Review of ‘Out There: Stories’ by Kate Folk

What if Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter wrote some episodes of Black Mirror together? The result might be something like this debut short story collection by Kate Folk. I thought this was a fantastic book, every story surprising, weird and thought-provoking. They engage with the concepts of masculinity and femininity and with the complexities of contemporary relationships.

I enjoyed these stories very much. I was gripped by the writing style, I loved the dark humour and the strangeness. My favourite stories included ‘Heart Seeks Brain’ (beauty is on the inside… literally), ‘Dating A Somnambulist’ (what bizarre item will he bring back to bed this time?!), ‘The Turkey Rumble’ (a shocking family Thanksgiving tradition) and ‘The Bone Ward’ (all the characters are really spineless…)

The world of Out There is one where the most attractive guys might be robots who are out to scam you, where a head might grow out of your apartment floor for no reason, where everything is vanishing into a void and you have to choose who you want to spend the last moments of existence with. It’s a creepy world, but I like it.

Thank you to the publisher Hodder for the advance copy via NetGalley. The book will be published on 5th April.

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