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2014 Story 56

From Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers:


56. A CALENTURE OF THE JUNGLE by Steve Berman  Amelia, the main character of "Calenture," may be Berman's only female bisexual protagonist in this collection, which sets her in a group of two with Cecil from "Persimmon, Teeth, and Boys."  She is equally at home, and equally bored with, boys and girls. Her life lacks adventure because by her own admission she lacks imagination. Then Stephanie comes into her life, and everything they do together has a tinge of the unreal: Stephanie insists they "become" Shuka, Guardian of the Jungle and Amelia Earhardt.  It's innocent role-playing of the type many people engage in to spice up their sex lives. But this wouldn't be a Berman tale if it stopped there. The role-playing gets more intense until roles are reversed, and the one with the least imagination is lost in an imaginary world. I can't say that this was my favorite story in the collection; the hallucinatory feel that develops didn't work as well for me as it did in Berman's "The Harvestbuck."

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