“Jason Erik Lundberg’s third collection, Strange Mammals, gathers 25 short stories in which literary naturalism gives way to the surreal, the absurd and the magical. […] Lundberg has the enviable talent of achieving emotionally resonant effects within just a few pages.”
Strange superheroes and the magic of the quotidian; stories of piercing darkness and quirky, surreal humour; writing from the heart and soul; phantasmagorical journeys into what it means to be human.
Strange Mammals collects together stylish and elegant short fiction that knows no boundaries. Stories that are by turns fantastical, realist and strange, but which always move and surprise.
A breathtaking collection from an author whose writing “explores the randomness of magical occurrences” (Green Man Review) and “teems with imagination, location, originality, and fine writing” (Jeffrey Ford).
- Most Excellent and Lamentable
- The Artists Pentaptych
- Don’t Blink
- Great Responsibility
- Strange Mammals
- The Time Traveler’s Son
- King of Hearts
- Bodhisattva at the Heat Death of the Universe
- How To Make Chalk
- One Big Crunch
- Lachrymose Intolerant
- Jimi and the Djinn
- Night Off
- One Less
- Wombat Fishbone
- Air is Water is Air
- The Apokalypsis Pentaptych
- Complications of the Flesh
Notes From the Author
Kitchen-sink collections are bizarre beasts. There’s not a single unifying theme that connects the stories, nor are they linked with characters that continue throughout the book. What they are instead is a representative gathering of an author’s output over a given period of time, and they present a wider sense of the writer’s thematic and philosophical preoccupations. My own preoccupations tend toward the bizarre in the everyday, whether this is showcased by an alcoholic talking wombat with a penchant for Greek food, an encounter between a rock god and a djinn, or a supervillain henchman with a giant screw for a head.
From “Story Behind Strange Mammals” at Upcoming4.me.
Take the title story of my new collection, Strange Mammals (published this month in paperback and ebook formats by Infinity Plus). The central animals that the protagonist encounters over the course of the narrative—a wombat, an ocelot, a fictional Borgesian catoblepas—can be seen as various aspects of the narrator’s psyche, but the wonderful (and, yes, noble) thing about this kind of story is the ambiguity that allows for all these bizarre animals, and others besides, to exist independent of mere mental projection. This dual existence, which is only possible within the arena of the fantastic, opens up those fundamental questions to scrutiny. If an alcoholic talking wombat with a penchant for Greek food can take over our lives so completely with its forceful personality, where does that then place us on the food chain? Can we still think of ourselves as existentially superior in the face of such a creature? Or else, if it only exists as a hallucination, what does its presence mean for human consciousness itself?
From “Guest post: Jason Erik Lundberg on the strangest of mammals” at the Infinity Plus blog.
The first printing of this collection notes that the original publication of “King of Hearts” was in Ceriph issue #6. This is incorrect, and in later printings, this line has been struck.