Horror has never looked this enticing. New release, All in Fear, is a gorgeous collection of horror tales from some of the hottest names in queer fiction. Be prepared to be titillated...and terrified.
All in Fear
KJ Charles, Roan Parrish, J.A. Rock, Steve Berman, Avon Gale, and Kris Ripper
Publisher ~ Open Ink Press
Published ~ 1st December 2016
Genre ~ Horror, M/M
Horror wears many faces, and its masks can be tantalizing. Some of the top names in queer fiction come together to spin their own versions of horror. Worlds rife with dark beauty and mystery, the familiar becoming terrible, creatures ethereal and alluring—and all bearing the gleam of love. Does hope lie along these grim passages or only doom? It will become clear. All in time—and all in fear.
Company by Roan Parrish
Nick Levy’s family is falling apart and he has no friends, but at least he can escape into the world of his favorite comic book series, The Face of the Vampire. Naturally, when the vampire in question shows up one day, Nick is enthralled. After all, what could be better than his own personal fantasy made real? Except that Nick isn’t exactly sure whether Michel is real or not. And when the arrival of a new boy in school promises romance, Nick sees a side of Michel he never could have imagined. This Michel is cruel, jealous . . . and he’ll do anything to keep Nick for himself.
Love Me True by Kris Ripper
Palmer's life is as good as it gets. Well, okay, so he hates his mind-numbing office job. But he's found a hot, smart, incredibly kinky guy. The sex is explosive. The power play is off the hook. And if he gets his way, Jon will soon be his husband.
When Palmer asks, Jon says yes. For the first time ever, Palmer thinks things might be really good. Sure, bad things happen in the world—to other people. But this is all he needs: Jon at the end of the day, in their bed, arms around him.
How could he have possibly been so stupid?
The Price of Meat by KJ Charles
Johanna Oakley will do anything to save her beloved Arabella from the cruelty of Mr Fogg’s madhouse—but ‘anything’ turns out to be more than she bargained for when she finds herself working for a man suspected of worse than murder. As Johanna is plunged from the horror of Sawney Reynard’s barber shop into the foul, lawless labyrinth at the heart of London, can she or anyone get out alive?
His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman
Joining Zeta Psi isn’t Steve’s dream, it’s his dad’s. Nevertheless his dad’s gift of the mysterious Bailey flask gets Steve an in to the frat house, and maybe his best shot at being accepted on campus. But the flask’s silver sheen may only be lighting his way into the darkness at the heart of the frat—and the darkness he’s learning is within himself. Steve wants to choose who he is, but choices are dropping like flies as he learns the true mystery of the Bailey flask. How does he give back a gift that’s also a curse?
Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale
STAFF SERGEANT JASON ESSEX, YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING ORDERS FROM THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS:
REPORT TO: CAIN INSTITUTE [ADDRESS REDACTED]
ACTIVE DUTY COMMITMENT: GUARD AN ENTITY CURRENTLY HELD IN AN ENCLOSURE AT THE CAIN INSTITUTE. RECORD DAILY MEASUREMENTS. KEEP ANY AND ALL PERSONS FROM ENTERING OR LEAVING THE FACILITY. ENSURE THE ENTITY REMAINS COMPLETELY INCARCERATED. OBSERVE THE ENTITY WITHOUT ENGAGING.
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS: THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN FULL ISOLATION. PLEASE BE ADVISED.
Beauties by J.A. Rock
When Dr. Lester Usole attends an event at AI developer Carnificiality, he’s introduced to Beauties: artificial beings designed to provide tailored sexual experiences for their human owners. Lester isn’t interested in sex—but he is fascinated by Ira, a Beauty too violent to be sold.
Lester convinces Carnificiality to give Ira to him. Lester has always wanted the chance to work with an adult AI, and around Lester, Ira isn’t violent. He’s strangely innocent, uncannily perceptive, and his company does much to ease Lester’s loneliness. Except something’s not quite right: Ira roams at night, even when Lester’s sure he’s locked Ira’s door.
Soon Lester is certain of only one thing: Ira has a secret. Something that will link their pasts and change the course of their future—if Lester is willing to face what’s on the inside.
Queer Themed Horror by Steve Berman, author of His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl
I love queer-themed horror. I was a baby Goth before I ever knew such a sub-culture existed. I watched endless monster movies growing up. The first wet dream I can remember waking from could have been a scene in a David DeCoteau film. I once gave a guy a blowjob in a cemetery on Halloween night.
And I'm tired--no, a more apt word would be exasperated--by being a minority and having difficulty finding stories that engage me. Ninety percent of horror films are made for the white, male, heterosexual viewer. Final girls are pale-skinned, often fair-haired, and their handsome boyfriends were the penultimate victim. The gay characters in these movies are either comic relief or tragic figures. Books are a bit better, because women read more than men, but the horror community has often faced been labeled misogynist.
I want good horror stories for people like me. DeCoteau is no better than Ed Wood, and how many people say, I'd like to watch the next Ed Wood movie after they suffered through the first?
This is the reason why I write so much gay horror. I am forced to, for the sake of the community, for the sale of future Steves, so they can open a book and find someone they can relate to. And that guy has adventures and misadventures and often the supernatural is involved. But he's never punished because he's gay. No, I don't like that playbook. Or the one where a guy becomes gay overnight because the protagonist is a special cornflake. I may not be an expert gay, but I have been around for almost five decades and understand how the world works. And how men fall in lust and love. And what scares us so.
So we need our monsters and they need to speak to queer readers. Part of that is knowing that "gay culture" is a myth. A great deal of the current queer speculative fiction makes presumptions about gay men that seems based on bad movies and stereotypes. I yearn to see stories about realistic men who happen to want to romance other men. Men of color, men of different builds, men who are older, men who have flames that burn bright and those who are down-to-earth and country mouses. These men deserve all the romance, as well as the dangers of horror stories, as the rest of the world.
The fixation of youth and beauty has begun to bore me. Honestly, "His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl" is likely to be the last young adult story I tell for a long while. I'm no longer an angsty teen. I'm a middle-aged man with a whole different set of desires and fears. And I want to write about these things and leave the woes of adolescence behind. Ghosts still haunt me, but they are not the ghosts of first-loves lost. The ghosts these days threaten loneliness, sure, but whisper at night about my body slowly corrupting, my memories fading away, the isolation of growing older. And being older for many gay men is becoming an outcast, at least, that is what all those awful movies tell us.
So I'll continue to write new stories. Horror stories, of course. And I hope other men will be scared and want to reach out, because in real life the best way to chase fear is holding on to someone you adore.
About the Authors
Steve Berman loves to tell stories that are both queer and weird. He was a Zeta Psi back in his college days at and remembers being hazed. He survived and graduated and even earned a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies. He has written and sold over a hundred articles, essays, and short stories. His YA novel, Vintage, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award.
KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, and a cat with murder management issues. KJ writes mostly historical romance, mostly queer, often with fantasy or horror in there.
Find her on Twitter @kj_charles, pick up book info and free reads on her website at kjcharleswriter.com, get the infrequent newsletter at kjcharleswriter.com/newsletter, or join her Facebook group, KJ Charles Chat, for sneak peeks and exclusives.
Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
Connect with Avon:
Sign up for Avon’s Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bOXXp9
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.
Sign up for her Newsletter to receive updates about new releases, works-in-progress, and bonus materials like sneak peeks and extra scenes! eepurl.com/bmJUbr
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a little kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
The site: krisripper.com
J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.