Cautionary Tales by Piers Anthony
This book contains some short stories that the author had written in the past for various anthologies. He “cautions” before the titles of the stories to allow the reader to make up his or her mind before continuing. The offensive content from the 1990s–when he wrote the stories–is considered mundane in today’s society. I can see why some of the content in “Blackbeard” may have offended people back then; but, thankfully, today’s society is more about teaching the youth about the dangers of Internet predators, rather than trying to pretend they do not exist. History has proven that sticking a head in the sand is not going to prevent bad things from happening.
There are definitely Erotica short stories. The content is very descriptive and contain some of the most peculiar characters. There are stories about living dolls, mythical creatures, aliens, and more.
As a whole, I found some of the short stories entertaining. However, my favorite parts of the book revolve around his short biographies and essays about his life. His lectures and advice about writing are very informative. He doesn’t sugar coat anything. His advice is blunt and on point.
It is a marvel to me how he takes some of the most basic ideas and twists them into an unconventional storyline. I don’t think that I will ever look at a deck of cards again in the same way. Read the story–you’ll get where I’m coming from.