Sunday, June 2, 2013
Review: NIGHT SHADOWS: QUEER HORROR edited by Greg Herren and J.M. Redmann (Bold Strokes Books)
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.
(This counts toward the 2013 Horror Reading Challenge hosted by Midnyte Reader )