By David Nickle
At the dawn of the twentieth century in the Idaho logging town of Eliada, orphaned farm boy Jason Thistledown and black physician Andrew Waggoner came face to face with monsters: the human sort, in the form of American eugenicists seeking to perfect the human race through breeding and culls; and the inhuman, a parasitic species named Juke, that lived off the hopes, dreams, and faith of humanity, even as it consumed it from within.
The year is 1931 . . .
In a remote valley in the Bavarian Alps, the Germanic students of those eugenicists seek to uncover the secret of the Juke and the promise of the Übermensch. In Paris, Dr. Andrew Waggoner enters his third decade of unravelling the mystery of the elusive organism. Jason Thistledown, now a veteran pilot of World War I, gets ready to embark on a new career flying mail and passengers in North Africa and, he hopes, forget the profound horrors that have shaped him.
Soon, they will all have to reckon with one other: a terrible synthesis of those horrors, which moves among humanity with an inexorable and terrible purpose—obliterating and reshaping that humanity until there is only one thing left:
“David Nickle’s stories are sui generis in presentation, veering from the discombobulating nightmare that is “Basements” to the squid-laden eco-satire “Wylde’s Kingdom” to the sci-fi love of “Loves Means Forever.” When it comes to this book, only two things are certain; the stories never travel where you expect, and David Nickle is a monumental talent.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Believe the hype: David Nickle is very good.”
—The Globe and Mail
“David Nickle is my favorite kind of writer. His stories are dark, wildly imaginative, and deeply compassionate―even when they’re laced with righteous anger. He’s at the top of his game in this new book of short stories, and that’s about as good as it gets.”
—Nathan Ballingrud, author of North American Lake Monsters
ChiZine Publications, August 2017