by Savanna Kougar, futuristic (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.25, ISBN 978-1-59578-424-7
How quaint, the story is called Red Lioness Tamed and the author's pseudonym happens to be Savanna Kougar. I wonder how many bad "Which comes first, the lioness or the 'kougar'?" jokes that she has heard by now.
No, this short story isn't set in some sweltering hot savannahs of Africa if that is what you are thinking. The heroine can change into a lion, however. Set in 3051 somewhere in space where nobody can hear you scream, our heroine Sun Rocket Kahoqua regains consciousness in the cargo hold of our hero Capt Draxen Z's spacer cruiser after attempting to locate a friend's missing brother. Don't cringe, people, but she accidentally found herself in this spacecraft due to her happening to be at the very spot where Draxen decides to pull a "Beam me up, Scotty!" on his spacecraft at that very moment.
Sun Rocket wants to be sent back to her planet Brill now that it's clear to all that everything is an accident and she doesn't mean to trespass on his territory, but Draxen will not turn around until after he's reached his destination (where he has to attend his sister's wedding and deliver his wedding gift to her). He also decides that his shore leave has arrived early and pretty much chases after Sun Rocket like he's a poor sod completely taken over by his penis. He also needs a wife for reasons best left unsaid here and after a while the idea of taking Sun Rocket as his wife becomes more and more appealing. Will Sun Rocket put out for this horny space dude?
Red Lioness Tamed is deliberately written and packaged to be a cheesy sex-and-space caper reminiscent of a more explicit pulp fiction from several decades ago. To that extent, Ms Kougar succeeds very well with her story. If I am to approach this story expecting it to be a more sober story, this one won't work because of the deliberately campy turn of phrases and scenarios that are throwbacks to cheesy science-fiction stories of the 1960s to even 1970s. But because this is meant to be a campy piece of work, however, those elements work very nicely. There are some phrases that are really pushing it though. For example, how does a man's penis "tighten to life" anyway? Is the author telling me that it shrivels up when poor Draxen is aroused?
Still, on the whole Red Lioness Tamed is a most enjoyable quick read that doesn't take itself too seriously but instead revels in its more cheesy elements. You may need to adjust your expectations before you begin reading to enjoy this story, although the cover art - deliberately designed to reflect its dime/pulp novel nature - should have been clear indication enough of the author's intention. I believe that if you have a fondness for stories that aren't afraid to be deliberately campy and cheesy, this one may find a home on your hard drive, right next to your dubiously-obtained complete series of the original Battlestar Galactica, Jason Of The Star Command, and Buck Rogers In The 25th Century TV series.
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