Black Candies: Gross and Unlikable • The Literary Horror and Dark Fiction Anthology Featuring 28 Women-Identifed (And Untamed) Individuals | Oracle Reviews At Whistle Stop Bar

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikable is a one-of-a-kind anthology changing the face of literary and dark fiction. Published by So Say We All Press, Gross and Unlikable captured the essence of women untamed by dedicating a space for all-things-possible in the genre of horror and dark fiction.

December 8th, 2016 was the Gross and Unlikable release party where yours truly had the chance to read my story “Belly-Full & Tender Loins.” The event featured us five women reading our horrified stories to a packed house at Whistle Stop Bar. Event reviewer, Marjani Moore, for Oracle Reviews wrote a fantastic piece up at their site. There, she reveals a few crushes and praise for all of those who spoke.

Oracle Reviews is a journal project of students at San Diego State University — the same type of journal project I worked on when I was a member for Parallaxed Journal (now disbanded) and that became the framework for the snazzy Black Lion Journal.

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikable • The Literary Horror and Dark Fiction Anthology Featuring 28 Women-Identifed (And Untamed) Individuals | Oracle Reviews At Whistle Stop Bar

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikeable contains 28 bone-chilling stories written by a diverse collection of female authors from around the world. Some terrorize your imagination in the exact ways you would expect: hyper aggressive, visceral. Others elicit such a delicate exposé of horror that you might not notice it if you were not paying close attention. All of the stories in Gross and Unlikeable are dark, provocative, and scary as fuck. — Marjani Moore

 
Whistle Stop Bar was packed to the brim when I arrived. I invited a few people (mostly for moral support) that I hadn’t seen in a while. It helps to have some familiar faces in the audience (even if you can’t see them through the spotlight) that you know are there because you asked them to join. Calms the nerves.

Horror is a genre that has long underrepresented women/the non-male human. Guest editor Natanya Ann Pulley curated this anthology in a response to this lack of representation.

 

“I believe writing stories (like all art) is a political act. Whose story we tell, whose we share, and how we expect them to be handed to us is an engagement with truths.” — Natanya Ann Pulley

 

The release party on December 8th was only a snippet of what this anthology had to offer. Hanna Tawater, Jennifer Agpoon Manalili, Kayla Miller, Jennifer D. Corley, and myself shared the spotlight that night.

Marjani Moore writes that “everything about this night – from the art to the literature – was a little awkward, a little uncomfortable.” And it was true. The moments of awkwardness were an essential part, in my humble opinion, in making the night all about embracing discomfort. The thing is, a woman-identified individual embracing, becoming gross and unlikable through her words and her stories makes it so we are not defined by polite rigors of behavior; it makes it so that we are as free as our counterparts; not in a legitimizing way, but in an equitable one. It’s a display of unabashed, unforgiving power transmitted by some who have lived under shadows of non-stop judgement. If you haven’t done so already, take a peek at Oracle Review’s Event review; and take a look at the stories (and art) in Black Candies: Gross and Unlikable.

 

“But it shouldn’t be. Society has trained women to be clean, not gross – polite, not unlikeable. So when women like guest editor Natanya Ann Pulley thoughtfully curate a collection of raw, female driven horror, it proves that all things unsettling, weird, off, and dangerous have a natural place in dark fiction.” — Marjani Moore

 

Black Candies: Gross and Unlikable • The Literary Horror and Dark Fiction Anthology Featuring 28 Women-Identifed (And Untamed) Individuals | Oracle Reviews At Whistle Stop Bar

 

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¡PSST! © 2016 The Black Lion Journal. Images from So Say We All Press.

Visit The Submissions page to learn about submitting to individual sections or to The Wire’s Dream. P.S. Use the social media links below to share with others.

 

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3 thoughts on “Black Candies: Gross and Unlikable • The Literary Horror and Dark Fiction Anthology Featuring 28 Women-Identifed (And Untamed) Individuals | Oracle Reviews At Whistle Stop Bar

  1. I am an Octavia Butler fan, and I have always wondered why there weren’t more women science fiction writers. When you think about what many women around the world have to endure; it is also interesting that we aren’t queens of the horror genre? Kudos I just ordered the book on Amazon, only cause I know that only when money is made will things adjust. Thanks for the heads up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Liz, for commenting. Unfortunately, the perception of horror and SF is so gendered that the idea of a woman writing those kinds of stories and using those kinds of “Stephen King/Lovecraftian/Poe-like” elements is as if we’re saying we can fly. Ridiculous, I know, because horror is so varied. I think Gross and Unlikable will help women see that horror is truly about life and living.

      I was fortunate to have So Say We All Press (the publisher) decide that Black Candies: Gross and Unlikable would be a woman-identified only anthology. This allowed us to work within a space that valued our voices and our narratives. You are 100% right. How is it that we women aren’t the Queens (or Kings for that matter) of horror? The hope is that more women will realize that we are, and that more women will write stories of their own that will supersede gendered stereotypes.

      It’s for that reason that this Journal works to overcome gendered limitations. Octavia Butler is such model to strive for. One of our contributors, Adrienne E. Hellar, had a book blog that specifically focused on women and SF. She’s since put that blog on hold, but I’m sure, if you haven’t already heard of her, you would enjoy reading her past reviews and interviews with women of STEM. That’s still her main focus, so I know that she’ll continue working from that perspective.

      https://theblacklionjournal.wordpress.com/category/a-e-hellar/
      https://hellarreviews.wordpress.com/book-reviews/
      https://www.facebook.com/AeHellar/

      I hope you enjoy the 28 stories and the accompanying art work! Thank you for supporting So Say We All and us women writers.

      Liked by 1 person

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