In this reimagining of Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno, the polar bear population has dwindled, and the remaining pods have been relocated to the coast of Antarctica in an attempt to save them using a process called “assisted colonization.” The last pod of Baffin Bay bears has boarded the Precession icebreaker, captained by a man who is keenly aware that the previous crews on this run have gone mad.
Are the events that unfold on this sea journey the ravings of an addled mind, the symptoms of contagious hysteria? Or have the bears chosen to rise up to exert their own autonomy?
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“Muri is the rare story that perfectly encapsulates itself in metaphor and message. Suffused with dread, and hiding nothing of its consequences, Shelby still manages to pull the reader along, to lull them into the obvious lesson, only to reveal that the true moral is greater and more menacing than what has been imagined. Reading Muri is like being taught how to swim in the ocean, and to be fooled into thinking all you have to fear are the waves.” —Eric Shonkwiler, author of Above All Men
“Using Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno as backdrop, Shelby reimagines the classic tale of madness, isolation, and revolution for the modern age. With the detailed urgency that would appeal to readers of Margaret Atwood, Allegra Hyde, or Jeff VanderMeer, Shelby’s seminal work confronts head-on the myriad attitudes toward climate change and all the hope and despair at the very heart of ‘the Impact,’ tightly wrapped in brisk, energetic lyricism. Timely, accessible, and precise, this ticking time bomb of a story will wrack you from page one, and will leave you commandeering a line from the book to describe Shelby, herself: that she is the “Paul Revere of Impact,’ riding forward to warn you to wake the hell up before the lantern goes out.” —Leah Angstman, editor-in-chief of Alternating Current Press and The Coil, and editor of Undeniable: Writers Respond to Climate Change
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Shelby is a novelist, short story writer, and former journalist based in the Twin Cities. She is the author of South Pole Station: A Novel (Picador) and Red River Rising: The Anatomy of a Flood and the Survival of an American City (Borealis Books). Follow her work at ashleyshelby.com.
ABOUT THE SERIES
Futures: A Science Fiction Series utilizes the chapbook format—a saddle-stitched pamphlet—as a vehicle to explore the stories more fully. Whereas the first project in our publishing program was an anthology, collecting a variety of stories into a single book, this format is more intimate. The chapbooks are thinner and lighter, and when you turn the final page, your journey with that individual story is complete.
Through this format, the reader is more immersed in the stories themselves. We believe that good science fiction reflects the dreams and nightmares of the present day. By exploring the issues contained in these stories, we hope that the reader gains a better understanding of our world today so that they can build the future they want to see.
We know that good design can take beautiful words to the next level, that’s why we design and print all of our titles in-house. This gives us much more control over the process and allows us to create a more cohesive final product. We strive to make each book an object that is enjoyable to hold and look at, in addition to bringing the reader great content.
Each title in the Futures Science Fiction series has offset printed interiors, and a two-color letterpress printed cover.
Futures is comprised of seven stories that will publish between April and October 2019 as listed below. Check this page periodically for updates as they become available! You can also subscribe to the series and get each story delivered right to your door every month, along with some fun extras!
Always Blue by John Dermot Woods (April 2019)
Guava Summer by Vera Kurian (May 2019)
Muri by Ashley Shelby (June 2019)
Hard Mother, Spider Mother, Soft Mother by Hal Y. Zhang (July 2019)
What You Call by Germ Lynn (August 2019)
A Point of Honor by Aeryn Rudel (September 2019)
Milo (01001101 01101001 01101100 01101111) by Alexander Pyles (October 2019)
What People Are Saying
“Muri is the rare story that perfectly encapsulates itself in metaphor and message. Suffused with dread, and hiding nothing of its consequences, Shelby still manages to pull the reader along, to lull them into the obvious lesson, only to reveal that the true moral is greater and more menacing than what has been imagined. Reading Muri is like being taught how to swim in the ocean, and to be fooled into thinking all you have to fear are the waves.” —Eric Shonkwiler, author of Above All Men.