In both their language and their perplexing premises, Tidbeck's stories float on a plane of existence oddly parallel to our own. Some are rooted in Scandinavian history, others in day-to-day life, but they all bend to the same authoritative strangeness once a young man falls in love with an airship, an alien creature is found on the balcony, or an aunt grows so fat she produces a smaller version of herself. Tidbeck is less concerned with the empirical nitty-gritty of sci-fi than with the feelings that such fantastic situations evoke. These understated stories are sure to please fans caught in the new flurry of soft science fiction. -Tony— From Spring Booknotes 2018
An award-winning debut story collection by Karin Tidbeck, author of Amatka and heir to Borges, Le Guin, and Lovecraft.
A child is born in a tin can. A switchboard operator finds himself in hell. Three corpulent women float somewhere beyond time. Welcome to the weird world of Karin Tidbeck, the visionary Swedish author of literary sci-fi, speculative fiction, and mind-bending fantasy who has captivated readers around the world. Originally published by the tiny press Cheeky Frawg--the passion project of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer--Jagannath has been celebrated by readers and critics alike, with rave reviews from major outlets and support from lauded peers like China Miéville and even Ursula K. Le Guin herself. These are stories in which fairies haunt quiet towns, and an immortal being discovers the nature of time--stories in which anything is possible.
About the Author
Karin Tidbeck is originally from Stockholm, Sweden. She lives and works in Malmö as a freelance writer, translator, and creative writing teacher, and writes fiction in Swedish and English. She debuted in 2010 with the Swedish short story collection Vem är Arvid Pekon? Her English debut, the 2012 collection Jagannath, was awarded the Crawford Award 2013 and shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award. She is the author of the novel Amatka.
"Quietly, intelligently, unutterably strange. . . And ominous. And funny. And mysteriously tender. These are wonderful stories." —Ursula K. Le Guin, author of The Dispossessed, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Earthsea Cycle
“[Tidbeck has] a clear, succinct prose style that makes for a crisp blank canvas so that the strangeness of her plots and ideas stands out against a clean background. These stories are quick and varied, though Tidbeck deftly navigates each shift between narratives, keeping the reader hooked with swift, absorbing plots and empathetic, human characters.” —The Paris Review
“Outrageously original, insanely intricate, and possessing the freshest voices you'll read all year, Karin Tidbeck’s Jagannath is an absolute must read for any science fiction or magical realism fan out there.” —PopSugar
“In the Borgesian tradition.... Something wonderful — and weird — is going to happen if you open this book.” —NPR
“Stories that feel, for the first time in a long time, truly new. Shifting seamlessly between genres and moods…Tidbeck blurs the distinction between real and unreal, what is and what cannot be…. What ultimately makes Jagannath so wonderful is that however far Tidbeck strays from reality, she never loses a powerful undercurrent of human empathy.” —Chicago Review of Books
“Karin Tidbeck consistently displays staggering levels of originality, skill and confidence. Her range is amazing.... These stories are tight; not a word is wasted.... Tidbeck’s writing is frequently moving, tender, occasionally even funny. Her prose is an amazing balancing act.” —Tor.com
“Weird and wonderful.” —io9
“Quietly, intelligently, unutterably strange. And various. And ominous. And funny. And mysteriously tender. These are wonderful stories.” —Book Riot
“Jagannath draws you in and converts you to its dreamlike madness, in the end leaving you feeling more at home in its world than you do your own.” —Unbound Worlds
“Tidbeck’s stories [are] warm and inviting even at their most disturbing…. [They] are science-fiction and fantasy, horror even, but shot from such odd angles and told in such a distinct, original voice that they transcend the trappings of genre.” —The East Bay Review
“Not quite like anything you’ve seen, even though you may hear vague echoes of everyone from Kafka to Borges to Tove Jansson.... [Tidbeck’s] various oddities are grounded in an absolutely authentic sense of place, and a keen understanding of how the heart works.” —Locus
"Restrained and vivid, poised and strange, Tidbeck, with her impossible harmonies, is a vital voice." —China Miéville, author of The City & the City and Embassytown
"Uncanny and unsettling, leaving you slightly dazed and more than a little enchanted." —Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves