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Distributed for Acre Books

Design Flaw

Stories

Hugh Sheehy’s riveting new collection draws heavily from the genres of horror, mystery, science fiction, and myth.

These are tales of seekers, often damaged, who find themselves caught up in skewed realities, facing lurking threats, violent deaths, strange entities, and alienating technologies. Confronted with unsettling, escalating, circumstances, the disparate cast of characters are driven toward self-revelation and perverse moments of poignancy.

A troubled high schooler traps a peer in an underground storage space. A traumatized felon returns home to rob the man who molested him as a child. A videogame help-line operator suspects a regular caller, obsessed with a disturbing role-playing game, of real-life misdeeds. In the title story, an unhappy couple adopts a “designer animal,” a genetic hybrid created to be the perfect pet. But the “grot” makes trouble in the neighborhood, becoming emblematic of a deeper problem. “Something is wrong with the world,” the narrator’s husband explains. “A design flaw. It’s so thoroughly corrupted, I’m not sure how to fix it.”

Inventive and unpredictable, these thirteen stories are wholly immersive, showing Sheehy at his captivating best.

192 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Fiction


View all books from Seagull Books

Reviews

"Hugh Sheehy's compelling new collection Design Flaw is, as the title suggests, an examination of what it means to be human, particularly what it means to be male, Sheehy’s lens moving between male violence and vulnerability. Prescient and compassionate, funny and frightening, Design Flaw is the work of a masterful storyteller who understands deeply the world we currently live in, which makes his view of the future all the more unsettling."

Lori Ostlund, author of 'After the Parade' and 'The Bigness of the World'

“Here we have Hugh Sheehy’s absorbing latest—these intricate, often eerie stories, at turns lonely and longing, suffused with subtle melancholy. A deep and rewarding collection.”

Amelia Gray, author of 'Isadora'

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