dave ring is a queer editor and writer of speculative fiction living in Washington, DC. He is the publisher and managing editor of Neon Hemlock Press, as well as the co-editor of Baffling Magazine. His short fiction has been featured in numerous publications, including Fireside Fiction, Podcastle, and A Punk Rock Future. Find him at www.dave-ring.com or @slickhop on Twitter.

On the 2021 Locus Recommended Reading List.

Unfettered Hexes edited by dave ring

Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness is a speculative anthology ofqueer witches, the knife edge between the sacred and the profane, and infinite darkness. Find your coven, craft new rituals and hex your enemies in twenty four stories, two poems, two comics, two story games and a bevy of illustrations.


A stunning collection that includes poetry, comics, and games as well as conventional fiction, all of them delving into the witchy paradox of power and stigma. Dark, compelling, powerful fiction. – Catherine Lundoff and Melissa Scott



  • "With such a breadth of style, tone, and types of magic on offer, any speculative fiction reader will find something to enjoy, though queer fans will be especially moved by the inclusivity, heart, and nuance here. This deserves to be savored."

    – Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • "Unfettered Hexes is a luxurious tasting menu of great fiction, sometimes sensual, sometimes shocking, sometimes absorbing, and as a composed offering, impressive."

    – Arley Sorg, Lightspeed Magazine
  • "Unfettered Hexes covers a really impressive amount of ground while keeping its theme at the heart of every story. Well worth investing the time in."

    – Adri Joy, Nerds of a Feather
  • "This is a fantastic anthology featuring original tales of all things witchy, magical, and queer."

    – A.C. Wise
  • "This collection of dark speculative fiction is diverse, delicious, witchy perfection."

    – Lynzie Montague, Book Riot



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Table of Contents

"The Underworld as a Heart Meditation" by Imani Sims (poem)
"The Passing of Sinclair Manor" by Danny Lore (short story)
"Love and Light" by H.A. Clarke (short story)
"This Deviant Flesh" by Diana Hurlburt (short story)
'The Bride" by Suzan Palumbo (short story)
"Blood for Blood" by Chelsea Obodoechina (short story)
"FOR CLOSURE" by Tania Chen (short story)
"Excerpts From Various Periodicals" by Jordan Shiveley (short story)
"To Hell, With Hope" by Die Booth (short story)
"Transgressions in Past Tense" by Elizabeth Twist (short story)
"Effects of Altitude on the Blood Elevations of Love" by Marianne Kirby (short story)
"Before, After, and the Space Between" by Kel Coleman (short story)
"Undercity Spellwork" by C.B. Blanchard (short story)
"Where the Light Had Been" by Priya Chand (short story)
"Sutekh" by Sharang Biswas (short story)
"Talalora" by Caleb Hosalla (comic)
"Not Death, Nor the Storm" by Tamara Jerée (short story)
"As the Sea Drinks Our Salt" by Amelia Fisher (short story)
"The End of the Line" by Grace Fong (comic)
"Night of the Erupting Dead" by Almah LaVon Rice (short story)
"The Witch of Kaa-Iya by Ruth Joffre (short story)
"Sacred Heart" by Cecilia Tan (short story)
"Antelope Brothers" by Craig L. Gidney (short story)
"Dizzy in the Weeds" by L.D. Lewis (short story)
"Human Reason" by Nicasio Reed (short story)
"The Trappings of Routine" by Hanna A. Nirav (short story)
"The Coven of TAOS-9" by R J Theodore (short story)
"The Obstacle Bargainer's Lorica" by Rasha Abdulhadi (poem)
"The Exterior" by Mercedes Acosta (game)
"Hold the Dark" by Allie Boustion (game)

Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness

A Note From the Editor

There are innumerable reasons that readers and writers, queer and otherwise, might be drawn to witches and witchery. Among them, perhaps, are power and stigma, craft and community. I have always found it intoxicating how witches so often seize their otherness as a strength. I courted that feeling with this anthology. And yet, throughout the process of curating these tales, it quickly became apparent that I should stay wary of my own expectations, whether it be of those writers invited to take part, or of those whose stories were tendered for my consideration. More often than not, I discovered how seemingly familiar incantations might veer into strange cadences or take on unexpected syllables, and either way, I found myself chanting along. That was the most profound gift I found within these pages as an editor: being led by the hand to traverse unforeseen realities.

Just as witches have many faces, so too does the darkness. The darkness here cocoons as often as it constricts as often as it conceals as often as it consorts—regardless of its temper, it may be best to simply give in to it. I suspect you, like me, will be the better for its ritual.

dave ring
July 2021
Washington, DC
On unceded Nacotchtank & Piscataway land