Heartbreaking, world-shattering, and too timely for words, Boys, Beasts, and Men is a locked treasure chest fetched from the bottom of a forbidden lake. The voices for these stories were so brilliantly chosen that you'll have a hard time not connecting with each and every character. No skips. Recommended By Stacy W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
In Nebula Award-winning author Sam J. Miller's devastating debut short-fiction collection, featuring an introduction by Amal El-Mohtar, queer infatuation, inevitable heartbreak, and brutal revenge seamlessly intertwine. Whether innocent, guilty, or not even human, the boys, beasts, and men roaming through Miller's gorgeously crafted worlds can destroy readers, yet leave them wanting more.
"Miller's sheer talent shines through in abundance...Boys, Beasts & Men is an outrageous journey which skillfully blends genres and will haunt you with its original, poetic voices as much as its victims, villains, and treasure trove of leading actors." — Grimdark Magazine
Despite his ability to control the ambient digital cloud, a foster teen falls for a clever con-man. Luring bullies to a quarry, a boy takes clearly enumerated revenge through unnatural powers of suggestion. In the aftermath of a shapeshifting alien invasion, a survivor fears that he brought something out of the Arctic to infect the rest of the world. A rebellious group of queer artists create a new identity that transcends even the anonymity of death.
Sam J. Miller (Blackfish City, The Art of Starving) shows his savage wit, unrelenting candor, and lush imagery in this essential career retrospective collection, taking his place alongside legends of the short-fiction form such as Carmen Maria Machado, Carson McCullers, and Jeff VanderMeer.
“Highly recommended for any reader interested in speculative fiction that concerns itself with queer themes, particularly messy or emotional ones."
Booklist (Starred Review)
"This is the collection you are looking for. Explosive, careening, shape-shifting tales...haunting and defiantly tender."
Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying
"Even in the darkest of these perfectly crafted stories, Sam Miller's tragic boys yearn to be good instead of bad, strong instead of weak, whole instead of broken. May your heart ache with love for every doomed one of them; I know mine did."
Andy Davidson, author of The Boatman's Daughter
"In these stories Sam J. Miller writes about people on the margins and in transition, both capturing a sense of uncertainty and horror while immersing us in these worlds with sensitivity and care."
Carrie Vaughn, author of The Immortal Conquistador
"The stories in this collection offer a nuanced and beautiful exploration of masculinity and the many faces of love, touching on romance, desire, family, and friendship, all presented through the lens of the fantastic--with literally mind-altering drugs, resurrected dinosaurs, near-future worlds in post environmental collapse, and of course, monsters."
A. C. Wise, author of The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories
About the Author
Sam J. Miller is the Nebula-Award-winning author whose debut, The Art of Starving, which was an NPR Best of the Year; his second novel, Blackfish City, was a Best Book of the Year for Vulture, The Washington Post, Barnes & Noble, and more, as well as a "Must Read" in Entertainment Weekly and O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine. A recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award and a graduate of the Clarion Writers' Workshop, Miller's work has been nominated for the World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, John W. Campbell, and Locus Awards, and reprinted in dozens of anthologies. The last in a long line of butchers, he lives in New York City and at samjmiller.com.
Amal El-Mohtar (Introduction) is an award-winning writer of fiction, poetry, and criticism. Her short story "Seasons of Glass and Iron" won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Awards and was a finalist for the World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Aurora, and Eugie Awards in the same year. El-Mohtar is the author, with Max Gladstone, of This Is How You Lose the Time War, a queer, epistolary, spy-vs-spy love story, and The Honey Month, a collection of poetry and prose written to the taste of twenty-eight different kinds of honey. She reviews books for NPR and is the science-fiction and fantasy columnist for the New York Times Book Review. El-Mohtar lives in Ottawa with her spouse and two cats.