You know how some people get about monster erotica? That's how I get about science-fiction romance. It has a comfortingly cultish appeal for me. Probably because of all the Star Trek episodes and Animorphs books I grew up on as a kid.
It's difficult to rate stories as short as The Portal is, because I feel like the author is automatically limiting themselves with such a small work space. Writing short stories is far more difficult than one might think--you have to provide the same amount of depth and plot development as a regular novel, but in 1/10th of the words. It's an exercise in simplicity and spare prose.
The Portal doesn't make a lot of sense. I got the feeling that it was an excerpt from a longer story ARC, because both the beginning and the end seemed torn from some larger swatch of storyline.
There is only one sex scene and it is rather predictable with talk of "peaked nipples" and desperate need. They do it in a tub of alien water, which I guess is different enough to warrant mentioning. I guess. It's sad, though, that the main character, Janni, gives the dude a long speech about how she isn't a whore and then sleeps with him anyway....
Oh, and at the end, when the two of them walk hand-in-hand into the sunset or wherever, I was like, "Bitch, what about your crew? You going to leave them to die so you can go make love with your alien Neanderthal?"
I mean, really.
1 to 1.5 out of 5 stars.