Title: Cataclysm Baby
Author: Matt Bell
Published: Mud Luscious Press (April 15, 2012)
105 pages long, this is a small book that can and will be devoured very quickly. It consists of 26 stories, organized alphabetically, about a world gone wrong from the perspective of fathers. The mothers are not present or have died due to problematic childbirths. Each story takes place in an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic environment, but there are also things going very wrong with the children of these fathers. Babies being born covered with hair (inside and out), some are deformed, many have behavioral problems and some are literally toggling the line between human and animal. Each story packs a punch of emotion, and you see what life is like for these fathers--they are often filled with regret, anger, sadness, and despair.
It's really quite impressive that you can imagine these worlds, they kind of unfold in your mind the way a time lapse video of a painting would, and you feel the emotion being presented when the story is only a few pages long. I cannot recommend this book enough and I look forward to reading more of Matt Bell's work.
I should note that as of right now, the top search on Amazon.com shows that the book is being listed for an outrageous price of close to $6,000. I'm not sure what's going on with that. I did NOT get it for that price. Here's a screen capture: