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Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature
     

Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature

by Jacob Weisman (Editor), W. P. Kinsella, Jim Shepard, Steven Millhauser, Max Apple
 

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The invasion of the future has begun.

Literary legends including Steven Millhauser, Junot Diáz, Amiri Baraka, and Katharine Dunn have attacked the borders of the every day. Like time traveling mad-scientists, they have concocted outrageous creations from the future. They have seized upon tales of technology gone wrong and mandated that pulp fiction must

Overview


The invasion of the future has begun.

Literary legends including Steven Millhauser, Junot Diáz, Amiri Baraka, and Katharine Dunn have attacked the borders of the every day. Like time traveling mad-scientists, they have concocted outrageous creations from the future. They have seized upon tales of technology gone wrong and mandated that pulp fiction must finally grow up.

In these wildly-speculative stories you will discover the company that controls the world from an alley in Greenwich Village. You’ll find nanotechnology that returns memories to the residents of a nursing home. You’ll rally an avian-like alien to become a mascot for a Major League Baseball team.

The Invaders are here. But did science fiction colonize them first?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 03/28/2016
In this very fine reprint anthology, Weisman has brought together 22 SF stories by authors who, although not generally associated with the genre, are clearly fellow travelers (not the ominous invaders suggested by the title). Among the major names are Pulitzer Prize–winner Junot Díaz, George Sanders, Katherine Dunn, Jonathan Lethem, Amiri Baraka, W.P. Kinsella, Steven Millhauser, Robert Olen Butler, and Molly Gloss. Among the best of the consistently strong stories are Díaz’s “Monstro,” the horrifying tale of a disease outbreak in Haiti; Gloss’s near-perfect first-contact story, “Lambing Season”; Kinsella’s totally bizarre “Reports Concerning the Death of the Seattle Albatross Are Somewhat Exaggerated”; Ben Loory’s fable-like “The Squid Who Fell in Love with the Sun”; and Saunders’s “Escape from Spiderhead,” a deeply sexy tale of wild experimental science. In general, the stories tend toward satire and emphasize fine writing more than hitting genre beats—technology is usually a means to an end rather than the center of the story—but most of them could easily have found homes in SF magazines. This volume is a treasure trove of stories that draw equally from SF and literary fiction, and they are superlative in either context. (July)
From the Publisher

Praise for Invaders

A Kirkus Science Fiction and Fantasy Book You'll Want to Read in July
A 2016 Publishers Weekly Best Summer Read
A Foreword 4 Great Indie Sci-Fi Titles for Summer 2016

[STAR] “In this very fine reprint anthology, Weisman has brought together 22 SF stories by authors who, although not generally associated with the genre, are clearly fellow travelers (not the ominous invaders suggested by the title). Among the major names are Pulitzer Prize–winner Junot Díaz, George Saunders, Katherine Dunn, Jonathan Lethem, Amiri Baraka, W.P. Kinsella, Steven Millhauser, Robert Olen Butler, and Molly Gloss. Among the best of the consistently strong stories are Díaz’s “Monstro,” the horrifying tale of a disease outbreak in Haiti; Gloss’s near-perfect first-contact story, “Lambing Season”; Kinsella’s totally bizarre “Reports Concerning the Death of the Seattle Albatross Are Somewhat Exaggerated”; Ben Loory’s fable-like “The Squid Who Fell in Love with the Sun”; and Saunders’s “Escape from Spiderhead,” a deeply sexy tale of wild experimental science. In general, the stories tend toward satire and emphasize fine writing more than hitting genre beats—technology is usually a means to an end rather than the center of the story—but most of them could easily have found homes in SF magazines. This volume is a treasure trove of stories that draw equally from SF and literary fiction, and they are superlative in either context.”
Publishers Weekly

“Further proof, if any more were necessary, that the line between genre and literary fiction is simply speculative.”
Library Journal

Invaders lives up to its tagline – ’22 tales from the outer limits of literature’. In here, some of the best writers have freestyled on a blank page, without care for rules or patterns. And in so doing, they’ve produced stories that push the envelope not only of sci-fi, but of literature as a whole.”
Bookmunch

“This is tight writing and perfectly formed . . . It is evident the authors are playing with the genre, and revelling in it.”
Strange Alliances

“This new anthology from Jacob Weisman collects an intriguing set of short stories from authors not typically associated with science fiction.”
The Verge

Invaders is a playful and imaginative exploration of what it means to write in the field of science fiction”
AV Club

“Well, damn. From the first page to the last, Invaders surprised and intoxicated me, offering one stirring, visionary, warm-hearted, funny, probing story after another. Reading them in quick succession made me feel as if the world was flickering before my eyes, ricocheting from one possible reality to another, beneath a dozen different suns. It would be hard to devise a better survey of those contemporary short fiction writers, both celebrated and undersung, who have worked to smuggle the methods of science fiction into the mainstream.”
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip

"For almost forty years I've believed and practiced and preached that there's no necessary distance between 'high literature' and 'science fiction.' Invaders is convincing proof. Funny, absurd, frightening, streetwise, probing, heartbreaking — the fiction collected here touches all registers."
—Carter Scholz, author of The Amount to Carry: Stories and Radiance

“[O]ne of the best SFF collections I’ve read in years. It’s a smorgasbord of visionary and thought-provoking stories…”
Battered, Tattered, Yellowed, & Creased

“Consistently excellent.”
Foreword Reviews

“This collection really explores the outer limits of literature as it claims. I recommend it to you.”
Magic Realism

“A superb batch of stories by literary authors who have invaded science fiction — and left distinct footprints behind.”
Black Gate

“The stories are smart and balanced, with a dark side but highly readable.”
Lit Reactor

“It's up there with the very best I've read.”
The Book Chemist

“Each story is bursting with imagination; exciting prose; thought-provoking vision. These stories are the cream of the crop, truly fine examples of what make speculative fiction so fascinating. Every piece has a crisp, literary quality to its writing, perfectly melded with the surreal ideas and themes explored within them.”
Alisha’s Reads

Praise for the anthologies of editor Jacob Weisman

The Treasury of the Fantastic (with David M. Sandner)

“From the evocative images of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's ‘Kubla Khan’ and Lord Byron's ‘Darkness’ to Mark Twain's devil tale, ‘The Mysterious Stranger’ and Max Beerbohm's devil plus time travel fantasy, ‘Enoch Soames,’ the 44 stories and poems in this compilation of fantastic literature provides a solid grounding in the development of the genre. Because most of the writers are ‘mainstream’ rather than genre authors, this collection also makes a good case for fantasy as literature, while the presence of Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells and Lord Dunsany alongside Edith Wharton, Emily Dickinson, and E.M. Forster breaks down the barrier between literary and genre fiction. VERDICT: This is an important collection for all lovers of fantasy and literature.”
Library Journal

The Treasury of the Fantastic truly is a treasury of wonderful stories…Turns out there's not a dud to be found.”
Fantasy and Science Fiction

"A marvelous mix of classics and rarely seen works, bibliophile's finds and old favorites....a treasury in every sense and a treasure!"
—Connie Willis, author of Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog

"The fantasy tradition in English and American literature is rich and varied and strange. This is the book to read to find out what you never knew you needed to know."
—David G. Hartwell, editor of the Year's Best Fantasy series

“It was an absolute delight to see so [many] of these authors collected here and finding new treasures I hadn’t realized really fell into the realm of fantasy.”
—Tabitha Perkins, My Shelf Confessions

The Treasury of the Fantastic is truly that, a comprehensive collection of fantastical literature from throughout the many years covering the romanticism era to the early twentieth century.... an exquisitely curated collection....”
The Arched Doorway

The Sword & Sorcery Anthology (with David G. Hartwell)

“Heroes and their mighty deeds populate the pages of this delightfully kitschy yet absorbing anthology of sword and sorcery short stories from the 1930s onward. Hartwell and Weisman have selected some of the best short-form work in the genre, starting with the originator, Robert E. Howard, and his tales of Conan the Barbarian. The heroes are tough, savvy, and willing to knock a few heads in to get the job done. The soldier of Glen Cook’s Dread Empire and Fritz Leiber’s Grey Mouser make strong appearances, as does Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné and his dread sword, Stormbringer. Female heroes are as ruthless as their male counterparts: C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry walks through Hell and back to get her revenge, while George R. R. Martin’s Daenerys Stormborn becomes a true queen by outmaneuvering an entire city of slavers. This is an unbeatable selection from classic to modern, and each story brings its A game.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The 19 stories in this volume span a time period from 1933 to 2012 and provide a strong introduction to this fantasy subgenre.”
Library Journal

“Awesome collection, very highly recommended.”
Nerds in Babeland

“Superbly presented...reignited this reader’s interest.”
SF Site

“A big, meaty collection of genre highlights that runs the gamut from old-school classics to new interpretations, it serves as an excellent introduction and primer in one.”
Green Man Review

Library Journal
04/15/2016
This anthology grew out of a question posed by the editor: Are stories really sf if they are written by nongenre writers? If not, what are they? Gathered here is speculative and fantastical short fiction by such acclaimed literary authors as Junot Diaz, Katherine Dunn, George Saunders, and Rifka Galchen. (Note: some of these selections contain graphic content intended for an adult audience.) The themes and settings of these stories vary enormously; one tale is terrifyingly successful at simulating a fugue state. Another depicts a future in which cars are illegal—or in which being a normally aging human is. There is the sad dignity of an alien who crashes on a woman's sheep ranch, the enthusiasm of a bohemian inventor with his clothes ray, an aspiring squid, and two modern dysfunctional families juxtaposed with a space-time portal and a rocket launch. VERDICT This volume will be appreciated by readers who are interested in genre experiments (looking for the boundaries, as it were, of sf). Fans of The Secret History of Science Fiction, edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, will want this title.—Sara Schepis, Wappinger Falls, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2016-04-13
A collection of 22 short stories featuring several big names of literary fiction experimenting with science-fiction themes and concepts. Introduced by editor Weisman, a veteran of the SF landscape, the anthology presents a broad spectrum of stories, though only a few display conventional integration of the science of science fiction. For every story grounded in scientific developments, there is another that is best described as magic realism. If any one story embodies the overall tone, it may be Chris Tarry's "Topics in Advanced Rocketry," wherein the conceit of a rocket ship serves as mere vehicle for ruminations on family dynamics, the created celebrity, and 21st-century disaffection. (Lampshading the point, the rocket itself has fake dials which our "astronauts" cannot control at all.) Several stories stagger about under the weight of their own interpersonal relationships with hardly a plot to be found (J. Robert Lennon's "Portal," Jonathan Lethem's "Five Fucks," Jami Attenberg's "In the Bushes," Jim Shepard's "Minotaur," Rivka Galchen's "The Region of Unlikeness"...). That said, other stories in the anthology straddle an effective and potent line between the tight plotting of good SF and their own literary sensibilities: Julia Elliott's "LIMBs" is a poignant exploration of technology enabling discovery of one's personal past—and how one must outwit that technology to regain one's agency. Bryan Evenson's "Fugue State" is a dreamlike zombie-plague tale that leaves one unsettled—an understated contrast to Junot Díaz's "Monstro," which handles the same theme but with more pyrotechnics. Deji Bryce Olukotun's "We Are the Olfanauts" creatively condemns our emerging media-and-safety-net global culture, and Eric Puchner's "Beautiful Monsters" is an enjoyably queasy take on eternal youth. By their natures, anthologies are often hit and miss: there are misses aplenty here, but the hits, when they come, are solid and lingering.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616962104
Publisher:
Tachyon Publications
Publication date:
07/12/2016
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
232,531
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Invaders

22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature


By Jacob Wesiman

Tachyon Publications

Copyright © 2016 Jacob Weisman
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61696-225-8



CHAPTER 1

J. ROBERT LENNON

Portal


J. Robert Lennon is the author of two story collections, Pieces for the Left Hand and See You in Paradise, and seven novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Happyland. He teaches writing at Cornell University.

In "Portal," Lennon explores the familiar trope of a doorway to other dimensions without much concern toward the devise's origins. This story was first published as the lead story in Lennon's most recent collection, See You in Paradise.


It's been a few years since we last used the magic portal in our back garden, and it has fallen into disrepair. To be perfectly honest, when we bought this place, we had no idea what kind of work would be involved, and tasks like keeping the gsarden weeded, repairing the fence, maintaining the portal, etc., quickly fell to the bottom of the priority list while we got busy dealing with the roof and the floor joists. I guess there are probably people with full-time jobs out there who can keep an old house in great shape without breaking their backs, but if there are, I've never met them.

My point is, we've developed kind of a blind spot about that whole back acre. The kids are older now and don't spend so much time wandering around in the woods and the clearing the way they used to — Luann is all about the boys these days, and you can't get Chester's mind away from the Xbox for more than five minutes — and Gretchen and I hardly ever even look in that direction. I think one time last summer we got a little drunk and sneaked out there to have sex under the crabapple tree, but weeds and stones kept poking up through the blanket and the bugs were eating us alive, so we gave up, came back inside, and did it in the bed like normal people.

I know, too much information, right? Anyway, it was the kids who discovered the portal back when we first moved in. They were into all that magic stuff at the time — Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, that kind of thing — and while Gretchen and I steamed off old wallpaper and sanded the floorboards inside the house, they had this whole crazy fantasy world invented back there, complete with various kingdoms, wizards, evil forces, orcs, trolls, and what have you. They made paths, buried treasures, drew maps, and basically had a grand old time. We didn't even have to send them to summer camp, they were so ... tolerable. They didn't fight, didn't complain — I hope someday, when the teen years are over with, they'll remember all that and have some kind of relationship again. Maybe when they're in college. Fingers crossed.

One afternoon, I guess it was in July, they came running into the house, tracking mud everywhere and breathlessly shouting about something they'd found. "It's a portal, it's a portal to another world!" I got pretty bent out of shape about the mud, but the kids were seriously over the moon about this thing, and their enthusiasm was infectious. So Gretchen and I followed them out across the yard and into the woods, then down the little footpath that led to the clearing.

It's unclear what used to be there, back in the day — the land behind our house was once farmland, and the remains of old dirt roads run everywhere — but at this time, a few years ago, the clearing was pretty overgrown, thick with shrubs and brambles and the like. We figured there'd just been a grain silo or something, something big that would have resulted in this perfectly circular area, but the kids had uncovered a couple of stone benches and a little fire pit, so clearly somebody used to hang around here in the past, you know, lighting a fire and sitting on the benches to look at it.

When we reached the clearing, we were quite impressed with the progress the kids had made. They'd managed to clear a lot of brush and the place had the feel of some kind of private room — the sun coming down through the clouds, and the wall of trees surrounding the space, and all that. It was really nice. So the kids had stopped at the edge, and we came up behind them and they were like, do you see it? And we were like, see what? And they said look, and we said, where?, and they said, Mom, Dad, just look!

And sure enough, off to the left, kind of hovering above what had looked like another bench but now appeared more like a short, curved little staircase, was this oval, sort of man-sized, shimmering thing that honestly just screamed "magic portal." I mean, it was totally obvious what it was — nothing else gives the air that quality, that kind of electrical distortion, like heat or whatever is bending space itself.

This was a real surprise to us, because there had been nothing about it in the real estate ad. You'd think the former owners would have mentioned it. I mean, the dry rot, I understand why they left that out, but even if this portal was busted, it's still a neat thing to have (or so I thought at the time), and could have added a few thou to the asking price, easy. But this was during the economic slump, so maybe not, and maybe the previous owners never bothered to come back here and didn't know what they had. They looked like indoor types, frankly. Not that Gretchen and I look like backcountry survivalists or anything. But I digress.

The fact is, this portal was definitely not busted, it was working, and the kids had taken special care uncovering the steps that led to it, tugging out all the weeds from between the stones and unearthing the little flagstone patio that surrounded the whole thing. In retrospect, if I had been an expert, or even a well-informed amateur, I would probably have been able to tell the portal was really just puttering along on its last legs and would soon go on the fritz. But of course I was, and I guess still am, an idiot.

We all went over there and walked around it and looked through it — had a laugh making faces at one another through the space and watching each other go all funhouse-mirror. But obviously the unspoken question was, do we go through? I was actually really proud of the kids right then because they'd come and gotten us instead of just diving headfirst through the thing like a lot of kids would have done. Who knows, maybe this stellar judgment will return to them someday. A guy can dream! But at this moment we all were just kind of looking at each other, wondering who was going to test it out.

Since I'm the father, this task fell to me. I bent over and pried a stone up out of the dirt and stood in front of the portal, with the kids looking on from behind. (Gretchen stood off to the side with her arms folded over her chest, doing that slightly disapproving stance she does pretty much all the time now.) And after a dramatic pause, I raised my arm and tossed the stone at the portal.

Nothing dramatic — the stone just disappeared. "It works!" Chester cried, and Luann hopped up and down, trying to suppress her excitement.

"Now hold on," I said, and picked up a twig. I braced my foot on the bottom step and poked the twig through the portal. This close, you could hear a low hum from the power the thing was giving off. In retrospect, this was probably an indication that the portal was out of whack — I mean, if my TV did that, I'd call a guy. But then, I figured, what did I know?

Besides, when I pulled the twig out, it looked okay. Not burned or frozen or turned into a snake or anything — it was just itself. I handed it to Gretchen and she gave it a cursory examination. "Jerry," she said, "I'm not sure —"

"Don't worry, don't worry." I knew the drill — she's the mom, she has to be skeptical, and it's my job to tell her not to worry. Which is harder to do nowadays, let me tell you. I got up nice and close to the portal, until the little hairs on my arms were standing up, and I stuck out my index finger and moved it slowly toward the shimmering air.

Chester's eyes were wide. Luann covered her mouth with her fists. Gretchen sighed.

Well, what can I say, it went in, and I barely felt a thing. It was weird seeing my pointer finger chopped off at the knuckle like that, but when I pulled it out again, voilà, there it was, unharmed. My family still silent, I took the bull by the horns and just shoved my whole arm in. The kids screamed. I pulled it out.

"What," I said, "what!!"

"We could see your blood and stuff!" This was Chester.

Luann said, "Daddy, that was so gross."

"Like an X-ray?" I said.

Chester was laughing hysterically now. "Like it got chopped off!"

"Oh my God, Jerry," Gretchen said, her hand on her heart.

My arm was fine, though. In fact, it felt kind of good — wherever the arm had just been, it was about five degrees warmer than this breezy little glade.

"Kids," I said, "stand behind me." Because I didn't want them to see what I was about to do. Eventually we'd get over this little taboo and enjoy watching each other walk super slowly through the portal, revealing our pulsing innards, but for now I didn't want to freak anyone out, myself least of all. When the kids were safely behind me, Gretchen holding them close, I stuck my head through.

I don't know what I was expecting — Middle Earth, or Jupiter, or Tuscany, or what. But I could never in a million years have guessed the truth. I pulled my head out.

"It's the vacant lot behind the public library," I said.


I think that even then, that very day, we knew the portal was screwed up. It was only later, after it was obvious, that Gretchen and I started saying out loud the strange things we noticed on the family trip downtown. For one thing, the books we got at the library — obviously that's the first place we went — weren't quite right. The plots were all convoluted and the paper felt funny. The bus lines were not the way we remembered, with our usual bus, the 54, called the 24; and the local transit authority color scheme had been changed to crimson and ochre. Several restaurants had different names, and the one guy we bumped into whom we knew — my old college pal Andy — recoiled in apparent horror when he saw us. It was just, you know, off.

But the really creepy thing was what Chester said that night as we were tucking him in to bed — and how I miss those days now, when Chester was still practically a baby and needed us to hug and kiss him goodnight — he just started laughing there in the dark, and Gretchen said what is it, honey, and he said that guy with the dog head.

Dog head? we asked him.

Yeah, that guy, remember him? He walked past us on the sidewalk. He didn't have a regular head, he had a dog head.

Well, you know, Chester was always saying crazy nonsense back then. He still does, of course, but that's different — it used to be cute and funny. So we convinced ourselves he was kidding. But later, when we remembered that — hell, we got chills. Everything from there on in would only get weirder, but it's that dog head, Chester remembering the dog head, that freaks me out. I guess the things that scare you are the things that are almost normal.

Anyway, that first time, everything seemed to go off more or less without a hitch. After the library we walked in the park, went out for dinner, enjoyed the summer weather. Then we went back to the vacant lot, found the portal, and went home. It's tricky to make out the return portal when you're not looking for it; the shimmering is fainter and of course there's no set of stone steps leading up to it or anything. Anybody watching would just have seen us disappearing one by one. In an old Disney live-action movie (you know, like Flubber or Witch Mountain) there would be a hobo peering at us from the gutter, and then, when we vanished, looking askance at his bottle of moonshine and resolvedly tossing it over his shoulder.

So that night, we felt fine. We all felt fine. We felt pretty great, in fact; it had been an exciting day. Gretchen and I didn't get it on, it was that time of the month; but we snuggled a lot. We decided to make it a weekend tradition, at least on nice days — get up, read the paper, get dressed, then out to the portal for a little adventure.

Because by the third time it was obvious that it would be an adventure; it turns out the portal wasn't permanently tied to the vacant lot downtown. I don't know if this was usual or what. But I pictured it flapping in the currents of space and time, sort of like a windsock, stuck fast at one end and whipping randomly around at the other. I still have no idea why it dropped us off so close to home (or so apparently close to home) that first time — I suppose it was still trying to be normal. Like an old guy in denial about the onset of dementia.

The second time we went through, we thought we were in old-time England, on some heath or something — in fact, after I put my head in to check, I sent Gretchen back to the house to fill a basket with bread and fruit and the like, for a picnic, and I told Luann to go to the garage to get the flag off her bike, to mark the site of the return portal. Clever, right? The weather was fine, and we were standing in a landscape of rolling grassy hills, little blue meandering creeks, and drifting white puffy clouds. We could see farms and villages in every direction, but no cities, no cars or planes or smog. We hiked down into the nearest village and got a bit of a shock — nobody was around, no people, or animals for that matter — the place was abandoned. And we all got the strong feeling that the whole world was abandoned, too — that we were the only living creatures in it. I mean, there weren't even any bugs. It was lonesome as hell. We went home after an hour and ate our picnic back in the clearing.

The third time we went through, we ended up in this crazy city — honestly, it was too much. Guys selling stuff, people zipping around in hovercars, drunks staggering in the streets, cats and dogs and these weirdly intelligent-looking animals that were sort of like deer but striped and half as large. Everybody wore hats — the men seemed to favor these rakish modified witch-hat things with a floppy brim, and women wore a kind of collapsed cylinder, like a soufflé. Nobody seemed to notice us, they were busy, busy, busy. And the streets! None of them was straight. It was like a loud, crowded, spaghetti maze, and for about half an hour we were terrified that we'd gotten lost and would never find the portal again, which miraculously had opened into the only uninhabited dark alley in the whole town. (We'd planted our bicycle flag between two paving stones, and almost lost it to a thing that was definitely not a rat.) Chester demanded a witch hat, but the only place we found that sold them wouldn't take our money, and we didn't speak the language anyway, which was this whacked-out squirrel chatter. Oh, yeah, and everybody had a big jutting chin. I mean everybody. When we finally got home that night the four of us got into a laughing fit about the chins — I don't know what it was, they just struck us as wildly hilarious.

Annoying as that trip was, I have to admit now that it was the best time we ever had together, as a family I mean. Even when we were freaked out, we were all on the same page — we were a team. I suppose it's perfectly normal for this to change, I mean, the kids have to strike out on their own someday, right? They have to develop their own interests and their own way of doing things, or else they'd never leave, god forbid. But I miss that time. And just like every other asshole who fails to appreciate what he's got while he still has it, all I ever did was complain.

I'm thinking here of the fourth trip through the portal. When I stuck my head through for a peek, all I saw was fog and all I heard was clanking, and I pictured some kind of waterfront, you know, with the moored boats bumping up against each other and maybe a nice seafood place tucked in among the warehouses and such. I guess I'd gotten kind of reckless. I led the family through and after about fifteen seconds I realized that the fog was a hell of a lot thicker than I thought it was, and that it kind of stung the eyes and nose, and that the clanking was far too regular and far too deep and loud to be the result of some gentle ocean swell.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Invaders by Jacob Wesiman. Copyright © 2016 Jacob Weisman. Excerpted by permission of Tachyon Publications.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Jim Shepard, the author of seven novels, most recently The Book of Aron, has won numerous awards and has been a finalist for the National Book Award. He also teaches creative writing and film at Williams College.

Steven Millhauser, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Martin Dressler, has written many novels, and is probably best known for his short stories (The Barnum Museum). He teaches at Skidmore College.

Julia Elliott is the author of a recently published novel, The New and Improved Romie Futch. She has won the Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, and her stories have been anthologized in Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses and Best American Short Stories. She teaches at the University of South Carolina.

Rivka Galchen is a Canadian American writer who received her MD from Mount Sinai and an MFA from Columbia University. Her first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the William Saroyan International Prize. Her short stories have been published in the Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, and the Believer. She is a recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award was chosen in 2010 by the New Yorker as one of its “20 Under 40.”

After Deji Bryce Olukotun came to the United States and obtained degrees from Yale and Stanford, he studied at the University of Cape Town with South African writers André Brink, Mike Nicol, Andre Wiesner, and Henrietta Rose-Innes. His novel, Nigerians in Space, was published by Unnamed Press in Los Angeles. Olukotun’s fiction and nonfiction has been published by Slate, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Atlantic, the Huffington Post, PEN America, the London Magazine, and Electric Literature.

Jonathan Lethem began his career writing science fiction. His first novel, Gun with Occasional Music, merges science-fiction tropes with those of hardboiled detective novels. He later found his home in literary fiction, winning the National Book Critics Circle Award and a MacArthur Fellowship. He has written nine novels to date, including Motherless Brooklyn, and The Fortress of Solitude. He was born and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Jami Attenberg has written four novels: The Kept Man, The Melting Season, The Middlesteins, and, most recently, Saint Mazie. The Middlesteins was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the St. Francis College Literary Prize. Attenberg has written essays about television, sex, technology, and other topics, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Real Simple, and other publications.

Brian Evenson’s work, including Immobility, Last Days, The Open Curtain, Dark Property, and Altmann’s Tongue, skirts the boundary between horror and literature. Evenson has received the O. Henry Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and the American Library Association’s RUSA Award for Best Horror Novel. He has also been nominated for the Edgar Award and four times for the Shirley Jackson Award. He teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts

Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Junot Díaz is the author of Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and PEN/O. Henry Award. The fiction editor at Boston Review, Díaz is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Max Apple has been writing short stories (most recent collection The Jew of Home Depot and Other Stories, novels (Zip, The Propheteers), and screenplays (Roommates, The Air Up There) for the last forty years. He still teaches for the University of Pennsylvania.

Amiri Baraka, who has also written as LeRoi Jones, was the Poet Laureate of New Jersey. Baraka has written poetry, plays, fiction, essays and musical criticism. Widely known as a revolutionist and political activist he is the winner of the PEN Open Book Award for Tales of the Out & the Gone.

J. Robert Lennon is the author of two story collections, Pieces for the Left Hand and See You in Paradise, and seven novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Happyland. He teaches writing at Cornell University.

Eric Puchner is the author of the story collection Music Through the Floor and the novel Model Home, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and won the California Book Award Silver Medal for best work of fiction. He is an assistant professor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

Karen Heuler has published more than eighty stories in a variety of literary and science-fiction magazines, including the Alaska Quarterly Review, Clarkesworld, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Boston Review, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Weird Tales, and Daily Science Fiction. She has published four novels and two short-story collections, and has received the O. Henry Award and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, among many others. Heuler lives in New York City with her dog, Philip K. Dick, and her cats, Jane Austin and Charlotte Brontë.

W. P. Kinsella is the author of Shoeless Joe, famously adapted into the film Field of Dreams. His other novels include The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, Box Socials, and Butterfly Winter. He has also published more than a dozen-and- a-half collections, most recently The Essential W. P. Kinsella. Widely considered one of the greatest fiction writers about baseball, Kinsella is as well known in his native Canada for his award-winning and controversial First Nation stories, humorous and gritty tales of the complex lives of indigenous Canadians. He currently lives near Vancouver.

Molly Gloss writes literary fiction, westerns, and occasionally science fiction. Her novels include Outside the Gates, The Jump-Off Creek, The Dazzle of Day, Wild Life, The Hearts of Horses, and Falling from Horses. Gloss has received the Whiting and James Tiptree, Jr., awards, as well as the Oregon Book Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award.

Chris Tarry’s debut story collection, How to Carry Bigfoot Home, was released last year from Red Hen Press. Tarry is one of New York’s most-sought-after bass players and has won four JUNO and Canadian Independent Music awards. His fiction has appeared in the Literary Review, On Spec, Grain, the G. W. Review, PANK, Bull Men’s Fiction, Monkeybicycle, and elsewhere. In 2011, he was a finalist in FreeFall magazine’s annual prose and poetry competition, and most recently, his story “Here Be Dragons” was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Tarry holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Kelly Luce has a degree in cognitive science. She lived and worked in Japan and received fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, Kerouac Project, and others. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Salon, O, and the Southern Review, among others. She recently received her MFA in writing and works as a contributing editor for Electric Literature. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.

A converted screenwriter, Ben Loory has published a collection of short stories, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, and a children’s book, The Baseball Player and the Walrus. He has an MFA in screenwriting and teaches at UCLA Extension. He has also appeared on This American Life.

Robert Olen Butler’s first collection of short stories, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993. Among his other honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature, two National Magazine Awards in fiction, and the Tu Do Chinh Kien Award for outstanding contributions to American culture by a Vietnam veteran. He has published sixteen novels, most recently The Empire of Night, as well as six collections of short fiction.

George Saunders is one of America’s leading satirists. Before becoming a writer, he was a geophysicist in Sumatra. His work includes CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, In Persuasion Nation, and Tenth of December: Stories. Saunders has won many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Story Prize, the Folio Prize, the PEN/Hemingway, the PEN/Malamud, National Magazine, and World Fantasy awards. A regular contributor to the New Yorker and GQ, his work has appeared in the series Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, O.Henry Prize Stories, and Best American Science Fiction.

Katherine Dunn is best known for her novel Geek Love, a National Book Award finalist, and the novels Attic and Truck. She is considered one of the best journalists on boxing in America today, and she received the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Award for her work School of Hard Knocks: The Struggle for Survival in America’s Toughest Boxing Gyms. Her long-awaited fourth novel, The Cut Man, has yet to be released, but a part of it appears in the Paris Review under the title “Rhonda Discovers Art.” Dunn currently teaches creative writing at Pacific University in Oregon.

Editor Jacob Weisman is the publisher at Tachyon Publications, which he founded in 1995. He has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award three times for his work at Tachyon and is the series editor of Tachyon’s Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Shirley Jackson Award–winning novella line.

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