The Wingspan of Severed Hands by Joanna Koch
Three Women, One Battle
A world gone mad. Cities abandoned. Dreams invade waking minds. An invisible threat lures those who oppose its otherworldly violence to become acolytes of a nameless cult. As a teenage girl struggles for autonomy, a female weapons director in a secret research facility develops a living neuro-cognitive device that explodes into self-awareness. Discovering their hidden emotional bonds, all three unveil a common enemy through dissonant realities that intertwine in a cosmic battle across hallucinatory dreamscapes.
Time is the winning predator, and every moment spirals deeper into the heart of the beast.
"I'm awestruck by Joanna Koch's nonstop spellbinding, almost paralyzingly inventive and yet propulsive, ultra-focused prose. The Wingspan of Severed Hands is a truly amazing find."
- Dennis Cooper (The Marbled Swarm, The Sluts)
"Koch's latest novella is what might have happened if Robert W. Chambers had been a surrealist with a penchant for body horror. A strange trip to Carcosa offered in thickly evocative language, The Wingspan of Severed Hands is a highly original hallucination."
- Brian Evenson (Song For the Unraveling of the World, A Collapse of Horses)
"Joanna Koch is a stunning and talented writer, and their new book, The Wingspan of Severed Hands, is a horror story that opens new vistas in the genre."
- Jack Zipes (Literature and Literary Theory: Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion AND LITERARY THEORY: FAIRY TALES AND THE ART OF SUBVERSION)
A very intimate apocalypse
A pandemic is spreading which turns everyone insane. In a bunker as a last ditch effort, a team of scientists have assembled to try and fight the chaos. One of them cloned his girlfriend's memories into some sort of caterpillar. If the pandemic's attacks people dreams, maybe an ethereal insect will be able to destroy it. Think of Carpenter's the Thing, the paranoia of it all with a tight-knit group trying to decipher how fast the virus is spreading among them. Think Melancholia, for wait and the normalcy a group of people will try to build in front of impending doom. Think of Kaddath, of a caterpillar coming to form while reliving the memories of a disabled girl. The Wingspan of Severed Hands is all that and a lot more. I once stated on Twitter that if my favorite album of 2020 was A Thousand Lives by At 1980, then my favorite 2020 book certainly is The Wingspan of Severed Hands by Joe Koch. Delve into a very arcane prose.