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Out There

On sale

5th April 2022

Price: £16.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529372632

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‘The literary love child of Kafka and Camus and Bradbury penning episodes of Black Mirror’ Chang-Rae Lee

‘Disturbing, alluring, dazzling and creepy, Out There is a riveting collection that keeps you enthralled with every page’ Claire North


A fleet of fake men called ‘blots’ is unleashed onto the dating apps of San Francisco, intent upon conning vulnerable women out of their data, in the exquisite title story Out There. Companion story Big Sur focuses on the reality of the blots’ personal experiences.

A sculptor, trapped in a skyscraper restaurant when a violent coup erupts below, creates a perfect model of the town as it is destroyed, in A Scale Model of Gull Point

A ward for a mysterious bone-melting disorder is the scene of a perilous love triangle, in The Bone Ward
A house possesses gigantic human organs that consume the overworked graduate students renting its rooms, in The House’s Beating Heart

A curtain of void obliterates the world at a steady pace, leaving one woman to decide whom she wants to spend eternity with, in The Void Wife

And many more that form Kate Folk’s debut collection Out There deftly combines elements of science fiction, horror, and psychological realism to create implicitly political and feminist stories. A darkly comic exploration of our lives in the digital age, the collection depicts a landscape that is eminently of-the-moment, and Folk magnifies the ephemera of living with a healthy slice of absurdity.

The thematic pair – Out There and Big Sur – that bookend the collection have since been optioned as a TV series by Hulu, with Kate serving as executive producer and co-writer with Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe).


‘Kate Folk’s stories inhabit otherworldly realms where exquisite language and beguiling characters excavate the very nature of love and existence’ Adam Johnson

‘A literary swordsmith of feline dexterity, very dark and very funny’ Lisa Locascio

‘The stories in this stunning debut are funny, fearless, and moving… Folk’s imagination is uncanny and arresting’ Alex McElroy


Chang-Rae Lee, award-winning author of <i>The Surrendered</i>
One could fancy Kate Folk as the literary love child of Kafka and Camus and Bradbury, if Kafka and Camus and Bradbury were penning episodes of Black Mirror, but that still wouldn't capture the blazing originality and exhilarating weirdness of her writing. Wondrously perverse, often creepy and hilarious, and always sneakily heart-breaking, from the moment you read these tales you'll know you're in the presence of a singularly brilliant vision, one that burns off the scrim of our normal-seeming human customs and operations to reveal the utter bizarreness of this existence. Out There, it turns out, lies very much within.
Claire North, bestselling author of <i>The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August</i>
Disturbing, alluring, dazzling and creepy, Out There is a riveting collection that keeps you enthralled with every page.
Mary South, author of <i>You Will Never Be Forgotten</i>
This collection of internet gothic fiction delighted, unsettled, and moved me in the best possible way. Kate Folk is an exceptionally talented new voice, one able to render both the otherworldly as well as the absurd banalities of contemporary life with a cutting, mirthful grace. Here is a writer we will be lucky to read for years to come.
Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of <i>The Orphan Master’s Son</i>
Kate Folk's stories inhabit otherworldly realms where exquisite language and beguiling characters excavate the very nature of love and existence.
Lisa Locascio, author of <i>Open Me</i>
Kate Folk is a formidable writer, a literary swordsmith of feline dexterity, very dark and very funny, equally at home in the magisterial dark and the relentless glare of truth.
Alex McElroy, author of <i>The Atmospherians</i>
The stories in this stunning debut are funny, fearless, and moving portraits of life shaped by the ever-widening shadow of technological progress. Folk's imagination is uncanny and arresting. Out There expertly captures the all-too-human experience of longing for lives we may never inhabit, and the final story is a chilling and tender portrait of love that will stick with you long after you finish the book.
Anna Bailey, <i>Sunday Times</i> bestselling author of <i>Tall Bones</i>
Utterly original and deliciously twisted, Folk is a refreshing new voice in short stories
Aysegül Savas, author of <i>White on White</i>
The lucid, unsettling landscapes in Out There bring our own world into chilly focus through an exquisitely distorted lens. Each one of these amazing stories is a masterclass in eeriness and perception. Kate Folk's imagination is on fire.
Sarah McColl, author of <i>Joy Enough</i>
Spellbinding and exquisitely strange, Out There glows like the neighbor's TV at night, illuminating the shape of our human longings in all their hopeful incompetence and comic despair. With unassuming precision and casual beauty, these superbly crafted stories make uncanny meaning of our vacant moment. Out There is a friend in the dark and Kate Folk is a marvel.
Kelly Link, author of <i>Get In Trouble</i>
An assortment of stories so sharp and ingenious you may cut yourself on them while reading, like a drawer full of the most beautiful knives. Kate Folk's Out There goes onto my shelf of favorite collections.
Kimberly King Parsons, author of <i>Black Light</i>
Wry, riveting, and ambitious, Out There is one of those rare collections that manages to be both brilliantly inventive and emotionally resonant. Folk's tilted worlds are hilarious and unsettling-they sit squarely in the spaces where anxiety and exhilaration collide. Full of unforgettable voices and gleeful, exacting prose, this is a sharp and stylish debut from a wildly gifted writer
Karen Joy Fowler, bestselling author of <i>We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves</i>
Fifteen extraordinary, through-the-looking-glass tales, containing locked rooms, demanding houses, embodied Russian bots, revolution, and relationships -- all delivered with a side of menace. Wonderfully weird and weirdly wonderful, Folk is a dazzling talent
Booklist (starred review)
Tightly constructed and spectacularly mind-bending stories that ingeniously pair everyday challenges and outlandish predicaments, ranging from hilarious to terrifying. Folk writes with unnerving matter-of-factness as she veers into Poe- and Shirley Jackson-like horror or turns to the poignantly fantastic in the mode of George Saunders or Kelly Link.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A wonderful absurdist collection that explores the vagaries of human connections
Sarah Davis-Goff, author of <i>Last Ones Left Alive</i>
Kate Folk will be compared to Carmen Maria Machado and Julia Armfield - there are wonderful similarities in the sheer force of her creations, but she's very much her own writer. These stories are funny, scalding and, sometimes, breathtakingly beautiful.
New York Times Book Review
Out There is for readers who consider body horror to be a love language. True romantics will swoon either despite or because of the gore that accompanies these sharp, affable stories . . . Folk's stories have been compared to Shirley Jackson's, and this is most apparent in the way Folk balances her horror with humour.
Daily Mail
Kate Folk's short stories are wonderfully weird; playfully pushing the possibilities of plotlines towards the uncanny, creepy and off-kilter, they have a seam of dark humour that illuminates the grotesquery with an unnerving beauty