cover image Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness

Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness

Edited by dave ring. Neon Hemlock, $24.99 trade paper (442p) ISBN 978-1-952086-30-4

With this witchy anthology, ring (editor, Glitter and Ashes) showcases 28 brilliant queer speculative shorts paired with gorgeous illustrations. Chelsea Obodoechina’s realistic “Blood for Blood” sees an ostracized Guyanese witch reluctantly agree to train a teenager looking for revenge. In the lyrical “Where the Light Had Been” by Priya Chand, a witch-queen’s consort seeks a cloak that will heal her beloved. Particularly enjoyable is Sharang Biswas’s unique “Sutekh: A Breath of Spring,” which puts readers into the mind of the god Osiris as he is resurrected once again only to realize that the person who brought him back is not the woman he is used to, but a man; readers slowly come to realize the story exists in the world of a video game, and the man is a fan-built modification available to give queer players a chance at representation within the game. With such a breadth of style, tone, and types of magic on offer, any speculative fiction reader will find something to enjoy, though queer fans will be especially moved by the inclusivity, heart, and nuance here. This deserves to be savored. (Oct.)