I'd Really Prefer Not to Be Here with You, and Other Stories

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Pub Date 28 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 04 Apr 2023

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Description

Bestselling author Julianna Baggott delivers her mind-bending debut short-story collection, featuring an array of genres populated by deeply human characters, and with film rights to the stories already having been sold to Netflix, Paramount, Amblin, Lionsgate, and others!

In the title story, set five minutes in the future where you not only have a credit score but also a dating score, a woman who’s been banished from all dating apps attends a weekly help group with others who have been “banned for life,” and finds herself falling in love. In “Backwards,” a twist on Benjamin Button, a woman reconnects with her estranged father as he de-ages ten years each day they spend together. In “Welcome to Oxhead,” all the parents in a gated community “shut off” when the power goes out. In “Portals,” a small town deals with hope and loss when dozens of portals suddenly open. In “The Now of Now,” two teenagers who can literally stop time find themselves falling in love. In “How They Got In,” a grieving family starts to see a murdered girl in all of their old home videos. In “The Versions,” two stand-in androids fall in love at a wedding, even though they’re not programmed to have emotion. And many other stories of the weird and wonderful.

Bestselling author Julianna Baggott delivers her mind-bending debut short-story collection, featuring an array of genres populated by deeply human characters, and with film rights to the stories...


A Note From the Publisher

Julianna Baggott, critically acclaimed and bestselling author, has published more than twenty books under her own name as well as pen names, including two New York Times Notable Books of the Year: Pure, an ALA Alex Award winner, and Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders. Over one hundred foreign editions of her books have been published overseas. Her work is currently in development with Disney+, MGM, Paramount, and Netflix. She’s written for O, The Oprah Magazine; NPR; and the Washington Post.

Julianna Baggott, critically acclaimed and bestselling author, has published more than twenty books under her own name as well as pen names, including two New York Times Notable Books of the Year:...


Advance Praise

“Reading this story collection is like stepping in front of a fun house mirror. At first, you see yourself, your world, and the characters as ordinary. But with one side step, your body slowly distorts into something unexpected, wicked, even silly. But vibrating underneath, somehow, Julianna Baggott’s words ground us with the familiar truths that allow us to see the ordinary as something truly extraordinary.”

—Jessica Biel, actress and producer

“Casually fantastical, beautifully surreal, and packing an unexpected emotional punch, the stories in I’d Really Prefer Not to Be Here with You are clever and subversive and proof that, in the right hands, big ideas can come in small, perfect packages.”

—Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You

“A moving fantastical collection…stacked with feats of imagination."

Publishers Weekly

“This book is a treasure chest filled with wild and wondrous tales. A gorgeous and brilliant collection!”

—Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World

“Reading this story collection is like stepping in front of a fun house mirror. At first, you see yourself, your world, and the characters as ordinary. But with one side step, your body slowly...


Marketing Plan

Debut short story collection from bestselling, critically acclaimed author 

Stories in this collection have been optioned by Netflix, Paramount, Lionsgate, and Amblin, among others 

National publicity campaign

National reviews campaign

Mailing to influencers on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok

Bookseller and library trade show marketing

Social media campaign

Debut short story collection from bestselling, critically acclaimed author 

Stories in this collection have been optioned by Netflix, Paramount, Lionsgate, and Amblin, among others 

National publicity...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9798200873562
PRICE $25.99 (USD)
PAGES 271

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 32 members


Featured Reviews

This is an amazing short story collection as Baggott is a first-rate writer. The first story pulled me in and I didn't lift my head from reading until the book was almost finished. Favorites are "The Now of Now" and "Backwards." Highly recommended. Similar to Ray Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" with its lyricism and mystery. Highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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Truly and immensely loved every nook and cranny of this collection. Each story had me a little more enthralled than the last—all of them their own unique version of haunting and unsettling. How They Got In, Nest, and Portals were a few of my favorites, though I did not find myself disliking any of the stories.

Thank you NetGalley for the E-ARC!

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Wow! This is a collection of short stories about loneliness, grief, trauma, love all with a scifi/dystopian bent . And I LOVED every story. My favorite is "I'd prefer not to be here with you." I look forward to reading more by this author!

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It's almost like I set this book up to fail - I HATE short story collections, even from authors that I know and love sometimes. Something about this grabbed my attention, though, so I gave it a try. I was very pleasantly surprised! Very engaging and unique stories that are perfectly paced and easy to fly through. I will be looking for other work by this author.

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I read and loved the author's book, Girl Talk, years ago, so I was intrigued by this short story collection. Baggott has such a wonderful way of drawing you into a story and the lives of its charming characters. The short stories all combine some element of sci-fi or technology into a character-driven story. Each story is wildly intriguing because of these deftly written elements. I would definitely recommend if you're looking for something unique and heartwarming.

Thank you Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for providing this ARC. All thoughts are my own.

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I love a good speculative fiction collection and this one really delivers. Most of the stories had a distinct "Black Mirror" vibe, like the title story in which everyone has a dating score and poor behavior can get you not only banned for life from dating apps, but potentially undateable at all, or "Welcome to Oxhead" where life is lived under an unexplained protective grid and a sudden power outage also shuts off all the adults in the community. The story that stuck with me the most, and that left me a weepy emotional mess, was "Backwards", in which a woman reconnects with (and develops unexpected empathy and deep affection for) her estranged father for his final week of life as he moves backward in age one decade per day until he simply stops existing. Some stories left me feeling unsettled, some left me feeling a soft kind of melancholy. The entire collection held me in an iron grip until I reached the last page, and I haven't stopped thinking about it days later. I want more stories from Julianna Baggott at her earliest convenience, please.

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The book is a collection of short stories. The genre of all of these is Science Fiction, but with something about them making one’s body, life, community, or reality itself not what it seems to be. Most of the stories were somewhat dystopian, with judicious use of adult language throughout. Several of the stories involve the use of memory, or that memories are stored, as different from what might be found on a tape recorder. There were holograms, the possibility of having different memories – those of other people. And, how those memories of the same events appear very different to people nearby who live or exist in markedly different circumstances. Hence – why eyewitness accounts have been shown to be extremely flawed even when people are doing their best to truthfully recount an incident.

The whole thing puts one’s mind in a state of philosophical thoughts, about how could or might reality actually be, beyond our everyday perception of it. And, how things might drastically change if conditions were markedly different. I personally love a book that gives me something to think about outside its pages.

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Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for sending and allowing me to read and enjoy this short story collection.
I read this quite fast, usually, with short story collections I take my time to enjoy every little detail of the stories but I was jut so enthralled with this. The writing style is impeccable, and the stories are told are so well and informational weirdly. I also really enjoy the cover it drew me to this collection and after reading the synopsis I knew I had to ask for this.

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