cover image Watchlist


Edited by Bryan Hurt. OR Books, $18 ISBN 978-1-939293-77-0

This anthology presents a boldly imaginative, diverse collection of 32 surveillance-themed stories from an international coterie of writers. These selections, which include the supernatural, science fiction, noir fiction, and nonfiction, will appeal to a wide-ranging readership. The pulpy “Nighttime of the City” employs eerily cartoonish, trench-coated, fedora-donned characters who lurk around, then disappear and reappear. In “Sleeping Where Jean Seberg Slept,” a writer returns home to research the late actress, who was monitored by the government for supporting the Black Panthers. “The Relive Box” contains retinal laser beams that allow users to relive, but not revise, their past. “Safety Tips for Living Alone” is the real-life account of the collapse of Texas Tower No. 4, a poorly built off-shore radar facility used for spying on Russia. Additionally, there are falcons with human-like attributes that are pursued as spies, a neighborhood watch program that morphs into extreme surveillance, artwork that alters itself only when unattended, a delusional woman whose paranoia about government control becomes a fatal mistake, and a taxidermist whose vocation is ideal for spying. The varied cross-section of material is stylishly captured by each writer’s distinct voice and perspective. (May)