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Night Shadows: Queer Horror

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What scares you the most? An impressive lineup of the biggest names in gay and lesbian publishing come together to share tales of things that go bump in the night, murder and revenge most foul, and dark creatures that will haunt your dreams, while putting a decidedly queer twist on the literary horror genre. Edited by award-winning authors Greg Herren and J. M. Redmann, th What scares you the most? An impressive lineup of the biggest names in gay and lesbian publishing come together to share tales of things that go bump in the night, murder and revenge most foul, and dark creatures that will haunt your dreams, while putting a decidedly queer twist on the literary horror genre. Edited by award-winning authors Greg Herren and J. M. Redmann, the stories in Night Shadows are masterfully told, disturbing tales of psychological terror that will continue to resonate with readers long after they finish reading these delightfully wicked stories. Don’t read these stygian tales when you’re alone—or without every light in the house burning!


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What scares you the most? An impressive lineup of the biggest names in gay and lesbian publishing come together to share tales of things that go bump in the night, murder and revenge most foul, and dark creatures that will haunt your dreams, while putting a decidedly queer twist on the literary horror genre. Edited by award-winning authors Greg Herren and J. M. Redmann, th What scares you the most? An impressive lineup of the biggest names in gay and lesbian publishing come together to share tales of things that go bump in the night, murder and revenge most foul, and dark creatures that will haunt your dreams, while putting a decidedly queer twist on the literary horror genre. Edited by award-winning authors Greg Herren and J. M. Redmann, the stories in Night Shadows are masterfully told, disturbing tales of psychological terror that will continue to resonate with readers long after they finish reading these delightfully wicked stories. Don’t read these stygian tales when you’re alone—or without every light in the house burning!

30 review for Night Shadows: Queer Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    A question of genre -- The hollow is filled with beautiful monsters / Lee Thomas -- The zealous advocate / Carsen Taite -- Room nine / Felice Picano -- The price / J.M. Redmann -- Matinee / Vince A. Liaguno -- Capturing Jove Lunge / Steve Berman -- A letter to my brother, relating recent events with unintended consequences / Carol Rosenfeld -- All the pretty boys / Michael Rowe -- The roommate / Lisa Girolami -- Filth / 'Nathan Burgoine -- Saint Louis 1990 / Jewelle Gomez -- Blackout / Jeffrey Ricker -- Craz A question of genre -- The hollow is filled with beautiful monsters / Lee Thomas -- The zealous advocate / Carsen Taite -- Room nine / Felice Picano -- The price / J.M. Redmann -- Matinee / Vince A. Liaguno -- Capturing Jove Lunge / Steve Berman -- A letter to my brother, relating recent events with unintended consequences / Carol Rosenfeld -- All the pretty boys / Michael Rowe -- The roommate / Lisa Girolami -- Filth / 'Nathan Burgoine -- Saint Louis 1990 / Jewelle Gomez -- Blackout / Jeffrey Ricker -- Crazy in the night / Greg Herren -- Ordinary mayhem / Victoria A. Brownworth. Favorites: Steve Berman, who I think is the only person in this anthology I'd read before. He doesn't seem very prolific, which is a pity, because I've enjoyed everything of his. This was really rich and felt like it ought to be the middle of a longer work with these characters (but I don't think it is?). Michael Rowe. Short and effective and rather sad parable about the things we do for love. But not as sad as "Blackout." Yeah, the haunted house and the snow and the helplessness are scary, but what Ricker does really masterfully is the grief. "Filth" was perfect and surprising. I'd been mean to try Burgoine for a while and now definitely feel motivated to track down a longer work. I wouldn't say I *disliked* any of the stories, but several felt weak or pointless to me. And I have to say that the Lovecraftian inheritance of characters seeing Something Nasty in the Woodshed Ineffably Horrifying and then being found catatonic or gibbering morons has really worn thin, especially if one reads collections of this sort and encounters it multiple times in the same sitting. I failed to finished the last story, "Ordinary mayhem" by Victoria A. Brownworth, because it was very long and very full of maggots, but if you are the rotting-corpses sort of horror fan you will probably like it. The person who had this from the library before me also checked out Blue Is the Warmest Color Night Bites: Vampire Stories by Women

  2. 4 out of 5

    ✟Roxanne✟(Death by Book Avalanche) ☠

    I found this book whilst browsing the shelves at my local library, the front cover intrigued me and the genre even more so. I love horror novels and when I noticed that this had a LGBT theme I thought 'how brilliant!', I didn't hesitate to pick this up. Once I got the book home I decided to look up some reviews and noticed that the majority were 4 and 5 stars...I was excited as I thought I had found a gem. Well...I'm the minority. Me whilst reading Night Shadows... I was so disappointed and really I found this book whilst browsing the shelves at my local library, the front cover intrigued me and the genre even more so. I love horror novels and when I noticed that this had a LGBT theme I thought 'how brilliant!', I didn't hesitate to pick this up. Once I got the book home I decided to look up some reviews and noticed that the majority were 4 and 5 stars...I was excited as I thought I had found a gem. Well...I'm the minority. Me whilst reading Night Shadows... I was so disappointed and really thought I must have missed something due to all of the glowing reviews but I only liked 4 out of the 14 stories. My favourite was definitely 'Ordinary Mayhem' which was the longest story in the book. I thought it was gripping, gruesome and positively twisted. Unfortunately I couldn't give this book any more than 2 stars because as a collection this was pretty poor. I don't recommend purchasing this book. As far as I know 'Ordinary Mayhem' is being released as a full length novel so I highly recommend just waiting for that (I wish I did). I found the majority of the stories either confusing, repetitive, dry or just plain pointless to be honest...the ones that were a couple of pages in length just had me sighing in frustration. This, for me, would not be a re-read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    'Nathan Burgoine

    Edit: January 18th, 2022. This title is today's one-day-only Flash Sale title over on the Bold Strokes Books web-store. Full disclosure: I have a story in this collection, "Filth," which was my one (and thus far only) foray in to writing horror. That said, once I got the collection, I was stunned at how awesome the other stories were (you have to make sure to find somewhere dark and quiet to read the novella length "Everyday Mayhem" at the end of this collection, but don't do it before you need t Edit: January 18th, 2022. This title is today's one-day-only Flash Sale title over on the Bold Strokes Books web-store. Full disclosure: I have a story in this collection, "Filth," which was my one (and thus far only) foray in to writing horror. That said, once I got the collection, I was stunned at how awesome the other stories were (you have to make sure to find somewhere dark and quiet to read the novella length "Everyday Mayhem" at the end of this collection, but don't do it before you need to sleep), and super proud to have made the cut. Jeffrey Ricker's take on a ghost story was chilling, too, as was J.M. Redmann's super-disturbing tale of dark nunnery. (Did I really just say "dark nunnery?" I guess I did.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Benito Corral

    Nowadays the horror and urban/paranormal fantasy genres seems replete with anthologies centered around one theme or another; shapeshifters, vampires, zombies-they all have had the starring role. But it's harder to find a good, solid anthology that just has "horror"as its central idea, and harder still when the theme is "queer horror". I haven't read such a book since 2002 when Michael Rowe's Queer Fear came out. That book, along with its successor Queer Fear 2, was an ambitious and critically acc Nowadays the horror and urban/paranormal fantasy genres seems replete with anthologies centered around one theme or another; shapeshifters, vampires, zombies-they all have had the starring role. But it's harder to find a good, solid anthology that just has "horror"as its central idea, and harder still when the theme is "queer horror". I haven't read such a book since 2002 when Michael Rowe's Queer Fear came out. That book, along with its successor Queer Fear 2, was an ambitious and critically acclaimed collection that thrust "queer horror" into the spotlight and filled a vacancy in the horror genre that hadn't been occupied before. Now Night Shadows: Queer Horror continues that fine tradition with a fresh, new collection of stories that encompass many facets of horror, not just the fanged and furred kind. I am a big fan of anthologies but I am always prepared for each one I read to be a mixed bag;there are always some stand outs and some clunkers. This time, however, I found that each story was a worthy entry and the collection as a whole made for happy reading. Here are my favorites: The Zealous Advocate by Carsen Taite; a well written, bloody revenge story... Matinee by Vince A. Liaguno is another juicy revenge story and also an ode to the slasher horror films of the 80s... Capturing Jove Lunge by Steve Berman was for me the most erotic entry in the book; a darker, pulpy tale .. All The Pretty Boys by Michael Rowe is another of the sexier entries here, a seductive werewolf story... Filth by 'Nathan Burgoine is one of the creepiest stories I've read in a long time. I literally felt my skin crawl as I read it...my favorite of the bunch! Blackout by Jeffrey Ricker is an eerie ghost story, well told by the author who keeps the tension mounting throughout the entire piece. As I said, each of the stories here are good, solid tales but these listed here are for me well worth the price of admission alone. Night Shadows: Queer Horror does an excellent job of exploring and celebrating the gay horror genre and will appeal to fans of horror from every walk of life. Happy reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Addison Lane

    Anthologies can be pretty hit or miss, but I found this one hit several hauntingly satisfying home runs. Night Shadows was a happy find, boasting a range of atmospheric stories--quite a few leaving me with a pleasantly unsettling vibe and wanting more. My favorites from the line up were "The Hollows is Filled with Beautiful Monsters" (for its Lovecraftian charm), "Matinee" (definitely gave me a few chills), "Filth" (a little perplexing in places, but--to keep this spoiler free--darkly satisfying) Anthologies can be pretty hit or miss, but I found this one hit several hauntingly satisfying home runs. Night Shadows was a happy find, boasting a range of atmospheric stories--quite a few leaving me with a pleasantly unsettling vibe and wanting more. My favorites from the line up were "The Hollows is Filled with Beautiful Monsters" (for its Lovecraftian charm), "Matinee" (definitely gave me a few chills), "Filth" (a little perplexing in places, but--to keep this spoiler free--darkly satisfying), "Blackout" (which had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next), and "Crazy in the Night" (made me glance over my shoulder a few times, just to check). In general, the writing in this collection is solid and for these five tales alone, I'd say it was well worth checking out.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nico

    Picked this up from the library for a spooky read for October & Hallowe'en. Just meh. Didn't really enjoy it, there's not a whole ton to say here. I liked the lgbtqia+ themes as always, but I didn't get into any of the stories I read except one. The writing came off like they were just trying a little too hard. Nothing in here actually offended me or made me angry, so I won't give it a 1 star, but I wouldn't recommend. Picked this up from the library for a spooky read for October & Hallowe'en. Just meh. Didn't really enjoy it, there's not a whole ton to say here. I liked the lgbtqia+ themes as always, but I didn't get into any of the stories I read except one. The writing came off like they were just trying a little too hard. Nothing in here actually offended me or made me angry, so I won't give it a 1 star, but I wouldn't recommend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Antony Simpson

    From AntonySimpson.com: Night Shadows: Queer Horror Edited by Greg Herren and J.M. Redmann is an anthropology of short stories that all have a horror and lesbian, gay or bisexual theme. It’s the ideal read on dark and cold winters night or on the run up to Halloween. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Night Shadows that was kindly sent for me to read and review by Publishers Group UK. Each Author had a distinctive writers voice, so let me take you through the stories one by one: The Hollow Is Filled with From AntonySimpson.com: Night Shadows: Queer Horror Edited by Greg Herren and J.M. Redmann is an anthropology of short stories that all have a horror and lesbian, gay or bisexual theme. It’s the ideal read on dark and cold winters night or on the run up to Halloween. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Night Shadows that was kindly sent for me to read and review by Publishers Group UK. Each Author had a distinctive writers voice, so let me take you through the stories one by one: The Hollow Is Filled with Beautiful Monsters by Lee Thomas This is a superb story and perfect to open the book. Rawley’s ex-boyfriend Zach turns up at his apartment block. He’s taken something, alcohol, pills Rawley’s not sure what. Rawley helps Zach to sober up and Zach offers himself to Rawley, reminding him of their visit to Provincetown. Rawley is tempted but doesn’t want to be used by Zach to get back at his boyfriend. Plus Rawley has history with Zach’s boyfriend and he knows that one good night of sex isn’t worth the hassle that would come with it. So he turns him down and turns him away. Later on Rawley gets a call from intoxicated Zach. Rawley knows that Zach needs help; so he finds out where he is and sets out to rescue him. He finds Zach in The Hollow with Monsters that helps humans live memories or fantasies so vivid that they feel physically and emotional real; but in exchange these monsters absorb energy and physically damage their human victim’s body. Rawley wakes up in hospital with broken bones; apparently someone found him on the street after he was attacked. But he remembers is reliving his wonderful day in Provincetown. He never see’s Zach again and reports The Hollow to the Police as a location where drug use maybe going on; as he knows the Police won’t believe him if he tells the truth. This story is well paced, with good use of description and excellently written from Rawley’s perspective. The Zealous Advocate by Carsen Taite Written in the perspective of a lesbian Lawyer who is successful at getting murders off their murder charges; when the Detective from Dallas turns up it appears that her dark secret might be revealed. Although her dark secret is revealed to the reader far too early, it was an absolutely fascinating read from start to finish. Room Nine by Felice Picano The main character in this story is a heterosexual man; he is working at the local University when he uncovers that some of the football team are secretly gay and that there’s something not quite right with his hotel room. This story was overly descriptive that gave a lot of description of the monotonous everyday events in the main characters life; only really getting going as it ended. Initially there was little to grip the reader or encourage them to read on, but towards the end you finally get hooked. It was an interesting twist to see the gay footballers as the horror element rather than the victims. The Price by J.M. Redmann The Spanish inquisition Nun Malda is offered a deal to get out of her small room in Purgatory. The price for her freedom is to bring other souls to take her place from the present day world. Malda is given back her youth and targets Kerrie an insurance business owner; Kerrie is a ruthless women. But the same could be said about Malda. I flipped between these two women trying to decide which deserve Purgatory more; as I learned why Malda ended up there in the first place and learned more about Kerrie. Cleverly written with an engaging writers voice it is a brilliant story; with an ending that although unexpected is perfect for all of the characters involved. Matinee by Vince A. Liaguno This story starts with Adam in the Cinemas describing the events in the film he’s watching along with his thoughts, which I felt didn’t translate well onto paper. Adam is a warped individual traumatised by his alcoholic mothers abuse. Adam’s escape from this abuse as a child came from his trips to the cinemas and is a habit he has maintained as an adult. The timeline of the story is indicated by identifying the months and I felt it could have been indicated with more use of the description. The description overall dated the story; but despite this it was a good story. Adam develops a relationship with the young ticket seller; only to discover that he’s read far too much into their one conversation and developed this relationship out of fantasy in his head. The story ends on Mother’s Day when he goes to visit his mother in her care home. It’s at this point the reader realises the tables have turned and she will reap what she’s sowed. Capturing Jove Lunge by Steve Berman This was a truly brilliant horror story; although it was weird and difficult to follow at times. I felt unable to connect with the characters. It ended too soon, with loose ends and without a satisfying ending. A Letter to My Brother, relating Recent Events with Unintended Consequences by Carol Rosenfeld This is one of my favourite stories in the anthropology. Written in a letter format; a lesbian writes about her experience with what I think was a trans vampire. It was good that the author spelled out the genders of the characters, as it would have been difficult to workout their genders with the names used. This witty story contains lots of dark humour that made me laugh out loud. An absolutely fantastic read; that makes the book worth buying for this story alone. All the Pretty Boys by Michael Rowe One night on a full moon, Dale discovers the kid. He instantly knows what motivates this kid by what he wears and his body language. This brilliant first person description made me wonder if my motives are always on display like the kid. Dale manipulates the kid and then takes him home to meet his boyfriend Derek. The kid is led to the basement and locked in by Dale. He hears the kids screams knows that Derek will be satisfied until the next full moon. I enjoyed this story so much that I plan to read more of the author’s work. The Roomate by Lisa Girolami A story that starts with a scientific explanation of how ghosts can be sensed; which makes the rest of the story believable. When her girlfriend Nancy starts spending time at the house and she hears the ghost say “kill you” she becomes understandably worried. But it turns out that she needs to worry more about Nancy than the ghost. Intelligently written the author led me to one conclusion, before she twists the story to a completely different conclusion that is a more satisfying ending. Filth by Nathan Burgoine Noah lives with his religious and abusive father. Filth is essentially a self-acceptance story with a twist of horror added in. Noah attends a LGBT Coffee Night and meets Rory. His father finds out and begins to beat him up before getting attacked by wasps. Although the story was well written the wasp scene wasn’t; I struggled to imagine the scene clearly. The story ends well with Noah realising his special gift. It felt good to know that his life will now be different and ultimately better for him now that he has his special gift. Saint Louis 1990 by Jewelle Gomez Saint Louis 1990 is a story all about vampires. Gilda bumps into Samuel and I got the sense that there’s history between them, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. After their encounter Gilda isn’t sure about his intentions; but she knows they are never good. She rushes home to her lover Effie fearing the worst; but all she finds is a note from Effie telling her the bar she’s gone too. As events unfold, the history between Gilda & Samuel is revealed and Gilda is faced with a few difficult choices. This story is exceptionally well written; with well developed characters. However the characters didn’t inspire any concern or care from myself. Blackout by Jeffrey Ricker Jason and his partner David are snowed in; no electricity or phone signal that’s normally non-existent anyway. Jason tells the story of a few weeks before David’s death. The use of humour between the two of them made me instantly like the couple. The couple recently bought the house; the previous owner Dan Richards had died in the house and starts becoming the resident homophobic ghost. They discuss the haunting before David dies in an “accident.” After the funeral Jason returns home and guess whose back, yep you guested it Dan the homophobic ghost. The story is reasonably well paced with fantastic use of building tension before the action. The use of the cold to indicate the presence of the ghost did feel repetitive. Editors missed a typo, early on the story reads Jason & Dan which should have read Jason & David. Although only minor it was before characters were fully established in the story; so could have potentially caused confusion to some readers. Crazy in the Night by Greg Herren Crazy in the Night tells the story of Danny’s forced move after a thunderstorm. For a while he moves in with his muscle-Mary boyfriend Matthew who has a commitment phobia. But as Matthew hints that them sharing in temporary; Danny finds a new place. A beautiful apartment, in a good area and $200 less than what he was paying before. He senses that it’s too good to be true – but he needs somewhere to live so moves in. As strange things start to happen at night, starting with the unplugging of his night light the story starts to unfold. It was unbelievable that Danny, a grown man would have a night light; but at the same time I understood why the author had included it. The ending felt vague and could have given much more detail; rather than leaving it my imagination. Ordinary Mayhem by Victoria A. Brownworth This was my least favourite story in the anthology. It had little to hook me, had too much description and at times was overly repetitive. It told me the same things over and over again until I became extremely frustrated. It was very slow paced; with visually inconsistencies in the use of font. The story is about Faye, a girl obsessed by death who as an adult becomes a lesbian artist. The story switches from telling her story as a child to her as an adult and was a good way to show me the characters development which overall was reasonable. The ending was satisfactory but took far to long to get there. A story that could have been told in half the words. Overall Night Shadows is one of the most captivating anthropologies I have ever read; at times it sent a chill of horror down my spine and other times made me reflect on the mysteries contained within. Without hesitation I would recommend Night Shadows: Queer Horror Edited by Greg Herren and J.M. Redmann.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    This was a really enjoyable and eclectic selection of stories, but none of them prepared me for the pure nightmare fuel of the last story. (Disclaimer: it's by no means perfect, there's a part in which our heroine has a disturbing adventure in Chinatown that feels a little too Lovecraftian in its racism and xenophobia.) I started reading it thinking, OK, this is good, this is really creepy, and found myself gradually asking why wasn't I warned, how much worse it was going to get, whether I shoul This was a really enjoyable and eclectic selection of stories, but none of them prepared me for the pure nightmare fuel of the last story. (Disclaimer: it's by no means perfect, there's a part in which our heroine has a disturbing adventure in Chinatown that feels a little too Lovecraftian in its racism and xenophobia.) I started reading it thinking, OK, this is good, this is really creepy, and found myself gradually asking why wasn't I warned, how much worse it was going to get, whether I should stop reading. I read the last like 50+ pages all in one go, travelling across the living room in an attempt to find something approaching comfort. At one point I wanted to beg it to stop, and then I just wanted to scream at it. It is brutal, but it contains a core of truth from which I couldn't turn away. A truth about horror, human nature, voyeurism, and reality. And throughout this, throughout everything, it doesn't feel gloating in the manner of so much horror. It doesn't feel like it's laughing at the reader. It seems almost sympathetic in the way it shows us our worst fears. It helps that the main character is very likable, very earnest in her desire to expose the unthinkable, to point the finger at the very worst humanity has to offer. I didn't mean to write an entire review about one story, but, Jesus.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Crookall

    This book contains a great variety of eerie tales from top gay authors. You may not enjoy every story within (although I did), but there ought to be a few for everyone. Stand-out tales for my tastes were the deeply disturbing Ordinary Mayhem by Victoria Brownworth and the poignant (yet frightening) Filth by Nathan Burgoine. Ordinary Mayhem saw me actually set the book aside and come back to it later, I was so affected by its unrelentingly gruesome imagery- this tale not for the faint of heart. F This book contains a great variety of eerie tales from top gay authors. You may not enjoy every story within (although I did), but there ought to be a few for everyone. Stand-out tales for my tastes were the deeply disturbing Ordinary Mayhem by Victoria Brownworth and the poignant (yet frightening) Filth by Nathan Burgoine. Ordinary Mayhem saw me actually set the book aside and come back to it later, I was so affected by its unrelentingly gruesome imagery- this tale not for the faint of heart. Filth made me feel such sorrow and hope for the protagonist, such a desire that he'd be free of ALL the demons which haunted him and find a happy ending. Filth is a horror story with heart and sympathy. This anthology is well worth picking up; there wasn't a single story included that I disliked and some that were genuinely memorable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ruben

    I liked all the stories - Ordinary Mayhem was my favorite. Some of the stories weren't as scary as I hoped for, though. But I loved that they all were original, and not like the typical horror books about vampires and werewolves, etc.. Don't get me wrong, I like vampires and werewolves, but it's refreshing to read something new. Ordinary Mayhem didn't include anything paranormal, and it still was the most unnerving one. It was amazing! Actually, it was horrible - so horrible I loved it! I liked all the stories - Ordinary Mayhem was my favorite. Some of the stories weren't as scary as I hoped for, though. But I loved that they all were original, and not like the typical horror books about vampires and werewolves, etc.. Don't get me wrong, I like vampires and werewolves, but it's refreshing to read something new. Ordinary Mayhem didn't include anything paranormal, and it still was the most unnerving one. It was amazing! Actually, it was horrible - so horrible I loved it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Scott Williams

    This was my second reading of this anthology. My favourite entries are the taut and sexy "All the Pretty Boys" by Michael Rowe and the terrifically horrific "Ordinary Mayhem" by Victoria A. Brownworth. Brownworth's novella is an important and timely read. This was my second reading of this anthology. My favourite entries are the taut and sexy "All the Pretty Boys" by Michael Rowe and the terrifically horrific "Ordinary Mayhem" by Victoria A. Brownworth. Brownworth's novella is an important and timely read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Farha Hasan

    A diverse collection of horror stories. The last story, "ordinary mayhem" was much longer than the other and not sure why. Also the sexual orientation of the characters was very incidental to the story lines. A very good read. A diverse collection of horror stories. The last story, "ordinary mayhem" was much longer than the other and not sure why. Also the sexual orientation of the characters was very incidental to the story lines. A very good read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eon Beaumont

    An interesting collection of stories. Short stories are a difficult medium to pull off and a lot of these felt like they'd have been better served with more pages. But still worth the read. I think my favorites were Room Nine and Ordinary Mayhem. An interesting collection of stories. Short stories are a difficult medium to pull off and a lot of these felt like they'd have been better served with more pages. But still worth the read. I think my favorites were Room Nine and Ordinary Mayhem.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda Kwiatkowski

    I didn't finish this not very frightening/not very queer book. It was more like queer boring. I didn't finish this not very frightening/not very queer book. It was more like queer boring.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    Great collection of scary stories - in fact, one was so very suspenseful that I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish it. It freaked me out...but was so good! Great collection of scary stories - in fact, one was so very suspenseful that I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish it. It freaked me out...but was so good!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    A bit of a mixed bag, albeit with some fantastic stories in there too. Certainly did the job as a Halloween read for me, specific thoughts on the stories... The Hollow Is Filled with Beautiful Monsters by Lee Thomas It's easy to see how this haunting and fast paced story was chosen as the opener. It remained exciting and interesting from the off and I found myself particularly fond of the main character. (4/5) The Zealous Advocate by Carsen Taite This felt a little less 'horror' than I was expecting A bit of a mixed bag, albeit with some fantastic stories in there too. Certainly did the job as a Halloween read for me, specific thoughts on the stories... The Hollow Is Filled with Beautiful Monsters by Lee Thomas It's easy to see how this haunting and fast paced story was chosen as the opener. It remained exciting and interesting from the off and I found myself particularly fond of the main character. (4/5) The Zealous Advocate by Carsen Taite This felt a little less 'horror' than I was expecting from the books title and blurb, with more of a crime focus at the fore. It was a bit gruesome, admittedly and featured a very interesting protagonist. (3.5/5) Room Nine by Felice Picano The first story that felt a bit of a slog to get through. The writing style didn't work for me and sadly, even after the tension ramped up towards the end, I didn't feel much pay-off by the finale. (2/5) The Price by J.M. Redmann Wow, the first story to really get me intensely hooked. I absolutely loved this from the start - enough mystery, high stakes and fleshed out characters that made you feel something (and not always in a positive way). (4.5/5) Matinee by Vince A. Liaguno What a character! It's what happens outside the story that feels most haunting, hinted at only slightly yet doesn't leave you feeling that you've missed out on any of the action. (4.5/5) Capturing Jove Lunge by Steve Berman This was an interesting concept and it did hook me initially with a unique context that gave weight to the horror to come, but that horror unfortunately didn't have much time to do its work since it felt the story cut off just a little too early (3/5) A Letter to My Brother, relating Recent Events with Unintended Consequences by Carol Rosenfeld This short, campy and comedic letter was a nice breather in the book, certainly in keeping with the theme of the collection but adding a light-hearted dimension that is well earned after the stories that precede it. (3.5/5) All the Pretty Boys by Michael Rowe There was a nice build as this story began but as it drew to its conclusion, I felt it was perhaps a little too short and either the tension or the conclusion (or both!) could have been fleshed out a little more. (3/5) The Roomate by Lisa Girolami The chilling start to this story geared me up for one of my favourites of the collection but it increasingly felt too predictable. The writer is excellent and it is very well written, the pace also perfect - but the plot itself felt too obvious too early. (3/5) Filth by 'Nathan Burgoine Burgoine mixes the real-world horror of violent homophobia with a supernatural twist. I feel the echoes of Carrie as a hidden power sets the stage for some satisfying revenge. (4/5) Saint Louis 1990 by Jewelle Gomez It was great to see a black protagonist represented and drawing on black history too. The characters are fleshed out but their concerns do feel laboured and repetitive at times. I later found out about The Gilda Stories by Gomez, perhaps explaining the extensive character development if Gilda re-emerges in numerous stories. (3/5) Blackout by Jeffrey Ricker Nice pacing, Ricker retains the tension and the characters are well-written with a good backstory but the ending felt a little underwhelming after the great build. (3.5/5) Crazy in the Night by Greg Herren This was a great story and I was fascinated by the characters and what they would do next but the horror elements felt like they ultimately detracted from the success of the story. I'd love to read more of Herren's work, though, especially any works that don't have a supernatural leaning. (3.5/5) Ordinary Mayhem by Victoria A. Brownworth I've chosen not to discuss this author on my Goodreads profile.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    I started this ...two weeks ago and I think I read a little bit over half of it so I think it's time to give it up. To be fair to me the last story in the anthology takes up A FULL THIRD of the page space which is just absolutely wild and I was so annoyed with the shorter stories by that point that I just didn't feel like reading it. Seriously though, 39,000 words. That's like a 140 page novella. Why is it at the end of a short story anthology? Ok, complaints about formatting aside, I didn't real I started this ...two weeks ago and I think I read a little bit over half of it so I think it's time to give it up. To be fair to me the last story in the anthology takes up A FULL THIRD of the page space which is just absolutely wild and I was so annoyed with the shorter stories by that point that I just didn't feel like reading it. Seriously though, 39,000 words. That's like a 140 page novella. Why is it at the end of a short story anthology? Ok, complaints about formatting aside, I didn't really like the short stories either. None of them stood out to me at all, to the point where I can't really remember anything about them except that they almost all featured really awkward sex scenes that I wasn't a fan of. Also - and I guess this one is on me because they do actually say 'gay and lesbian publishing' in the summary - but I hate when companies use the word queer in the their book titles and then every single story is about cis gays and lesbians. There's nothing wrong with that in general, but queer is such an inclusive word and there are so many different identities in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and it really rubs me the wrong way. Anyway, if you like horror stories about sex and are a cis gay or lesbian and also don't mind when people stick full length novellas on the end of their books then you might actually enjoy this but it was such a slog for me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Good Points: Mix of horror genres from the slightly paranormal to stygian real life stories and one with a Lovecraftian bent. All very well written! Almost every story ends happily. Bad Points: Struggles with the concept of ‘horror’. Some stories would fit more as paranormal. I feel like it has to pound in every story how queer it’s characters are and it detracts from the stories. Last story includes flashbacks that are told in a different font than the present timeline, such a style wasn’t utili Good Points: Mix of horror genres from the slightly paranormal to stygian real life stories and one with a Lovecraftian bent. All very well written! Almost every story ends happily. Bad Points: Struggles with the concept of ‘horror’. Some stories would fit more as paranormal. I feel like it has to pound in every story how queer it’s characters are and it detracts from the stories. Last story includes flashbacks that are told in a different font than the present timeline, such a style wasn’t utilized in the rest of the novel and is jarring. The opening makes mention of transgender issues but only minor characters feature. Triggers: Murder Suicide Rape Threats of rape Cannibalism Abuse Pedophilia Stalking The Hollow is Filled with Beautiful Monsters – Lee Thomas Least Horrific, in my opinion, featuring monsters that are difficult to imagine. Horror starts late and catharsis never happens The Zealous Advocate­ Carsen Taite Good twists, good turns! Thought she was a werewolf at first, pleasantly surprised to find out otherwise. Room Nine – Felice Picano Features threats of gang rape Liked the ending however, very creepy. Straight main character. The Price – J.M. Redmann This story is a bit ‘eternal damnation for lesbians!!!’ but it’s also a story about betrayal and paying the price. Tragic ending. I am jaded about zombie sex but FYI this has zombie sex. Matinee – Vince A. Liaguno Abuse victim turns into abuser Lonely man who enjoys horror movies murders teenage male who snubs him. Capturing Jove Lunge – Steve Berman Man sleeps with underage male (they’re set up to be a Batman/Robin style thing unsure of younger male’s actual age but most likely underage) Bit with the pitcher plant is neat. A Letter to my Brother, relating Recent Events with Unintended Consequences – Carol Rosenfeld Comically done, not terribly horrific at all. Possibly meant to be tongue in cheek. All the Pretty Boys – Michael Rowe No sex but skeevy dealings lead to death of young drifter. The Roommate – Lisa Girolami I find ghosts communicating with people to be incredibly creepy. CREEPY. But turns out to be a good ghost. Little predictable but still enjoyable. Filth – Nathan Burgoine Warning – BUGS LOTS OF BUGS Bugs inside of a person Was not expecting the end, liked it. Saint Louis 1990 – Jewelle Gomez Felt like, and is I believe, part of a bigger work/world Blackout – Jeffrey Ricker Creepy homophobic ghost attempts to kill two boyfriends who have moved into his old house, succeeds in killing one. Sad. Crazy in the Night – Greg Herren Ghost or monster turns out the lights to drive new apartment inhabitant mad. Ordinary Mayhem – Victoria A. Brownworth Suicidal ideation! Lots of gore. Cannibalistic serial killer, rapes, mutilates, and murders women, takes pictures of it that his granddaughter finds. She is haunted by him the entire story. She goes on to take pictures of extreme circumstances. Creepy things in jars. Jarring formatting but well written.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    They saved the best for last in this otherwise merely decent collection of queer horror. None of the stories in the book are bad, all are well-written and interesting, but they're all basically your typical horror tropes with some LGBT themes sprinkled on top. The final story in this collection, "Ordinary Mayhem," by Victoria A. Brownworth, knocked it out of the park. It's a novella that delves straight into the heart of the horror that we perpetuate ourselves, every day. No monsters, no supernat They saved the best for last in this otherwise merely decent collection of queer horror. None of the stories in the book are bad, all are well-written and interesting, but they're all basically your typical horror tropes with some LGBT themes sprinkled on top. The final story in this collection, "Ordinary Mayhem," by Victoria A. Brownworth, knocked it out of the park. It's a novella that delves straight into the heart of the horror that we perpetuate ourselves, every day. No monsters, no supernatural creatures, and no 3rd act denouement where everything wraps up nice at the end. Just constant, unending horror, now and forever. It was so graphic and shocking that at times it made me feel sick, but much like the purveyors of Faye's particular brand of art, I could not make myself look away. A brilliant piece of work that makes the entire collection worth the read. Hats off, Victoria.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    My star rating is based on 2 of 14 stories. The Hollow is Filled with Beautiful Monsters by Lee Thomas: 3STARS Crazy in the Night by Greg Herren: 3STARS

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    My star rating is based on 2 of 14 stories. The Hollow is Filled with Beautiful Monsters by Lee Thomas: 3STARS Crazy in the Night by Greg Herren: 3STARS

  22. 5 out of 5

    N.S.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  24. 5 out of 5

    Samundeeswari Kannan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chad Helder

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chloe A-L

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cassy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tetiana

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rick

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