The Octopus Rises (Hardcover)
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This is a collection of literary prose short fiction—stories about the end of Bert and Ernie’s relationship, about robot love, a town who shares a heart, and much more—from an up-and-coming Seattle author.
Man, I had so many stab wounds, it was crazy. There I was at the conference center, and I hadn’t even adequately prepared my presentation. And so begins “Bleeding Man and Wounded Deer,” one of the stories in this collection of literary short fiction from the pen of acclaimed Seattle novelist Ryan Boudinot. Bouncing between experimental fiction, absurdist farce, paranoid futurism, and stinging satire, Boudinot’s funny, inventive prose lays bare the hopes and anxieties of our age. From a heartbreaking and pitch-perfect account of the end of Bert and Ernie’s relationship, to a story about lovelorn robots looking for a “chop-shop owner who’s willing to look the other way” in a world where robot sex is illegal, to a Miyazaki-esque story about an entire town that shares the same heart, Boudinot’s prose crackles an acerbic wit. Also featuring: “Chopsticks” (the protaganist’s cat who develops a hard drug problem); “An Essay and a Story about Mötley Crüe” (wish-fulfillment disguised as memoir); “I Used to Be a Plastic Bottle!”; and “The Guy Who Kept Meeting Himself.”
About the Author
Ryan Boudinot lives in Seattle, WA.
Ryan Boudinot’s short story collection, The Octopus Rises, ...explores wonky narrative what-ifs... with a rare combination of literary craft, dystopian worldbuilding and cultural satire. Picture Charlie Brooker and Greg Daniels using Boudinot as a surrogate dad to bring 12 short stories into the world—with Seattle-based Fantagraphics, the storied graphic novel publisher, pulling off font, layout and page-color changes and the occasional illustration to add visual style.
— Jamie Wilson
Dude’s got chops, and he has the mastery of language to make those chops do something unique, and unique is rare and should be applauded. ... I believe Boudinot is working for authenticity, singularity, and craft. I think he is earnestly following his subconscious cues, like David Lynch does. I think his heart is right... And really, the book is delightful. ... There are little humors and wonders, and the stories made me laugh, and some made me sad.
— Martin McClellan
I was blown away by the talent exemplified within this collection. These short stories are beautifully creative and sadistic and are sure to be appreciated by mature readers. Boudinot’s prose read as a blend of Bradbury and Lovecraft and if you aren’t already a fan, I have a feeling you will be shortly. 10/10
— Tyler Sewell