Negative Space by B.R. Yeager: A PDF Download of the Queer Horror Fantasy that Shocks and Awes
Negative Space by B.R. Yeager: A Review
If you are looking for a novel that will challenge your expectations, disturb your senses, and haunt your imagination, you might want to check out Negative Space by B.R. Yeager. This is a book that defies easy categorization, blending elements of horror, thriller, fantasy, and queer fiction. It is also a book that explores the horror of being queer, alienated, and addicted in contemporary America, through the stories of four teenagers who are drawn into a dark and mysterious reality.
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What is Negative Space about?
Negative Space is a novel that begins and ends in Kinsfield, a dying Northeastern town with a suicide epidemic. The novel follows the stories of three high school seniors, Ahmir, Jill, and Lu, as they relate to Tyler, a fourth teenager and the locus of change for the novel. The novel shifts between four first-person points of view, and we see through the eyes of Tyler, his friend Ahmir, Jill, and her friend Lu. Tyler and Jill meet in a psych ward and their connection twists into a relationship. Their friends are unpopular and weird in the eyes of peers, and the novel shifts between four first-person points of view. We see through the eyes of Tyler, his friend Ahmir, Jill, and her friend Lu.
Tyler obsesses over a cosmic horror that lurks in the forest around Kinsfield, convinced of its existence by his experiments with blood rituals and a chewable entheogen called WHORL that opens metaphysical cracks in space. He drags his friends into his quest to reach this horror, which he believes holds the key to his salvation. Along the way, they encounter an anonymous imageboard that feeds on the suicides, shared nightmares, recurring geometric patterns, and excerpts from metaphysics texts that hint at the nature of the mystery.
Why is Negative Space worth reading?
Negative Space is a novel that challenges the mainstream culture and expectations with its unflinching portrayal of the lives of marginalized youth. It is a novel that does not shy away from topics like depression, self-mutilation, suicidal ideation, drug abuse, abusive relationships, and self-destruction. It is also a novel that celebrates the queerness, creativity, resilience, and love of its characters, who try to make sense of their identities and their place in the world.
Negative Space is also a novel that offers a fresh and original take on cosmic horror, blending elements of occultism, metaphysics, science fiction, and fantasy. It is a novel that creates a hypnotic and immersive atmosphere of dread and wonder, as it reveals the hidden connections between reality and fiction, life and death, self and other. It is a novel that will keep you guessing until the end, and leave you with more questions than answers.
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The plot and the characters
Tyler and his occult experiments
Tyler is the catalyst for the events of Negative Space. He is a troubled teenager who suffers from bipolar disorder and hallucinations. He is fascinated by occultism and metaphysics, especially by the works of Werner Baumhauer, a local physician and writer who tried to weigh his soul by hanging himself on a scale. Tyler believes that Baumhauer discovered something beyond death, something that he calls "the loop". He wants to follow Baumhauer's footsteps and find out what lies beyond the loop.
To do so To do so, Tyler experiments with blood rituals and a chewable entheogen called WHORL, which he obtains from a mysterious dealer named Z. WHORL is a drug that alters the perception of space and time, allowing Tyler to see cracks in reality that lead to other dimensions. Tyler believes that these cracks are the gateway to the loop, and he tries to open them wider by using his own blood and the blood of his friends as catalysts. He also uses an online imageboard called /necro/ to document his experiments and communicate with other users who share his obsession.
Jill and her troubled relationship with Tyler
Jill is Tyler's girlfriend, who meets him in a psych ward after a suicide attempt. She is a smart and artistic girl who suffers from depression and anxiety. She is drawn to Tyler's charisma and mystery, and she hopes that he can help her escape from her abusive home life. Her father is an alcoholic who beats her mother, and her mother is a religious fanatic who blames Jill for everything. Jill feels trapped and hopeless, and she sees Tyler as her only chance of happiness.
However, Jill soon realizes that Tyler is not the person she thought he was. He is manipulative, secretive, and obsessed with his occult experiments. He uses Jill as a pawn in his quest to reach the loop, and he does not care about her feelings or well-being. He also cheats on her with Lu, one of her best friends. Jill tries to break free from Tyler's influence, but she finds herself addicted to him and to WHORL. She also starts to see the cracks in reality that Tyler sees, and she wonders if there is something more to his madness.
Ahmir and his suicidal tendencies
Ahmir is Tyler's best friend, who shares his interest in occultism and metaphysics. He is a black teenager who faces racism and discrimination in Kinsfield, a predominantly white town. He is also gay, but he keeps it a secret from everyone except Lu, who is his confidant. Ahmir suffers from low self-esteem and self-hatred, and he often thinks about killing himself. He believes that death is the only way to escape from his miserable life.
Ahmir follows Tyler in his experiments with WHORL and blood rituals, hoping to find some meaning or purpose in his existence. He also participates in /necro/, where he posts pictures of his self-inflicted wounds and receives encouragement from other users who want him to kill himself. Ahmir feels a twisted sense of belonging in /necro/, where he is known as "the king of scars". He also develops a crush on Tyler, who does not reciprocate his feelings. Ahmir becomes more isolated and suicidal as the novel progresses, until he reaches a breaking point.
Lu and her gender fluidity
Lu is Jill's best friend, who identifies as gender fluid. She switches between male and female pronouns depending on how she feels at the moment. She is also bisexual, and she has a crush on both Jill and Tyler. She is a rebellious and outspoken teenager who does not care about what others think of her. She expresses herself through her punk rock style, her graffiti art, and her music. She plays guitar in a band called Negative Space, which gives the novel its title.
Lu is the only one of the four main characters who does not use WHORL or participate in /necro/. She is skeptical of Tyler's claims about the loop, and she tries to protect Jill from his influence. She also tries to help Ahmir with his suicidal tendencies, but she feels powerless to stop him. Lu is conflicted by her feelings for Jill and Tyler, and she ends up sleeping with both of them behind each other's backs. Lu struggles with her identity and her relationships throughout the novel, as she tries to find her place in the world.
The themes and the style
Suicide and self-destruction
One of the main themes of Negative Space is suicide and self-destruction. The novel depicts the lives of four teenagers who are unhappy with themselves and their circumstances, and who seek escape through various means of self-harm. The novel also explores the reasons behind their suicidal ideation, such as mental illness, trauma, abuse, oppression, alienation, addiction, and hopelessness. The novel does not romanticize or glorify suicide, but rather shows its devastating consequences for both the victims and the survivors.
Queerness and identity
Another major theme of Negative Space is queerness and identity. The novel features diverse characters