Launched in March 2016, the NeuroQueer Books imprint focuses on queer issues, queering, sexuality, gender, or critical response to other aspects of identity (such as race, class, disability) as they interact with neurodivergence and psychological development. It is primarily literary and creative, publishing works in poetry, prose, drama, and graphic forms. The imprint also publishes creative/critical nonfiction scholarship, including academic/theoretical poetry, and memoir that concentrates on identity, autoethnography, etc., that fits our focus on queer neurology, neurodivergence and queer issues, or anything else that broadly fits with “neuroqueer” and incorporates creative elements in its analysis and execution.
Below you will find a list of the titles published on the NeuroQueer Books imprint.
Ada Hoffmann’s Monsters in My Mind anthologizes 49 pieces of the author’s speculative fiction and poetry published between 2010 and 2017, including ten new, never-before-seen pieces. The author’s range is on full display in this collection: the 49 works alternate among traditional short stories, flash fiction, microfiction, poetry, and prose poems, creating a rhythm and flow to the collection as a whole and uniting stories with otherwise multitudinous and divergent content. Much of the work is suitable for readers of all ages, although it is worth noting that several stories deal frankly with issues of gender, queerness, sexuality, grief, and loss. Every piece in the collection constructs an immediate and effortless world whose rules are self-evident, although rarely explicit, plunging the reader again and again into an ever-expanding literary multiverse.
When it comes to themes, Monsters in My Mind spans the speculative fiction universe, demonstrating that the genre itself is bound only by the limits of the human imagination, and that its “raw materials” continually reemerge, shift, act, and process in ways few can articulate. The collection is not merely “weird,” as so much speculative fiction is; it is weird in the best ways, weird in the service of, and underscoring the true expansive potential of, the human. By exploring deeply human experiences like loss, grief, duty, love, courage, and loneliness within the context of parallel universes, fantasy quests, reimagined fairytales, near-sentient AI, velociraptors, and the occasional cephalopod, the collection creates a form of access for the reader: a way to approach, understand, and even befriend the monsters in one’s own mind through the exploration of worlds that are vividly different, yet achingly familiar. The collection is essential reading for anyone interested in speculative fiction, the shifting boundaries of more “traditional” science fiction and fantasy genres, queer theory, or monster studies.
Richard Hayek is an exolinguist with a troubled past and a way with his fists. As the first officer of the ISS Jemison, his duty is to smooth the way for the ship’s crew of scientists to explore places never before seen by human beings. And he likes his job, when he gets to do it. But when a rogue computer virus leaves the Jemison stranded and her crew helpless, Hayek’s options aren’t promising. There’s also the little matter of David Molloy, the captain’s son, missing for four months after an encounter with some enigmatic space pirates. His only leads are an unscrupulous station administrator, an illicit chop shop, and the station’s head of computer sciences, an alien named Dar Nantais. But Nantais is dying, and something much bigger may be aiming to wipe out her entire species.
In Book One of Non-Compliant Space, Verity Reynolds introduces you to a unique cast of characters and a world you will not forget as she plunges you into intergalactic intrigue. Slavers, biologically evolved assassins, and a dark secret about the way the Interstellar Fleet really operates are just the beginning. Will the crew of the Jemison uncover it in time to save Nantais so she can save her people?
“Nantais is at its most interesting when Reynolds uses alien forms of communication to lightly upend common wisdom about communication in humans. Different species use different body language, including flapping and otherwise gesturing with the hands. Niralans appear to have no body language at all, and seem eerily emotionless to humans, but their nonverbal communication is actually some of the richest and most intense in the galaxy, for the few who have a sufficiently close physical connection to read it. Autistic readers and others whose emotions are misperceived by those around them will be delighted to spend time with the Niralan characters.” – Ada Hoffmann, author of Monsters in My Mind and creator of Autistic Book Party
Edited by V.E. Maday and N.I. Nicholson
FEATURING WORK BY: Maggie Bara, Matthew Robb Brown, T.K. Dalton, Aaron Deck, Jessica Goody, Irving A. Greenfield, Ethar Hamid, Erin Human, Heather Kamp, Malkeer Kaur, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Philip Kobylarz, Laurie Kolp, E Lewly, Jessica Lindsley, Sean J Mahoney, Kelsey May, Sarah McMahon, Debra McQueen, Michael Scott Monje, Jr, N.I. Nicholson, DM O’Connor, Claire Phelan, The Puzzlebox Collective, Barbara Ruth, Bonnie Schell, Tamara Kay Sellman, Amy Sequenzia, Judson Simmons, Lynn Vargas, Danielle Watkins, Gwendolyn White-Kater, Christopher Wood-Robbins
Edited by Dani Alexis Ryskamp and Sam Harvey
The Spoon Knife Anthology is NeuroQueer Books’ annual open-call collection to find new talent and to bring together our favorite regular contributors in a celebration of literature that pushes boundaries and defines the interiors of neurodivergent, Queer, and Mad experiences.
In Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber, editors Dani Alexis Ryskamp and Sam Harvey give you a series of examinations of what it means to live in an environment where one feels that existence itself is a series of tests that must be successfully navigated.
“The writers (and editors and publishers) of the book you now hold in your hands have this in common: we all diverge in some way(s) from the normative, the expected, the acceptable. We’ve all been pathologized, scrutinized, corrected–often, in horrible ways. As [we] write this, the United States finds itself in a new test chamber, one whose outputs will inevitably affect the rest of the world. Those of us throughout the world who find ourselves already marginalized, like the authors represented here, will suffer first, but we will not suffer alone. We all need the tools of defiance and resistance. In Spoon Knife 2: Test Chamber, we explore what happens when the tools of defiance and resistance are applied to a particular purpose or demand. We test the test chamber in which we find ourselves, and in so doing, we find the power to subvert it.”
Michael Scott Monje, Jr.
Michael’s first collection of poetry brings together pieces that were originally published as if they were separate poems, revealing for the first time the exact order of reading and narrative structure of the larger work she has been working on. If you have seen her work in The Spoon Knife Anthology, Barking Sycamores, on the Shaping Clay blog, or live in person, then this collection will bring those poems into sharper focus by setting them side by side with one another to create a larger narrative and reflective structure. If you have been following her fiction, then this provides the backstory to the creation of both the Clay Dillon and Lynn Vargas universes. However you come by it, though, hear what the first readers of the volume have been saying:
“The revolution need not be televised because it is here, in Michael Scott Monje, Jr.’s mic-dropping challenge to the entrenched boundaries of rhetoric, research, and writing. Bring your best game to this book. Brush up on your Battlestar Galactica, rap lyrics, music history, art history, literary theory, psychology, coding and cryptology (your everything, really) and read this rich prosody loudly (use of mouth parts optional). Taste the rhymes. Revel in the references. Dare to recognize that Monje is probably writing to you.” – Felicia Miyakawa, Musicologist, Author of Five Percenter Rap
Marcel “Fable the Poet” Price
Fable The Poet is a nationally touring artist highly noted for his work with the youth; spreading Mental Health Awareness using his own stories to consume the audience, and spread a much needed message: “At times, we all feel fragile. We are all paper boats entertaining the waves of life.” He is an official partner of Mental Health America, and has sat on panels across the country discussing the importance of discussing Mental Health awareness with our youth.
“Marcel ‘Fable’ Price captures the complexities of mixed-race issues with grace, humor, and sincerity. It is his ferocious truth and fearless writing that invites the reader on a journey to experience and learn in ways you’d least expect. This book was worth every morsel and is more delicious than even peanut M&Ms; and they are my favorite. Enjoy!” – Lacey Roop, a nationally acclaimed and touring spoken word artist who resides in Austin, TX.
Edited by N.I. Nicholson & Michael Scott Monje, Jr.
The Spoon Knife Anthology collects the work of over 25 authors, including Autonomous Press partners, disability studies scholars, established prose and poetry artists, and emerging storytellers from a variety of backgrounds. Together, these writers deliver a series of meditations on compliance and consent that are simultaneously intimate and alienating.
FEATURING WORK BY: Andrea Abi-Karam, Bridget Allen, Athena the Architect, Sarah Caulfield, Alex Conall, Selene dePackh, Marshall Edwards, Nina Fosati, Jessica Goody, Elizabeth J. Grace, Harriet Grace, Samuel T. Harvey, Stephanie Heit, Alyssa Hillary, Emily Jane, Thomas Kearnes, Leah Kelley, Alison Kopit, E Lewy, Cara Liebowitz, Luis Lopez-Maldonado, Michael Scott Monje, Jr., N.I. Nicholson, Fable the Poet, Andrew M. Reichart, Thalia Rose, Marc Rosen, Barbara Ruth, Dani Alexis Ryskamp, Lucas Scheelk, Kassiane A. Sibley, Amanda Sleen, Nick Walker, Sabrina Zarco
Michael Scott Monje, Jr.
“The strange and terrible saga of Clay Dillon begins with the books Nothing Is Right and Imaginary Friends, and also includes Defiant (which takes place when Clay is 30 years old). The whole saga should be required reading for anyone who works in any capacity with the sort of young people who are often described as gifted, disturbed, troubled, oppositional, defiant, or exceptional…
In a way, Clay himself is an ‘imaginary friend’ to the adults in his life, insofar as when they look at him they don’t see him but instead see an imaginary child, a product of their own misconceptions and projections who has no resemblance (except in the external physical sense) to the real Clay Dillon. Every adult in his life is consistently one hundred percent wrong, all of the time, about Clay’s motivations, needs, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions… They can imagine neither the extent and nature of his difficulties, nor the complexity and sophistication of his thinking.
In this respect, Imaginary Friends constitutes a warning to any adults – especially those in ‘helping’ professions – who are so arrogant as to presume that they can truly understand the realities of their young charges.” – Nick Walker, from the Afterward to the book
Edited by V. Solomon Maday & N.I. Nicholson
Barking Sycamores published its first issue in the spring of 2014 and from the beginning, it dedicated itself to providing a medium for neurodivergent voices in literaure and art. In partnership with Autonomous Press’s NeuroQueer Books, the journal proudly presents its Year One anthology. Collected in this volume are its first four issues, first published online in 2014 and 2015.
FEATURING WORK BY: Sarah Akin, Mikey Allcock, Samm Almester, Amy Barlow Liberatore, Matthew Brown, Cathy Carlisi, Ellie Castellanos, Tasha Chemel, Deanna Christian, Robin Como, Allen Davis, Melissa DeHart, Heather Dorn, fayola, Leila Fortier, Kimberly Gerry Tucker, Jessica Goody, Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace, Michael Lee Johnson, Duane L. Herrmann, Madison Kallisti, Jillian Koopman, Thomas Krampf, Craig Kurtz, Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone, Chris McLean, Laura Merleau, David Mitchell, Michael Scott Monje Jr., N.I. Nicholson, A.J. Odasso, Emily Paige Ballou, Thomas Park, C.F. Roberty, Miss Roberts, Maranda Russell, Barbara Ruth, Giorgia Sage, Phillip Sroka, Lucas Scheelk, A.D. Stone, Bethany Tap, Jonathan Travelstead, Candy Waters, Angela Weddle, Christopher Wood-Robbins