Astra and Flondrix (1976) is a porn novel that doesn’t really manage to be sexy, and a fantasy novel that breaks one of the first rules of the genre, by having as its cement many base human functions which we prefer not to find in this sort of prose. All in all it’s kind of distasteful, and although Astra and Flondrix tries hard to express a massive libertarian universe of possibility, it doesn’t really work as it fails to set its own boundaries.

Perhaps it’s because reading and writing about sex involves a fair amount of fantasy as it is, but its only likely audience these days would be adolescents who may want to take a break from Lord of the Rings, Gor, or whatever else they happen to be into. There’s an incredible range of characters in the book, and for such a short read there’s a lot packed in, including far too much detail on the many anatomical ways that elves, dwarves, deer, sheep, humans, and chickens can go at it.

A problem that faces all writers is how to translate the imagination on to the page, as ideas and feelings are often dissipated in the process — but not so here. Author Seamus Cullen at least achieved lasting fame by succeeding to cram all this perverse thinking into one book and completely subverting the fantasy genre also. You may not like this book, but if you’re a fantasy fan it’s probably worth checking out, and although still out of print, it does turn up in the second hand shops from time to time, from where it should be brown-paper bagged away to your own collection, post haste.