cover image Danged Black Thing

Danged Black Thing

Eugen Bacon. Apex, $15.95 trade paper (164p) ISBN 978-1-955765-11-4

Seventeen genre-bending stories from Bacon (Mage of Fools) come together to form a masterful, Afrofuturist exploration of gender, class, race, and belonging. “Simbiyu and the Nameless” gets things off to a powerful start with a second-person narrative following Simbiyu from infancy in Africa to newfound fame as a football star in Australia, even as inexplicable darkness and spontaneous tragedy follow him. In “Unlimited Data,” a woman willing to do anything for her family is coerced into allowing a microchip to be implanted into her neck. The griefs and joys of motherhood contrast starkly as two pregnant women are visited by the spirits of their unborn sons in “Phantasms of Existence.” “When the Water Stops” presents a post–climate collapse dystopia where, after all water sources have been exhausted, drinking human blood becomes the norm. The title story, co-written with E. Don Harpe, puts a fresh spin on the robot takeover trope as a man falls in love with his new laptop. With poetic prose, an eclectic range of subgenres, and affecting observations on Blackness and womanhood, this collection showcases Bacon at the top of her game. (June)