Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Head Games by Sara James

It's not often that I'm left scrambling for words, but Head Games kind of messed me up (LOL). This is, quite simply, unlike any story I have ever read. What Sara James has crafted here is a gloriously bizarre mash-up of genres. It starts out with softcore forced feminization fantasy, before ultimately resolving itself as a romantic bodyswap fantasy. In between, we have what feels like a lost episode of TNG or Doctor Who, as penned by one of the writers of those risque, slapstick, 80s sex comedies.

Basically, without spoiling the madcap fun, a renegade group of aliens have been abducting humans to fuel their ships and feed their crews. They capture us, harvest us, remove our heads, and then screw them into their ship's computer systems. Where it all begins to go wrong is when an alien attempts to plug a head into a broken socket, and then has to slap it back on the nearest compatible body before it dies. Suddenly we have a white boy escapee with a black body, who slaps his girlfriend's head on the nearest compatible man's body while they search for the bodies they came in with. The story really takes off when they start recruiting help from another group of abductees, shuffling Emma, Kate, Ashley and Brianna between bodies, and leaving Morgan with his head planted on a well-proportioned female body that finally fits with his closest friends.

There's a bit of gender-bending going on with the aliens as well, who are essentially genderless until their first mating, at which time the dominant becomes male and the submissive becomes female. It seems like a throwaway concept, but does come back to help steer the story towards a satisfying conclusion. Perhaps Sara's most accessible tale to date, Head Games is a fun sci-fi romp that just happens to play with gender along the way.

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