This list of LGBTQ horror books was originally published in our horror newsletter, The Fright Stuff. Sign up for it here to get horror news, reviews, deals, and more!
Happy Pride, everyone! Pride’s always a month to celebrate, but I have to admit that I love it just that much more when you add a little (or a lot) of horror. And thanks to this glorious horror boom that we are currently experiencing, I have a wealth of incredible titles to choose from! Which is why I’m going to split this list in two, so we can have two weeks of queer horror recommendations.
This week, I’m going to highlight some of the amazing queer horror titles from the last few years, and believe me when I tell you that this is just a sample of what’s out there.
Let’s talk books!
The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper
I’m a big fan of anything Piper writes at this point, but this was particularly my brand of horror. Set in the New York City of the ‘90s, where it’s easy for people to just disappear and never to be seen again, Worm’s protagonist Monique is on a quest to find her missing girlfriend, Donna. But she’s not the only one who has disappeared in recent days, and as other impoverished women start to vanish from the city streets, Monique begins to hear rumors of monsters stalking the city’s underbelly. In order to save Donna, Monique must follow the rumors deep into the world below New York, a subterranean kingdom of creatures, cultists, and an even more terrible, ancient evil lurking there in the dark.
The Route of Ice and Salt by José Luis Zárate
Okay, so, not actually from the last few years. Technically Zárate’s cult vampire novella was published in 1998, but this gorgeous translation by David Bowles finally made this title available to English-language readers just this year. So I’m counting it! The Route of Ice and Salt is a queer retelling of a small portion of the plot of Bram Stoker’s Dracula: the journey of the doomed Demeter. Varna to Whitby is a route the steadfast captain of the Demeter has traveled many times, alone among his men, dreams full of longings and pleasures he cannot permit himself. But something about this journey is different. Wrong. Rumors spread that something evil is stalking the captain’s ship and the crew are uneasy, looking to their captain to protect them.
In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland
There are not enough dark fantasy polyamory stories in my life. Which is probably why I bought In the Ravenous Dark before I even knew what it was really about. Throw in some magic and undead spirits and honestly what else do you need? In Thanopolis, undead spirits are used to control and guard the magically gifted. People like Rovan, whose life was upended when her magic was revealed. Now, surrounded by deceit and danger, she finds herself falling for both a rebellious princess, and the very spirit that now controls her body and soul. But can she trust them? Or will a dangerous secret that threatens all of Thanopolis force her to choose: give into her heart, or betray those she loves.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
If you’re looking for something more romantic, delightfully queer, and more moderately scary (versus scare your pants off scary) for your Pride TBR, Aiden Thomas’s Cemetery Boys is the book for you. Yadriel is determined to prove to his traditional family that he is a real brujo so that they will finally accept his true gender. But when he sets out to find and free the spirit of his murdered cousin he accidentally summons the ghost of resident school bad boy, Julian Diaz, who now refuses to leave him alone. Until Yadriel helps Julian find out what happened to him, Julian is determined that he isn’t going anywhere.
A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson
Why have only one Dracula retelling on a list when you can have two? Plus, I could (and will if you let me) talk about this book forever. A Dowry of Blood is the story of Dracula’s brides, told from the perspective of Constanta, the first of three brides whom Dracula creates to be his companions over the course of the novel. It is written as a farewell letter to the man she loved and hated in equal measure, detailing a hundred lifetimes of tenderness, abuse, and the unexpected love that develops between her and her fellow brides. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and one of the most beautiful.