creative writing course. Some are extrmely brilliant. First Time, Arousal, Where the Fathers Go were definitely standputs.
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter
More about Ellen Datlow...

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