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Out of all the books I own, the one most borrowed by my friends is Cecilia Tan’s anthology ‘Best Fantastic Erotica.’ This might say something about the non-sf-reading audience being more tolerant of genre elements in erotica. It might also be because my housemate loves telling people about this story.

Two dragons, a professor and a student, are composing a paper (the story title). They have dutifully kidnapped a princess and tied her to a stake to attract a knight much like a fishing lure. One of the dragons comes out of hiding, pretends to be killed by the knight, and slinks off so the subsequent human mating ritual can be observed. (“The armor is necessary. Human warriors wear it to resemble our own beautiful scales. It is an important sign of their virility and necessary to stimulate the female.”) What the professor doesn’t know is that the student is attracted to the professor, and certain things happen as the two get more aroused watching the humans mate.

This is hilarious, a neat skewering of knightly clichés even as it delivers a sweet interplay between the dragons. Simultaneous erotica and comedy is rarely done well but this story memorably succeeds.

Capture, Courting and Copulation: Contemporary Human Mating Rituals and the Etiology of Human Agression by Carolyn Vakesh and Steve Vakesh

Availability: Print only

Page count: 2,800

Where to find it: Only in Best Fantastic Erotica, edited by Cecelia Tan, 2007, Circlet Press.

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