My worst habit at the moment is spending ages looking for new literature to read, buying it, and then never looking at it. And recently i’ve been searching for some good queer literature to read. I came across this special edition of Nightmare magazine whilst bored last night and ended up searching through the ‘queer’ tag on WordPress to see if there were any hidden gems.
Published in October 2015 (so i’m behind the times a bit) Queers Destroy Horror is a special edition magazine featuring an ‘all-horror extravaganza entirely written and edited by queer creators’. It contains fictional short stories – some original, some reprinted – poetry, and non-fiction essays.
Title/Issue: Queers Destroy Horror! / #37
Fiction Authors: Chuck Palahniuk, Matthew Bright, Sunny Moraine, Alyssa Wong, Lee Thomas, Kelley Eskridge, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Poppy Z. Brite.
Non-Fiction Authors: Lucy A. Snyder, Sigrid Ellis, Catherine Lundoff, Michael Matheson, Evan J. Peterson, and Cory Skerry
The short stories in this magazine are some of the best works of fiction I’ve read in a while. Honestly my only issue with them is that I wanted to read more and more of them each. Usually when reading anthologies or other collections of short stories there will always be a couple of stories that I don’t care for, or that just don’t live up to the standard of its neighbouring fictions, but in ‘Queers Destroy Horror!’ each story was as great, griping and grisly as the next.
My particular favourite was the first story Golden Hair, Red Lips by Matthew Bright. The premise: a combination of Oscar Wilde’s eternally youthful Dorian Gray transposed into the AIDS-era of San Fransisco where youth was even more short-lived. The obviously haunting subject matter presents lingering emotions that will cause me to continue to return to this piece.
I’ve never really been a big fan of poetry, chalk it up to being forced to read shit-tons of the stuff in GCSE English class, I want to like it so bad but when I read it, its like words don’t make sense anymore. Reading the poetry in this magazine – no i’m sorry to say there was no epiphany moment with this poetry, no Eureka! I like poetry now! moment – I could tell it was of good quality, but honestly I just ended up skimming it because as I said; not my cup of tea.
I was surprise, and delighted, to find within the non-fiction section a series of interviews with the authors of the short stories. Getting to read more about the authors and their inspirations and feelings for their stories and the wider topic of being a queer author in the horror genre was a great rounding off to the magazine.
It was also a delight to discover that the ‘Queers Destroy Horror’ is part of a three piece series with sister mags Lightspeed (Science Fiction) and Fantasy Magazine. And so I shall definitely be investigating those soon. Not only that but there are also two other special issues Women Destroy – and POC Destroy – that I’ll 100% be investing in. This magazine fully deserves a 5 star rating, and I cannot wait to read more.
Getting to read literature written by members of the LGTBQIA+ community was more fulfilling and impacting than I had expected to find when going in. But getting to read characters who were also part of the community and to see representation on those pages of a book I’d bought is such a fantastic feeling. Please I cannot recommend this enough.
Let me know if you too have read Queers Destroy Horror and what you thought of it! Or if you have any queer/LGBTQAI+ literature to recommend.. 🙂