In the first full-length collection of her edgy, award-winning short stories, Loren Rhoads punctures the boundaries between horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction in a maelstrom of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Ghosts, succubi, naiads, vampires, the Wild Hunt, and the worst predator in the woods stalk these pages, alongside human monsters who follow their cravings past sanity or sense. The stories have come from the pages of the magazines Cemetery Dance, City Slab, Instant City, and Space & Time, the Wily Writers podcast, and the books Sins of the Sirens, Demon Lovers, The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two, Tales for the Camp Fire, and more.
Rhoads (Angelus Rose) offers a heady blend of otherworldly sex and sin in this collection of 15 speculative shorts. “Here There Be Monsters” follows two bike riders who stop to picnic, drop acid, and hook up near an abandoned mansion in the woods—and what’s lurking there is not particularly welcoming. A young woman comes of age on a dangerous planet where humans and alien species mingle freely in “The Arms Dealer’s Daughter,” a delightful homage to classic sci-fi. A human becomes the bride of a fairy embarking on the Wild Hunt in “The Magic of Fire and Dawn,” a succubus searches for pleasure in the 1970s in the steamy “Never Bargained for You,” and the erotic “Affamé” delves into intense BDSM. Rhoads’s prose is effervescent, rendering her imagined worlds with nuance and the occasional dose of black humor. Though the graphic sex and violence throughout will scare off some readers, Rhoads does provide a helpful key with content warnings for each of her stories. This carefully crafted collection makes an excellent showcase of Rhoads’s skill across a multitude of subgenres. (Self-published)
10/10/2020The books behind Unsafe Words
From Huysmans to Ellison, I talk about the books that inspired me to write Unsafe Words