cover image All I Ever Dreamed

All I Ever Dreamed

Michael Blumlein. Valancourt, $22.99 trade paper (506p) ISBN 978-1-943910-99-1

Readers who enjoy a wide range of genre fiction will be enamored with this collection of short stories from physician and author Blumlein, most of which blend Lovecraft-like lore with the earthy everydayness of Stephen King’s fiction. In “California Burning,” a man’s body refuses to succumb to cremation, becoming something far stranger instead. “Twenty-Two and You” reminds readers that no technological advancement is without consequence; it flirts with the transphobic idea that womanhood is defined solely by the presence of female sex organs, while simultaneously interrogating the role of motherhood in being seen as and feeling like a woman. In “Know How, Can Do,” Blumlein toys with evolutionary biology and the gender binary, giving lovers of science something to geek out on while prompting questions about the labels humans give themselves. It’s clear that Blumlein did his research in an attempt to make this collection inclusive, and it falls short only rarely. His work will delight readers who enjoy thinking deeply about social constructs and how they relate to science. (May)