Mini Review: “Split Scream, volume 2” by Cynthia Gómez and M. Lopes da Silva

Release Date: November 15, 2022
Series: Split Scream
Publisher: Dread Stone Press
Genre: Horror

Description

Dread Stone Press presents SPLIT SCREAM, a new Horror Novelette Double Feature. This is Volume Two. Grab some popcorn, turn the lights low, and don’t be afraid to scream.

FEATURING:

“The Shivering World” – Cynthia Gómez

Nayeli’s brilliance should be enough to outshine the darkness she longs to leave behind, but she fears she’ll never get further than what her unstable mother can provide: a futon in a garage. She’s determined to transfer to a good college and get out, but the men in her life-a violent neighbor, a greedy landlord, her mother’s predatory boyfriend-stand in her way. Only once she encounters the supernatural, a being she suspects to be La Llorona herself, does Nayeli begin to truly see the power she is capable of. But at what cost? “The Shivering World” is a Faustian bargain in a place of poverty and gentrification, where supernatural terrors meet the horrors of escaping to a new life.

“What Ate the Angels” – M. Lopes da Silva

Non-binary ASMR artist November discovers the sound of a giant heartbeat beneath Los Angeles, which only they seem to hear. When their vore-loving partner Heather, a City Hall archivist, grows ill and can’t get the healthcare she needs, they believe they will find a solution through the thrum. November journeys underground, through abandoned Prohibition-era tunnels, to the den of a creature born from the fabric of the city itself: oil, bones, chemicals-and souls. “What Ate the Angels” is queer body horror full of dread and pulpy, throbbing filth.

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Mini Review: “Unwieldy Creatures” by Addie Tsai

Release Date: August 2, 2022
Publisher: Jaded Ibis Press
Genre: Science Fiction

Description

Unwieldy Creatures, a biracial, queer, gender-swapped retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein, follows the story of three beings who all navigate life from the margins: Plum, a queer biracial Chinese intern at one of the world’s top embryology labs, who runs away from home to openly be with her girlfriend only to be left on her own; Dr. Frank, a queer biracial Indonesian scientist, who compromises everything she claims to love in the name of science and ambition when she sets out to procreate without sperm or egg; and Dr. Frank’s nonbinary creation who, painstakingly brought into the world, is abandoned due to complications at birth that result from a cruel twist of revenge. Plum struggles to determine the limits of her own ambition when Dr. Frank offers her a chance to assist with her next project. How far will Plum go in the name of scientific advancement and what is she willing to risk?

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Mini Review: “The Keeper” by Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, Marco Finnegan

Release Date: September 27, 2022
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Genre: Comics, Horror

Description

A young Black girl finds herself trapped between desperation and her family’s dark history in this horror graphic novel

Aisha has suffered a devastating loss. Her parents were killed in a car crash, and now she must move to decrepit and derelict Detroit to live with her ailing grandmother. However, shortly after moving in, Aisha’s grandmother’s health rapidly deteriorates. With her dying breath, she summons the dark spirit that has protected their family for generations to watch over Aisha.

At first it seems that this spirit, whom Aisha refers to as the Keeper, is truly doing as her grandmother asked, caring for Aisha and keeping her safe; however, it soon becomes clear that this being can only sustain itself by stealing life from others. As the Keeper begins to prey on the apartment building’s other residents, Aisha and her friends must come together to destroy it . . . or die trying.

Written by masters of horror Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes and illustrated by Marco Finnegan, The Keeper reflects on the horror Black Americans face every day, while still staying true to the genre.

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Review: “Death in the Mouth: Original Horror by People of Color” edited by Sloane Leong and Cassie Hart

Release Date: October 1, 2022
Genre: Anthologies, Horror

Description

What is horror to those living in the margins?

Where terror is systematized and in the very air everyone happily breathes?

A misheard word.

The thud of boots.

An impossible color.

A foreign growth.

Death in the Mouth is a collection of horror stories and art showcasing BIPOC and ethnically marginalized storytellers from around the world. You’ll read stories featuring grotesque manifestations of dread, the enveloping sludge of grief, and the insectoid itch of deep-seated fear. Embodiments of mania and displacements of faith. Harrowing ecstasy and debilitating hope. Transgressions of the body, the spirit, and the community. Unique and terrifying alien mythology from the future. Quiet, creeping absurdities. Weird urban legends from secondary worlds.

In this anthology, Sloane Leong and Cassie Hart bring you an incredible range of stories and illustrations that celebrate the voices of those overlooked to show you the terrifying and exquisite scope of what horror can be.

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Must-Read Speculative Short Fiction for August 2022

Whenever I put together my list of ten favorite short science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories, I go by what strikes me the hardest, what sticks with me the longest, and what makes me go “Oh!” Often, as I’m writing up the blurbs, a theme emerges, one I wasn’t aware of when I was picking the pieces but connects most of them. For August, I was apparently feeling contemplative about death and endings, not sad or grieving but processing. I hope you’re ready for some capital “F” Feelings.

Read the rest of this spotlight at Tor.com.

Mini Review: “We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow: and Other Stories” by Margaret Killjoy

Release Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: AK Press
Genre: Anthologies

Description

Spaceships, man-eating mermaids, swords, demons, ghouls, thieves, hitchhikers, and life in the margins.Margaret Killjoy’s stories have appeared for years in science fiction and fantasy magazines both major and indie. Here, we have collected the best previously published work along with brand new material. Ranging in theme and tone, these imaginative tales bring the reader on a wild and moving ride. They’ll encounter a hacker who programs drones to troll CEOs into quitting; a group of LARPers who decide to live as orcs in the burned forests of Oregon; queer, teen love in a death cult; the terraforming of a climate-changed Earth; polyamorous love on an anarchist tea farm during the apocalypse; and much more. Killjoy writes fearless, mind-expanding fiction.

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What Is Your Damage, Mars?: The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Release Date: August 16, 2022
Publisher: PUSH
Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Description

Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline’s radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who’d grown tragically distant.

Mars’s genderfluidity means he’s often excluded from the traditions — and expectations — of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.

What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister’s old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying — and Mars is certain they’re connected to Caroline’s death.

But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can’t find it soon, it will eat him alive.

Continue reading What Is Your Damage, Mars?: The Honeys by Ryan La Sala