Beyond the Bounds of Infinity: An Anthology of Diverse Cosmic Horror

Raw Dog Screaming. Jun. 2024. 190p. ed. by Vaughn A. Jackson & Stephanie Pearre. ISBN 9781947879713. pap. $17.95. HORROR
Cosmic horror is popular precisely because its terror stems from a powerful force that is indifferent to human suffering, a feeling to which people can unfortunately relate. But it also has a public-relations problem: its founder, H.P. Lovecraft, was not only virulently xenophobic but also embedded this hatred into his stories. Thankfully, a new generation of authors are taking the genre back, and editors Jackson (Up from the Deep; Touched by Shadows) and Pearre (co-chair of the Horror Writers Association Maryland Chapter) set out to share cosmic horror tales created by BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ writers and others who have been discriminated against. The resulting anthology highlights the vibrancy and breadth of the genre, taking its audience on a journey from the attention-grabbing second-person voice, ominous static, and immersive anxiety of Timaeus Bloom’s opener, straight through to the closing terrors that emerge from L. Marie Wood’s movie director in an impossible situation, a story that leaves readers with the uneasy realization that the fear may never let up, and it may already be too late.
VERDICT A great introduction to today’s cosmic horror, featuring a plethora of talented new voices. An easy hand sell to fans of Jordan Peele, The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle, or the work of rising star Hailey Piper.
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