Genre: Adult Science Fiction Year Release: Fall 2022 Buy link: Neon Hemlock
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Read an eARC from the publisher Content warnings: explicit sexual content, murder, body horror, gore
Empire of the Feast is a story of spaceship court intrigue in which a reincarnating emperor staves off an eldritch beast via a sex cult in a perpetual orgy. There’s a betrayal, there’s an army, and a transferal power that subverts genre tropes. Barrett efficiently packs so many compelling story elements into one taut work. If there are more stories coming out of the Stag Empire, I am here for all of them.
An interview with the author will be going up on October 27th, 2022.
This collection is full of queer stories that cross streams between science fiction, fantasy, and horror, sometimes crossing over, but never being shy about it. There are multiverses, quests, terrifying boarding schools, haunted museums that need to be emptied, people resisting, people trying their best, and more. I inhaled these in rapid succession. You will find intricate worldbuilding and complex characterizations within these pages, and I’m excited to share my faves.
An interview with author Izzy Wasserstein will be going up on July 26th, 2022.
Happy release day to Yellow Jessamine from Neon Hemlock Press. This novella is a gothic tale of murder, poison, and sapphic pining, perfect for the fall season. In this interview, author Caitlin Starling talks about research, inspiration, and her favorite poisons.
Content warnings: Poisoning, ideation, vomitingYellow Jessamine starts as a boat belonging to Evelyn Perdanu’s shipping company arrives home several people get sick with a mysterious illness. She’s already developed a bit of a reputation with her garden and tragic past, but it’s a race against transmission as the afflicted have one obsession: Evelyn.
Paranoid is one word to describe Evelyn. The way the fears, both self-inflicted and external, permeate the page creates its own kind of atmosphere. It adds to the gothic qualities of the novel, with the mourning veils, sprawling mansion, haunted histories, and the burden of an empire. There is also a sense of cycles that stretches from beginning to end that’s very well executed, but to say anything more than that, would be spoilers.
I really enjoyed Evelyn’s characterization beyond the paranoia. She has some clear regrets and an agenda that isn’t just her own survival. In addition, her expertise on poisons and medicines (and the balance between the two) fits and flows throughout the narrative and works double-duty as a means to set the mood. Plus, the love between Evelyn and Violetta is the kind of queer pining that fits the mood of these kinds of deadly, melancholic works.
An excellent entry into the gothic literature canon, with some queer pining throughout.
For my first ever cover reveal, I’m so excited to share with you the cover for Anya Ow’s Cradle and Grave, a biohorror science fiction novella coming out on April 5th from Neon Hemlock Press. Continue reading →