"A bold outpouring of flesh and crisis at once horrifying and familiar." —The New York Times
Winner of the 2018 Nommo Award for Best Novella
Every time she bleeds a murderer is born. Experience the horror of Tade Thompson's The Murders of Molly Southbourne. A finalist for the 2017 BSFA Award, the 2017 Shirley Jackson Award.
The rule is simple: don’t bleed.
For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction.
Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In Thompson's chilling novella, Molly Southbourne has an unusual problem: when she bleeds, a copy of her is made, and it eventually turns murderous, forcing her to kill it. There are precautions she can take, and from the time she's a little girl, growing up on a farm with her mother and father, she's taught how to deal with her blood when it escapes her body. The rules are thus: "If you see a girl who looks like you, run and fight. Don't bleed. If you bleed, blot, burn, and bleach. If you find a hole, find your parents." The psychological implications of a child having to kill identical copies of herself (called mollys) is nightmarish, but otherwise Molly thrives, and eventually she heads out on her own. She attends college and attempts to use sex as a balm, hoping to find meaning in her existence. At a particularly grim point, she calls the rules "useless, an attenuation at best." Thompson (Rosewater) ratchets up the body count, but this isn't just gore for gore's sake; there is a real aching sadness in Molly's isolation, and when she discovers a possible explanation for her condition, it does nothing to assuage her hopelessness. This bloody exploration of identity and self in a changed world will stay with readers long after they finish the last page.