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The Universe in Miniature in Miniature

“Patrick Somerville is the most devastatingly sensitive badass nerd in contemporary lit. I love this book, with its weird art and crazy machines and secret agents and out-of-control love.” –J. Robert Lennon, Author of Castle

In this genre-busting book from award-winning novelist Patrick Somerville characters, stories, and stray thoughts revolve around the “The Machine of Understanding Other People,” the story of a Chicago man who is bequeathed a supernatural helmet that allows him to experience the inner worlds of those around him. Through his lonely lens we peer into the mind of an art student grappling with ennui, ethics and empathy as she comes to terms with her own beliefs in a godless world. We telescope out to the story of idiot extraterrestrials struggling to pilot a complicated spaceship. We follow a retired mercenary as he tries to save his marriage and questions his life abroad. Mind-bending and cracklingly new, Somerville’s broadly appealing and uniquely imaginative constructions probe the outer reaches of sympathy, death, and love in a world seen from the inside out.

Available in lo-res (3MB) or hi-res (36) DRM-free PDFs.

Featherproof has a LIMITED FIRST EDITION: the specially designed cover turns into a mobile of Patrick Somerville’s miniature universe!

This collection includes versions of these stories, previously published elsewhere:

“People Like Me” in Five Chapters

“Vaara in the Woods” in Time Out Chicago

“Easy Love” in Storyglossia

“Confused Aliens” in Five Chapters

Patrick Somerville’s first book of stories, Trouble, and his novel, The Cradle, are awesome. Everyone thinks so. Find out more at

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