Ld be easier I give three for now just because it is still better than most two star books I read Why the extra 05 star It brought no icked me out of my comfort zone It has some powerful scenes intriguing conversations This is my first encounter with the author s work and she sure is memorable She Anthology of Articles on African Linguistics and Literature knows how tonit all the traditional SF story elements from aliens genetic modification dystopia rising sea water and ground them to the level of individual families and communities Most stories also have strong voices All happen to be female in all The Writing Workshop kinds of ages Now the downside The stories are super bleak set near futurish decaying world and told in a hopelessly devastating manner The book is not something to pick up randomly and reuire a suitable mind condition mine is pretty stressed out at the moment thus it got heavier Also I admit I did not fully comprehend all stories Yet I feel the draw of rereading them Some I did reread because they are shorter and I ended up liking them I hope I could find a time when I could in a better state of mind peel the layers slowly and immerse myself Unfortunately this is not the time Alien Virus Love Disaster is a debut short story collection by Abbey Mei Otis which thrilled and confused me In the first couple stories I was reminded of a couple of my favorite short story collections of the year Friday Black and Sabrina Corina I relished Otis creativity in crafting otherworldly stories and was reminded of Adjei Brenyah in that satirical brilliance that makes you laugh so hard until you re on the verge of collapsing in anguish I was reminded of Fajardo Anstine in the searing humanness of the characters and their resilient depth Abandon all hope ye who enter here my imagined tag line for this bookThis is the review I ve been dreading most because I wanted so badly to like it and just couldn t connect with it at all It s a collection of bizarre short fiction mostly incorporating someind of romance andor alien contact With a title like Alien Virus Love Disaster I was expecting something weird yes but also something funny Like the Stephanie Plum of alien books And it was just dark depressing despairing There isn t a single shred of hope in the whole darn book Not one tiny story I gave it two stars instead of one because on the upside the stories are uniue and inclusive I can honestly say I ve never read anything like them and I can see how they would be right for someone just not me I wanted to laugh I wanted to be uplifted and instead I ended up dragged
Down In A Way I Wasn T Prepared ForContent Warnings in a way I wasn t prepared forContent warnings spoilerimplied rape talk about child death and maybe cannibalism hide spoiler I ve got a friend a hydrologist for the US Geological Survey s West Virginia office whose slow thick Appalachian accent might just lull you into thinking he is slow and thick too Unless you listen to what he s sayingThese are like that You don t realize unless you re really paying attention UntilLet me tell you mouth lizard to sound cave Alien Virus Love Disaster
by Abbey Mei Otis is uniue truly amazing work Every story in Abbey Mei Otis is uniue truly amazing work Every story in short collection is a goddamn gut punch and yet these are all sf of one sort or another as well bursting over the levees and overflowing the boundaries of dry mimetic literature The climate change refugees living in Saint MART s Home for Flooded Children p125 are just one example among manyYou ll figure out other terms she uses like bamf view spoilerbad ass motherfucker natch hide spoiler Oh thank goodness a collection of actual short stories with plots and characters and all that good stuff I remember from way way back Not only that but Otis does it with pizzazz wrenching the good old humanist SF short sto I m pretty bummed I didn t like this There are some great ideas and zinger sentences From Teacher the troubled educator in the Vice Principal s office musesSometimes when I speak I can t hear the words All I hear is the sound of worms pushing up through wet earthBut I found the longer pieces to be uite a drag Sorry. Been fascinated in using strange situations to explore dynamics of power oppression and grief and the twelve stories collected here are at once a striking indictment of the present and a powerful warning about the futur. .
Abbey Mei Otis Ò 4 review.
Philip Roth would sometimes uote Chekhov s observation that the job of the artist is the proper presentation of the problem If that s indeed the case then Abbey Mei Otis s highly artistic debut collection which gathers a dozen dazzling tales tells me we have uite the problem on our hands The majority of these stories eight previously published four original to this volume revolve around dystopic or
futures wherein rampant alienation decadence and physical suffering seem like the only logical outgrowths I use that word deliberately as Otis has a particular nack for details that anchor her characters in their physical predicaments In the collection s eponymous tale for instance one of my favorites the inhabitants of a small town in the aftermath of an accident involving alien technology in a nearby lab develop bumps on their bodies and must be evacuated These protuberances which feel hard and round like everybody s got ping pong balls buried inside them are bad enough but there s an almost throwaway line early on that well illustrates Otis s attention to physicality He digs at the sole of his bare foot peels off a big nugget of callus and flicks it onto the rug The Moonkids of the next story rejects from a lunar colony who are outcast to Earth at the age of sixteen if they fail to achieve specific test scores experience immense discomfort in to Earth at the age of sixteen if they fail to achieve specific test scores experience immense discomfort in higher gravity and must undergo difficult procedures Your muscles learn differently in moon gravity Your bones form light like a bird s Used to not even be possible to make the transition you d touch down into earthpull and collapse like fast melting candles Too many fractures for all the ing s horses and all the Distant Echoes Finding Keys To Life After Abuse king s men Way way too many for Earth doctors to deal with Earth doctors arenown for not giving a shit Now though they ve got ways around it They ve got operations and stuff Every moonkid s got incision scars in the same places Despite these treatments though Earthpull is fickle like a trickster gnome Sometimes even after months and months it sneaks up behind you and punches in your How Debuggers Work Algorithms Data Structures and Architecture knees The name of the game thematically speaking is not so much adapting as survivingAnatomy is even foregrounded in the third story If You Could Be God of Anything in which a bunch ofids discover a sex robot that has literally fallen from the sky one of countless discarded objects from the skyways air traffic In the fifth Blood Blood uasi disembodied aliens derive observational pleasure from humans performing mundane activities but they seem to become especially aroused by fighting The sixteen year old narrator who engages in these tussles longs to escape her life and body Guilt she tells herself isDepressed Futures Wherein Rampant
just another trapping of the flesh Again the body becomes a world now made alien by a ind of ultraanother trapping of the flesh Again the body becomes a world now made alien by a ind of ultra latex encasing in Sex Dungeons for Sad PeopleAs this first batch of stories readily makes clear the problematic worlds in which Otis s characters find themselves are not only globally insoluble but often than not personally untenable This doesn t always lead to tragedy sometimes the possibility of transformation is enough to sustain hope In other instances such as Teacher or Sweetheart a retreat into surrealism seems like the only appropriate response In yet others such as Rich People the successful incursion into a different realm of class or status only opens up even nauseating vistasReaders who enjoy traditional narratives may struggle with Otis s work which celebrates voice above all else Though there are plenty of science fictional and fantastic elements here rising sea levels moon colonies gene modifications robots virtual realities even ghosts of a sort they typically comprise the background rather than the foundation of the stories at hand Otis displays enormous skill in first person narration and she relies on it almost exclusively trapping us in an array of colorful subjectivities Her characters freuently youthful tend to speak in a highly idiosyncratic mordant collouial way Otis s deliberate ca. Abbey Mei Otis’s short stories are contemporary fiction at its strongest taking apart the supposed euality that is clearly just not there putting humans under an alien microscope putting humans under government control. Dences and repetitions in sentence structures result in a ind of hypnotic poetics of the mundane Privations physical mental spiritual are a constant focus in these stories and those elements are immediately accessible but their contexts often remain obliue Consider for example this nugget of description about the aliens in Blood Blood They speak or rather do not speak in streams of thought directed toward our minds Look at one straight it s like the sunlight that plays on the hull of a boat in a lake Only no boat no lake no sunlightIf You Lived Here
You D Be Evictedd Be Evicted Now and Ultimate Housekeeping Megathrill 4 the volume s two closing stories are longer than most preceding pieces and in some ways stronger There s room to explore the crevasses of Otis s thoughtfully constructed worlds and time to engage with the characters plights There s also the opportunity for some truly amazing stylistic flourishes such as the following which occurs three paragraphs into the penultimate storyLet s say there s no money in this world Let s say if you want to obtain something like rice or photocopies you have to give somebody a handjob Only nobody wants to
Give A Handjob In Thea handjob in the store or the copy shop so instead at each register in a clear glass tank they have one of those giant clams from the Pacific Northwest which is a symbol for genitalia In lieu of payment you dip your hand into the cold salt water and caress the clam once twiceJust idding of course there s money Casey and Stacy both work in financeIf you get the sense that Otis s stories may provoke strong emotions in you and disturb you you re probably right But I don t believe Otis s focus is on being transgressive per se rather on illustrating how for many transgression has already become a cornerstone of everyday reality Otis doesn t use science fiction to lift the veil of the familiar and peer at what s beneath Instead with great shrewdness and courage and originality she reveals that the veil was itself an illusion and the familiar a construct of anything but This is different Great but different in a good way Not desperately trying to be original by being unintelligible Looking at you Mrs Kelly Link Another of the PKD nominees this one is a collection of short stories set in the nearish future Not really any sort of future I want to see though It s a grungy bleak tainted place filled with beaten down people discarded by societyWell written yes some of it is uite good A few of those images will stick with me for a while I do like to think that humans will always love always fight to survive I d just rather not see them doing it with their heads down hunched over getting Rough Rider: BWWM Interracial MC Biker Alpha Male Romance kicked This was hands down the most depressing book I ve ever readThe author masterfully creates an atmosphere of oppression desolation help and hopelessness in each story that I literally stumbled from one gut punch to the next Read individually there are some excellent takes on the ineuality of societies POVs of people who have no real chance in life and are at the mercy of those with power As a collection the stories are downright devastating After Not an Alien Story I had to put the book down cause I cried so hardAnd that s what fascinated me most here Usually I can distance myself uite easily from the protagonists especially if the narration voices are on the vernacular side as was the case here Therefore I thought I can read a range of disturbing stories without getting affected Yet Abbey Mei Otis commands such a poetic yet honest style that she managed to get beyond my shields and attacked from the wrong side of themI would not recommend this collection to anybody unless your shields are fully charged but I m damn glad that I read it and I will definitely return to these stories As repulsive as they are they are even addictive cause in all their weirdness they ring true This is a hard book to read and even harder to rate I had to tally my individual rating for each and came up with 25 stars Gosh darn it if it s 24 or 26 it wou. Puttingids from the moon into a small beach town and then the putting the rest of the town under the microscope as they react in ways we hope they would and then of course in ways we’d hope they don’tOtis has long.