‘Pinocchia’ by Paul Di Filippo
Now, to awaken her, he had only to speak her name, a name he had chosen and suitably altered in memory of a fairytale he had enjoyed as a child, a fairytale whose creator-figure harmonized vaguely with Geppi’s own name and vocation.
How convenient. This is, obviously, a fairytale re-telling where – in keeping with the theme of the anthology – it is Pinocchia’s clit which grows every time she lies. It isn’t just stealing the premise, in style and structure it apes a fairytale.
I skipped forward to this story in the anthology because of this post by Alex Dally MacFarlane which starts: “I’ll skip any preamble: I read a story, I disliked it strongly, I am now ranting about it.” Her mistake is to read the story as an example of realism rather than as a cartoon. Within this context rape becomes just another activity. MacFarlane accurately concludes: “It all seems to be about the sex, rather than a true journey of self-discovery.” ‘Pinocchia’ is (perhaps unsurprisingly) rather similar to di Filippo’s erotic novel, A Mouthful of Tongues: Her Totipotent Tropicanalia; it is mostly concerned with the eroticism of variety and indulgence. That is to say a very broad sort of story, unconcerned with the way people actually think, feel or behave.