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Lizard Lust
Lisa Tuttle
Infinity Plus, 14 pages

Lisa Tuttle
Lisa Tuttle grew up in Texas, where, as a young writer, she fell in with the notorious Turkey City gang. She sold her first short stories in the early 1970s, and received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1974. After five years as a newspaper journalist in Austin, she opted out of a life of financial security to write fiction full-time. In 1981 she moved to London. Her first novel, Windhaven, was written in collaboration with George R.R. Martin. This was followed by Familiar Spirit (1983), Gabriel (1987), Lost Futures (1992) and The Pillow Friend (1996), as well as by three short story collections. Lisa Tuttle is also the author of several non-fiction works, most notably The Encyclopedia of Feminism (1986), and a number of books for children, including Panther in Argyll (1996) and Mad House (1998). She now lives in a remote part of western Scotland with her family.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Silver Bough
SF Site Review: Silver Bough
SF Site Review: The Pillow Friend
SF Site Review: The Mysteries
SF Site Review: Ghosts and Other Lovers

A review by Sandra Scholes

Lizard Lust I can honestly say that when I look at the back cover blurb on a book, or find out about it on such places as, I have seen some unusual ones in my time, but this one is special -- it is so special in fact that the novel's premise, its idea just cannot work. The premise is that if a woman -- it can be any woman at all -- looks at a lizard, they will be struck with a deep, intense desire. Lizards, though at least to Lisa Tuttle, belong only to men who are the sensual desirable type that women lusted after in the first place. In this story, a woman is taken from what she perceives as her reality, and plunged into another one where lizards are the key to relationships.

This story originally appeared in Issue number 39 of Interzone back in September 1990, so it has some pedigree as a story and also some history as far as her work goes. The story is set out in the first person with a woman narrating about her life as a Librarian in the city, and how she views others who live there around her. It starts out as a social commentary on men and their habits, but changes into one of fantasy where men are perceived as lizards, dangerous and unsettled creatures that prey on women, if women allow it. There is an element of feminism in this story, but it's not forced, it gives new readers a chance to indulge in an old story that was well received twenty years ago. Once read again for those like myself who remember reading it, it is still fresh in the mind, vibrant and feels like it was only written yesterday, so it has stood the test of time.

The woman in the story has a very jaded view of men and certain other people in her small world. You would think that she would meet all kinds of folk and be used to them being there, but you get the impression she has never got used to whoever comes into the library -- especially men. She sees plenty coming inside; vagrants, troublemakers and other malingerers she would rather not have take up what she considers to be her space. She doesn't mind them being outside of that, she is happy to give them money when they look like they are in need, but when they breech that barrier of safeness, she feels annoyance. However, when she sees men around, especially young, virile men, she feels ultimately threatened. In fact a good deal of this story is about how she feels fear due to their presence, and what might happen to her if she stays where men congregate. The character kind of acts as though all men are bad unless they are old and decrepit, which isn't fair really, but you accept what Tuttle says as it's her character and what she is feeling at the time.

If you like reading about a world where fear lurks around every corner, this is a good read, and highly recommended.

Copyright © 2012 Sandra Scholes

Sandra is getting ready for hibernation soon when she has gathered all the books she needs to review around her, locking her self in a well stocked room-well she calls it hibernation when it gets to Fall. Her recent reviews are on The British Fantasy Society and Love Romance Passion.

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