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Super Flat Times: Storiesby Matthew Derby
Synopses & Reviews
With a heightened sense of the boundless possibility and lurking doom that Orwell and Huxley once envisioned, Matthew Derbys stories provide a glimpse into an intricately imagined worlda world in which clouds are treated with behavioral serum, children are handicapped by their ability to float, and all food (including Popsicles) is made of meat. They parody our contemporary notions of family, government, and science with razor-sharp wit and explore the darkest of human longings with heartbreaking sincerity. The result: a book that is both a brilliant satire and an assault on the senses.
"Science fiction generally encourages the reader to secure a foothold in alien realms, but Derby totalizes the disorientation by utterly thwarting — or, perhaps, tantrically prolonging — that experience. If the genre operates via defamiliarization, [Super Flat Times] atomizes that sensation...the oddness is in the telling, the matter-of-fact inversions of logic, the super flat affect, in every deliberately chosen word." Dennis Lim, Village Voice
"An unnerving, audaciously intelligent debut collection" Booklist
"This is an incredibly post-modern and Orwellian sci-fi novel, and it is almost impossible to describe." Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights Bookstore
"Matthew Derby convinces us that the world inside this set of ingenious fictions cannot be other than what its inhabitants have allowed it to become-a hilarious, horrific, fascinating world governed by absurd ordinances. It is a world full of puzzles and heartbreak. It is a superweird world, and the resemblance to our own is as artful as it is unnerving." Joanna Scott, author of Make Believe and Tourmaline
"Matthew Derby's writing is a refreshing shock to the system. Read it and be entranced, enchanted, transported. He is truly one of a kind." Judy Budnitz, author of If I Told You Once and Flying Leap
"Fearlessly wild....Artful social parody in a towering hypercontemporary mode, superbly scored for a chorus of wind-up cuckoos bleakly coming unwound." Kirkus
With a heightened sense of the boundless possibility and lurking doom that Orwell and Huxley once envisioned, Matthew Derby's stories provide a glimpse into an intricately imagined world: a world in which clouds are treated with behavioral serum, children are handicapped by their ability to float, and all food (including Popsicles) is made of meat.
About the Author
Matthew Derby's stories have appeared in Conjunctions, Fence, Pindeldyboz, 5 Trope, American Journal of Print, Elimae, and Failbetter. He is an associate fiction editor at 3rd Bed and holds an MFA from Brown University, where he has taught creative writing. He lives in Providence.
Table of Contents
YEARS 5-50: Fragment — Sound gun — Meat tower — Boyish mulatto — Sky harvest — Home recordings — YEAR 51: Fragment — Joy of eating — Father helmet — Crutches used as weapon — Night watchmen — Behavior pilot — YEARS 52-59: Fragment — Stupid animals — End of men — Instructions — Life jacket — Gantry's last — Fragment — An appeal.
What Our Readers Are Saying
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