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Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire

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3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Traditional horror has often portrayed female characters in direct relation to their sexual role according to men, such as the lascivious victim or innocent heroine; even vampy, powerful female villains, such as the classic noir “spider women,” use their sexual prowess to seduce and overwhelm married men. Fist of the Spider Woman is a revelatory anthology of horror stories ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Arsenal Pulp Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Fist of the Spider Woman by Amber DawnLost Boi by Sassafras LowreyBlue is the Warmest Color by Julie MarohHow Poetry Saved My Life by Amber DawnWith a Rough Tongue by Amber Dawn
Arsenal Pulp Press
1st out of 167 books — 8 voters
The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. KiernanCarmilla by J. Sheridan Le FanuThe Red Tree by Caitlín R. KiernanSkull Full of Kisses by Michael  WestCarmilla - The Wolves of Styria by David Brian
Lesbian Horror
7th out of 18 books — 28 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kelly
"My terror is terror's ubiquity."

(Trigger warning for rape. Also, some of the individual story descriptions may contain vague spoilers. Read at your own risk!)

In Fist of the Spider Woman, fifteen daring authors frankly ask themselves, "What am I afraid of?" The aim is not to quell our fears, but to embrace them. In doing so, their work takes on an entirely different form than the familiar thrills of contemporary Hollywood horror films.

Between the blurbs on the back cover and the wonderfully cree
...more
Arsenal
Jan 29, 2009 Arsenal rated it it was amazing
AVAILABLE APRIL 2009 Traditional horror has often portrayed female characters in direct relation to their sexual role according to men, such as the lascivious victim or innocent heroine; even vampy, powerful female villains, such as the classic noir “spider women,” use their sexual prowess to seduce and overwhelm married men. Fist of the Spider Woman is a revelatory anthology of horror stories by queer and transgressive women and others that disrupts reality as queer women know it, instilling bo ...more
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
Gorgeous, twisted, and erotic: it’s a strange but tantalizing combination that is the collection Fist of the Spider Woman. Edited by the ever-fabulous Vancouver-based writer, filmmaker, and performance artist Amber Dawn, this book of “tales of fear and queer desire” is probably the most unique anthology I’ve ever read. It’s queer not just in the LGBTQ sense, but also in that older, more fundamental meaning: strange, odd, unsettling. With over half of the contributors hailing from Canada (nine ou ...more
Catherine
Aug 09, 2015 Catherine rated it liked it
Interesting anthology, with some stories being more effective than others. From a theme perspective, it didn't quite work for me as erotic horror (which I think it's intended to be), but I thought it was worth reading as queer lit. The stories I found most memorable included those by Nony Lamm, Suki Lee and Mette Bach. And I really love the cover art by Julie Morstad.
Mansah
Jan 28, 2014 Mansah rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq, 2014, contemporary
I was a little disappointed with Fist of the Spider Woman, not because there was anything wrong with the individual stories, but I didn't feel like many of the stories lived up to the premise of the anthology -or at least, I think there was so much more to explore. Particular highlights include Nomy Lamm's Conspiracy of Fuckers, Michelle Tea's Crabby and Kestrel Barnes' Sharks.
Kat Champ
Jun 03, 2016 Kat Champ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
queer erotica mixed with spine tingling horror, love it! tw for sexual violence, death.
Richard Van Camp
Apr 08, 2013 Richard Van Camp rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most important anthologies I've ever read because it's hot and horrific and I felt like I was invited into a garden filled with blades, razors, silk and secrets. I loved it. All of the stories in here blew me away and I actually made myself only read one story each day. I never wanted it to end.

I pray that Arsenal Pulp Press and Amber Dawn keep adding volumes to this series because it's magnificent.

I'll be thinking about so many of these stories for years and years.

Bravo to ev
...more
Rachele Cateyes
Nov 03, 2013 Rachele Cateyes rated it really liked it
I am not even sure what to say about this book! It is part erotica and part horror in the form of queer short stories. Some of the stories are cheeky scary and so e of them are really actually scary. A much better read than fifty shades of grey. But I'm guessing because I'm never gonna read that. This book was perfect to read around Halloween.
Adam Hodgins
Feb 24, 2009 Adam Hodgins rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer
Nice idea for a book and there is some ok stuff in here but nothing that I would consider scary
The Michelle Tea piece, which is one of the reason I picked this up, is straight out of Rent Girl so nothing new there. Every Anthology is hit or miss but there was some stuff in here that made me think "I could do better than that"
Christa
Dec 11, 2010 Christa rated it liked it
Even though the subtitle was 'tales of fear and queer desire" I didn't realize that the book was mostly erotica. Some stories were better than others, as one might guess. Most of the stories were perhaps horror stories but not necessarily scary. However, "In Circles" by Aurelia T. Evans scared the shit out of me.
Toby Wiggins
Jan 07, 2014 Toby Wiggins rated it it was amazing
Fabulous collection of shorts, compelling perverse connections between queer sex and fear. Also, hot.
Ross
Jul 22, 2009 Ross rated it it was amazing
A fairly interesting and surprisingly erotic collection of lesbian and genderqueer horror stories.

Even if that description puts you off, you should still read it as you're likely to still get something from it.
Artifice Magazine
Jan 21, 2010 Artifice Magazine is currently reading it
Shelves: tadd
A collection, so I'm kind of flipping around in it, rather than reading straight through. Pretty good so far. Plus, the book design is gorgeous.
Megan
finally got a minute to finish the last coupla pieces in here, and am pleased to be proud to have work in this collection.
Laura
Nov 14, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbrary, favorites
Andrea Routley
Oct 29, 2013 Andrea Routley rated it really liked it
Weird and wonderful. Uncomfortable. But Comforted to see people writing this.
Erin
Oct 18, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it
some stuff got repetitive, but most of the stories were great.
Naima
Jun 02, 2009 Naima rated it it was amazing
Loved it, disturbed by it, turned on by it, loved it.
Sarah
Lots of creepy yet very hot stories.
Kim
Jul 26, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
scary and dirty, what more do you want?
Pamster
Mar 16, 2009 Pamster rated it really liked it
Hot and scary. And hot. And scary.
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Amber Dawn is a writer, filmmaker and performance artist based in Vancouver. She is the author of the novel Sub Rosa (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010), editor of the Lambda Award-nominated Fist of the Spider Woman (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008) and co-editor of With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2005). Her award-winning, genderfuck docu-porn, "Girl on Girl," has been screened in eigh ...more
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