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Unsafe Words

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  14 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In the first full-length collection of her edgy, award-winning short stories, Loren Rhoads punctures the boundaries between horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction in a maelstrom of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Ghosts, succubi, naiads, vampires, the Wild Hunt, and the worst predator in the woods stalk these pages, alongside human monsters who follow their cravings past s ...more
Paperback, 1st, 174 pages
Published September 20th 2020 by Automatism Press
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Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’m the first person reviewing this, it seems, and as per usual one hopes to say the nicest of things, but this one didn’t really work for me. I’ve actually never heard of the author prior to reading this, though it seems she’s been around for a long while, writing random genre fiction and collaborations, editing, etc. In her foreword, Lisa Morton says she’s love to live in Rhoades world/worlds. And I wouldn’t, in fact wouldn’t even want to visit them. Not for me, not the right scene. Seems like ...more
Carole Tyrrell
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Unsafe Words
I know Loren Rhoads through her excellent books on cemeteries and the sadly defunct magazine ‘Morbid Anatomy’ of which she was the editor. Now that was one to which I would have loved to have been a contributor. So when I had a chance to read her first collection of short stories I was more than enthusiastic.
A killer cover by Lynne Hansen Art leads you into Loren’s world. 15 stories, each with their own unique atmosphere, and a range of genres: music, fantasy, sci-fi and dystopia whi
Michelle Snow
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Unsafe Words by Loren Rhoads is the first full-length collection of the author's award-winning short stories, which live on the boundaries between horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction.

Rhoads is amazing at building a complete world for her stories to reside in, especially considering how brief these stories are.

Among my favorites are "Here Be Monsters," a haunting story that pits a girl versus an evil entity that roams more than just a house. Another is “The Arms Dealer’s Daughter,” a sci-fi
Julia C Lewis
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copies
I can only imagine how hard it is for an author to compile a short story collection. Not only are you trying to please the reader with one story, but several of them. I think it’s almost impossible to love every single story in one such collection. Therefore, I also had some stories in Unsafe Words that I loved, some that I liked, and some that I didn’t care for at all. I won’t tell you about every story in this book, but will point out some of the ones that truly spoke to me. I would also like ...more
Cindy O’Quinn
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loren Rhoads was new to me before this collection. How I didn’t know of her work is beyond me. I’ve been missing out. No more.

This is one of the best collections I’ve read. It was different. Each story was just so smart. Left me questioning why I hadn’t thought of that particular idea for the stories. Loren is a brilliant writer—is the answer.

I will definitely be reading more of her work, and I highly recommend this collection. Unsafe Words - even the title is perfect!!
Syeda Sumayya Tariq
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, net-galley
Alright, first things first, the cover is amazing and that's what grabbed my attention first, and also the fact that I love horror shorts.

Like any other short story collection, this was a mixed plate, and I really appreciate how true to the content the blurb was, horror, fantasy, and sci-fi with a side of dark. Some I enjoyed others I didn't care for. I have to say I liked the ideas more than the writing, I just found it not gripping enough and that is not to say it wasn't well-written. I think
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Unsafe Words is a unique collection of dark fiction that explores themes of addictions and desires, of man and monsters, and does so in a way that enthralls the reader not only with the subject matter but by the strength of Rhoads descriptions and sentences. Ranging from the haunted wilderness of ‘In the Pines’ to the sci-fi horrors of ‘The Arm’s Dealer’s Daughter’, this collection reaches far and wide, examining ev
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
True rating is a 2.5. While I did like the author's writing style, something about this collection just didn't hit with me. It didn't feel 'horrific' enough, I guess. I think a large part of my issue with it is that the stories very often ended abruptly- in a way, the endings didn't even seem like endings. The stories just seemed to suddenly end with no rhyme nor reason. I think that the horror of the stories needed more time to linger with the reader to truly have an effect, which those abrupt ...more
Lexi Vranick
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
You know when stories reach deep down inside of you and pull at something you'd almost forgotten was there? That's "Unsafe Words".

This book is a varied collection of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and literary short stories that pull your emotions in so many different directions that you'll hardly know which way is up by the time you finish. The common thread between them is Loren's delicate handling of each and every character's emotions within their stories. Whether she is writing about a
Ben Monroe
Oct 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection of flash and short fiction. Stories run the gamut from slice-of-life, to science fiction, fairy tales, and ghost stories. Some sensuous, some erotic, and almost all with a sinister undercurrent of dread cutting through them.
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great writing, to much sex and violence for me.

I thought about giving it a lower rating because it's just not my thing, but that might undermine just how good Loren Rhoads is. Her protagonists convince me wether they are a 20's gay boy turning tricks or a 50's menopausal woman contemplating an affair; quite an achievement.
Her descriptions are captivating as well, but the reason I read it to the end is her story structure, and the fact that I am in love with speculative fiction. I may never read
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Loren Rhoads is author of This Morbid Life, a morbid memoir, and Unsafe Words, the first full-length collection of her edgy, award-winning stories.

Loren is also author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel.

She's the co-author of Lost Angels and its sequel Angelus Rose. She's also author of the space opera In the Wake of the Templars trilo

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