cover image Brute


Edited by Steve Berman. Lethe, $31 (244p) ISBN 978-1-59021-539-5

Berman (Burly Tales) collects 19 tales of dangerous, violent gay male sex in this unsettling erotic horror anthology. The adolescent narrator of Drew Pisarra’s powerful “The Window Inside” has a sexual awakening while peeping at a neighbor. “Dick Pig” by Ian Muneshwar is a superb, atmospheric horror tale in which a man hunting for an heirloom in his late aunt’s house gets increasingly insistent—and ever closer—messages on Grindr. A trans leather tanner in Rien Gray’s “Dark, Firm, and Dry” begins to question the provenance of the animal skins his retired cop boyfriend brings home. Men construct ideal lovers in several stories: a book repairer harvests former lover’s body parts in Elton Skelter’s creepy “I’ll Make a Man of You Yet”; a carver in L.A. Fields’s Pygmalion riff “Against the Grain” brings his sex machine to life; and men “carve people up until there is nothing left but the holes” in Tom Cardamone’s incredibly disturbing “Suitcase Sam.” Though some entries aim solely to shock, most press against norms with titillating sensuality wrapped up in brutality. Erotic horror readers looking for stories that will make even the most kinky squirm will enjoy diving in here. (Oct.)