Happy October! Halloween Month is upon us! And, coincidentally, my favorite stories, poems, and essays from September feature werewolves, COVID-19, the apocalypse, terrible bosses, the US government, respectability politics, men, and other scary things.

Best Book Of The Month

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang: This book of essays provides a much-needed perspective on mental illness, agency, and public policy. Review forthcoming!

Short Stories

And It Goes Running by Caroline Diorio: From Joyland Magazine. The story of a teenage girl werewolf with a traumatic secret. Content warning for rape.

Carrion Coast Highway by Barton Aikman: From Bourbon Penn. Two characters journey to a mysterious destination in a post-apocalyptic world.

Self-Care by Megan Carlson: From Bluestem Magazine. A group of women discuss whether to admit a guest to their exclusive spa in this story about gender, class, and reproductive rights.

Acquisition: Earth by Steven Berger: From Translunar Traveler’s Lounge. An alien businessman navigates the unfamiliar culture of the recently-purchased planet Earth.

The Swarm Of Giant Gnats I Sent After Kent, My Assistant Manager by Marissa Lingen: From Translunar Traveler’s Lounge. Pretty much what it sounds like.

Carbon Monoxide by Parker Young: From Bluestem Magazine. The surreal story of a night out with friends.

Poems

Water and Other Volatiles by Jennifer Zilm. From Arc Poetry Magazine.

Dear— by Donika Kelly. From Foglifter.

Nonfiction

You Could Get Us All Sent Home by Anna Silman: From The Cut. Colleges across the country are reopening for the fall, despite the continued presence of COVID-19. This article describes the toll this has taken on college students.

Buying Myself Back by Emily Ratajkowski: From The Cut. In this harrowing essay, a model describes her loss of control over her own image.

The Magic Act by Charles P. Pierce: From GQ. This 1993 story about Magic Johnson, respectability politics, and AIDS is all too relevant today.

The Man Who Refused To Spy by Laura Secor: From The New Yorker. The story of an innocent Iranian man persecuted by the US criminal justice system. Expect to be furious.

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