UNSPEAKABLE: A QUEER GOTHIC ANTHOLOGY
EDITED BY CELINE FROHN
REPRESENTATION: Lots of queer couples and characters.
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Gothic Fantasy (mild horror), Short Stories
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Unspeakable is an anthology of short, queer stories with a Gothic slant, so I knew this one would be right up my alley. The stories are pretty broad: from dark fairy tale retellings, to haunted houses, to melancholy reflections. The tone ranges from Jane Eyre through darker fantasy and mild horror, so there’s pretty much something here for everyone.
As with all anthologies, I found that I enjoyed some more or less than others, but overall I thought that the stories in Unspeakable were very strong a group. There were certainly none that I would pick out as being a weak link.
This was a great introduction to lots of new authors for me, it would also make a great introduction to Gothic literature or queer stories if those are new to you.
Some particular favourites for me personally were:
HEARTEATER by Eliza Temple: As a result of their respective loneliness, two women have convinced themselves that they are monstrous. When they meet, they learn that not only are they wrong, neither are they alone anymore (also, they’re in love and it’s gay) [description from @UnspeakableGoth twitter account.]
THE WHITE DOOR by Lindsey King-Miller: A sort of gender-switched Bluebeard retelling.
THE MOON IN THE GLASS by Jude Reid: Charlotte has everything she ever wanted – a Highland manor-house, marriage to a wealthy landowner, wealth and security. Her new life is worth everything it cost her…isn’t it? [description from @UnspeakableGoth twitter account.]
LET DOWN by Claire Hamilton Russell: A dark Rapunzel retelling.
Unspeakable features eighteen Gothic tales with uncanny twists and characters that creep under your skin. Its stories feature sapphic ghosts, terrifying creatures of the sea, and haunted houses concealing their own secrets. Whether you’re looking for your non-binary knight in shining armour or a poly family to murder with, Unspeakable showcases the best contemporary Gothic queer short fiction. Even dark tales deserve their time in the sun.