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Posts Tagged ‘horror fiction’

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Now as an adult, I turn to horror stories not to train myself to survive the world but to make sense of it. The world is horrible sometimes. Terrible things happen for no explicable reason, and the rules that run society can be unfair and cruel and horrid. But horror stories reframe the terrible things of the world. They hold a mirror up to the revolting so we can put it into some kind of taxonomy. They place wickedness and evil in a context that helps us see their limits and comforts us with the notion that darkness can be labeled, lit, and even survived. The work of the horror story is to define and demarcate the uncanny and the dark. But to be queer and to love horror stories is not always easy. Those stories are spun out of our culture and our societal norms, and the labels and definitions that come out of horror stories aren’t always inclusive or healthy. (Kindle edition, loc 60)

If you’re not familiar with the Destroy All Genres series, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Fantasy magazines have held several series respective to their genres to highlight marginalized authors under the accusation that diversity (or “identity politics” or “political correctness”) is “destroying” the genres of sci-fi, horror, and fantasy. I first became aware of their “Women Destroy” series through Escape Artists, and for Halloween this year, I purchased a copy of “Queers Destroy Horror” special issue of Nightmare Magazine. Queers Destroy is one of the series, and so far there are also Women Destroy and POC Destroy Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy series, with Disabled People Destroy coming in Sept. 2018.

“Queers Destroy Horror” is broken up into several parts: Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Art, and Interviews with the artists and the authors.

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For my teacher friends out there, Jane Dykema wrote an excellent essay on teaching Carmen Maria Machado’s “The Husband Stitch” and who gets believed.

When I teach Carmen Maria Machado’s story “The Husband Stitch,” the first in her collection Her Body and Other Partiesto my fiction workshops, it’s unlike teaching any other story.

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Annihilation! Annihilation! Annihilation!

 

Back in 2015, I reviewed The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. In the first novel, the twelfth expedition to Area X, which has been cut off from the rest of the continent for 30 years, is lead by a five-woman team: the biologist, the anthropologist, the surveyor, the psychologist, and the linguist. Their mission: avoid contamination and survey the mysterious area from the lighthouse to the camp to the tunnel. Or is it a tower?

 

Alex Garland will be directing the film adaption.

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Image: Logo for Alice Isn’t Dead: a design of a truck with the mirror image of a stylized skull driving on a black road with an orange sky and yellow sun behind the truck”

Click here to read my review of part 1.

Keisha, our favorite truck driver, is back in part 2 of an anticipated three seasons of Alice Isn’t Dead.

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For fans of audio fiction, I’ve got a spooky tale from Escape Pod (of Escape Artists), one of the Podcastle’s sister podcasts.  “MySpace: A Ghost Story” is a short sci-fi-leaning AI-oriented ghost story by Dominica Phetteplace, narrated by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali with an introduction by guest host Angela Lee. The piece was published here for Artemis Rising, a celebration of women- and nonbinary authors on each of the podcasts by Escape Artists.

In this short piece, Phetteplace explores what might happen if your abandoned social media platforms developed consciousness.

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Daylight GateIn seeking out as much queer horror as I can find this year and every year, I found Jeanette Winterson’s novella The Daylight Gate listed on some recommended books lists. Winterson also wrote queer classic Oranges are the the Only Fruit, which I have yet to read (and should). That seemed like a glowing recommendation itself, and the reviews of the book often describe the book as “sophisticated…visceral…utterly compulsive, thick with atmosphere and dread, but sharp intelligence, too” (The Telegraph, back cover of the book). This is a case of “I see what the author was trying to do, but–”

Some mild spoilers and mentions of sexual abuse and prison conditions ahead.

The Daylight Gate could best be described as historical fiction with magical realism and bisexuality, all of which are things I love. Yet it reads more like the bare-bones outline of a novel that one writes to get the story down before adding in dialogue, descriptions, and, well, editing.

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