Dazzling and delightful, with its feet only slightly tethered to the world we know, The Sea Beast Takes A Lover explores family, faith, and longing through a kaleidoscope of surreal landscapes and spellbinding characters.
Andreasen's stories unfold in wildly inventive worlds that invite the supernatural into our familiar routines: in "Bodies in Space," an extramarital affair is rudely interrupted by an alien abduction, while in "Blunderbuss." a third-grade class takes an ill-advised field trip to a floundering time travel institute. "Jenny" follows a reluctant caretaker's attempts to manage his kind-hearted headless sister, and in the title story, a group of sailors find their ship commandeered by an aggressively lovestruck kraken.
Romping through the fantastic with bighearted ease, these stories uncover a universal yearning for connection in seldom-explored spaces, revealing that aliens can help us think about loss, that time travel is just another way to talk about guilt, and that sea monsters may have a thing or two to teach us about love.
With a captivating new voice from an immensely talented storyteller, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the odd, the extraordinary, and the miraculous to expose us at our most profoundly and hilariously human.
"The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a treasury of fantastic tales--full of mermaids, prophetic dancing bears, exploding children, and distraught time travelers. It's also a collection of longing, of loss, of loving deeply, and of learning what it means to care for others. A brilliant book, daring and wonderful." -- Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World
“The Sea Beast Takes a Lover sits on a small shelf of books that I will read a dozen times over. It is full of explosions of magic, aching tenderness and star-bright writing. This is a book that will make you want to tap the person next to you and say, ‘I’m sorry to interrupt, but you have to hear this.’” --Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and A Guide to Being Born
"Andreasen has a big, roomy imagination, and a command of language to furnish the worlds he creates with both precision and grandeur. These stories are, by turns, timeless and urgent, dreamy and nightmarish, heartbroken and hopeful. A brilliant collection." --Charles Yu, author of Sorry Please Thank You and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
“The world is a very strange place. Michael Andreasen’s fantastic storytelling, ripe with tender monsters and understandably tortured humans, opens the window to our weirdness just a crack further, reminding his reader that the human heart is and always will be filled with wonder.” --Samantha Hunt, author of Mr. Splitfoot and The Dark Dark
"The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is such a wildly imaginative work that the book itself could be an artifact drawn from one of the sui generis stories it contains. Uncannily inventive yet unfailingly grounded in all-too-familiar struggles of the heart, these are stories that vary widely in subject matter--paternal pressures, the terror of stasis, our jealous hunger for love--but never in the confident distinctiveness of Michael Andreasen's voice. What a voice it is! What a vision! For what is more exciting to a reader than discovering a new way to see the world? This thrillingly original debut gives us just that in every story, on every page." -- Josh Weil, author of The Age of Perpetual Light