cover image Shoggoths in Traffic and Other Stories

Shoggoths in Traffic and Other Stories

Tobias S. Buckell. Fairwood, $17.99 trade paper (348p) ISBN 978-1-933846-18-7

World Fantasy Award winner Buckell (The Tangled Lands) delivers a collection of speculative shorts that are both timely and timeless. These 24 subversive, bite-sized pieces explore an array of settings and tones and excel in convincing readers to look at the world from new perspectives. “Sundown” sees an invasion of alien insects in the Old American West, while the title story shows how GPS signals are used in the future to rip the fabric of the universe. Most captivating are the stories that offer unique spins on current events: the pandemic response is turned on its head in “A Different Kind of Place” when a zombie outbreak forces the residents of a small town to debate whether or not to put up a wall or get a vaccine to protect themselves. And in “The Alien from Verapaz,” ICE raids a day care to take in the children of an alien superhero, El Fantastico. Buckell shows his chops in a range of subgenres with a keen focus on diversity and humor. Even the busiest readers will find it easy and worthwhile to take a few minutes out of their day to dip into this collection. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liz Dawson Assoc. (Nov.)