Somewhere along the highway, the interchangeable strip malls had, against their very nature, become specific –– places I’d been.

The jolt of dread this recognition gave me felt strong enough to send an SOS beacon up and out from the top of my head, wishing that, if there was a line that could be drawn from my location to the weightless dome of a UFO, anywhere in the known universe, it would receive my distress signal, draw closer, land on the roof of this bus...

Dumped, broke and stranded at her mother's house, Amy has few options for escape. Hanging out with her ex comes with getting to know his new girlfriend, someone who looks suspiciously like Amy's younger, straighter doppelgänger. Strapped for cash and desperate to be out of her mother’s home, she ends up babysitting the UFO-obsessed kids of the hot working mom down the street. Over a dull, torrid summer in the Pennsylvania suburbs, strange lights linger on the horizon, and subterranean connections reach out their tendrils in the dark, signalling another, otherworldly possibility...


A Novel by Em Reed // Cover Art by Lily Blakely

June 1, 2024

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More Bugs is equal parts quirky and unsettling — an uncanny and almost absurdist story in the way it disrupts the mundane with the defamiliarizing and strange over the course of a slow burn narrative. The characters are compelling and flawed as they navigate the uncomfortable and disorientating, while exploring identity, sexuality, and shared vulnerability all while everything threatens to collapse under the characters' own tendencies towards self destruction.
— Ai Jiang, Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker Award nominee and author of LINGHUN and I AM AI

An insightful and thought-provoking portrait of suburban alienation and longing with a delightful dash of body horror. Through engrossing prose, Reed stealthily weaves the impossible and everyday to reveal the suffocating dread of our personal histories.
— Eve Harms, author of Transmuted

...a well observed and smartly droll novel about stagnation and growth, pleasure and self; about the trembling sensitivity of everyday alienation... and maybe some actual aliens too!
— Jennifer Giesbrecht, author of The Monster of Elendhaven

A book-length compulsion to pull off the scab and look underneath. What an expectationfuck of a novel and I say that in the most affectionate sense! ... Combining the charming, brainy neuroticism of an 00s-era Zach Braff with tits... things that go bump in suburbia... aching post–coming-of-age bisexuality; and some truly beautiful, winding prose; Reed contrasts themes of dreary familiarity with the delicious urge to scratch off the wound and expose all the writhing unknowables.
— Ryszard Merey of tRaum Books

Em Reed is a writer originally from Central Pennsylvania and currently based in Glasgow, whose essays have previously appeared in Murdered Futures: A Cronenberg Fanzine, The Serving Library Annual and Real Life. This is their first novel.

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