Book Review: Antisocieties by Michael Cisco - More2Read

Antisocieties by Michael Cisco


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About Antisocieties by Michael Cisco:

Antisocieties is a collection of ten stories about isolation — what it does to people, and what isolated people do to each other and themselves. An ominously quiet town. A haunting young adult novel from the turn of the century. Two starving captives frozen in agony. A young boy from a doting family. A man in a cheap Halloween mask. A succession of portraits of people trapped in their own identities, some of whom insist on their own ideas because they would have nothing at all without them. People for whom being seen by another is terrifying. And, like any collection of portraits, Antisocieties is also a collection of speculative mirrors …

Table of Contents

Intentionally Left Blank



My Hand of Glory

The Starving of Saqqara

The Purlieus




Water Machine



Praise for Michael Cisco:


“Michael Cisco is of a different kind and league from almost anyone writing today”
-China Miéville

“Michael Cisco’s works immerse the reader in worlds that are not simply dreamlike in the quality of their imagination but somehow manage to capture and convey the power of the dream itself.”
-Thomas Ligotti

“At this point, it appears Cisco is simply operating in a sphere that most weird fiction writers never reach, or attain only rarely, and is doing it effortlessly.”
–Weird Fiction Review




One morning I woke up and I lived in a world conjured from antisocieties.
Then I realised I was in a dream when I did actually wake up.

Characters young and old, inquisitors entering terrifying thresholds and minutes, transitions, a metamorphosis with strange weird haunting aspects, there are prisms of living contained, speculative deciphering awaiting the reader with clear readable prose with a fews tales needing a reread to comprehend the art present in these works.
Withholding and revealing the conjurer takes you on many journeys, interloping with the real and surreal intertwined, obscurities and complexities vividly laid down with psychological potency.

There has been mention of the author Kafka like from readers, these shorts, my first reading of his works, I would add maybe Kafka with Camus and Jose Saramago kind of styled writing.

Brief words on stories contained:

Intentionally Left Blank:
A brief encounter with a different looking big person on a weekend break.

A young inquisitive soul, Lucas and his dog Smokey, at home with parents. A case of a strange smell in an unused room.

I join you too in stillness.
First person narrative man lives in stillness and works too.

My Hand of Glory:
Did you get a Hand of Glory for Christmas
Main character tells he did and more.
I am getting one, it’s in the post.

The Starving of Saqqara:
One tells of a statue in a museum and it the missing of it.

The Purlieus:
Ones love for snowy. And there is a beast.

Discourse on state of saccadic being.

It’s a cold November day.
There is an administrator a park one person on each bench and a river void of birds in the air the show is about to begin and thus forth Cisco takes you.

Dreams and special dreams talk.

Water Machine:
A case of the water machine.



About the Author:

Michael Cisco published ten novels including The Divinity Student, The Great Lover, The Narrator, ANIMAL MONEY, and UNLANGUAGE, and a short story collection called Secret Hours. His short fiction has appeared in: The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, Lovecraft Unbound, Black Wings, Blood and Other Cravings, THE WEIRD, The Grimscribe’s Puppets, and Aickman’s Heirs, among others. He teaches at CUNY Hostos.



Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 09 February 2021