If you needed a good gay horror read (and you’re all caught up with my gay horror series. Heh heh), here’s a brief synopsis of two to check out that I’ve just finished reading: Scry for Help by Aaron Eischeid and The Unfinished by Jay B. Laws.
AARON EISCHEID – Scry for Help
I’ve previously posted an interview with author Aaron Eischeid here if you want to take a read.
His novella Scry for Help is a short gay horror story that is the perfect warmup to the longer work The Unfinished, because both books focus on gay men, death, grief, and the supernatural.
Nate, the protagonist here, is a man suffering from the loss of his partner Jamie. When Nate begins experiencing signs of Jamie’s presence, he delves into the world of the paranormal and learns how to contact the dead using a mirror. And we all know what happens when vulnerable people tap into the afterlife….
Check out the trailer for the novella:
JAY B. LAWS – The Unfinished
A while back I covered the Jay B. Laws novel Steam. As far as I know, this is his only other full-length novel before his untimely death, and just as with the first novel, this one fuses the horror genre with the devastation of AIDS in the late 80s/early 90s to bring us a supernatural story that I believe is the better of the two. It’s also sort of a “horror anthology” complete with a wraparound. Not realizing that was going to be the structure of this book, I found that aspect a bit convoluted.
It begins with a gay couple renting a haunted house from two lesbians. Sounds like a good story in itself, but just when you’re settling in for this plot the book changes course to give us even meatier stories, brought to us by the ghosts!
The first and shorter one about a mechanic and limo driver that have an affair builds tension quite quickly before turning into a grisly tale of violence reminiscent of some of Stephen King’s greatest tales. I actually wish this one had been longer—perhaps a separate novella.
The next story is the bulk of the book, and deservedly so. Brent, a man devastated by the toll AIDS is taking on his life and looks is offered a miracle cocktail by a man who was once as sick as him. The cocktail works wonders, but it has nasty side effects…and a horrific ingredient. Just as Brent’s life seems to be turning around, he is drawn into the web of horror that is bringing him new life.
It’s an absolute page turner that could have stood on its own, so I found the tying in of the other stories a bit distracting.