Excitement abounds for Sam J. Miller’s debut collection BOYS, BEASTS & MEN with interviews, reviews, a book trailer & more

The release of Sam J. Miller’s debut collection BOYS, BEASTS & MEN launched with a flurry of activity, all positive. Though the book is already sold out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Bookshop (more copies on their way), copies should be available from your local bookstore and as always directly from Tachyon.

Cover of BOYS, BEASTS, & MEN, a collection by Sam J. Miller.
Cover by Jennifer O’Toole
Design by Elizabeth Story

Andrew Liptak, in his Transfer Orbit newsletter, not only reviewed the book and interviewed Miller but also offered the first look at the book trailer!

It’s a superb roundup of a prolific author’s short stories: tales that deal with complicated, messy lives of people trying to make their way through life, faced with uncertain and dangerous worlds.

Transfer Orbit

Collections are always interesting to read from short fiction authors, because of the curation involved. What was the determination that you made for each story to be placed here?

I was fortunate to be able to be very picky here, because these actually represent less than half of my published stories!

Ultimately I wanted to include the stories that got the best response from readers – including ones that got award recognition or were anthologized – but I also wanted to be able to tell a broader story about masculinity and monstrosity and patriarchy, which are obviously super important themes in my work, and these seemed like the best stories with which to tell that story.

Transfer Orbit

A whole host of reviews appeared for the collection including contributions from Margaret Kingsbury in “20 Amazing New Science Fiction And Fantasy Beach Reads (BuzzFeed), Gary K. Wolfe at Locus, Melody Bowles from The British Fantasy Society, BC Clark at Ancillary Review of Books, Neil Czeszejko at Delphic Reviews, Just Geeking By, and Disciples of Boltax.

All 14 of these brilliant, character-driven short stories are perfectly crafted, subtly altering reality using SFF elements while managing to fully explore the repercussions of doing so with the conciseness a short story requires.

20 Amazing New Science Fiction And Fantasy Beach Reads (BuzzFeed)

Miller is clearly one of the generation of writers thoroughly comfortable with genre hopping (or genre-ignoring, or genre-pillaging), and BOYS, BEASTS & MEN is no exception to that. . . . Given the pain and joy that Miller can so vividly evoke, it’s both an admonition and a celebration.


Overall, I enjoyed the wide variety of stories in BOYS, BEASTS & MEN. Not every story was a hit for me, but they were certainly all memorable. If you like your fantasy and sci-fi with realistic grit to ground it, pick this one up.

The British Fantasy Society

Sam J. Miller’s stories collected in BOYS, BEASTS & MEN are fire in about the same way a blast furnace is. They are full of evolving, disintegrating, and re-assembling identities, a funhouse hall of molten mirrors. These stories burn away façades to reveal true histories full of fierce magic. Histories queer as all hell’s furies unleashed. Histories often uncontrollable by those who bend the course of the story. An able craftsman, Miller harnesses the powers of the twin underground rivers of loneliness and desire to channel the rage and hope of his characters. And through that craft, Miller brings tales of justice regained and character reframed

Ancillary Review of Books

BOYS, BEASTS & MEN is a phenomenal short story collection that brings to mind a pack of wolves, with each story pulsing to its own heartbeat, straining at the leash that affixes it to the whole with bestial vigor. 

Delphic Reviews

To be honest, the entire anthology is mesmerising. Miller’s writing is witty and hard-hitting, drawing out stories from angles that most people don’t tend to see.

Just Geeking By

The stories in this collection run the gamut from scary to angry to sad to kind but they all have a raw humanity that I loved. I recommend this book highly and hope to read more from Mr. Miller in the future. 

Disciples of Boltax
Photo by Kalyaní-Aindrí Sánchez

Arley Song for Clarkesworld interviewed Miller.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about this book?

That the incredible Amal El-Mohtar wrote the introduction! And it’s amazing! Seriously made me choke up when I read it. In 2014, when my short story “We Are the Cloud” (included in the collection) was published in Lightspeed, it got some super homophobic reviews, which suuuuuuuuucked—any LGBTQIA+ SFF writer can tell you that queering the genre means coming up against a whole lot of really vicious trolls—and Amal wrote the most beautiful review/defense of the story; that’s how I knew she’d be the perfect person to do the introduction.