At SFWA, Erica Satifka’s A Reading List of SF/F Books with Mentally Ill Characters includes Daryl Gregory’s World Fantasy-winning WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE.
A group of troubled outcasts are brought together for group therapy – but their demons aren’t done with them yet. All five members of the group carry trauma from various brushes with the supernatural: cannibal killers, a creepy cult, and a serial killer who carves messages into his victim’s bones. Gregory explores the ways in which trauma can shape one’s present, such as drug addiction and an escape into virtual reality. The group therapy itself is also a focus of this novella, showing the ways in which these five survivors help one another to grow and change, and defeat the revived monsters of their respective pasts.
That same list mentions Susan Palwick’s SHELTER.
A sort of near-future family drama, this novel takes place in a world where altruism is medicalized, AI are demanding human rights, and much of the population has been wiped out by a devastating virus. One of the protagonists, Roberta, spends a lot of time in therapy to overcome her extreme altruism. The other major character, Meredith, has some “issues” of her own, largely stemming from her father being the first human to be uploaded into a computer. Palwick expertly shows the way these two troubled women’s lives intersect, and how people live in a uniquely structured futuristic world.
LIBRARY HUNGRY participates in R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril challenge, including the Shirley Jackson Award winning novella on her list of fun and wacky horror.
WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, by Daryl Gregory, because I will never stop talking about this book.
On the BBC RADIO 4 program OPEN BOOK, Mariella Frostrup interviews Daryl Gregory.
Daryl Gregory is one of America’s most popular SF writers, best known for WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, which won the World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. He talks to Mariella Frostrup about his new book SPOONBENDERS, which is something of a departure for him and focuses on American family life in the 1970s.
At THINKING THE LIONS, Briane Pagel shares a conversation from WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE under the title “I think a cool thing to do would be to spend an entire day using ONLY Star Wars quotes.”
“… Only you can see them, Martin. You want to know why?”
“This is bullshit,” Martin said.
“You’ve got the sight,” Harrison said. “The third eye. The sixth sense.”
“I don’t see dead people,” Martin said.
“No, you see worse. I’ve met people like you before. You have a talent. You don’t need a gadget to make it work.”
“Is there where you tell me to put away the targeting computer?”
For info on WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story