Top Ten Tuesday: LGBTQ+ Horror Novels

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

An opened book is sitting next to a small pumpkin on a dusty wooden table. There is an illustration of some sort of gnome or other heavily-bearded figure on the right hand side of the page. It looks like an illustration from a dark fairy tale, maybe? Behind the book and pumpkin is a black candle and some orange and black sticks sitting in black pots. The original theme for this week was “atmospheric books.”

I was utterly stumped by it, so I’m going to turn my response into a Halloween post instead. Here are ten LGBTQ+ horror novels I have not read yet because I’ve lost a lot of interest in the horror genre since 2020.

When I do read horror these days, I avoid pandemic-related themes and am much less willing to read anything gory that I was in the past. (Granted, gore was only a rare and occasional part of what I read back then, but now I can do so much less of it than even that!).

It’s been almost four years with few if any adjustments to these mental rules for myself, so this might be a permanent change to my reading habits.

1. The Luminous Dead  by Caitlin Starling

2. Carmilla: The First Vampire by Amy Chu

3. Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca

4. Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

5. Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling

6. Echo by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

7. Evergreen by Devin Greenlee

8. The Shadow of Oz by J. Michael Wright II

9. To Kill a Shadow by Katherine Quinn

10. Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

If you’ve read any of these, please feel free to tell me what you thought of them.

If you have other suggestions for Halloween and/or speculative fiction LGBTQ+ reads, I’d love to hear them, too.

Finally, if neither of those apply or if you’re in a chatty mood and want to answer multiple questions, tell me how the pandemic has (or hasn’t) changed your reading habits. I’ve spoken to several folks who had similar reactions to mine and wonder how common it is.


Filed under Blog Hops

56 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: LGBTQ+ Horror Novels

  1. I really don’t like pandemic themes either, I’m kind of over it. On your list, I did not care for Summer Sons, but lots of readers loved it, so I might be in the minority.

  2. Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog

    During the pandemic I actually read a book about a zombie apocalypse created by a vaccine that was supposed to cure another disease (Dead Soil by Alex Apostol). It certainly added realism to the story…

    I have also read someone’s take on their day to day life during the pandemic which was interesting (Cauliflowers Through The Catflap by Cassandra Campbell Kemp).

    On another general note I actually got back into reading during this time, setting myself genre goals to widen my reading material and started my blog.

    Anyway 😂 have a great week!

  3. I’m not keen on pandemic themes either or horror for that matter. During the pandemic I started reading more children’s books, and I’ve found myself moving in that direction again just recently with all the news coming out of the Middle East and Ukraine!

  4. I don’t mind pandemic themes, though reading “The End of October” and “Station Eleven” right as COVID was hitting made them more memorable than they otherwise would have been. I struggled with this topic, too…thought of a few titles, but not enough for a list so now it’s just teases.

  5. I’ve had similar reactions to my books as you have—the main difference being that I didn’t read much horror to begin with. But I’ve seen the same thing with dystopian books. I used to enjoy them more, and now it’s rare for me to enjoy a dystopian book.

    Station Eleven is one that I still want to read eventually, but it might be a looooong time before I’m ready for it.

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list, but as far as spec fic LGBTQ+ reads, I did recently enjoy The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older. (And that one actually made my list this week, to tie it all together.)

    My TTT:

    • Station Eleven was really good! No pressure to read it, of course, but I think you’d like it. The TV series changed a lot of stuff but was also good.

      I’m looking up that title now. It looks like it could be excellent.

  6. The Luminous Dead and Yellow Jessamine are both on my TBRs as well!

  7. What a great list to share at this time of year!

  8. I wanna read Carmilla: The first Vampire at some point!

  9. I don’t like gore so I don’t read anything in the horror genre… though a few years back I did watch Warm Bodies and have seen a couple vampire-y movies since then. None of which are my “normal” or well liked favorite genre, but I do think once you get past the eating humans part, Warm Bodies is cute. There are definitely story plots or genres I don’t like as well, and end-of-the-world stuff is one I don’t read. Though I have seen some movies with the themes, so I suppose it depends! Thanks so much for visiting my website today.

  10. I don’t like reading books that talk about the pandemic, and I have had Airborne by DiAnn Mills on my list forever…and was going to read it, until it was too much like reality, LOL! I have also found that I prefer more romcoms and lighter-themed books than I did before the pandemic.

  11. Wonderful choice of topic! I really enjoyed how odd Meddling Kids was, but I’ll need to check out all your other recs too

  12. Great topic! I have to admit I’m not much into horror either – I used to read a little bit but lately I haven’t even been reading that. Maybe someday I’ll pick it back up again.

  13. I don’t read horror very often so I haven’t read any of these but I will say I will check a few of them out. I am working towards branching out more.

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday post:

  14. Horror is definitely not my favourite genre, though I do like MG horror as it’s a great combination of scary (but not too gory or psycological) and funny

  15. Like you, I haven’t read a lot of horror lately. Never was into gore, but it’s rare I read any horror now. Thanks for sharing. I like how you changed up this topic.

  16. I’ve read a couple of books that touch on the pandemic, but I’m not interested in books that do more than mention it in passing. I’ve never read any of these because I don’t generally read horror. The older I get, the more squeamish I seem to be!

  17. I like horror without all the gore as well. For me it’s more like I want atmosphere and suspense more thna actual horror, perhaps.

    Oandemic stuff doesn’t bother me too much but I’ve seen a lot of people say the same thing as you. I mean, you can only take o smuch. Real life was pretty bad there…

  18. I really do not read horror at all, so I haven’t read any of the ones you’ve listed here. I will read a pandemic book that isn’t horror (so to speak, they’re all kinda horror haha. but not scary, if that makes sense).

  19. Now THIS is an interesting topic! I’m straight, so simply never knew such books existed. You’ve expanded my world in a good way.

  20. I also want to pick up The Luminous Dead. I highly recommend House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson which is a sapphic horror.

  21. I’m the same way. As a teen and young adult, I read tons of horror. The scarier, the better. These days, I just can’t stomach it. I value my sleep, so I don’t want the nightmares, thank you very much! I still enjoy a spooky, atmospheric read – as long as it’s not too scary.

    I don’t feel like the pandemic changed my reading habits at all, honestly, except that during lockdown, I actually got a *little* tired of reading being my only real hobby. I picked up cross-stitching again to add some variety to my day 🙂

    Happy TTT!


    • Thanks for sharing, Susan! I didn’t find your comment in my spam folder until after I’d commented on your post.

      And, yeah, I grew a little tired of reading during lockdown, too. Cross-stitching sounds neat.

  22. Meddling Kids and Summer Sons have both been on my TBR list for a while, so thanks for reminding me! And I’m pretty sure they are atmospheric as well as horror 🙂

  23. I kind of love horror – there is nothing like having the written word scare the bejeezus out of you.

    An oldie but goodie is Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite

  24. I’m not in the mood for pandemic themes any more either.
    I’ve wanted to read Carmilla for a while, it’s a great choice for this time of year.

  25. I don’t read a lot of horror any more, and haven’t read anything on this list, but thanks for the recommendations. For other LGBTQ+ speculative fiction, I can recommend The Once and Future Witches, Black Water Sister, and pretty much anything by T.J. Klune.

  26. I haven’t read any of them because I’m way behind with newer releases, but I hope you love them!

  27. I think all of these are new to me! I’m not big on pandemic novels, either, unless it’s a background plot or a romance when I know it won’t be too heavy.

    I don’t read much from the horror genre either, but if you haven’t read Lone Women by Victor LaValle, there are some LGBTQ+ characters in it. For Young Adult, I recently read and enjoyed You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kaylynn Bayron. It was very reminiscent of the 80s slasher films.

    Happy reading this week!

  28. I haven’t read any of these, but I recently finished The Spirit Bares Its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White, and it was a really good LGBTQIA+ horror read, plus it features mediums and ghosts, making it the perfect Halloween read! He also wrote Hell Followed With Us, another great LGBTQIA+ horror read. Kalynn Bayron’s take on Jekyll and Hyde was fantastic, with a queer spin. It’s called My Dear Henry. Happy Halloween!

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