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Nightmare Magazine 37: October 2015. Queers Destroy Horror! Special Issue

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NIGHTMARE is an online horror and dark fantasy magazine. In NIGHTMARE's pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror. Funded as a stretch goal of our sister-magazine LIGHTSPEED's Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Kickstarter campaign, this month we're presenting a special issue of NIGHTMARE c NIGHTMARE is an online horror and dark fantasy magazine. In NIGHTMARE's pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror. Funded as a stretch goal of our sister-magazine LIGHTSPEED's Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Kickstarter campaign, this month we're presenting a special issue of NIGHTMARE called Queers Destroy Horror!: an all-horror extravaganza entirely written--and edited!--by queer creators. Here's what we've got lined up for you in this special issue: Original horror--edited by Wendy N. Wagner--by Chuck Palahniuk, Matthew Bright, Sunny Moraine, Alyssa Wong, and Lee Thomas. Reprints--also selected by Wagner--by Kelley Eskridge, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Poppy Z. Brite. And nonfiction articles--edited by Megan Arkenberg--by Lucy A. Snyder, Sigrid Ellis, Catherine Lundoff, Michael Matheson, Evan J. Peterson, and Cory Skerry. Plus a selection of queer poetry selected by Robyn A. Lupo and an original cover illustration by AJ Jones.


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NIGHTMARE is an online horror and dark fantasy magazine. In NIGHTMARE's pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror. Funded as a stretch goal of our sister-magazine LIGHTSPEED's Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Kickstarter campaign, this month we're presenting a special issue of NIGHTMARE c NIGHTMARE is an online horror and dark fantasy magazine. In NIGHTMARE's pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror. Funded as a stretch goal of our sister-magazine LIGHTSPEED's Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Kickstarter campaign, this month we're presenting a special issue of NIGHTMARE called Queers Destroy Horror!: an all-horror extravaganza entirely written--and edited!--by queer creators. Here's what we've got lined up for you in this special issue: Original horror--edited by Wendy N. Wagner--by Chuck Palahniuk, Matthew Bright, Sunny Moraine, Alyssa Wong, and Lee Thomas. Reprints--also selected by Wagner--by Kelley Eskridge, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Poppy Z. Brite. And nonfiction articles--edited by Megan Arkenberg--by Lucy A. Snyder, Sigrid Ellis, Catherine Lundoff, Michael Matheson, Evan J. Peterson, and Cory Skerry. Plus a selection of queer poetry selected by Robyn A. Lupo and an original cover illustration by AJ Jones.

30 review for Nightmare Magazine 37: October 2015. Queers Destroy Horror! Special Issue

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elena May

    I am amazed at this author's range. So far I've read three of her stories, and they are all so different in mood, style, atmosphere, setting, and everything possible, but each is very strong in its own way. In "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers," our protagonist is a mythic creature that looks human and feeds on people's dark thoughts. She spends her time on online dating websites, looking for creeps that can feed her hunger. Unfortunately, the thoughts of her victims affect her, and she is lo I am amazed at this author's range. So far I've read three of her stories, and they are all so different in mood, style, atmosphere, setting, and everything possible, but each is very strong in its own way. In "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers," our protagonist is a mythic creature that looks human and feeds on people's dark thoughts. She spends her time on online dating websites, looking for creeps that can feed her hunger. Unfortunately, the thoughts of her victims affect her, and she is losing control. Dark, twisted, surprising, wonderful.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    Dating sucks. Especially when you can hear every thought the other person is having about you. Then you go and eat something that you probably should not have........ I feel decadent and filthy, swollen with the cruelest dreams I’ve ever tasted. You can find this short, creepy little read right here. Thanks to Tom for bringing this little weirdness to my life. Dating sucks. Especially when you can hear every thought the other person is having about you. Then you go and eat something that you probably should not have........ I feel decadent and filthy, swollen with the cruelest dreams I’ve ever tasted. You can find this short, creepy little read right here. Thanks to Tom for bringing this little weirdness to my life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I said I wasn’t going to read this, but then I did anyway because I have no willpower (and I was also pretending I was really busy working even though I wasn't shhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell). Now I’m thinking I need to ask the hubs if it’s okay for me to join Tinder and find Mr. Right . . . . Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I said I wasn’t going to read this, but then I did anyway because I have no willpower (and I was also pretending I was really busy working even though I wasn't shhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell). Now I’m thinking I need to ask the hubs if it’s okay for me to join Tinder and find Mr. Right . . . .

  4. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    Yes, the vampire genre has been done to death, but every so often we still get a twist on it that is fresh & original. Here we are given a tale of love and predation among Asian women in present-day New York City. (Bret Easton Ellis meets Amy Tan? ;-) I also think this would appeal to fans of Tanith Lee). I liked the nuanced treatment of relationships between the characters, and the idea that a vampire might be irrevocably affected by the person whose essence they consume. Wong is definitely an Yes, the vampire genre has been done to death, but every so often we still get a twist on it that is fresh & original. Here we are given a tale of love and predation among Asian women in present-day New York City. (Bret Easton Ellis meets Amy Tan? ;-) I also think this would appeal to fans of Tanith Lee). I liked the nuanced treatment of relationships between the characters, and the idea that a vampire might be irrevocably affected by the person whose essence they consume. Wong is definitely an author I'll be keeping my eye out for in the future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andreas

    Copied from my blog. Summary:  Jenny tinders around not for one-night stands but to feed off the dark emotions and thoughts of her dates. After having had her first killer she knew why her mother taught her to stay with petty criminals: Nothing tastes good after such an overwhelming experience. Review:  I usually avoid horror stories. I can't say that this time, I accidentally stumbled over it because I turned around it already a couple of time. After finally giving in (because I absolutely need t Copied from my blog. Summary:  Jenny tinders around not for one-night stands but to feed off the dark emotions and thoughts of her dates. After having had her first killer she knew why her mother taught her to stay with petty criminals: Nothing tastes good after such an overwhelming experience. Review:  I usually avoid horror stories. I can't say that this time, I accidentally stumbled over it because I turned around it already a couple of time. After finally giving in (because I absolutely need to read the winners of the Nebula awards), I come to the conclusion that it was totally worth reading. The story started and ended with a bang, the tension arc let you down in between just to pick you up with a new relationship. Although Jenny starts shapeshifting when she fed from her prey, she always retains her selfish identity. Adding to the scenery are the Asian American cultural notes stirred with gay sexuality. A nearly classical Vampire tale with a great twist which I highly recommend for readers who are not used to Horror tales.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Wow. What a wonderfully twisted and creepy short story this has been. And it was free! To think I would have missed out on such a great story if it wasn't for a friend here reading and reviewing it. Unfortunately I can't give any specifics as that would give too much of the story away. All I can say is that everybody got what they deserved and some of the initial thoughts right at the beginning could have come out of my head (hers, not his). :D Wow. What a wonderfully twisted and creepy short story this has been. And it was free! To think I would have missed out on such a great story if it wasn't for a friend here reading and reviewing it. Unfortunately I can't give any specifics as that would give too much of the story away. All I can say is that everybody got what they deserved and some of the initial thoughts right at the beginning could have come out of my head (hers, not his). :D

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tom Mathews

    The 2016 Nebula Award winning short story by Alyssa Wong, a graduate student at North Carolina State University, is a deliciously chilling tale that is guaranteed to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. You can read it right here. The 2016 Nebula Award winning short story by Alyssa Wong, a graduate student at North Carolina State University, is a deliciously chilling tale that is guaranteed to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. You can read it right here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Zak

    Interesting and very dark short story. Winner of Nebula Award for Best Short Fiction (2015). You can read it at the link below: http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fic... Interesting and very dark short story. Winner of Nebula Award for Best Short Fiction (2015). You can read it at the link below: http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fic...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    This short work is easily a brilliant alt-vamp novella that focuses more on eating thoughts and getting addicted to the bad ones... and then there's the neato twist at the end. :) LOVED this one's twist. The fact that it's a perfect blend of characters, interesting magic, tragedy, and pathos make it a nearly perfect story, right down to the slurping noises at the end. So cool! :) Friendship is the BEST. (Some people who have read this story might think that I'm slightly sick, but that's okay. I'll This short work is easily a brilliant alt-vamp novella that focuses more on eating thoughts and getting addicted to the bad ones... and then there's the neato twist at the end. :) LOVED this one's twist. The fact that it's a perfect blend of characters, interesting magic, tragedy, and pathos make it a nearly perfect story, right down to the slurping noises at the end. So cool! :) Friendship is the BEST. (Some people who have read this story might think that I'm slightly sick, but that's okay. I'll own it because I love this story.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Silvia

    Read: "Hungry daughters of starving mothers" Weird, disturbing and sapphic, I liked it Read: "Hungry daughters of starving mothers" Weird, disturbing and sapphic, I liked it

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    So far, this has been my favorite issue in the Destroy! series published by Lightspeed and Nightmare magazines. I'm not a big consumer of non-fiction, so I was surprised to enjoy the essays just as much as the short stories and poetry. Any fan of horror would enjoy this book, queer or not. It truly is superb. So far, this has been my favorite issue in the Destroy! series published by Lightspeed and Nightmare magazines. I'm not a big consumer of non-fiction, so I was surprised to enjoy the essays just as much as the short stories and poetry. Any fan of horror would enjoy this book, queer or not. It truly is superb.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue (Hollywood News Source)

    My goal this year is to read more speculative fiction short story or novella to prep myself for full-length novel in the future. Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers follows the story of Meimei, a young woman who can swallow people. It's an ability her mother genetically passed down to her. However, she only eat men. This is horrifying great. I also didn't expected it to be a wlw story! Highly recommend to newbie speculative fiction like me. My goal this year is to read more speculative fiction short story or novella to prep myself for full-length novel in the future. Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers follows the story of Meimei, a young woman who can swallow people. It's an ability her mother genetically passed down to her. However, she only eat men. This is horrifying great. I also didn't expected it to be a wlw story! Highly recommend to newbie speculative fiction like me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Riju Ganguly

    Such a horrific, poignant and lyrical story! In so few words, it captured so much of pain and beauty, which seemed inconceivable earlier. Must read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Arie

    It's good - dark and twisted and totally unusual - but having just devoured (sorry for the pun) the author's stunning A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers less than five minutes after reading this, I'm having trouble clinging to the plot. Simply a case of an author raising the bar on her already excellent writing. Definitely one to watch out for. It's good - dark and twisted and totally unusual - but having just devoured (sorry for the pun) the author's stunning A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers less than five minutes after reading this, I'm having trouble clinging to the plot. Simply a case of an author raising the bar on her already excellent writing. Definitely one to watch out for.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    Her hands smell like home, like rice flour and bad memories. How could I ever forget her? How could I forget her taste, her scent, something as awful and beautiful as home? oh my god????? watch out for this writer

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hughes

    Awesomely creepy and sad... went a little bit over my head, but I suspect a re-read will clear that up! :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    All of the stories, poems, and essays are written by queer authors. Rating the individual stories: "Golden Hair, Red Lips" by Matthew Bright: 3/5 Interesting take on Dorian Gray and the ramifications of a Dorian Gray-like character in gay circles during the AIDS epidemic near San Francisco during the 1980s. "Alien Jane" by Kelley Eskridge: 4/5 A heartbreaking tale about a psychiatric ward and a patient without pain receptors. "The Lord of Corrosion" by Lee Thomas: 4/5 A truly atmospheric and scar All of the stories, poems, and essays are written by queer authors. Rating the individual stories: "Golden Hair, Red Lips" by Matthew Bright: 3/5 Interesting take on Dorian Gray and the ramifications of a Dorian Gray-like character in gay circles during the AIDS epidemic near San Francisco during the 1980s. "Alien Jane" by Kelley Eskridge: 4/5 A heartbreaking tale about a psychiatric ward and a patient without pain receptors. "The Lord of Corrosion" by Lee Thomas: 4/5 A truly atmospheric and scary story about a young girl that is talking to an "imaginary friend." Probably my favorite story in the collection. "Rats Live on No Evil Star" by Caitlin R. Kiernan: 2/5 I didn't care for the structure of the story. "Dispatches from a Hole in the World" by Sunny Moraine: 3/5 A deeply sad story about a researcher that is researching information about a phenomenon where thousands of individuals took their own lives on camera during a 2-year span. "Bayou de la Mere" by Poppy Z. Brite: 2/5 Just a really meh story that didn't really do anything for me or go anywhere interesting. A gay couple visits a rural Lousiana town and one of the men deals with his issues with being an ex-Catholic as he is confronted with an odd statue at a church. "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" by Alyssa Wong: 4/5 The main reason I bought this issue. I really liked this story and it is probably my second favorite. A woman feeds on the evil impulsive thoughts of others but when she meets someone like her, she loses herself. "Lets See What Happens" by Chuck Palahniuk: 1/5 Offensive and only written for shock value, a typical Palahniuk story. Palahniuk takes his anti-religion message to an extreme that is way too far in this reader's opinion. I don't get poetry, so I skimmed most of the poetry. The essays were decent. I really liked Effecting Change and Subversion Through Slush Pile Politics by Michael Matheson. It touched on a lot of publication dialogues that are constantly happening in the speculative fiction market at the moment about diversity and how publishers go about finding good diverse stories. The best part, for me, was Matheson talking about why most queer stories get rejected and it is mainly because the exoticism of non-straight relationships. The Language of Hate by Sigrid Ellis focused on Stephen King's character writing and I thought it was very eye opening. In the back of the issue, each author is interviewed that wrote a short story. I found that jumping to these author interviews after reading the short story to be amazing. Some of the thoughts and ideas that the authors shared about why they wrote the story they wrote were fascinating. One of the main things that I got out of reading these was that these authors are writing what they know. Adding queer themes and ideas isn't something that they always do purposely, it just happens because of who they are. Overall, I really enjoyed this collection and would recommend it to others.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {comatose with common sense}

    They're never as strong as they think they are. I just adore peer pressure. This little gem fell into my lap and me having no idea what it was, who it was by, what it was about, or anything else one normally knows about a book (I'll explain at the bottom of the review) one wants to read. Can I even call it a book? It's a sixteen-page ebook and I read the entire thing long-form style online. Meh. I'm not a technical person. Let me begin by admitting that I have a love/hate relationship with short stori They're never as strong as they think they are. I just adore peer pressure. This little gem fell into my lap and me having no idea what it was, who it was by, what it was about, or anything else one normally knows about a book (I'll explain at the bottom of the review) one wants to read. Can I even call it a book? It's a sixteen-page ebook and I read the entire thing long-form style online. Meh. I'm not a technical person. Let me begin by admitting that I have a love/hate relationship with short stories. There's only a handful of authors I'll even read them by. Sorry, newbs, but I just don't care. Well, I'm going to try to give more of a damn, because that was awesome. If I'm going to be brutally honest, with the protagonist and her girlfriend(s) being Asian people-eaters, (Asian people who eat other people. Not eaters of Asian people. But, some of the people they eat are Asian, so... *shrug*) Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers reads like Tokyo Ghoul fanfiction. No, wait. *drags* Hear me out here. Really good fanfiction, of course. Totally. I mean like those fanfic-recs sections on TVtropes would recommend it. Not complaining at all. I especially liked it because VIZ media charges a stupid amount for new prints of Tokyo Ghoul (*cough* the ENGLISH ones *cough*) and I am far too poor at the moment to afford the more volumes of it. Solid 4 star story. Contrary to popular belief, peer pressure is a good thing. Huge shout-out to Kelly for getting this on my radar, and Shelby for linking to the story so I could find it. :D [L I N K S] Kelly's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Shelby's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... (why, yes, they ARE both better than mine because they are written by hilarious ladies) Last but not least, read the story for yourself and for free here: http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fic.... Seriously, dudes and chicks, get off your lazy asses and write a review for this. This author is promising and shows a lot of talent, especially considering how young she is. Promote her. And don't be a bum like this longhaired dirtbag. I have piercings. Your mother wants you to leave me alone. Pay for it if you must.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

    UPDATE: For some reason they changed the name of a short story for a magazine issue, so I've read Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong, not the whole issue. It was weird, but interstingly so. Although, unfortunately, didn't grab my attention in the way I wanted it too. It wasn't anything mindblowing or too special, although kind of creepy, which I enjoyed. UPDATE: For some reason they changed the name of a short story for a magazine issue, so I've read Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong, not the whole issue. It was weird, but interstingly so. Although, unfortunately, didn't grab my attention in the way I wanted it too. It wasn't anything mindblowing or too special, although kind of creepy, which I enjoyed.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vera Maharani

    What in the loving name of God did I just read. It was started with what seems like an innocent first date. Then the girl, who turned out to be a mind reader, found out that the guy is a killer. A normal girl would run away, fast, but this girl is not exactly normal... As it went on, it became more strange, twisted, creepy, in all the way I did not expect before. Not my usual read but I am glad I read it. Um. Actually, not sure if "glad" is the right word to say but ANYWAY you can read it free here What in the loving name of God did I just read. It was started with what seems like an innocent first date. Then the girl, who turned out to be a mind reader, found out that the guy is a killer. A normal girl would run away, fast, but this girl is not exactly normal... As it went on, it became more strange, twisted, creepy, in all the way I did not expect before. Not my usual read but I am glad I read it. Um. Actually, not sure if "glad" is the right word to say but ANYWAY you can read it free here : http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fic... You are welcome ;)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mitticus

    Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong Dark and disturbing. Where 'we are what we eat' take a new meaning. Fantasía oscura, atrapante. Una mujer se alimenta de los pensamientos más oscuros de la gente, hasta que un día una cita resulta tal vez demasiado , perturbando un modo de vida ya precariamente balanceado. Relato corto ganador del nebula 2015 que pueden encontrar aqui. Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong Dark and disturbing. Where 'we are what we eat' take a new meaning. Fantasía oscura, atrapante. Una mujer se alimenta de los pensamientos más oscuros de la gente, hasta que un día una cita resulta tal vez demasiado , perturbando un modo de vida ya precariamente balanceado. Relato corto ganador del nebula 2015 que pueden encontrar aqui.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ~~Poulomi Sylphrena Tonk$~~

    Creepy and weird, this short piece is very deftly written. I'm guessing the protagonist was a shapeshifter, but I'm not very sure. The title is what caught my attention. Sounds strange, but I thought it would be somewhat metaphorical with a much deeply laid story underneath. What I found was too much literal. I'd restrict myself here or I'd land up spoiling it on the whole. Nice work with the psychological aspect of the story. Its akin to something that sinks in slow and deep and stays there, lur Creepy and weird, this short piece is very deftly written. I'm guessing the protagonist was a shapeshifter, but I'm not very sure. The title is what caught my attention. Sounds strange, but I thought it would be somewhat metaphorical with a much deeply laid story underneath. What I found was too much literal. I'd restrict myself here or I'd land up spoiling it on the whole. Nice work with the psychological aspect of the story. Its akin to something that sinks in slow and deep and stays there, lurking in the shadows of your mind. Recommended to all.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Acqua

    I’m barely home any more, spending most of my time in Seo-yun’s Chelsea apartment, learning to cook with the array of salts and spices infused with ugly dreams, drinking wine distilled from deathbed confessions. There is a (kind of?) love triangle between three Asian women, and two of them are vampire-like people who eat bad thoughts. Yes, I loved it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    Review of Hungry Mothers and Starving Daughters: Dark, perverse, the right amount of creepy, but also undeniably compelling and deftly written. I can't wait to read more of Alyssa Wong's works. <3 Review of Hungry Mothers and Starving Daughters: Dark, perverse, the right amount of creepy, but also undeniably compelling and deftly written. I can't wait to read more of Alyssa Wong's works. <3

  25. 4 out of 5

    Priss

    Such a good short story! Had some horror-ish elements, but not that bad (i.e. I can probably still fall asleep tonight). Definitely recommend! I read it for free here. Such a good short story! Had some horror-ish elements, but not that bad (i.e. I can probably still fall asleep tonight). Definitely recommend! I read it for free here.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ctgt

    7/10 What if you could see what someone was thinking... What if you could feed on those manifestations.....

  27. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Bloody hell, someone get me a spew bucket

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    A really solid issue of fiction and essays. My thoughts on the eight short stories in the issue: GOLDEN HAIR, RED LIPS by Matthew Bright. It's not really a spoiler to say that the main character is an immortal Dorian Grey, living in modern San Francisco at the start and height of the AIDS epidemic. His loves sicken and die, and a strange blond man stalks him with intimations that one of them is the cause of the plague. Bright's first person narration is very intimate and yet Dorian still seems re A really solid issue of fiction and essays. My thoughts on the eight short stories in the issue: GOLDEN HAIR, RED LIPS by Matthew Bright. It's not really a spoiler to say that the main character is an immortal Dorian Grey, living in modern San Francisco at the start and height of the AIDS epidemic. His loves sicken and die, and a strange blond man stalks him with intimations that one of them is the cause of the plague. Bright's first person narration is very intimate and yet Dorian still seems removed from the action -- an interesting style to tell the story in, and an incredibly effective one for me, as it mirrors my own small-town, closeted connection to the epidemic (I wasn't directly touched by it, or didn't realize I was, until well into the 90s). Bright's choice to repeat certain phrases adds a chill to the narrative, reminding us that we are doomed to repeat our mistakes if we don't learn from them, but it adds a wistful longing as well. ALIEN JANE by Kelly Eskridge. In an open (voluntary) hospital mental health ward, Rita meets Jane. Rita has anger management and self-control problems, while Jane can feel no physical pain. Through Jane, Rita comes to understand herself a bit better. The horror here is more subtle, working on the reader throughout in very small ways. There are a couple of gory moments, but the gore is not the point of the story even though it does propel the plot and reveal some character. THE LORD OF CORROSION by Lee Thomas. I think I've yet to read a Lee Thomas story that didn't disturb me, and this is no exception. Main character Josh is a widowed gay single father whose life starts to unravel when adopted daughter Sophia starts acting out under the command of what sounds like an imaginary friend. Thomas starts the story with intimate, warm-but-pained memories of family history before gradually ramping up the horror from imaginary/background to very real/forefront. RATS LIVE ON NO EVIL STAR by Caitlin R. Kiernan. Acadmic Jessie occasionally visits elderly neighbor Olan, who appears to be a conspiracy theorist. Up to a point, it is questionable whether Olan's theories, and the things he says he's seen in his life, are real or in his imagination. Kiernan's slow pacing allows the story to develop and build without jumping directly to an obvious conclusion. DISPATCHES FROM A HOLE IN THE WORLD by Sunny Moraine. Unnamed narrator decides to do a doctoral thesis on "The Suicide Year," when thousands of people ages 10 to 25 killed themselves on social media -- an epidemic with no discernable root cause. It's a disturbing story on multiple levels: the concept, the narrator's voice, the things the narrator is leaving unsaid. The depression revisiting that horrible year brings on is palpable to the reader. BAYOU DE LA MERE by Poppy Z. Brite. Ricky and G-Man, restaurant owners/chefs from New Orleans, vacation in a small bayou town. Encountering the old Catholic church's unusual statue of a seated-but-childless Virgin Mary dredges up childhood memories and puts a pall on their vacation. Brite's story explores why so many gay break from the Catholic Church but remain Christians saddled with lingering Catholic guilt that manifests at surprising moments; the story also touches on the nature of Catholic iconography. HUNGRY DAUGHTERS OF STARVING MOTHERS by Alyssa Wong. Jenny serial-dates and has a particular kind of hunger that needs to be sated: she eats the horrible, evil thoughts of bad people. She inherited this from her mother, who choses to deal with her gift by hiding herself away from the world in a way Jenny just can't. That's just the set-up. Wong's prose is tight and compelling. Jenny's first person narration keeps the tension high and the reader's stomach as unsettled as the main character's. LET'S SEE WHAT HAPPENS by Chuck Palahniuk. Young Heather's burgeoning interest in religion thanks to a flyer handed out at school drives her parents to take her to a snake-charming, speak-in-tongues revivalist church, where their attempts to mock the Charismatic reveals their own flaws. Palanhniuk's style is dense and fast and bounces between POVs; it's a tough ride but worth the effort.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I contributed a poem (reprint) to this issue, and several other contributors are friends of mine. As a bisexual Latina whose first genre love was horror and who has friends and family all over the QUILTBAG spectrum, I fully support the mission of Queers Destroy Horror. That said, I find myself disappointed with the final product. All the stories are well written. They are also all set in contemporary America. Matthew Bright's mesmerizing"Golden Hair, Red Lips" is set in 1980s San Francisco, and t I contributed a poem (reprint) to this issue, and several other contributors are friends of mine. As a bisexual Latina whose first genre love was horror and who has friends and family all over the QUILTBAG spectrum, I fully support the mission of Queers Destroy Horror. That said, I find myself disappointed with the final product. All the stories are well written. They are also all set in contemporary America. Matthew Bright's mesmerizing"Golden Hair, Red Lips" is set in 1980s San Francisco, and that's as far back as we go. All the authors are from America or Britain. To the best of my knowledge, Alyssa Wong is the only POC author. Wong's intense "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" realistically depicts an ethnically and class diverse NYC. Among the other stories there are two(?) POC characters. The stories present a better range of class differences, but given the America-centric scope, that isn't saying much. I liked the short author interviews. The poetry is wider-ranging in authorship, with several international contributors and several POCs. The settings are more diverse, from a Lovecraftian netherworld to a Snow White retelling to modern suburbia. I'm not sure all the poems are horror, per se, but more troublesome to me is that there doesn't seem to be any overtly queer content in the poems. When I doubted that much of my poetry could be considered queer horror, Robyn Lupo, the poetry editor, told me that being a queer poet was enough. Looking at the final lineup, I'm not sure I agree. In terms of formatting, several poems suffer from being crammed into double-columned pages. In terms of the nonfiction, Sigrid Ellis's "The Language of Hate" is most excellent, reflecting on the personal impact of hateful language used in Stephen King's fiction. Lucy Snyder's "The H Word: A Good Story" effectively conveys the challenges of writing queer in this industry, and thus the continued need for projects like Queers Destroy Horror. Catherine Lundoff's short history of queer horror was waaay too short; I'd have liked to see an article twice that length. As far as I can tell, all the nonfiction authors are white and from the US or Canada. The roundtable discussion was a nice way to incorporate more voices. So, obviously, I had mixed feelings about this special issue. I know the editors had a tough job--one I have no desire to tackle--but I wish they'd taken a broader perspective with their curation. Individually, the pieces can be quite good, but together they give a limited, maybe even evasive portrait of queer horror.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    I think the only short story I thoroughly enjoyed was Alyssa Wong's Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers. I did not read the Chuck Palahniuk. The poetry section was better and it included works from some of my favorite: Shweta Narayan, Rose Lemberg, Amal El-Mohtar and Lisa Bradley. I was very disappointed with the fiction section. I don't want to take away from the fact that it's always good to have more queer representation, it's vital, it's important, it should be a continued effort on the part I think the only short story I thoroughly enjoyed was Alyssa Wong's Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers. I did not read the Chuck Palahniuk. The poetry section was better and it included works from some of my favorite: Shweta Narayan, Rose Lemberg, Amal El-Mohtar and Lisa Bradley. I was very disappointed with the fiction section. I don't want to take away from the fact that it's always good to have more queer representation, it's vital, it's important, it should be a continued effort on the part of editors. And yet. This issue is not what I expect from projects that aim to represent the whole spectrum of experiences and perspectives. 7 out of 8 of the writers are white; 6 out of 8 are from the US, 1 was born in Ireland, the other 1 in England.* This does not represent the whole spectrum, it certainly feels like those of us outside of the queer anglo western experience don't have stories worth telling/publishing. In the past year I've read multiple articles on what editors can do to include more marginalized writers in their publications. I know many writers, poets, etc., that continually showcase the work of marginalized writers, voices from the whole spectrum. I know editors who do the work neccesary to include more perspectives than just the dominant anglo western white experience. So I know it can be done, I know people are doing it, and thanks to them I have come to know many writers whose work not only feels close to my experiences and perspective, but also expand them beyond. I expect better from editors. I expect better from this type of calls. I just don't have any more patience and energy for magazines and anthologies that do not include writers from outside the western anglosphere. *Based on the info I collected from googling and the authors' websites. If I made any mistake, please do correct me!

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