Suffered from the Night: Queering Stoker's Dracula

Suffered from the Night: Queering Stoker's Dracula - Steve Berman, Lee Thomas, Livia Llewellyn, Ed Madden, Damon Shaw, Jason Andrew, Rajan Khanna, Elka Cloke, William P. Coleman, Traci Castleberry, Jeff Mann, Laird Barron, Sven Davisson, Seth Cadin This was an okay anthology. I think the stories started out strong when they were directly involving the canon or time period of Dracula, but the last few stories set in modern times were... really bad, in my opinion. I skimmed them. One thing about the anthology is that, considering the source material it is inspired by, a lot of the stories have tragic, unhappy endings. It certainly brings to mind "No LGBT Person can be Alive and Happy" tropes that I loathe, but at the very least all of these authors fall somewhere on the LGBT identity spectrum, so I am not too upset about it.

One majorly disappointing thing about this anthology is, from the cover and the title it seems to purport it would be a wide LGBT anthology, but in reality 90% of the story are focused on cis gay men. I think there were two stories focused on cis lesbians and one story focused on a straight trans woman. Unfortunately, one of the lesbian stories (Bloofer Ladies) was an epistolary with over-done description that bored me to tears and the trans woman's story (My Arms Are Hungry) had an extremely creepy plot dynamic. (Orphaned child absorbs the essence of Lucy's feelings for Arthur and is sexually attracted to him for her whole life, until she's an adult after being in his care since childhood and they fuck and fall in love... Like... no. That's fucking creepy and strongly brings to mind pedophile grooming.)

I did enjoy the first lesbian story, "Yours is the Right to Begin" by [a:Livia Llewellyn|2966042|Livia Llewellyn|]. It was very stream-of-consciousness with a very deliberate confusing prose, which made it complicated to read at times, but it worked really well and you could feel all the emotions it wanted to get across.

I also enjoyed The Tattered Boy by [a:Lee Thomas|145792|Lee Thomas|] (a perfect opening to this anthology, very strong writing) and

My favorite story HAD TO BE: Seven Lovers and the Sea by [a:Damon Shaw|4410251|Damon Shaw|] (oh gosh I cannot sing the praises of this story ENOUGH, it is so well-written, perfect sense of time and place and space and ACTION, perfectly brought to life these two original characters in the Dracula plot and universe, perfect erotic content, and it has a perfect ending that keeps the tone of a dark Victorian vampire story, I seriously cannot explain what this story did for me, I wish there were a full-length novel about the characters) JUST PERFECT

One story I wanted to like, Protect the King , because it had erotic elements I LOVE, suffered from unnecessary misogyny and misogynist slurs, like please you don't need to toss the c-slur around so much honestly. Also the writing was just pretty dry and suffered from telling and not showing.