Five Strange Loves

I’ve decided to mark Valentine’s Day by looking back at some of the weirdest romances I’ve had the pleasure of writing about…

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Lord Ruthven and Aubrey’s Anonymous Sister

The market is glutted with romances between vampires and mortals, but back when John Polidori wrote “The Vampyre” it was still a novel concept. Just ask poor old Aubrey, who ended up with an undead in-law when his unnamed sister married Lord Ruthven. I wrote about Polidori’s tale back in 2019 to mark its 200th anniversary, and also examined a range of the vampiric couplings that followed in its wake. Yes, including Ed and Bella.

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Mike and Sage

Is there any author alive today more adept at depicting literary necrophilia than Kristopher Triana? If so, I haven’t come across them yet (and trust me, I’ve looked). With Toxic Love, Triana tells the story of middle-aged Mike who falls for the temptations of a younger woman named Sage, with the twist that both of them have the job of cleaning up the corpses of murder victims. This isn’t a drawback for the enterprising couple, however, whose unique tastes lead them to combine workplace with bedroom. Read my review…

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Woman and Cat

The short animated films of Thalma Goldman Cohen depict a range of surreal romantic and sexual pairings, but the most intense of the lot must surely be Stanley (1979), which wrings all manner of psychosexual energy from the image of a sleeping woman being pawed by a cat. Read on…

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The Paleontologist’s Wife and a Dinosaur

Rachel Swirsky’s “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” is a short story that started a sensation. At first, it divided options: some found it a heart-rending depiction of loss and trauma, while people who grumbled about SJWs a lot used it as an excuse to grumble about SJWs. It then inspired a small subgenre of parodies and homages — and indirectly led to Chuck Tingle becoming a household name. Well, in a very specific selection of households, anyway. I’m perversely proud to say that my 10,000-word essay on the story and its responses may well be the definitive work of “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” studies — if you’re morbidly curious, you can read it with a Patreon subscription.

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Edith, Kateryna and Gabriela

Well, there was no way i could make my way through that lot without being tempted to have a go at a romantic entanglement of my own. So, I ended up with the honour of showing the world just what Dracula’s brides got up to together once their husband was dead. Check out Midnight Widows, now available as an omnibus containing the first two issues!

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