Queer Little Nightmares

ECW. Mar. 2023. ed. by David Ly & Daniel Zomparelli. 7:20 hrs. ISBN 9781778520747. $23.99. HORROR
Ly (Mythical Man) and Zomparelli (Everything Is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person) offer an anthology that casts new and well-known monsters in a modern, queer mold. The stories featured here represent a wide array of monsters from cinema and folklore. From a lesbian werewolf who has a sexual awakening to a sexually frustrated minotaur who’s more D-list celebrity than awe-inspiring guardian, the monsters in these stories feel like outsiders not just because they are indeed monsters but because of their sexuality. The collection also features horror-inspired poetry that playfully and poignantly discusses the sex lives of classic monsters, including the Invisible Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Danielle Verayo uses a breathy but matter-of-fact voice to narrate these monsters’ lives, allowing their tales to shock through titillation rather than terror. Many of the monsters here aren’t cruel or vicious; they’re simply following the very human instinct of trying to find somewhere to belong.
VERDICT Listeners will likely sympathize and perhaps even root for these monsters not because they are monstrous but because their status as outsiders is universally human.
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