Other Aliens

I wrote a warm fuzzy story about motherhood for the Fall 2016 Conjunctions: Other Aliens. From a recent NewPages review: “The result of their love is Adelaide, a child who is not entirely human and uses serrated gills inside her mouth to feed on her mother’s blood. The narrator’s world is changed forever as she copes with the pain and joy of becoming a mother. Elliott’s prose is excellent and her story stands out as one of my favorites in this collection.” Hoping for a reprint in Mothering Magazine: “Ten Tips for Gently Weaning Your Blood-Suckling Alien Baby.”


Spellbinding Short Story Collections

I’m pleased to see that Read it Forward has declared “The Wilds” spellbinding (along with four terrific collections by other writers) in “Five Spellbinding Short Story Collections.”

Julia Elliott’s stories are creepy—but in a good way. A girl wearing a crown of bird bones is taken captive by a pack of wild boys; an old woman in a nursing home explores with her robotic legs; a spa in the Caribbean overs gruesome treatments. These works of short fiction vacillate between weird and wonderful and through them, Elliott redefines the “Southern Gothic” genre.


For over three decades, Conjunctions has been a haven for weird and innovative writers, and I’m proud to have another story (“Clouds”) in this amazing anthology edited by author Bradford MorrowOther Aliens “collects works of literary science and speculative fiction: innovative short stories, poetry, and essays that explore the vast precincts of unfamiliarity, of keen difference, of weirdness and not belonging.”



Bustle says, “If you’re not addicted to Black Mirror, then you know someone who’s addicted to Black Mirror. For the uninitiated, Black Mirror is a British anthology series that examines the relationship between humans and technology in the digital age. If you’re looking for more of the show but you’ve already binge-watched every episode, take a look at these 13 books like Black Mirror.”


Free Horror Stories!

Chicago Review of Books has included “The Wilds” in “The 9 Best Horror Stories You Can Read (For Free) This Halloween,” along with great stories by Nathan Ballingrud, Sofia Samatar, Brian Evenson, Nnedi Okorofor, Jeff VanderMeer, Kelly Link, Laird Barron, and Madeline Gobbo and Miles Klee.

The title story from Elliott’s 2014 collection is a perfect introduction to her singular brand of speculative, neo-Southern Gothic fiction. When a new family moves into the neighborhood, a young girl on the brink of womanhood is intrigued by a boy who wears a wolf mask.

Read “The Wilds.”


Binge-watch BLACK MIRROR and then read THE WILDS

Lincoln Michel, Editor-in-Chief of Electric Literature and author of the magical collection Upright Beasts, recommends that “if you didn’t get enough bleak, dystopian scenarios” after binge-watching this season’s Black Mirror, you should check out “similar science fiction novels to tide you over until the next season.”

Check out “12 Books to Read after Binge-watching Black Mirror” on GQ. It’s lovely to find The Wilds on a list with some of my favorite weird books:

In the story collection The Wilds, Julia Elliott mixes science fiction visions with a Southern gothic style—think Black Mirror by way of Flannery O’Connor. Elliott enters her dark worlds from surprising angles. “LIMBs,” for example, takes place in a depressing nursing home where residents move around with Leg Intuitive Motion Bionics limbs. Other stories look attempts to make robots experience love by downloading sonnets and novels into their brains and a horrifying spa resort where the vain rich try to prevent aging through “controlled” diseases. While the premises of these stories are captivating, the real star of Elliot’s work is her lyrical and loopy Southern gothic prose.

Matt Bell’s List of “Deeply Strange Reads”

Author Matt Bell, who just released the excellent collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, has a great weird fiction list up at The Center for Fiction: “Five Deeply Strange Reads.”  Here’s his description of my collection The Wilds:

Julia Elliott’s fiction is the living proof of one possible future of the Southern gothic, adding to it her own brand of science fiction and apocalypse, religion and fairy tale, mixing these genres with a keen understanding of where their absurdities might overlap. Here characters undergo memory restoration procedures, watch their grandmothers levitate, live in houses beset by roving packs of wild dogs and wilder packs of neighborhood children. Religion abounds, but it’s an odd sort recognizable mostly in its embrace of the cosmologically absurd.


“The Alligator King” on Okey-Panky at Electric Literature

“Alligators, they say, creep right through her living room, and possums suckle litters on her velvet couch. Birds nest in her moss-festooned chandeliers. Open any closet and moths spew out.” This is the first sentence of a round-robin story concocted and performed before a terrified audience at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe by a crew of Shared Worlds writers and editors, including Ann VanderMeer, Jeff VanderMeer, Leah Thomas, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Nathan Ballingrud, Terra Elan McVoy, Tobias Buckell and me. Electric Literature’s Okey-Panky was brave enough not only to publish a transcript of “Aunt Francine and the Alligator King,” but also to feature a video of us spewing gibberish. Illustrations by Jeremy Zerfoss.