Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror

Books on Tape. Oct. 2023. ed. by Jordan Peele & John Joseph Adams. 14:01 hrs. ISBN 9780593790038. $95. HORROR
Filmmaker Peele reads his brief introduction to this phenomenal horror collection, which he curated and edited along with six-time Hugo Award finalist Adams (editor, Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms). The anthology’s 19 Black authors, some household names, some up-and-comers, seamlessly fold social commentary into their spine-tingling tales, as Peele did so effectively in his films Get Out, Us, and Nope. Although each author addresses social issues, their stories reflect the creativity and breadth of the modern horror genre. From aliens to monsters to ghosts to sinister technology, fans of most horror subgenres will find something to keep them up at night—especially because the supernatural themes are coupled with real-life horrors such as police brutality, economic inequality, systemic racism, and intergenerational trauma. The ensemble cast performances magnificently—standouts include Adenrele Ojo’s immersive portrayal of a woman trying to protect her unborn baby in Lesley Nneka Arimah’s “Invasion of the Baby Snatchers,” and Shayna Small’s magnetic performance of a young Freedom Rider in the Jim Crow South trapped on an otherworldly bus in Tananarive Due’s “The Rider.”
VERDICT The collaboration of these uniquely gifted narrators with extraordinarily talented Black horror authors results in a thrilling, multifaceted audio experience that belongs in all fiction collections.
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