cover image Pretend It’s My Body: Stories

Pretend It’s My Body: Stories

Luke Dani Blue. Amethyst Editions, $17.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-952177-03-3

Blue debuts with an inventive speculative collection in which characters explore their relationships to their bodies in various situations of upheaval. In “Suzuki in Limbo,” set in the near future, a young woman named Suzuki tries to tell her family she intends to upload her consciousness to a computer server, so as to no longer live in her body, but before Suzuki can explain, her mother comes out as a trans man. Teenage Ted, who is exploring a femme identity in “Other People’s Point of View,” can read the minds of others, but only when they are being indecisive. In “My Mother’s Bottomless Hole,” set in the early days of Covid-19, a queer high school English teacher who wonders if she might be trans visits her hoarder mother’s house. The strongest entry, “A Full and Accurate Reporting” comprises diary entries from a Jewish woman who moves into the cramped Vilna ghetto in Lithuania during WWII. As the narrator discovers she has more and more space with fewer people around, her account morphs into a chilling meditation on history and trauma. Though the striking premises sometimes fizzle into lackluster conclusions, they are clever nonetheless. Fans of feminist and trans speculative fiction will enjoy unpacking these dark delights. (Oct.)