Neukom Institute Debut Literary Arts Award shortlist
Philip K. Dick Award finalist
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“An exciting voice. . . . dreamy but with an intense physicality.” — Washington Post Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2018


Fiction that will inspire you to blow open the doors and kick out those supposedly in charge.


Abbey Mei Otis’s short stories are contemporary fiction at its strongest: taking apart the supposed equality that is clearly just not there, putting humans under an alien microscope, putting humans under government control, putting kids from the moon into a small beach town and then the putting the rest of the town under the microscope as they react in ways we hope they would, and then, of course, in ways we’d hope they don’t.


Otis has long been fascinated in using strange situations to explore dynamics of power, oppression, and grief, and the twelve stories collected here are at once a striking indictment of the present and a powerful warning about the future.


“Otis actually belongs with writers like Kelly Link, who freely borrow genre materials to construct elegant literary fictions far more about character than spectacle. . . . As odd as these worlds are, they are populated by sharply drawn characters we come to care about through Otis’ luminescent prose.” — Gary K. Wolfe, Chicago Tribune


“Abbey Mei Otis is an exciting voice in contemporary science fiction. Her new book Alien Virus Love Disaster is a short-story collection that explores those left behind in typical sweeping science fiction adventures — the children, discarded robots, school dropouts and blue-collar workers with the misfortune of being near something toxic. A stand-out story is “Moonkids,” about young humans from the moon who find themselves living and working on a beach town on Earth after being expelled from lunar society. Humans born on the moon end up becoming physically changed from the atmosphere, and if they fail a high-stakes exam, they are returned to Earth with nothing to do but be gawked at by normal people. Like many of Otis’s stories, it’s dreamy but with an intense physicality that belies the violence behind the longing.” — Everdeen Mason, Washington Post Book World


“It’s a collection that will keep your heart half in your throat and half in your toes, and I recommend it.” —

Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories by Abbey Mei Otis

  • Small Beer Press 2018

    New paperback

    224 pages