cover image As Summer’s Mask Slips

As Summer’s Mask Slips

Gordon B. White. Trepidatio, $16.95 trade paper (194p) ISBN 978-1-950305-20-9

White’s grisly, tantalizing debut story collection is a love letter to the horror genre. The powerful “Hairy Shirt Drag” tells the story of a gender-fluid witch who subverts and reclaims a violent rite of passage. In the anxiety-provoking title story, a grieving daughter explores the woods surrounding her father’s former home, only to realize that she is being followed. “The Buchanan Boys Ride Again,” arguably the best story on offer, is a surreptitiously funny, Stranger Things–esque tale of an overworked father and his surly teenage son donning head-to-toe rubber suits and wielding WD-40 to fight the creeping tendrils that live in their bathroom pipes. White conveys visceral terror through gorgeous, evocative prose (“Above her, the sky is striped in the violent bruise and citrus hues that soak early winter’s premature evenings.”), juxtaposing the macabre with the sublime for a truly pleasurable read. This exceptional debut is sure to earn White a significant fan base. (Feb.)