5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Mining the deepest ores of non-belonging with vibrant, often hilarious prose, Brian Koukol’s thirteen harrowing works of speculative fiction, collected here for the first time, subvert disability tropes to delightful and unnerving effect.

Will you flinch at the choices of a man cynically peddling virtual reality inspiration porn extracted from his own miserable life? Can your dignity survive its plunge into a jar, in desperate need of a fluid-change, which hosts a disembodied head looking for his disappeared wife? Will you dare empathize with a myriapod refugee, otherworldly and bristle-legged, as it wrestles with its innate longing to fatally absorb the soul of each human it touches? What of the deformity-leasing friends actively circumventing facial-recognition-based toilet paper rationing? And how might you manage PTSD symptoms emerging off-planet along with a fast-killing vegetation borne from the corpses of your freshly vanquished foes?

Wry, irreverent, and uncommonly wise, meet a new disability fiction. Here Tiny Tim is replaced by protagonists far from innocent, passive, or sweet…but defiantly human, instead.


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