Short Stories

Short Story Collections

  • EDGE PLAYS — A collection of BDSM-themed science fiction stories in the “Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords” universe. “Master Mind” continues the story of Arshan prior to the events in “Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords,” as well as several other stories and excerpts of books that take place in the same universe, including The Velderet. This was originally released as a limited run ebook as a fundraiser for the Erotic Authors Association, but was later re-released by Circlet Press in ebook form.
    Buy from: Circlet | Smashwords | Amazon (forthcoming)

  • WHITE FLAMES — the “sequel” to “BLACK FEATHERS,” that is, my next collection of erotic short stories–was published in May 2008 from Running Press. As of 2017 it was out of print but you can still find used paperback copies on Amazon. I’ll probably re-release an ebook edition soonish.

  • Black Feathers: Erotic Dreams
    Twenty three of the erotic stories mentioned below all collected into one nice trade paperback from HarperCollins Publishers. Went out of print in 2007 after nine years in print. The only way to get paperback copies now is through Ebay and used resellers, but an ebook edition is available.
    Buy The Ebook: Amazon | Apple | Kobo

  • Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords
    This tiny little chapbook of three stories is still a defining moment in my career and my development as an adult human being, not to mention the catalyst which launched Circlet Press and the sea change in the sf/f genre toward higher erotic (and romantic) content. As of February 2004 it went out of print after ten years in print. There is now as ebook edition of it, though!
    Buy from: Circlet Press | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Amazon

    Erotic Short Stories by Cecilia Tan

    This is a list of most of my erotica and science fiction/fantasy short stories. Various stories have 250 words samples. I’d like to digitize myself reading them aloud as MP3s or something, too. Maybe someday.

    Oh, one thing. If you find on this list that there is a work of my fiction not listed, or an appearance of one not listed that should be, let me know and I’ll give you a free book! I know there are things I forget. Think of it as motivational for the two of us. I don’t guarantee what book I’ll send you, though…

    (Roughly Reverse Chronological)

    • “Crowdthink Consensus Thresholds: A Study” — an erotic near-future story, somewhat cyberpunk, in the second issue of CONGRESS Magazine edited by Molly Tanzer. Published August 2016. Read the story online! Or buy and download the issue from Amazon or Weightless Books (you can also subscribe to the mag via Weightless)

    • “The Wanting” — dark fantasy story appeared in Issue #30 of Dark Discoveries magazine, published Jan 31, 2015.

    • Novella “Sacrifice” appeared in the romance anthology SUMMER RAIN, published August 2014 as a fundraiser for RAINN. Sea trade with China brings a young woman, sold into slavery, into the life of a demigod in Macedonia in the era when Christianity is ascendant. Kobo | Apple | Amazon | Goodreads

    • Short-short story “Her Lover Is a Flame” to Rachel Kramer Bussell for THE BIG BOOK OF ORGASMS: 69 SEXY STORIES, Cleis Press, November 2013.

    • Short story “Action,” a gay, near-future, magical realist literary story appeared first in the annual anthology for the Saints & Sinners literary festival and then was chosen by Peter Dubé for BEST GAY STORIES published in 2012. (It’s also an homage to actor Brandon Lee.)

    • Short story “Window of Opportunity” for the anthology VOYEUR EYES ONLY: VEGAS WINDOWS, Published in February 2012 in Audiobook by SMOTP and paperback/ebook by XCite Books. This anthology was cooked up during the 2011 Erotic Authors Association convention in Vegas and includes stories from attendees at that conference, which was fantastic fun.

    • Short-short story “Time,” to Rachel Kramer Bussell for the GOTTA HAVE IT: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex, published by Cleis Press in March 2011.

    • Short story “What a Man Wants,” to Lee Martindale for the The Ladies of Trade Town
      anthology, published in June 2011 by HarpHaven Publishing.

    • Short story, “Bad Place,” to an anthology of gay-themed erotic sf/fRIDING THE ROCKET: TALES OF MALE-MALE LOVE IN THE FUTURE – AND BEYOND edited by Sascha Illyvich for Sizzler Editions. February 2011.

    • Sold the story “Will Power,” to Fang Bangers: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love, edited by Lori Perkins for Ravenous Romance. Published September 2010.

    • Sold the story “Two Cocks, One Girl,” to Best Women’s Erotica 2011, edited by Violet Blue for Cleis Press. Fall 2010.

    • “The Inner Game of Chess.” Short story in Richard Labonte’s Beautiful Boys: Gay Erotic Stories
      anthology from Cleis Press. says it is in stock as of the end of October 2010 (official pub date Nov 1st 2010.)

    • A story in Best S/M Erotica Vol 3: Still More Extreme Stories of Still More Extreme Sex!, edited by M. Christian, published by Logical Lust. Just got my contributor’s copy of the book, August 2010.

    • “Thinly Veiled” is in Lawrence Schimel’s LOUISIANA VAMPIRES anthology. Submitted it literally over 10 years ago and book got put on hold, now it’s happening and voila! Very glad I still had word processor files of the story! Book arrived April 2010 at my door.

    • “Improvisation” — a short story I originally wrote as a gift fanfic about some of our favorite celebrities for someone I know, has grown into a story of its own with the “serial numbers filed off.” Published in the I KISSED A BOY anthology of gay first-time encounters, edited by Lori Perkins for Ravenous Romance, appeared in March 2010. You’ll easily be able to figure out who the actors are I paired in the story if you know anything about my fandoms.

    • “Man Enough” — my contribution to the LESBIAN COWBOYS anthology edited by Sacchi Green and Rakelle Valencia. Got to indulge my gender-blending kink here.

    • “Soft Hands” — short story was published as a standalone at Ravenous Romance in January 2009.

    • “Baseball Blues” — short story published as a standalone at Ravenous Romance in January 2009.

    • “Seven Swans a Swimming” — erotic vampire short story appeared in an ebook anthology from Ravenous Romance called The Twelve Days of Christmas, each of the 12 stories in the book being a Christmas-themed romantic tale. Mine’s the only vampire one, go figure! Appeared December 2008.

    • “The Spark” appeared in Periphery: Erotic Lesbian Futures, edited by Lynne Jamneck. The book had been slated for publication by one of the publishers that went under in the fiction die-off of 2007, and it was picked up by Steve Berman at Lethe Press. Came out March 2008.

    • “Just Tell Me The Rules” appeared in Aqua Erotica 2, from Melcher Media in December 2005. Now, I know what you are thinking, there already was a sequel to Aqua Erotica, called Wet: More Aqua Erotica, but it didn’t sell anywhere near as well as the first volume did. So now Melcher, the packager who sold the first book, is doing another waterproof book, this time under their own name, and calling it Aqua Erotica 2 (distributed by Andrews McMeel). The weird part is that this time they didn’t insist on every story having a water theme, though, and instead went for a kind of nebulous theme about “crossing boundaries.” I ended up writing an erotic homage to Clive Owen. Go figure.

    • “Seduction” and “The Magician’s Assistant” appeared in Best American Erotica 2005, edited by Susie Bright. They originally appeared in Five Minute Erotica, edited by Carol Queen (Running Press). BAE 2005 arrived in March 2005.

    • “Halloween” and “Master Mind” — for N. T. Morley’s MASTER/slave anthologies for the Venus Book Club. These came out in 2004/2005 through the Venus Book club, and then was re-released by Berkley as a trade paperback. It’s two books in one! One which is all stories from the submissive women’s point of view, and one which is all from the male dominant’s point of view.

    • “The Little Mermaid” appeared in the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, in one of the volumes that didn’t have a number so it’s hard to describe which one. The story was also a selection of RandomHouse Audio for their web site — you can hear it online! Buy the audio download here.

    • “Bodies of Water” later appeared in The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, volume 4, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Carroll & Graf).

    • “Bodies of Water” — a fever-dream story I wrote after waking up from a nap in Century City, CA, after channel flipping between a Discovery Channel show on deepsea archaeology and promos for Disney’s Atlantis… appeared in Marilyn Jaye Lewis’ Venus Big Book of Hot Women’s Erotica in 2003 (bookclub ed. only) and then the book was reprinted as the Blue Moon Books edition Hot Women’s Erotica.

      “Touch Pain,” which was originally in Asimov’s, was reprinted in the U.K. in Necrologue: The Diva Book of the Dead and the Undead, edited by Helen Sandler, Diva Books/MPG. Fall 2003.

      Two short-short pieces, “Seduction” and “The Magician’s Assistant” appeared in Five Minute Erotica, edited by Carol Queen and published by Running Press. Book arrived in November 2003 or so.

    • “Lip Service” — a piece I wrote for the MOB chapbook “Edgewords” (which is available now as a book from @TheEdge publishers) is now in “Best S/M Erotica” edited by M. Christian, from Black Books. Came out toward the end of 2003.
    • “Dragon’s Daughter” is appearing on an audio-tape/CD of sf/fantasy short stories available from Nova Audio/SI Images. Christmas 2002. Was originally in Firebrand Books’ “To Be Continued
    • “Thought So” — erotic story appeared in Best Women’s Erotica 2003, edited by Marcy Sheiner, from Cleis Press. Book arrived December 2002.
    • October 2002–“Rough, Trade” appeared in Venus Bookclub anthology “Sex Machine” edited by M. Christian. Was originally in M. Christian’s “Eros Ex Machina.”
    • June 2002 — “Rite of Spring” short story in Wet: More Aqua Erotica, from Crown Books — another waterproof book and the sequel to Aqua Erotica. Just got my contributors copies at the end of the month.
    • April 2002 — “Crooked Kwan” reprinted in the anthology DESIRES, which was done in a very short run by AmirMira Press a few years ago, now being resurrected by the Venus Bookclub by editor Adrienne Hendricks.
    • December 2001 — “La Money Girl” is in the anthology Hot & Bothered 3, ed. Karen X. Tulchinsky, Arsenal Pulp Press. Just came in the mail today.
    • December 2001 — “Touch Pain” is in the Asimov’s (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine) I just got in the mail. Yay! I think that means it will be on newsstands any day now, too.
    • “Tune In” — an excerpt from The Book of Want, appeared at, along with an autobiographical essay about being the maven of erotic science fiction, “Double Fantasy.” (Thanks, Scott!)
    • “Baseball Fever” — a story about a certain baseball player, for an anthology of erotica about famous people entitled “Starf*cker“, edited by the fabulous Shar Rednour and published by Alyson Publications, arrived in Feb. 2001.
    • “The Little Mermaid” — in Aqua Erotica, edited by Mary Anne Mohanraj, a very intriguing and neat-sounding anthology of erotic stories involving water… published by Crown in September 2000. The book is waterproof, too!
    • “Penetration” — appeared in the omnibus “Best of the Best of Best Lesian Erotica” (Cleis Press) and an Italian-language anthology in Italy, called “LATEX” from Mondadori, in summer 2000.
    • Two sudden fictions, “La Money Girl” and “Tune In” excerpted from my novel-mosaic-in-progress (The Book of Want), were in the inaugural issue of literary arts journal BLUE FOOD. July 2000.
    • “In Silver A” a futuristic cyberpunk story appeared in Absolute Magnitude magazine in April 2000. Hey, and although it has sex in it, it’s not primarily erotica.

    • “Bullseye” in “The Academy: Tales from the Marketplace”
      anthology, edited by Laura Antoniou (aka Sara Adamson) where each
      story takes place in the universe of The Marketplace, the BDSM
      underground world she created. Published in March 2000 by Mystic Rose Books.

    • “The Hard Sell” — a short erotic story about a women in the ad biz and her unique way of processing relationships, is now up on the EMATTER site. There are some great stories by M. Christian, Hanne Blank, and Thomas S. Roche there as well.
    • “Always” — a story that was originally in Herotica 6, now in Best Lesbian Erotica 2000, edited by Tristan Taormino and published by Cleis Press. Book came out in January 2000.
    • “Now” — a slightly experiemental, erotic science fiction story, in the anthology VISCERA, published by good smut web site Venus Or Vixen. Edited by Cara Bruce. The book appeared in January 2000.
    • “Drumbeat/Esprit de Corps” — a lesbian marching band uniform fetish story, in On Our Backs magazine. Just got the issue in the mail in December 1999. It also came out in the anthology UNIFORM SEX ed. by Linnea Due (Alyson Publications) in Fall 2000.
    • “The Darling” — a short story, appeared on/at the webzine in September 99.

    • “Ziggy Stardust” in STARPHKR, the way cool zine of celebrity lust
      edited by the fab Shar Rednour. Shar is also working on a book version for the zine with Alyson, and the story may appear there, too.

    • “Lip Service” — a short story, in a chapbook/zine called EDGEWORDS, put together by the M.O.B. (all women’s BDSM community group in New England, the Massachusetts Orgasmic Bitches). Appeared July 1999. A New trade paperback edition from “@ The Edge Publishing” appeared in Fall 2000. For more info email

    • The sequel to “Dragon’s Daughter,” which I entitled “Hall of Mirrors” but which appears just as called “Dragon’s Daughter”
      will be in To Be Continued 2, edited by Karen X. Tulchinsky and
      Michele Karlsberg (Firebrand Books). Since all the stories in Volume 1
      of TBC were cliffhangers, now they’ll publish all the sequels! I got my copies of the book at the end of April 99 so you should be able to find it now. I’ve now got ideas in my head for additional stories featuring these characters…

    • “Always” is in Herotica 6, edited by Marcy Sheiner. (Down There Press.)
      It’s one of the only stories I’ve written about procreative sex… and
      polyamory, no less. Appeared about Feb. 99, I think.

    • “Balancing Act,” a fiction story, appeared in the Winter 1999 issue of Blithe House Quarterly, the online
      journal of gay/lesbian literature. Follow the link to get to their site.

    • “Penetration” appeared in BEST AMERICAN EROTICA 1999, which
      showed up in bookstores in late January 1999. The story was previously

    • “Three of Cups” in BEST LESBIAN EROTICA 1999, selected by
      Chrystos, series edited by Tristan Taormino. Book arrived in the
      mail January 1999 and looks luscious.

    • “Juno” in CROSSING THE BORDER, ed. by Lisa Tuttle for the
      Indigo/Gollancz imprint in the U.K. Subtitled “Tales of Erotic
      Ambiguity,” each story has some kind of gender twist or bend in it. No
      word yet on whether the anthology with be published in the USA, but
      I’m just thrilled to be in a book with Neil Gaiman and Angela Carter.

    • “Three of Cups” in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF NEW EROTICA, edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Carroll & Graf/Robinson publishers. This is the first
      story I wrote using Tarot cards to determine character and conflict.
      The book appeared in the UK first, and hit shelves in July 1998 in the US.
      Two page sample available…

    • “Rough, Trade” in EROS EX MACHINA, mechanical erotica, edited by
      M. Christian, Masquerade Books. I just got the book in March 1998
      and it looks nice. Two paragraph sample available…

    • “Love’s Year” in HOT & BOTHERED, lesbian erotic short short
      stories, edited by Karen X. Tulchinsky, published by Arsenal Pulp
      Press. The book appeared in February 1998 and we had a nice launch
      reading at OutWrite.

    • “Penetration” in BEST LESBIAN EROTICA 1997, edited this year by
      Jewelle Gomez, series editor Tristan Taormino, published by Cleis
      Press. Two paragraph sample available…

    • “Pearl Diver” in the story’s third appearance in print, in BEST
      AMERICAN EROTICA 1996, edited by Susie Bright and published by
      Touchstone/Simon & Schuster.

    • “Porn Flicks” in Herotica 4 edited by Marcy Sheiner and came out in 1996 from NAL/Plume. I’ve also sold the story “Dragon Cat Flower” to Herotica 5, and a Quality Paperback Books edition compacting Heroticas 1-3 into one volume just became available through QPB. (1996)
    • “The Nightingale” in Once Upon A Time: Fairy Tales for Women, edited by Michael Ford, appeared in October 1996. (Masquerade Books) Two paragraph sample available… The story I wrote was given honorable mention in the 1996 “Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.”
    • “Rock Steady” mid-1996 in an anthology of erotic fiction with a rock and roll theme entitled Backstage Passes edited by Amelia G for Masquerade Books. Appeared 10/96. Two paragraph sample available…
    • “Daydreaming” in Switch Hitters, edited by Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel, Cleis Press. This anthology is unique: gay men writing lesbian smut and lesbians writing gay male smut. (and some sundry bisexuals like myself in the mix, writing about the opposite gender) Got my copy in the mail in 1996 and it’s a strong collection.

    • “Wonder Woman” in Porn Free “The Magazine Dedicated to
      Getting You Off For Nuthin'” It’s a humorous story starring Wonder
      Woman and a satirical commentary on anti-s/m lesbians. Appeared
      in May 1996.

    • “Crooked Kwan” March 1996 in an anthology of noir-ish erotic
      fiction entitled Noirotica edited by Thomas S. Roche for Masquerade Books. Two paragraph sample available…

    • “The Velderet: Part Two” chapter 2 of a cybersex novel being
      serialized in Taste of Latex. Issue #11 just arrived the first
      week of July 1995 with Chapter 2 in it. #12 will have part 3,
      etc. This got up through chapter 6 before the magazine went on
      hiatus. Circlet published the entire book, all 12 chapters, in summer 2001.

    • “The Tale of Christina” October ’95 in Dark Angels an anthology of lesbian vampire fiction edited by Pam Keesey for Cleis Press.
    • “Pearl Diver” Summer ’95 in On A Bed Of Rice: An Asian American Erotic Feast an anthology edited by Geraldine Kudaka for Anchor Books. The story also appeared in Ms. Magzine’s “sex” issue in Nov/Dec 1995, and will be included in Best American Erotica 1996 edited by Susie Bright.

    • “The Velderet” part 1 of a cybersex novel in the now defunct Taste
      of Latex magazine, Issue #10. (Taste of Latex issues 10 through
      15 (?) were published by DM International, publishers of Bitches
      with Whips
      and Kinky People, Places and Things.) But they
      decided to stop publication and try to sell the magazine after several
      issues. As such, only half of the twelve chapters of The Velderet ever
      saw print. Circlet Press published The Velderet as a book in June 2001.

    • “Whipmaster” in Looking for Mr. Preston a hardcover anthology in tribute to John Preston edited by Laura Antoniou for Masquerade Books. 1995.
    • “Heart’s Desire” in By Her Subdued an anthology of erotic fiction about dominant women edited by Laura Antoniou for Masquerade Books. 1995?
    • “The Game” in No Other Tribute an anthology of erotic fiction about submissive women edited by Laura Antoniou for Masquerade Books. 1995?
    • “A True Story” in Herotica 3 an anthology of women’s erotic fiction edited by Susie Bright for Plume Books.
    • “Jean-Michel and Juno” in the now moribund Paramour magazine vol 2 #1. Here’s a two paragraph sample.
    • “Career Track” in Penthouse magazine July 1994 issue. Here’s a two paragraph sample.
    • “The First Whip” in SandMUtopia Guardian magazine issue 17. Editor Pat Califia published it as fiction, but it’s more of an essay on my true life experience of getting whipped for the first time.
    • “Summoning” in SexMagick an anthology of erotic science fiction from Circlet Press.

    Non-erotic short stories by Cecilia Tan

    Yes, there are some, can you believe it?

    • “Pitchers and Catchers Report”–a literary short story about a catcher in the Red Sox minor league system in the 1990s and the unique experience he gains at his first Spring Training. The protagonist is Kirby Wilcox, who later (in his life) appears in my as-yet-unpublished novel “Bambino Road.” Story appeared in “Further Fenway Fiction,” edited by Adam Pachter and published by Rounder Books.

    • “Lexicon,” a literary short-short I wrote in grad school, appeared in Other Magazine, Issue #3. “The magazine for people who defy categories.” January 2003.

    • “In Silver A” was in the Mammoth Bookof Future Cops, edited by M. Christian and Maxim Jakubowski, Fall 2003. It originally appeared in Asimov’s.
    • “Eyes Open And Closed”–a short story, in the newsletter/zine of Borderlands Books in San Francisco, “Dispatches from the Border.” This very cool sf/f/h bookstore is worth a visit if you are in the city by the bay. The story also appeared in January 2001 in the sf/f web magazine “Strange Horizons” under another title “With Eyes Open.” (We changed it because of the Kubrick movie.) Later, it appeared in the Lethe Press anthology of the Best of Strange Horizons Year One.
    • “Dragon’s Daughter” in To Be Continued, an anthology of lesbian fiction edited by Karen X. Tulchinsky and Michele Karlsberg, forthcoming from Firebrand Books. The stories in the book all end in cliff-hangers of some sort! The story is sexy but understated, with no graphic sex, which is, I know, different for me. Hit shelves in October 1998. Two paragraph sample available…

    • “Larceny” a literary short-short appeared in Queer View Mirror, an anthology of gay and lesbian short-shorts edited by
      James Johnstone and Karen X. Tulchinsky… launched in February 1996
      at OutWrite. From Arsenal Pulp Press of Canada.