Age of Blight
Kristine Ong Muslim
In this collection of speculative, horror-tinged stories, human cruelty, in all of its abundant diversity, compels humanity toward the final stages of the Anthropocene: the Age of Blight.
What if the end of man is not caused by some cataclysmic event, but by the nature of humans themselves? In Age of Blight, a young scientist's harsh and unnecessary experiments on monkeys are recorded for posterity; children are replaced by their doppelgangers, which emerge like flowers in their backyards; and two men standing on opposing cliff faces bear witness to each other's terrifying ends.
Age of Blight explores a kind of post-future, in which the human race is finally abandoned to the end of its history. Muslim's poetic vignettes explore the nature of dystopia itself, often to darkly humorous effect, as when the spirit of Laika (the Russian space dog that perished on Sputnik 2) tries to befriend a satellite, or when Beth, the narrator's older sister, returns from the dead. The collection is illustrated throughout by the charcoal drawings of RISD artist Alessandra Hogan.
In haunting and precise prose, Kristine Ong Muslim posits that humanity's downfall will be both easily preventable and terrifyingly inevitable, for it depends on only one thing: human nature.
Praise for Age of Blight
"As suppositional literature does, AGE OF BLIGHT offers a message to the current world – a warning, a prophecy, a lamentation; call it what you will. It’s an important message; it’s also bleak and deeply troubling."
—Christopher Allen, Necessary Fiction
"AGE OF BLIGHT is unendingly fascinating."
—, Neon Magazine
"The stories are masterfully written, evocative and memorable… AGE OF BLIGHT deserves praise for its willingness to confront complex questions. If you revel in the uncanny, this is a collection you will not want to miss."
—Sauleha Kamal, The Missing Slate