Out There: Stories

Books on Tape Mar. 2022. 7:14 hrs. ISBN 9780593558126. $66.50. F
Folk’s debut short story collection looks at the eerie and absurd in everyday life. Her stories blend literary sensibilities with science fiction and magical realism. The fantastical in these tales ranges from artificial males who prey on women for their data to an encroaching void that consumes the earth, from a bone disorder that melts the skeleton every night to a very dry house (there’s also a house with organs and one with a head growing from its floor). The real strength of these tales isn’t how far out they are but the questions they ask about the human condition: can an artificial human whose only purpose is to steal information learn to be human and what kind of person can enter a relationship with a house that needs moisturizing every day?
VERDICT The star-studded cast of narrators (Sophie Amoss, Hannah Choi, Michael Crouch, Will Damron, Renata Friedman, and Kristen Sieh) provide the right tone for each tale, never overemphasizing the plot elements that defy reality, which allows the truth of Folk’s stories to shine through.
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