Challenger Logo by Alan White   A Science Fiction Fanzine   Spring - Summer 2008




The masterpiece depicted below appeared some time ago on e-Bay, and I regret that I didn’t bid on it. All Woman is, I blush to admit, an important tome in my life. Back in the early sixties, when it was new, it was the first dirty book I ever managed to get my ever-stickier hands upon. Its effect was permanent.

This is a picture of the book with triple X's added

I remember nothing of any plot, but phrases and characters and situations resound yet in my mind. There were two main female characters, archetypes now in my subconscious: a blonde with enormous gazongas and her slim brunette rival with the morals of an alleycat. I remember descriptive passages of peculiar potency – an account of the blonde trailing her shed bathing suit behind her on the sand; a description of her stage act which involved a mannequin made up as Satan. I recall horrid bits of dialog (“I got more than eyes, baby!”) and a couple of moments that, as a presumed adult, I hesitate to reprint. I even recall a scene delivering the brutality promised on the cover – now distressing and offensive. Rest assured that its implicit message did not stick.

But some notions did, I’m afraid. The sexy archetypes maintain. The wooze of lust still depends on an inchoate sense of women as amazing … and alien. The richness and real reward of genuine females, learned as I grew up, had no place in All Woman. I recall no humor in the book, no trust, no friendship – but when did anyone scan a Beacon Book for humor or trust or friendship? No, they were hands to glands, fodder for the lizard brain, the primal male connection eye to imagination to prostate, and this was one volume that made that circuit spark, decades upon decades ago.

I recently bought a copy of ALL WOMAN on-line for (blush) $15.74. No, I'm not a fool. I'm a damned fool.


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