A thrilling new voice in fiction injects the absurd into the everyday to present a startling vision of modern life, “[as] if Kafka and Camus and Bradbury were penning episodes of Black Mirror” (Chang-Rae Lee, author of My Year Abroad).
“Stories so sharp and ingenious you may cut yourself on them while reading.”—Kelly Link, author of Get In Trouble
FINALIST FOR THE CALIFORNIA BOOK AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Chicago Review of Books, Kirkus Reviews
With a focus on the weird and eerie forces that lurk beneath the surface of ordinary experience, Kate Folk’s debut collection is perfectly pitched to the madness of our current moment. A medical ward for a mysterious bone-melting disorder is the setting of a perilous love triangle. A curtain of void obliterates the globe at a steady pace, forcing Earth’s remaining inhabitants to decide with whom they want to spend eternity. A man fleeing personal scandal enters a codependent relationship with a house that requires a particularly demanding level of care. And in the title story, originally published in The New Yorker, a woman in San Francisco uses dating apps to find a partner despite the threat posed by “blots,” preternaturally handsome artificial men dispatched by Russian hackers to steal data. Meanwhile, in a poignant companion piece, a woman and a blot forge a genuine, albeit doomed, connection.
Prescient and wildly imaginative, Out There depicts an uncanny landscape that holds a mirror to our subconscious fears and desires. Each story beats with its own fierce heart, and together they herald an exciting new arrival in the tradition of speculative literary fiction.