[image description: an orange and black banner reading “queer halloween reads, part two: pumpkin spice latte”. it is surrounded by five book covers of the titles listed below.]

This is the second of four posts featuring queer and queer-ish reads for Halloween. This post looks at books for those who are looking for a Halloween read with something funny or sexy or just atmospheric instead of pants-pissingly terrifying. You can see the previous post here. Enjoy!

Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire
edited by Amber Dawn
Michelle Tea, Larissa Lai, Nomy Lamm and more contribute to this anthology that seeks to transform horror tropes to center the fears and desires of queer women. Seek it out for chills, both creeping and erotic.

Lunatic Fringe by Alison Moon
The first in Moon’s Tales of the Pack series stars a college freshman who, while trying to find herself, finds herself amongst lesbian feminist werewolf hunters, then finds herself falling for one of the hunted. Funny, sexy, feminist werewolves? Yes please.

Love Spell by Karen Williams
The cover of this campy romance is so damn autumnal, it will pair great with your favorite cardigan, pumpkin-flavored beverage or shellacked gourd. Pick it up for a supernatural romance just as sweet and addictive as Halloween candy.

Zombies Vs. Unicorns edited by Justine Larabelstier and Holly Black
There are two gay protagonists and a handful of queer side characters in this creature-feature anthology. Perhaps surprisingly, the queer content is all Team Zombies’ doing. This book is great if you, like me, can only tolerate reading about zombies until the sun goes down - just skip around Team Unicorns’ contributions until you feel calm and safe again.

Vintage: A Ghost Story by Steve Berman
While not exactly horror, this one might get a little heavy. It stars a troubled young gay man who, after being kicked out of his childhood home, spends his time drinking, wandering amongst strangers’ funerals, and fooling around with Ouija Boards. Enter a charming ghost, still dressed in his 1950s jock regalia. Is it a dream come true, or a potential nightmare?

Make two lists, one of queers you know who have died, and a second of queer funerals you’ve attended. How do your lists compare? My first list is a whole lot longer than the second. What I’ve learned about queer funerals is - they don’t exist. In the worst-case scenario, we are forced back into the closet at our funerals. At best, our deaths become political platforms for public education and human rights lobbying. They become measures of the work that still needs to be done in this world. I am proud to be a part of a community that, in the face of death, rolls up its sleeves and says ‘We’ve got a job to do’. At the same time, at risk of sounding enfeebled, it’s just not fair.
—  “How to Bury Our Dead" from How Poetry Saved My Life by Amber Dawn. A must-read.