I have heard instructors outlaw death, pop culture references, and crying in stories. The same for weather. We expect renditions of humanness, yet we strip humanity from texts. Banishments are tired excuses for wielding academic influence on those without institutional power. Fuck this confounding rhetoric, and thank gods Colin Winnette is not one of those writers, The Job of the Wasp not one of those books. A writer whose work absconds tradition on a quest for making new myth, Winette’s previous novel, Haints Stay, mixes acid western with horror to full effect. He has worked in post-apocalyptic literature (Revelation), and his fictions do not easily settle into one genre. He can also write about the real world—read the novella Coyote for evidence of borderlands horror—and his early work, Animal Collection, suggests a world of stories in the mode of bestiary. Throughout, Winnette’s characters are well-considered, exemplars of story action. I can’t think of a more exciting writer book to book, never knowing where along the spectrum their work will fall.

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