Out There: Stories
By Kate Folk
Kafka meets Black Mirror in this debut anthology of body horror, doomed romance, and literally toxic relationships
KIRKUS REVIEWS' BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
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.
Read if you: have ever almost fallen victim to a phishing email, and you're too embarrassed to tell anyone.