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Queer Fear: Gay Horror Fiction Paperback – July 1, 2002
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Clive Barker (Clive Barker)
These stories shine an eerie light on the netherworld of queer obsession.
Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
In 2003, Michael Rowe became the first Arsenal Pulp Press author to win a Lambda Literary Award, for Queer Fear II, the sequel to his first critically-acclaimed queer horror anthology, Queer Fear. He is an award-winning independent journalist who has lived in Beirut, Havana, Geneva, and Paris. His work has appeared in the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the United Church Observer, and numerous other publications. He has been a finalist for both the Canadian National Magazine Award and the Associated Church Press Award in the United States. He is the author of several books, including Writing Below the Belt, a critically acclaimed study of censorship, pornography, and popular culture, and the essay collections Looking For Brothers and Other Mens Sons, which won the 2008 Randy Shilts Award for Nonfiction. A contributing writer to The Advocate, in 2009 The Atlantic Monthly's Andrew Sullivan nominated Rowe for the Michael Moore Award "for divisive, bitter and intemperate left-wing rhetoric" for his work on The Huffington Post for which he is a political blogger. He considers it his proudest moment as a new media journalist.
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My short synopsis and rating (* to ***** stars):
The Nightguard (C. Mark Umland) - a prisoner in a hellish lockup deals with a sadistically strange guard. ****
Piercing Men (Douglas Clegg) - outwardly normal and straight suburban men play S&M games that get out of control. ****
The Siege (Michael Marano) - not sure what this was about. *
Bear Shirt (Gemma Files) - modern day skinhead obsesses over bear powers **
Little Holocausts (Brian Hodge) - a man collects souls ***
The Sound of Weeping (Thomas S. Roche) - a morgue worker has a strange attraction to the corpse of a beautiful young man ****
Hey Fairy (Edo Van Belkom) - a gay man is attacked by some thugs but manages to get the best of them. *****
The Spark (William J. Mann) - deaths in a neighborhood seem connected with a strange boy. ****
Spindleshanks (Caitlin R. Kiernan) - use of a ouija board at a party seems to work too well for one of the hosts. ****
The Perpetual (David Quinn) - a screenwriter takes to his motorcycle after a spat with his lover and seems to meet characters he was writing about. **
Genius Loci (Becky N. Southwell) - An old man recounts an encounter with a ghost at a boys camp many years before. *****
Goodbye (Michael Thomas Ford) - a young boy collects butterflies as a way to remember -- and maybe communicate with -- his dead grandmother. *****
Tabula Rasa (Robert Boyczuk) - a group of gay men at a snowbound cabin in the woods play a cruel game with unexpected consequences. *****
You Can't Always Get What You Want (T.L. Bryers) - a young hustler sets his sights on a beautiful creature he thinks is a vampire. **
The Bird Feeders (David Nickle) - A homeless young gay man survives being passed around amongst old, wealthy men until he meets a Hungarian restauranteur who takes him away for a weekend. *****
No Silent Scream (Nancy Kilpatrick) - a man loses it after a string of events he feels confirms his view of humanity and its poor state. **
Nestle's Revenge (Ron Oliver) - after moving from West Hollywood to a small desert town with his lover and his lover's dog, a man finds nothing to do until a series of events involving the dog spiral out of control. *****
Second Shadow (Joseph O'Brien) - Following the death of his lover a man gives up all his possessions to find a legendary lost land. ****
Of the ***** stories, I most enjoyed Nestle's Revenge, due to the writing (as well as the unexpected twists.)
The Arsenal Pulp Press edition has an introduction by Michael Rowe and includes short bios on each author.
Top international reviews
If you like dreary body count led stories and and are fascinated by serial killer fiction then I suppose that this volume might be of interest. If, on the other hand, you were expecting anything even approaching originality you will be as disappointed as I was. I echo what a previous reviewer had to say on this book and would add that the only thing I found interesting in this volume is the cover art.
This book, and its sequel, actually illustrate quite clearly one of the major shortcomings of the Amazon business model over the traditional bookshop; the inability to browse the contents before purchase.