We Mostly Come Out at Night: 15 Queer Tales of Monsters, Angels & Other Creatures

Rob Costello's editorial debut unites queer and trans authors in a gloriously layered collection celebrating richly voiced and refreshingly diverse LGBTQ+ teens facing frightening yet freeing entities from without and within. Here, monstrousness and magic parallel that which society fears--queerness, asexuality, trans lives--and through transformations both tiny and tremendous, teens enduring discrimination show how amazing they can be.

We Mostly Come Out at Night is deeply original even in its retellings. A seductive "Sleeping Beauty" villainess crashes a high school prom to rally the gays in Sarah Maxfield's entry, "How We Founded Club Feathers at the Discard Depot," while Noah seeks an abortion for himself before the flood in "Sons of God and Daughters of Humans" by H.E. Edgmon. Ethnic diversity shines, too. Alexandra Villasante centers Yemanjá ("the mother of the sea") in "Other Fish," an addicting twist on "The Little Mermaid," and a Basque boy seeks revenge in 1541 New Spain ("The Freedom of Feathers and Fur" by David Bowles). Multiple tales unapologetically represent ace and trans experiences, such as Bloody Mary pondering gender fluidity: "Humans can have so many selves" ("How to Summon Me" by Val Howlett). Lilting prose enchants ("a breath of brine and mineral secrets"), sassy lines entertain (" 'You're alive?' The gargoyle blinked. 'What a keen sense of observation you have' "), and romance resonates ("You're pretty hot for someone who has been living off fish tails"). Each story includes a "Monster Reflection" by the author, revealing what attracts them to such satisfyingly terrifying tales. The message here? "Too bad, world. You will make space." --Samantha Zaboski, freelance editor and reviewer

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