Throughout BOYS, BEASTS & MEN, Sam J. Miller’s incredible abilities are on keen display

Pair of raves for Sam J. Miller’s debut collection BOYS, BEASTS & MEN from Anthony Cardno for Strange Horizons and It Started With the Hugos… plus an author chat with Adrian M. Gibson at FanFiAddict.

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

The characters in Sam J. Miller’s debut short story collection BOYS, BEASTS & MEN, often LGBTQIA but not always, are yearning for connection: sometimes direct connection to another human being (occasionally, but not always, romantic), sometimes to a community, sometimes to an ideal. How they surmount the barriers to making those connections is at the heart of stories that cross the spectrum of speculative fiction, from hard science fiction to fantasy to stories that blur the lines between genres. Throughout the collection, Miller’s incredible ability to combine heightened emotional stakes with current social issues is on keen display.

Strange Horizons

5 stars

I really love Miller’s writing, even when I don’t necessarily like the story.  It always seems effortless in its descriptions and word choices.  It’s funny, I saw Miller very recently at Powell’s Books, his tour for this collection of short fiction.  He read an excerpt from one of the stories and said that he saw a sentence there that he would write better if he were writing it today.  What’s funny about that is that I thought all the sentences flowed so beautifully, from his early works in the collection to the later.  This book is filled with wonderful prose, important themes, and bizarre, genre-bending plots.  From a story told from the point of view of an old couch to a world where King Kong was real, it’s simply joyful and profound.

It Started With the Hugos…