Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Dark Rainbow edited by Andrew Robertson (#queer #horror)

Released just before Halloween this year, Dark Rainbow is an Anthology of Queer Erotic Horror edited Andrew Robertson is absolutely fantastic. Going into a collection like this, I usually hope to find a few really good stories, and resign myself to skimming over a few, but this was a solid, perfectly orchestrated collection of erotic horror that bleeds all the colors of the queer rainbow.

The stories that really stood out for me . . . the ones that made me stop, shake my head, and walk away for a moment . . . were as follows:

Pip and Estella by Valerie Alexander is a weird Southern Gothic take on Great Expectations that was full of dark and dirty lesbian exploration, and which built slowly to a series of chilling climaxes.

Goldilocks and her Undead Bear by Julianne Snow is my first favorite of the collection, the story of a fierce drag queen, her three gay bears, and a zombie outbreak. The battle at the club was fantastic, and that final line . . . it still makes me smile every time I think of it.

Think of Me by Lindsay King-Miller is the story that absolutely blew me away, a deeply moving tale that explores the pain of suicide, the legacy we leave behind, and how even our best efforts to make amends can lead to some very dark acts. You need to read this. Stunningly powerful.

Odd Man Out by Derek Clendening is a kind of a guilty pleasure, a story about horrible acts of violence and betrayal, but defined by twists that I thoroughly enjoyed.

His Type by Sèphera Girón is a slow-burning story, one that takes a while to reveal it secrets, to tear away its erotic skin to reveal the horror beneath it, but once its demons break through it just keeps getting darker, weirder, and more viscerally intense.

The Life Model by Jim Towns is a love story with supernatural elements, but even if I would be hard-pressed to define as horror, I absolutely loved the budding relationship between an introverted nude model and a shy painter. Just beautiful.

The Dark Gem by Lisi Damette is a story that was just full of surprises, transforming both an abused woman and her husband through witchcraft at a strange brothel. It is darkly suggestive, but full of images that linger long after you are done reading.

Broken Lines of Salt and Flesh by Robert E. Furey is another story of witchcraft and betrayal, marked by a wonderful bit of mystical seduction, an intensely exciting transformation, and the promise of something truly decadent. This is a story that is all in the details, and I loved it.

The Grave of Lilith by Harry F. Rey is a story I was hesitant about at first, but which was entirely redeemed by the message in its final paragraph. It is a weird story, as much about faith and belief as love and lust, built around a terrifying archaeological exploration of a biblical site, with . . . well, I refuse to spoil it, but I loved the final bit about those who deserve to die.

I deliberately avoided saying too much about the queer pairings in each story, but I was pleasantly surprised to find so much transgender content here, and even if it is more gay than lesbian, I still think Andrew Robertson did a wonderful job of paying respect to the entire queer spectrum of the Dark Rainbow.

About Andrew RobertsonAndrew Robertson is an award-winning writer who has been published in Group Hex Vol. 1, Group Hex Vol. 2, A Tribute Anthology to Deadworld and Comic Publisher Gary Reed, Deadman's Tome, Gone with the Dead, Siren's Call, Undertow and katalogue as well as the popular Riverdale Avenue Books MILF and DILF erotica collections, Stitched Smile Publications Magazine Vol 1, Abandon edited by Julianne Snow, and the Alice in Wonderland themed anthology Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland from Exile Editions. He is the editor of the Dark Rainbow Queer Erotic Horror anthology, founder and co-host of the Great Lakes Horror Company podcast on iTunes, official podcast to Library of the Damned and bassist for Toronto punk trio The Blackouts.

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