Aug 032020
 
I’m also jealous of this cover.

Voyeur Mode Engage by Amanda Close is a clever porn book. The premise is that in the future, people will plug into a virtual reality simulation called Exotica allowing them to explore sexual fantasies that would not be safe, sane or legal in real life. Customers play some of the roles, but actors employed by the company play other roles. In addition, some roles are played by the computer programs. This creates a layer of distance where you never know if the hot biker guy pushing you up against the wall is being controlled by a real person or not.

That is an interesting idea on its own, but Voyeur Mode blurs the lines even further by turning the book into an anthology of sexual fantasies. The frame is that you the reader are engaging in Voyeur Mode allowing you to switch between different characters and scenarios. This lets the author tell four distinct stories with no connection between them except the illicit sex. It also lets the author do some smart bits like rewinding a scene or fast-forwarding the scene to get to the sex. This reinforces the idea that you, the reader, are one of the users of this virtual system.

You don’t just watch the scene, you experience it from the point of view of one of the characters. Is that character real? Maybe. Are you just watching computer programs go at it? It is hard to say. Does it change how hot a given scene is? That’s an interesting question asked by the first story which is centered on an Exotica actress. There are no easy answers.

This is a really arousing book that is worth the read just for the sex alone. The premise is clever enough that I would read entire series done in this style. Probably the highest compliment I can give it is that I wish I had thought of it first for my own fiction.

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