We are so excited to reveal the cover for Kathe Koja’s second collection, VELOCITIES. This collection rocks and so does the cover! This brilliant book will be released April 2020 and we can’t wait. Scroll down for a reading from The Marble Lily from the Kathe.
In the meantime, be sure to sign up for news on the release of Kathe’s VELOCITIES and the paperback reissue of THE CIPHER:
On Sale Now!
Dark, disturbing, heartfelt, and utterly addictive!
From the award-winning author of The Cipher and Buddha Boy, comes Velocities: Stories, Kathe Koja's second electrifying collection of short fiction. Thirteen stories, two never before published, all flying at the speed of strange.
Recent Press & Endorsements
- Booklist – “Koja’s stories are at their most superb where they study the strength in bodies perceived as delicate or fragile … Koja explores the misunderstood and the dark in twisting and often experimental prose.” – Full Review
- Jeff VanderMeer, NYT-bestselling author of Dead Astronauts, Borne and the Southern Reach trilogy – “A modern genius of weird and dark fiction, Kathe Koja once again proves with Velocities that she’s adept at plunging the reader into strange and unexpected places. One of my favorite collections of the year.”
- Gemma Files, award-winning author of Spectral Evidence – “Velocities is prime Kathe Koja, with all that that entails: supercharged, dense as hell, oblique, glorious. Every story is a lesson in how to write faster, more intensely, from angles other people never seem to think of: industrial poetry, word mosaics like insect eyes, multifoliate as the insides of flowers, every image a scattered, burrowing seed, spreading narrative like a disease. I’ve loved her work since long before I ever aspired to produce anything like it—in fact, I’m still not sure anyone else is capable of doing what she does, of coming close, let alone hitting the mark. But damn, it’s equally so much fun to admire the result as it is to even vaguely try.”
- Douglas Clegg, award-winning author of Neverland and The Faces – “Velocities is immersive, hypnotic, yet clear-eyed and accessible. These are dangerous, artful tales of mounting tension, impossible to put down. Koja’s fiction has never seemed more alive or daring.”
- J.S. Breukelaar, author of Collision: Stories, Aletheia, and American Monster – “Short sharp speedballs of strange. Incantatory, funny, human – ranging from urban dread, to country nightmares, to bite-sized fables so baroque and twisted, you can taste the corruption on your tongue and in your dreams.”
- Kirkus Reviews – “An impressive collection of stories unafraid to explore bleak topics like death and despondency.” – Full Review
- NB Magazine (5 stars) – “The consistent thread which links the stories is the author’s eloquent and elegant prose. I loved the myriad ways in which she used language to create a variably-paced rhythmic cadence to her narrative, something which made reading feel like a seamless pleasure rather than something I needed to work hard at … each of them felt idiosyncratically imaginative, unsettling, thought-provoking and memorable.” Linda Hepworth, NB Magazine” – Full Review
- Eugen Bacon, Aurealis Magazine – “Reading Velocities is a literary dégustation of dark fiction with speculative elements, rich narrative full of text that’s cunning, loaded with sentiment. You want to go back to a story, and you do, to recapture the moment, and you find it, still there, waiting, just for you. You can’t speak to this astounding collection without lingering on its author. Read Koja like you’re nibbling truffles, each bite a road to metamorphosis.”
- Char’s Horror Corner – “VELOCITIES is a diverse, energetic and mysterious collection of stories by a woman who has mastered the art of storytelling … Kathe Koja uses language in such a way … it’s very special. Sometimes sharp and staccato-like, sometimes lush and luxurious. Either way, her writing is magical and I plan to eventually read everything she has written. My highest recommendation!” – Full Review
- Signal Horizon – “A showcase not of the genre but of Koja’s gobsmacking talent as a stylist. For fans of The Cipher (and if I were pressed, I might call it my favorite novel, ever), this is a welcome return for Koja” – Full Review
- BigIndieBooks.com – “In reading this collection, one thing becomes immediately clear: Koja is a master prose stylist. Like a fine restaurant, she provides an experience that is unlike any this reviewer has encountered. There is an urgent, restless, sometimes chaotic, energy to the writing that permeates every story, every sentence. Koja controls the experience with every word” – Full Review
- InkHeist.com – “Another grouping of classic, poetic horror fiction that could only been born in the darkly beautiful mind of one of our greatest creators, Kathe Koja.” – Full Review
- Jessica Belmont’s Blog – “Velocities by Kathe Koja is a uniquely diverse and addicting collection of stories. Each spoke to me in a different way, yet had the commonality of beautiful writing … Highly recommended.” -Jessica Belmont’s Blog – Full Review
- Curiosity Bought the Book – “In Velocities, Kathe Koja, delivers thirteen short stories that will have you turning the pages at high-speed.” – Full Review
- Michelle Meng’s Book Blog – “It still amazes me on how much exquisiteness is packed into this one collection. The tales impact you heavily with Koja’s shockful, intense details.” – Full Review
- Scifiville.com – “An awesome collection of stories, some of them are like a steel trap, drawing you in until you realise that you’ve been reading something quite different from what you thought you were.” – Full Review
- Books I Like Book Blog – “These stories are filled to the brim with humanity, love, loss and heartache. They will stay with you, because they are staying with me … Velocities is simply a flawless collection, Just perfect. So, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of one of the most interesting releases this year” – Full Review
- The Lineup – “17 Upcoming Horror Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2020” – Full Article
- PaulSemel.com – Interview
- Tor Nightfire, Emily Hughes – “All the Horror Books We’re Excited About in 2020…Horror legend Koja returns with a collection of thirteen short, incredibly disturbing horror stories.” – Full Article
- Litreactor – “The 20 Most Anticipated Horror Books of 2020.” – Full Article
- Signal Horizon Magazine – “Our most anticipated horror and weird fiction.” – Full Article
- Nightworms – “The Nightworms’ most anticipated 2020 releases.” – Full Article
- High Fever Books – “14 Horror Books to Read in 2020.” – Full Article
- Gizmodo – “io9’s Big List of Science Fiction and Fantasy” – Full Article
- Johnny Compton – “Most Anticipated Horror Books of 2020” – Full Article
- Unnerving Magazine Podcast – “EP072 – Talking Velocities:Stories With Kathe Koja” – Podcast
Paula Guran Reviews Velocities by Kathe Koja for Locus Magazine
Paula Guran at Locus Magazine reviewed Kathe Koja’s Velocities in the November issue of the magazine. Locus magazine is definitely worth checking out if you aren’t already subscribed.
The stories are exquisitely written … An excellent assemblage by a virtuoso writer.
LOCUS MAGAZINE | PAULA GURAN
Dark, disturbing, heartfelt, and utterly addictive!
From the award-winning author of The Cipher and Buddha Boy, comes Velocities: Stories, Kathe Koja's second electrifying collection of short fiction. Thirteen stories, two never before published, all flying at the speed of strange.More info →
Meerkat Press to publish Kathe Koja’s Immersive Fiction Novel, Dark Factory in 2022
Meerkat Press is excited to announce the acquisition of Kathe Koja’s immersive fiction, DARK FACTORY, from Christopher Schelling of Selective Artists, for publication in 2022, a novel that uses words, images, and sound to ask Where does the story end, and reality begin?
Dark Factory is a state-of-the-art club where reality is customizable: just scroll down the menu, and change your world. Ari Regon is the club’s floor manager, a wild card who makes things happen, Max Caspar is a stubborn and talented DIY artist. And they’re both chasing the same thing: the ultimate experience, a vision of true reality.
Kathe Koja writes novels and short fiction, and creates and produces immersive fiction performances, both solo and with a rotating ensemble of artists. Her work crosses and combines genres, and her books have won awards, been multiply translated, and optioned for film and performance. She is based in Detroit and thinks globally.
Meerkat Press is an independent press committed to publishing irresistible, unforgettable prose and poetry. Their books range from literary to genre fiction, with quality the common denominator. They have won or been finalists for the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Aurealis Award, the Australian Shadows Award, the Ditmar Award, the Norma K. Hemming Award, the Ladies of Horror Fiction Award, the Foreword Indies Award, the IPPY Award, and the Benjamin Franklin Award.
Selectric Artists is an agency for literary and talent management, founded and run by Christopher Schelling in 2011. Selectric’s client list spans a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including New York Times bestselling memoirist Augusten Burroughs (Lust & Wonder), YA novelists Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park) and Cinda Williams Chima (Flamecaster) and musicians like New York-based pop-rock duo, the Skivvies.
Excerpt from DARK FACTORY
“Ari! Hey Ari, how’s it going?”
“Hey,” his nod to the skinny DJ on the bench opposite Jonas’s office, blue glass walls half-covered with overlapping Dark Factory posters, the effect is like peering into a paper aquarium. “It’s going good. Tight.”
“I just got in from Chromefest, I played some crazy-great shit,” the DJ digging into his bag, a dangle of fake gold giveaway charms, too many stickers, TOOT SWEET, U DONT REDLINE U DONT HEADLINE, pulling out a mix stick. “Got a minute?”
“Got a meeting,” with a shrug, a smile, his public smile—
—but inside the office no Jonas, only his spoor: smudged steel water bottle and empty NooJuice cans, Causabon trainers new in the box, a white dinner jacket hung on the back of the hulking recliner, and between the piles on the blue glass table that is Jonas’s desk two burner phones, both vibrating like wind-up toys: Ari takes up one, then the other, neither are numbers he knows. Also on the desk is a flat delivery box stacked with t-shirts, new streamlined design, and “Y makes the logo move,” Jonas at the door, slamming the door, Jonas wearing last summer’s t-shirt, black and sleeveless beneath a clear plastic wrap jacket; with his thick hair sheared at the sides he looks like a brand-new cleaning brush, Ari hides a smile. “Lee thinks it’s too subtle. What do you think?”
“Not if it moves,” an answer and a parry, Jonas likes to test everyone, Ari most of all. “Chockablock thinks of everything.”
“And overcharges for everything too. Wear it around, see what people say,” and as Ari drapes a shirt around his neck, “I know it’s your day off, but I need you in the box tonight.”
“You and whoever else I stick in there. Be good, or it’ll be Lee.”
“I don’t have a problem with Lee.”
“That’s not what she says.”
“Then that’s her problem.”
“True . . . Got a smoke? Darcy’s after me to quit,” Ari offering one of the black blunts he gets from the boys in the clubs, Jonas rooting in the desk’s mess for an ashtray and “Jesus,” Jonas’s shrug half-annoyed, “Lee said that some woman gave birth on the floor last night? To an actual baby? What a mess.”
Ari laughs—“The Factory’s first natural-born citizen”—and after a moment Jonas laughs too: “Your brain, Ari, your fucking brain,” pulling out his real phone, a quick dictating bark, “Lee, find those baby people, give the baby free admission for life, make a big deal out of it—”
—as Ari exits in a puff of smoke and a flutter of posters, past the still-waiting DJ, two runners toting scent canisters like oversized silver bullets, another runner wrangling a wobbly rack of boxed NooJuice, provided to the production in exchange for placement, another of Ari’s ideas that Jonas approves, Jonas drinks half a dozen cans of that swill a day. Lee drinks it too, though Ari knows she hates it; sometimes he catches Lee studying him when she thinks no one can see.
In the performers’ lounge he slips on the new t-shirt—a little loose across the chest, he likes his shirts tighter—smooths back his hair, then heads for the black-and-white NOT AN EXIT sign over the loading dock doors: a delivery van rolling out, another just backing in as he sidesteps between them and out into the street, Neuberg Street, his streets. A teenager, the first time, he came here to drink cheap lager and fuck and dance to loud music with boys, he still fucks and dances but Jonas has taught him something about wine, so he drinks that instead now, chilled and white, it pairs nicely with the blunts . . . Sixteen then and wide open, new to the scene, new to joy: his look changed, his slang, even his walk, more swagger, more aware of his body as he roamed past the schnapps bars and phone stores and ancient brick alleys, the corner charging station shaped like a top hat where the boys hung out, flirting and sparring in the noise of sidewalk speakers and the whirring purr of the trains, the muezzin’s call floating over avenues of beech and linden trees, the black-washed façades of the remodeled industrial flats, the cafés hot with espresso and frothing oat milk, the clubs’ 4AM aroma of lager and latex and Club-Mate, dancing panting bodies, moisturizer and tobacco and tears . . . And now he lives in one of those expensive industrial flats, he has everything he wants in this world, almost everything.
The October sky is overcast as a tarnished mirror, heat still radiating from the pavement; he stops at a Kaffee Kart for an iced espresso and “Your shirt’s cool,” says the freckled barista, as Ari records her reaction for Jonas’S eventual benefit. “Dark Factory, it’s like life if life was perfect, I’d go every weekend if I could. You go a lot?”
“I go every night. I work there.”
“You work at Dark Factory? Oh cool! What do you do?”
And Ari smiles, because there is no name for what he does, what he is, what Jonas needs most, what Lee for all her stats and apps and 24/7 devotion can never be: the bridge between the Factory and the world, a native of both because “I’m the ambassador,” he says, and lifts his cup to toast—the barista, the Factory, his job, himself—as a sudden gust of steam surrounds him, like a saint’s silver halo, or a personal storm.
NB Magazine gives 5 Stars To The Cipher by Kathe Koja
NB Magazine, our favorite UK Review outlet, gives Kathe Koja’s THE CIPHER 5 big stars. We loved this thoughtful review and hope you’ll take a moment to read it in full.
I found this a dark, deeply disturbing, weird beyond imagining and, above all, genuinely terrifying story. For me its real power lies more in its all too convincing psychological integrity than in any of its specific depictions of gory horror – although there are plenty of those along the way.
Linda Hepworth, THE CIPHER
On Sale Now!
Winner of the Bram Stoker Award and Locus Awards, finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, and named one of io9.com's "Top 10 Debut Science Fiction Novels That Took the World By Storm." With a new afterword by Maryse Meijer, author of Heartbreaker and Rag.
"Black. Pure black and the sense of pulsation, especially when you look at it too closely, the sense of something not living but alive." When a strange hole materializes in a storage room, would-be poet Nicholas and his feral lover Nakota allow their curiosity to lead them into the depths of terror. "Wouldn't it be wild to go down there?" says Nakota. Nicholas says, "We're not." But no one is in control, and their experiments lead to obsession, violence, and a very final transformation for everyone who gets too close to the Funhole.
Press & Endorsements
- Josh Malerman, NYT-best-selling author of Bird Box and Malorie – “The Cipher is a stone-cold landmark of the genre. Written by a sphinx, a gift, the rarest of talents. And like the works of M.R. James, Shirley Jackson, Poe, and Stephen King, horror isn’t the same, in all its current height and depth, without it. Be prepared: this book will change you.”
- Daniel Kraus, NYT-bestselling author – “Audacious, acerbic, grotesque, ravishing, stifling, sensual, iconic – there will never be another novel like this one.
- Will Errickson, Too Much Horror Fiction – “When I first read THE CIPHER in 1991, I hardly knew what to make of it. But I knew one thing for sure: horror fiction had never seen anything like Kathe Koja’s obsessive and impressionistic prose and ruthlessly dire worldview before. After years of reading mainstream Eighties horror paperbacks about normal people’s lives upended by the usual supernatural monstrosities, I was primed and ready for this new voice. Koja’s fearless depiction of bickering 20-something art failures stumbling upon an actual nothing and then watching with detached fascination as their squalid lives disintegrate around it was the darkest kind of revelation for me. I haven’t stopped thinking about THE CIPHER in the 30 years since, and my numerous reads of it always yield fresh new horrors from its reflective deeps. I practically began my blog, Too Much Horror Fiction, so I could write seriously about it. Over those years its reputation has only grown, and today I am delighted to see that THE CIPHER is once again in the hands—pun fully, deeply intended—of a new generation of horror fans eager, as ever, to peer into the abyss… and whatever lies beyond.”
- Publishers Weekly – “This powerful first novel is as thought-provoking as it is horrifying.”
- Locus Magazine – “So visceral and so right.”
- Booklist – “This entry into the body-horror canon carries with it the kind of fatalism horror readers prize—it’s going to end badly, for sure, but just how badly?”
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