The Sea Beast Takes a Lover
by Michael Andreasen
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Pub Date 08 Mar 2018 | Archive Date 14 Feb 2018
Head of Zeus, Apollo
A lovesick kraken slowly drags the object of its desire – a ship of sailors – into the sea; a group of cantankerous saints materialise in a well-appointed parlour, and must unravel the mystery of how they got there; ageing fathers are sunk to the bottom of the ocean in pressure-sealed crates in a time-honoured ritual. Andreasen romps through the lunatic and surreal with a tender generous ease; there is a joyous absurdity to each premise. Just because a sister is born without a head doesn't mean her brother won't love and protect her; just because an adulterous tryst ends in alien abduction doesn't mean the man doesn't miss his wife.
Simultaneously daring and deeply familiar, unfolding in wildly inventive worlds whilst emphasising our common yearning for connection and understanding, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the supernatural and extraordinary to expose us at our most human.
A Note From the Publisher
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 26 members
What a bravura performance from Andreasen! The stories here are all weirdly wonderful with an inventive energy which positively crackles off the page. Set in strange worlds where a girl can live without a head, where aliens want to understand what it means to be human, where things at the Time Travel Institute can go horribly wrong, and where a love-lorn tentacled sea-beast can desire a ship (while nymphomaniac mermaids hover hopefully with their eyes on the sailors), these stories combine a ferocious imagination with the ability to deliver an emotional kick to the gut. There's real feeling here, and that's what moves these tales on from being fine examples of craft and finish to having humanity and depth.
As with any collection, some stories will speak to individual readers more than others (my least favourite were the two dealing with religious faith) but overall this is a fabulous introduction to an exciting writer - a little bit Angela Carter, but really Andreasen has a voice of his own.
I loved reading this collection of outrageously weird short stories, a combination of the wry humor of vintage Sedaris and the innovative horror of classic Joyce Carol Oates; if you like Simon Rich shorts but just wish they were longer, this is the book for you!
Wow! What a wonderful selection of extremely weird and wonderful stories, with touches of humour and horror. All the stories are fantastic, in every sense of the word. Highly recommended.
A really great and unique collection of short stories. I loved the mix of science fiction, fantasy and fabulism and each story was also thoroughly unique in its own right within the collection. It felt like a completely different perspective or writing style in each entry but they all worked well together, being linked by humour and a clever view of the world around us.
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