“Unburied: A Collection of Queer Dark Fiction’ edited by Rebecca Rowland— New Short Stories

Rowland, Rebecca, editor. “Unburied: A Collection of Queer Dark Fiction”, Dark Ink, 2021.

New Short Stories

Amos Lassen

Rebecca Rowland’s new anthology “Unburied: A Collection of Queer Dark Fiction” is a collection of new short stories with LGBTQ+ characters. There are 16 stories that explore dark themes. We read paranormal hauntings, shadow fables and dreadful delusions. This twisted box of curiosities serves the readers a cornucopia of chilling horror, creatures, sci-fi terror, and dark fantasy. The authors included are Felice Picano, Greg Herren, Daniel M. Jaffe, J. Askew, Laramie Dean, Laura DeHaan, Christina Delia, Sarah Lyn Eaton, Thomas Kearnes Veronica Kirin, George Daniel Lea, Azzurra Nox, Elin Olausson, Robert P. Ottone, Louis Stephenson, M.C. St. John.

Here the dark themes evolve out of the emotions and experiences of the characters and how we are affected by them. It seems to me that there is stress on gay men but all aspects of LGBT life are covered. There are no graphic scenes of sexual abuse scenes and all of the sexual situations remain in our minds and not on the pages of the anthology. Some of what we read is quite upsetting.

When I review an anthology, I avoid summarizing individual stories and look at the work as a whole. This is especially true when we deal with horror because of the elements of surprise. Even though I did not love all of the stories, I will say that overall this is a fascinating read and that the majority of the writing is excellent. We have a collection of genres that give us  a little bit of everything— a smorgasbord of dark writing  that is a welcome addition to the canon of LGBT literature. I highly recommend having a look at “Unburied” since it is a wonderful escape especially during the recent quarantine. You do not have to enjoy every story to enjoy the book as a whole. There is something for everyone here.