|An excellent collection of stories. I read a lot of short stories– on their own, as part of magazines, anthologies, or collections like this one. This book actually took me quite some time to finish because I kind of hated the first story and dropped it because of that. Having finished it, it feels kind of out of place.|
I liked the majority of stories in this (which is a rarity for short story collections), but it took me until about 1/3rd into it before I started really loving it. These stories are exactly what’s on the tin- exploring boys loving boys, literal beasts and monsters but also the monsters inside of us. It’s unabashedly queer, alwas hard-hitting, and although they felt a bit one-note at the beginning it became a varied bunch of stories by the end. Would definitely recommend.
Just drop the burger story.
INDIVIDUAL REVIEWS FOR EACH STORY:
Allosaurus burgers was a funny story, but not really my kind of thing. Feels like a Scalzi short. [2/5]
57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides was an excellent Stephen King-esque story in terms of content but more experimental (told through a list). Really enjoyed this one. [4/5]
We Are the Cloud was DARK, but not the whole way through. Loved the world. [3.5/5]
A story of grief. A small story told well. Mostly enjoyed the characters in this. [4/5]
Shattered Sidewalks of the Human Heart [4.5]
Loved this one. A cab driver gets an inconspicuous guest in his cab… King Kong’s girl.
For $10,000, would you give someone control of your body for an hour? Or… Longer? [4/5]
The Beasts We Want to Be
Exploring superhero-esque experimentation on people during times of war, from the perspective of one who has been experimented on. [3.5/5]
A tragic story of a father desperately trying to get his son to love him again.
When Your Child Strays from God [4/5]
This is a great pairing with the previous story! It’s about a mother trying to understand her son, and “save” him from the path he’s currently on. Paired with some interesting drug concept, it makes for a nice story.
Things With Beards [3/5]
The Thing story about the monsters inside us. Not bad.
Ghosts of Home [4.5]
This story feels like a spiritual sequel to Open House on Haunted Hill. It’s a similar tale told differently. Houses have spirits, and abandoned houses get lonely. What happens when the 2008 banking crisis hits, and many people lose their home?
The Heat of Us: Notes Towards an Oral History [4/5]
An alternative history account of Stonewall, where the queer people at Stonewall who fought back were also supernatural. A celebration of celebrations.
Angel, Monster, Man [4/5]
Another chilling piece, this time about the AIDS epidemic and how the government handled it (read: didn’t handle it). An imaginary person, some fictional figurehead for the revolution, seems to become real.
Sun in an Empty Room [3/5]
A very musical story!