November 14, 2022 7:53 AM EST

The first entry in Kim Fu’s electric short story collection establishes its surreal tone. In the narrative, written entirely in dialogue, someone requests a simulation with their dead mother. It’s a perfectly acceptable request in this peculiar world—but the ask is rejected for reasons both delightful and unusual. The 11 pieces to follow in Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century likewise deal with bizarre intersections of technology and death to illuminate the oddities of human behavior. From a story about a girl growing wings to another about a bug-infested house, Fu’s tales are a gripping exploration of the blurred lines between reality and fantasy. —Annabel Gutterman

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