Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry
Edited by David Ly & Daniel Zomparelli, 272 pgs, Arsenal Pulp Press, arsenalpulp.com, $21.95
Queerness can only hide as subtext for so long before forcing its way to the story’s front and centre, baring its teeth with a vengeance. Queer Little Nightmares is a short story and poetry collection featuring authors who explore what it means to be a monster. From lesbian werewolves to ghosts of Pride past, gender-affirming cyborg technologies to frightening sapphic forest creatures, Queer Little Nightmares leans into tales of fear, revulsion, and non-conformity.
The authors paint playful and evocative depictions of queer monsters, leaving you wondering what else could have come of these stories. Whether this makes for a satisfying collection is up to the readers to decide. Unfortunately, the standout stories and poetry are weighed down by pieces that border on flat and directionless. That said, Queer Little Nightmares’ contributing writers accomplish what mainstream media has historically feared: placing queerness at the forefront to tell human stories of creatures that seek love, vengeance, autonomy, and the reclamation of their ugliest parts.