Nominee, 2013 Shirley Jackson Award
"The title of Kit Reed's... 'The Story Until Now' (Wesleyan, 442 pages, $35), reminds us that although she has been writing award-winning fiction for some 50 years, she's still accelerating. The scope of these 35 stories is immense, their variety unmatched." --Thomas Shippey in The Wall Street Journal
Son of Destruction by Kit Reed (Severn House, £19.99)
When his mother dies, Dan Carteret has only two leads to the identity of his father: a photograph of four young men, and a newspaper cutting showing the remains of a victim of spontaneous human combustion. Carteret travels to his mother's hometown of Fort Jude and discovers that three cases of spontaneous combustion have occurred there in the recent past. In the search for his father, he confronts an affluent, insular society that closes ranks and refuses to give up the secret of what happened to Carteret's mother at a fateful beach party in her youth. A fragmented narrative, using half a dozen different viewpoints, tells the story of the "thin line between an organised society and raw nature", and presents a compelling account of people torn by clan loyalty and made desperate by love, hate and loneliness. -- Eric Brown in The Guardian
“The Story Until Now unleashes new and classic stories fired by a radiant imagination.”--Elissa Schappell in Vanity Fair
" Her stories are sharp, transgressive and full of the unexpected, with enough keen social observations to launch a thousand dissertations. " --Chelsea Cain in The New York Times Book Review
Son of Destruction is about the toxicity of buried truths. It is also about psychic powers, although to the very last line the reader is kept guessing as to whether these actually exist in the world of this novel – or are merely the product of coincidence. --James Lovegrove in The Financial Times
Kit Reed moved so often as a kid that she never settled down in one place, and she doesn't know whether that's A Good Thing or not. She's "transgenred" for some of the same reasons. Publishers Weekly calls her "one of our brightest cultural commentators." Although 13 isn't always a lucky number, 2013 is a very big year for her. Her new novel, Son of Destruction (Severn House), is just out in the U.K., with US publication in March '2013) set to coincide with the publication ofThe Story Until Now (The Wesleyan University Press). The Story Until Now: a Great Big Book of Stories with an introduction by Gary K. Wolfe features some Reed classics as well as her personal favorites over several decades, including six new stories, never before collected. >Son, centers on spontaneous human combustion and what happens in the tight society of Fort Jude, Florida when a 30-year-old scandal erupts. Her 2011 collection,What Wolves Know, was nominated for the Shirley Jackson award. In a starred review, P.W. praises her novel Enclave as "a gripping dystopian thriller." Enclave is now available in trade paperback and in digital form. Her novels The Baby Merchant and Thinner Than Thou, a winner of the A.L.A. Alex Award, and her collection, Dogs of Truth are available in paperback. The New York Times Book Review has this to say about her work: "Most of these stories shine with the incisive edginess of brilliant cartoons... they are less fantastic than visionary." Other novels include @expectations, Captain Grownup, Fort Privilege, Catholic Girls, J. Eden and Little Sisters of the Apocalypse. As Kit Craig she is the author of Gone, Twice Burned and other psychological thrillers published here and in the UK. A Guggenheim fellow, she is the first American recipient of an international literary grant from the Abraham Woursell Foundation. Her stories appear in venues including The Yale Review, Asimov's SF, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Omni, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Literature and The Kenyon Review. Her books Weird Women, Wired Women and Little Sisters of the Apocalypse, both published by the Wesleyan University Press, were finalists for the Tiptree Prize.
A member of the board of the Authors League Fund, she serves as Resident Writer at Wesleyan University.
Son of Destruction "Tells the story of the 'thin line between an organised society and raw nature", and presents a compelling account of people torn by clan loyalty and made desperate by love, hate and loneliness." --Eric Brown in The Guardian
"Reed has a prose style that's pure dry ice, displayed in dystopian stories that specialize in bitterness and dislocation." --The New York Times Book Review
"Kit Reed calls herself 'transgenred...' Her new collection, What Wolves Know... is confirmation of an extraordinary talent." --The Financial Times
About WHAT WOLVES KNOW
Kit Reed has published 22 novels and over a hundred short stories, has garnered awards, and remains as critically feted as she is commercially underrated. A reason for this is that she one of those authors whose work loiters at the mainstream edge of SF. She calls herself "transgenred" acknowledging the problem that her fiction is too fantastical for most literati and too literary for most fans of the fantastic.
Her new collection, What Wolves Know, available in a limited edition from a small press, is unlikely to raise her profile dramatically. It is, however, confirmation of an extraordinary talent. Here are tales of mothers who are monstrous in their maternalness, families on the brink of implosion, children mutated by parental pressure in every dream home a dystopia.
Of particular note are the title story, about a boy raised by wolves who struggles to adapt to the modern world; The Blight Family Singers", a bizarre satire on the Von Trapps; and the seething "Special," with its splendidly mordant and unforeseeable punchline. --James Lovegrove The Financial Times
About DOGS OF TRUTH
"When a short story collection starts with a 90-year old Salman Rushdie being attacked by an ancient assassin as he throws out a ceremonial opening ball at Yankee Stadium (now a monstroplex shopping mall owned by the Sultan of Brunei), you know you're dealing with a feverishly creative mind. The author of the well-received short fiction collection 'Weird Women, Wired Women,' Reed has a prose style that's pure dry ice, displayed in dystopian stories that specialize in bitterness and dislocation. 'Into the Jungle' follows a housewife as she trades her family for a fresh start in the South American rainforest. 'Escape from Shark Island,' told from the point of view of a 16-year-old who still shares a bed with her three siblings and her parents, examines the extremely dark side of certain aspects of child rearing. 'High Rise High' details high school riot 'worse than Attica,' punctuated by a 'monster prom that puts the arm on Armageddon.' In other stories, residents of a gated community drive around in the night searching for their houses, a demented soap opera fan becomes psychotically attached to one of the show's stars and a senile soldier spends years shouting from his nursing home bed. It's enough to make you want to move to Lake Oswego."
--The New York Times Book Review
"With all due respect to sunshine, flowers, butterflies and the author's mother, it's a blessing that Reed... chose a psychologically dense, dangerous and darkly amusing path."
"Reed's humor is as sharp and cool as the edge of an icicle. These Dogs of Truth have bite."
--St. Petersburg Times
"Readers seeking perfectly crafted stories that feature unusual characters, wild ideas and heavy doses of weirdness will love this collection. Brilliant on all levels, many of these stories are worthy of awards. Highly recommended."
About ENCLAVE Publishers Weekly starred review
Enclave Kit Reed. Tor, $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2161-9
In this gripping dystopian satire, ex-marine Sargent Whitmore has a plan to make millions while protecting children from the self-destructing modern world. He turns an old Mediterranean monastery into a combined impenetrable fortress and school, and enrolls 100 filthy-rich children, most of them already well-known for legal troubles, drug problems and paparazzi run-ins. Once there, everyone is cut off from the outside world, fed only canned news stories about wars and natural disasters. When things inevitably go horribly wrong, young hacker “Killer” Stade, physician assistant Cassie, drug and sex-crazed Sylvie and monastery-raised orphan Benny all attempt heroics, but remain deeply flawed. Reed (The Baby Merchant) displays unflinching willingness to explore all the facets of all of the characters, and her refusal to paint anyone as a simple villain makes this far more than a typical disaster novel. (Feb.)
About The Baby Merchant:
"The always incendiary Kit Reed's The Baby Merchant envisions a world of designer babies." --Vanity Fair
"Reed, a fierce thinker, is poking at the soft spot of our national anxiety about every aspect of making babies and raising children."
--Washington Post Book World
"Reed writes a fast-paced thriller with a consummate sense of style." --A.L.A. Booklist
"In Starbird, she fashions a unique antagonist, a damaged man who has compartmentalized himself away from most human emotions and who is surprised when his walls are breached. By the time the novel's climax arrives, Reed has orchestrated the central conflict for maximum impact, and the rightness of its ending distinguishes "The Baby Merchant" as one of the most satisfying thrillers -- science fiction or otherwise -- of the season." --The San Francisco Chronicle
"Reed's books often prickle with satire, and The Baby Merchant is no exception. While her characters are driven by dreams of idealized parent-child relationships, she is slyly showing us the real thing, from the reality-show-ready screaming matches between Sasha's friend Marilyn and her son, to Sasha's and Tom's deeply dysfunctional families. And our current obsessions about Homeland Security get a creepy twist: microchips implanted in the soft spot in every newborn's head.
But The Baby Merchant is first and last a smart, sometimes startling thriller, graced with an interesting bad guy and with Sasha, whose metamorphosis from self-absorbed student to panicky single mom to avenging mother tiger powers the story. --The St. Petersburg Times
"That's why Tom Starbird in Kit Reed's newest novel, The Baby Merchant, is such a compelling character. A sort of modern Robin Hood, Starbird steals babies from those who don't want them and sells them -- for a price of a Lamborghini -- to couples he deems worthy... Readers will find themselves engrossed in a real page-turner that will spur them to question whether attaining a baby is what these characters are really seeking.-- The Chicago Sun-Times
The Night Children
from The Chicago Sun-Times
'Children' delivers adventure, cultural commentary
Batman's Joker has nothing on Amos Zozz.
The monstrous head of Castertown's MegaMall is the evil genius behind, or in his case beneath, the sinister setting in Kit Reed's new book for young readers.
The Night Children (Starscape, 240 pages, $17.95), which follows in the vein of Reed's 2005 Alex Award-winner Thinner Than Thou, is a creepy page-turner delivering biting cultural commentary. This time the obsession plaguing America is shopping, and capitalism in Castertown has run amok.
Reed's fantastical release could not have been timed better considering our dismal economy, but her MegaMall is no ordinary shopping center. The honeycombed behemoth covers 4 square miles, and by night is home to gangs of abandoned and runaway children.
One of these is spirited Jule Devereaux, who stays on the WhirlyFunRide a little too late one night. She becomes a prisoner of the Dingos. Jule is about to be offered as a sacrifice to the all powerful Zozz when the Castertown Crazies save her.
The Crazies, led by steadfast Tick Stiles, brace for war with the Dingos, but the children soon will learn that their squabbles are nothing compared to what Zozz has in store. They band together, but will it be enough?
Zozz knows feral packs infest his empire and plans to exterminate them sadistically. His designs reveal his tortured past, which has left him hideously disfigured and deranged.
Zozz's grandson, Lance the Loner, who turned his back on the family fortune, is in position to help. From his safe haven beneath the MegaMall, Lance has learned quite a bit about what actually goes on there.
He knows about the river beneath the complex and its sinister use. And he knows how to alert the masses to what's going on underneath it all.
Reed has concocted a wonderfully modern cartoon depicting how the rich treat the poor, how the poor go along with it to become rich, and what it takes to break the cycle.
Batman does not come to save the day, but Reed brings her story to a rousing finish that will keep young readers riveted.
For the Sun-Times
Los Angeles Review of Books
Interview by Scott O'Connor, photo by Gloria Villegas
NYTimes Book Review
This, on STORY UNTIL NOW and SON OF DESTRUCTION, says there should be a statue-- and I'm not complaining.
Wall Street Journal review
Thomas Shippey writes about THE STORY UNTIL NOW and SON OF DESTRUCTION
Sturgeon essay, LOA
LOA SF classics of the 5os, web essays by contemporary writers
Charles Tan interviews me
Charles Tan and I talk about "What Wolves Know" in a series of interviews with Shirley Jackson Award nominees.