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The Angels of Our Better Beasts

THE BEASTS HAVE PLANS FOR YOU. PLANS TO MAKE. YOU PROSPER AND NOT TO HARM YOU, PLANS TO GIVE YOU HOPE AND A FUTURE. BUT YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO TRUST THEM.

The Lemmings are really researching the Arctic biologists, the werewolves sing sweet Christian praise songs, and the signing gorilla just wants someone back in the cage for a minute or two. The black dog who tells you God loves you may not be believable, no, and those old lions in the canyon are up to something, aren’t they? The shaggy aliens just want to have dinner with the people who pillaged and destroyed their world, honestly, and the vampires just want to cure you of a terrible blood disease. In the forest, the sasquatch has fallen in love with the cryptozoologist who follows him. By the lake, the god of Lake Michigan struggles with the nature of reality while acting in his first buddy cop TV series. While the god of the Brazos River, only wants to court the young, pretty Texas college students.

These 15 stories of beasts_—and the beasts we sometimes become—ask us how much influence we have over each other, to bring out our beast or best sides . . . and how much control the beasts already have over us.


Jerome W. Stueart is a writer, cartoonist and illustrator from the Yukon Territory by way of Missouri and Texas. A Clarion graduate, Lambda Literary fellow, and Milton Fellow, he has had work appear in Lightspeed, Geist, On Spec, Fantasy, Joyland, Icarus, Geez, and various anthologies, including three from the Tesseracts series. He was co-editor of Wrestling with Gods (Tesseracts 18) and Imaginarium 4. His novel, One Nation Under Gods, is forthcoming from ChiZine in 2017. His work has been runner-up to the Fountain Award and John Haines Poetry Award. He has worked as a vaudevillian, a reporter for the Arctic Institute of North America, a trolley conductor, a tour guide to Theodore Roosevelt’s home and has written several successful radio series for CBC North. His heart is still in the Yukon where he lived for nine years, but he now teaches writing, graphic literature, and science fiction at the University of Dayton.

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