Book Reviews

Cultural Hospitality by Laylah Hunter at Torquere Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Aliens / Interspecies / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 20-March-2013

Book Blurb

Karam is a civil service worker, employed by the cultural hospitality department on the Interplanetary Space Station. He’s also carrying the draculoid virus, which has put a damper on his social life as he tries to avoid the temptation to hook up with someone and potentially infect them with vampirism. But when his department organizes a masquerade ball for the Aquarians, the beautiful alien species that share the station with the humans, Karam finds his resolve tested to its limits.

This story is also available in the Masks Off Too! anthology.

Book Review

A look at alien cultures always fascinates me, and if a story also involves a human learning about them, getting involved with one of them, that can make a story really special. "Cultural Hospitality" offers such a perspective. With an unusual alien culture, and beings close enough to humanoid to be attractive, it also contains a nice twist for Karam, a human infected with the draculoid virus. The latter made me grin; it's such an interesting way of "explaining" vampires.

Karam works for the cultural hospitality group, in charge of making aliens feel welcome on Earth, or as they approach Earth. He's on a space station, and the description of his life made me smile. It includes an alarm clock that requires him to get up and stand in a certain place to prove to the computer he is awake. His attraction to Eel, an Aquarian and one of his colleagues was clear, as was his need to control himself because the virus he carries is contagious.

Eel may have blue skin and some very pointy teeth, but he also smells good and seems to be flirting with Karam. When he appears at the party, his costume made Karam (and me!) laugh, and his determination to become intimate with Karam was endearing. His solution to Karam's dilemma about the virus is very cool!

This is a great little story with a nicely alien and unusual world, some wonderful characters, and a nice twist. If you like stories with unusual characters, if you enjoy well-designed alien cultures and behaviors, and if you’re looking for a hot story with interspecies lovers, you will probably like this short story.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 24 pages/7000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 13-March-2013
Buy Link