book cover of The Skin Thing

The Skin Thing

A Novella by

"As someone who has always loved both science fiction and literary fiction—and who believes the barrier between the two is about as solid as a hologram—Adrian Van Young’s tale of famished space colonists in their ruined utopia is the ideal type of story," writes Lincoln Michel, Co-Editor and Publisher of "Gigantic Worlds" where this story will be collected, in his introduction to this issue of Recommended Reading. "Here is the southern gothic prose of early Cormac McCarthy mapped onto a dystopian Dune. Here is the compactness of Jorge Luis Borges summoning a world worthy of Ursula K. Le Guin. Here the haunting atmosphere of Shirley Jackson’s stories complete with a horrifying Lovecraftian creature. In other words, it’s a gorgeous story about people terrorized by a giant, pink skin-monster. What more could you want?"

About the Author:
Adrian Van Young is the author of The Man Who Noticed Everything, a collection of stories, which won the 2011 St. Lawrence Book Award, and is out now on Black Lawrence Press. His fiction and non-fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Lumina, Black Warrior Review, Electric Literature, The American Reader, The Believer, Slate, The New Inquiry, and Bookslut, among other publications. He lives in New Orleans with his wife Darcy.

About the Guest Editor:
Gigantic Worlds is a forthcoming anthology of science flash fiction published by Gigantic Books and edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto. It features work from Ted Chiang, Lynne Tillman, J. Robert Lennon, Meghan McCarron, David Ohle, Alissa Nutting, Charles Yu, Jonathan Lethem, and many more. Gigantic has been publishing magazines since 2009, and we felt it was finally time to try our hand at a full length book. The resulting anthology contains 51 stories by 51 authors who range from best-sellers to up-and-comers and from masters of science fiction to literary authors trying something new. All of the stories are new or previously uncollected in book form. The hardcover book, which features a cover by Michael DeForge and color interior art, is currently available for preorder at

About the Publisher:
Electric Literature is an independent publisher working to ensure that literature remains a vibrant presence in popular culture. Electric Literature’s weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, invites established authors, indie presses, and literary magazines to recommended great fiction. Once a month we feature our own recommendation of original, previously unpublished fiction, accompanied by a Single Sentence Animation. Single Sentence Animations are creative collaborations: the author chooses a favorite sentence and we commission an artist to interpret it. Stay connected with us through email, Facebook, and Twitter, and find previous Electric Literature picks in the Recommended Reading archives.

Genre: Science Fiction

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