Review: We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow and Other Stories

We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow and Other Stories
Margaret Killjoy, 224 pgs, AK Press,, $18

Every good ghost story should make you feel like we live in a haunted world, but Margaret Killjoy can do this in her stories even when you don’t meet any ghosts. Sometimes the occultism is front and center, as in her Lovecraft-inspired tale “The Bones of Children,” where the protagonist chases down the source of dreams in which she brutally dismembers children. But even in science fiction tales like “The Fortunate Death of Johnathan Sandelson,” where a rebellious fast food worker finds herself on the run from the law in a mostly automated world, there is a strain of bewitchedness running through the story. Not only because the well fleshed-out characters carry their curses like crucifixes, but also because the technology itself often acts like something of a genie, passively granting humanity its wishes, but always for an unforeseen cost.

Short story collections like this one, where the tales spread over multiple genres and themes, can sometimes be a little disorienting or variable in quality. Not so here. There is a strain of folksy heroism that runs through this book from front to back. Whether you’re reading about a tribe of people living as orcs, bound together by their love of Goblin Metal music, or a hitchhiker who unwittingly unleashes a plague of wood ticks upon the Earth, Killjoy will have you rooting for flawed characters, preparing for an uncertain future, and ready to stomp on the toes of some institutional oppressors. Before picking up this book I’d already liked Margaret Killjoy as a podcaster. Now I absolutely love her as an author and fully plan to devour every word she writes.