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

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  19 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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Community Reviews

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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
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
Mansah
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.
dee
More than anything, I so deeply enamored with the fact that such an anthology exists. I have read other queer anthologies that are all about making queer identity sexy and radical. That is certainly one edge of the sword for me but the other edge (the one the sinks deeper) is how my queerness is entangled with fear, shame, and - at times - utter horror.
As with any anthology the stories are hit or miss though represent a sufficient range of genres from erotica to horror to just kind of weird.

Als
...more
Richard Van Camp
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
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
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
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
Fabulous collection of shorts, compelling perverse connections between queer sex and fear. Also, hot.
Ross
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.
Andrea Routley
Weird and wonderful. Uncomfortable. But Comforted to see people writing this.
Erin
some stuff got repetitive, but most of the stories were great.
Naima
Loved it, disturbed by it, turned on by it, loved it.
Kim
scary and dirty, what more do you want?
Pamster
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
More about Amber Dawn...
Sub Rosa How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler's Memoir With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn Where the words end and my body begins Blood Rose

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