Kellie Wells is a writer of startling imagination whose “phantasmal stories,” Booklist says, “shimmer with a dreamlike vibrancy.” God, the Moon, and Other Megafauna, Wells’s second collection of short stories and winner of the Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction, is populated with the world’s castoffs, cranks, and inveterate oddballs, the deeply aggrieved, the ontologically challenged, the misunderstood mopes that haunt the shadowy wings of the world’s main stage. Here you will find a teacup-sized aerialist who tries to ingest the world’s considerable suffering; a lonely god growing ever lonelier as the Afterlife swells with monkeys and other improbable occupants; a father fluent in the language of the Dead who has difficulty communicating with his living son; and Death himself, a moony adolescent with a tender heart and a lack of ambition. God-haunted and apocalyptic, comic and formally inventive, these stories give lyrical voice to the indomitability of the everyday underdog, and they will continue to resonate long after the last word has been read.
“Ms. Wells is the only writer currently residing on earth who can be trusted to write serious fiction about God, death, and the suffering body—to say nothing of Little Miss Time—as adorable cartoon characters. Her language is at once fey and surgically precise. She is a philosopher who mines and undermines the commonplaces and popular ideas of her day like a news-addled mole wearing a diamond headlamp. She is one of a kind in her generation, maybe in any generation, and should be as famous as Isadora Duncan and Annie Oakley, whom she somewhat resembles.” — Jaimy Gordon, winner of the National Book Award for her novel, Lord of Misrule
“It’s all about scale, these transformative and transforming fictions by the professional protean Kellie Wells. These stories ratchet and zoom by powers of ten from the micro- to the telo-scopic and incorporate colors outside the range of sight, stimuli beyond the thresholds of our numb and numberless senses. The tales of God, the Moon, and Other Megafauna disturb, distort, derange, delight. Mad Italianate visionaries—Calvino, Fellini, Galileo—are let loose, unbounded and bountiful, on the flat vernacular graphing paper of the American Middlewest. This work is universal and individually intimate, horizontal and vertical, containing multitudes and more.” — Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone and co-author of Winesburg, Indiana: A Fork River Anthology
“In Kellie Wells’ brilliant, ebullient book you’ll meet animal linguists, sorrow swallowers (descended from the moon, of course), and, yes, the state of Kansas. God, the Moon, and Other Megafauna teems, it erupts, it jives, it makes you cry and sigh and laugh, then cry again. Read Wells when you want to be reminded of all the form is capable of, then read her again for the pure pleasure of her wondrous prose.” — Rachel Cantor, author of Good on Paper and A Highly Unlikely Scenario
“Kellie Wells is a brilliant weaver of worlds both known and unknown, able to conjure the heights of the extraordinary and the wondrous as easily as she maps out our home territories, and her every story is alive to new possibilities of hidden glamour, startling beauty, necessary hope.” — Matt Bell, author of Scrapper
“Although this book is slim, its stories are as detail-dense and strange as an enchanted forest, and they are nothing that can or should be rushed through. Several of them read like fairytales. And like the best fairytales, these stories give character, form, and emotion to things that we fear or struggle to understand (such as God, death, loss, love), making these things more approachable—and sometimes nearly human—if no less mysterious.” — Small Press Picks
“The fifteen contemporary fables of underdogs, oddballs, and misanthropes in Kellie Wells’s God, the Moon, and other Megafauna belong to a weirdly familiar yet decidedly tilted universe. . . . Wells seems never to have met a sentence she couldn’t enhance, a list she couldn’t extend, or a story she couldn’t send airborne. But along with the high-octane wordplay, she gently directs the audience’s gaze to the periphery and throws out a lifeline. Words abound, Wells suggests. And words can become stories.” — Foreword Reviews
“A vibrant collection of 15 thematically linked stories shaped by surrealism, narratives seemingly reflected in a fun-house mirror. . . . Wells is a writer like no other. Prepare for magic allusive and illusive, intelligent and innovative.” — Kirkus Review