The Sea Beast Takes a Lover by Michael Andreasen
(Apollo, 2018)

The Sea Beast Takes a Lover

by Michael Andreasen

A lovesick kraken slowly drags the object of its desire – a ship of sailors – into the sea; a group of cantankerous saints materialise in a well-appointed parlour, and must unravel the mystery of how they got there; ageing fathers are sunk to the bottom of the ocean in pressure-sealed crates in a time-honoured ritual. Andreasen romps through the lunatic and surreal with a tender generous ease; there is a joyous absurdity to each premise. Just because a sister is born without a head doesn’t mean her brother won’t love and protect her; just because an adulterous tryst ends in alien abduction doesn’t mean the man doesn’t miss his wife.

Simultaneously daring and deeply familiar, unfolding in wildly inventive worlds whilst emphasising our common yearning for connection and understanding, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the supernatural and extraordinary to expose us at our most human.


A treasury of fantastic tales - full of mermaids, prophetic dancing bears, exploding children, and distraught time travellers. It's also a collection of longing, of loss, of loving deeply, and of learning what it means to care for others. A brilliant book, daring and wonderful”
- Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World
Sits on a small shelf of books that I will read a dozen times over. It is full of explosions of magic”
- Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty
Uncannily inventive yet unfailingly grounded in all-too-familiar struggles of the heart, these are stories that vary widely in subject matter but never in the confident distinctiveness of Michael Andreasen's voice. What a voice it is! What a vision! For what is more exciting to a reader than discovering a new way to see the world? This thrillingly original debut gives us just that in every story, on every page”
- Josh Weil, author of The Age of Perpetual Light
Andreasen has a big, roomy imagination, and a command of language to furnish the worlds he creates with both precision and grandeur. These stories are, by turns, timeless and urgent, dreamy and nightmarish, heartbroken and hopeful. A brilliant collection”
- Charles Yu, author of Sorry Please Thank You and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe