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Jarboe’s outstanding debut collection demonstrates a flair for queer surrealism and an ear for lyrical prose. In the powerful “Self Care,” a nihilistic youth, who identifies as a “gay transsexual witch,” is displaced by apocalyptic flooding and takes refuge in Our Lady of Good Voyage, a Catholic church. “I Am a Beautiful Bug!” turns Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” on its head with a tale of a person undergoing surgery to look like the giant bug they’ve always wanted to be (“Gimme the works, doctor! Just like Gregor Samsa!”). The pieces range from brief vignettes that read like prose poetry to much longer works like the title story, which tells of a young man deciding to join the masses of ”defunct service cyborgs, addicts, migrants, drop-outs, single parents, [and] estranged children” on the holy colony of the Moon. Throughout, Jarboe melds tenderness, humor, and righteous anger into insightful tales of characters navigating the margins of society. Readers are sure to be blown away.  [Publisher's Weekly starred review]

Sixteen stories of mid-apocalyptic science fabulism, body horror fairy tales, queer Catholic cyberpunk, and blue-collar resistance.

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🌕 Table of Contents:

  1. The Marks of Aegis
  2. Here You Are, Near Me
  3. Self Care
  4. The Nothing Spots Where Nobody Wants to Stay
  5. The Heavy Things
  6. The Seed and The Stone
  7. We Did Not Know We Were Giants
  8. The Android That Designed Itself
  9. As Tender Feet of Cretan Girls Danced Once Around an Altar of Love
  10. Estranged Children of Storybook Houses
  11. My Noise Will Keep The Record
  12. Wake Word
  13. Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel
  14. First Contact, Communion
  15. I Am a Beautiful Bug!
  16. The Thing in Us We Fear Just Wants Our Love

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Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
(23 total ratings)
AuthorJulian K. Jarboe
Tagsbody-horror, Dystopian, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, literature, poetry, Post-apocalyptic, Sci-fi, short-story, Surreal
Average sessionDays or more


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