Editors: Amy Stephenson and Casey A. Childers
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre(s): Humor, Parody, Literature, Fanfiction
Review Spoilers: Low
GoodReads | Amazon
If you haven’t heard of Shipwreck then you are missing out. An erotic fanfiction contest hosted regularly at the Booksmith bookstore in San Francisco, it’s a whole lot of raunchy fun for book nerds who happen to be 18 years or older. We sent one of our staff members to check out one of these sexually explicit celebrations of fanfiction a couple of years ago and she had a fantastic time. I mean, how could you not? Dramatic readings of some seriously weird, mixed-up sexual exploits featuring some of your favorite characters? Sounds like a great time.
Loose Lips: Fanfiction Parodies of Great (and Terrible) Literature from the Stage of Shipwreck attempts to bring the zaniness of the Booksmith stage home. It’s full of all kinds of really crazy fanfiction from fandoms like Pride & Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, Peter Pan, and more. Absolutely none of them – even the Peter Pan ones – are meant for children. They are seriously erotic here, folks. This is stuff that’s bound to make even adults blush at times.
The stories are provided by a number of different authors including well known writers like Seanan McGuire, John Scalzi, Joseph Fink, Joseph Cranor, and Kate Leth as well as other well-known names from Shipwreck shows past. Each of them picks a fandom and goes crazy – embracing the insanely wicked and smutty depths of their imaginations. Seanan McGuire gives a fantastic introduction to the book and admittedly it seems like these people had a lot of fun putting together their stories and bringing this book to life.
As lovingly curated as Loose Lips may be, unfortunately it just doesn’t capture the magic of the stage show.
At least, it doesn’t on it’s own.
Loose Lips provides readers with some pretty great (and also pretty terrible) fanfiction. It crosses just about every line you might imagine and that’s kind of the point, right? I mean, if you really just want to read fanfiction then this is not the book for you. You can find a much wider variety of fanfiction with way more intricate storylines and honestly way better writing online somewhere.
But if you’re looking for the kind of fanficiton you’d hear read at Shipwreck to read aloud with your own friends then you’re in luck. That’s what you’ll get from this book and you and your friends will have a great time trying to read through these stories together.
I admittedly had a hard time enjoying Loose Lips because at it’s core it’s just a bunch of really outrageous stories focused on just one thing: smut. But once I figured out that the real joy comes from sharing these stories and reading them together with others I liked it a lot more. That prospect of adding a little showmanship to the stories really saves Loose Lips.
So, if you can, share it with others. Put on your own dramatic readings of other peoples’ crazy, erotic fanfiction. Host your own little mini-Shipwreck in your own living room. And definitely make sure to utilize the ‘penis’ thesaurus provided in the back for your everyday penis-related needs.
Do not necessarily read this book just for the joy of fanfiction. And be very, very careful who you decide to buy this book for. You know your family and friends a lot better than we do so if you know some people who would like the idea of just random, nonsensical smut and crazy fanfiction scenarios then by all means – this is the book for them. (Or if that person is you, then it’s the book for you.) I wouldn’t just assume that if someone likes fanfiction they will like this book.
Most people, regardless of whether or not they enjoy reading Loose Lips themselves, will probably love the live competition.
So if you’re in San Francisco you should totally check out the original Shipwreck at Booksmith. Sometimes they also travel to other cities – so keep an eye on their events page! There are TWO launch parties planned for Loose Lips with one on the West Coast and another being held in New York City as part of New York Comic-Con. If you scored NYCC tickets, you can’t miss this opportunity to check out Shipwreck for yourself. Mara Wilson will be reading stories based on William Goodman’s The Princess Bride. Just think of the potential!
If you can’t make a live show, though, remember: Loose Lips comes out on September 27th. So keep an eye out at your local book store!