especially heinous, and other stuff to read

“Outcry”: Only after the sixth small black girl goes missing does the police commissioner finally make a statement, interrupting the season finale of a popular soap opera. The enraged letters start coming soon after. “Are you going to tell me if Susan’s baby belongs to David or not, Mister Police Commissioner??????” says one. Another person sends anthrax.

“Design”: “If this child is part of The Plan, then The Plan was that I would be raped. If this child is not part of The Plan, then my rape was a violation of The Plan, in which case The Plan is not a Plan at all, but a Polite fucking Suggestion.”

Those are passages from Carmen Maria Machado’s “Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU“, first published in The American Reader, included in the massive 2014 Campbellian Anthology, which you can download for free by following the link (thanks Phil for the tip). It’s a great boulder of a collection that I have been chipping at for the past days, and oh my God what a beautiful, funny, clever, brutal, haunting piece of art this story is. I have described this as episode recaps of Law and Order SVU — if the show were written and produced by David Lynch.

The year’s just begun but this is definitely going to be included in my year’s best reads.

My thanks to M. David Blake for compiling these amazing stories and making the collection available!

M. David Blake’s magnum opus, the 2014 Campbellian Anthology, is now available for download! This book attempts to collect in one volume representative works by most of the writers eligible for this year’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. We don’t have them all—there were a few we couldn’t get—but all the same, this book contains more than 860,000 words of fiction by 111 authors, and best of all, it’s not merely free, it’s DRM-FREE.


  • The Nebula Award nominations are out and some of the nominated work can be accessed online here.
  • Maximum Volume is launching tomorrow. Read an excerpt of my story, “The Missing“, on the anthology’s website.

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