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Homesick: Stories

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Dark, irreverent, and truly innovative, the speculative stories in Homesick meditate on the theme of home and our estrangement from it, and what happens when the familiar suddenly shifts into the uncanny. In stories that foreground queer relationships and transgender or nonbinary characters, Cipri delivers the origin story for a superhero team comprised of murdered girls; ...more
Paperback, 197 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Dzanc Books
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  520 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Charlie Anders
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book, and HOT DAMN. These stories are so vivid and strange and surreal, and yet full of warmth and humanity. It's rare to see a collection of short fiction that conjures such a powerful sense of weirdness and illogic, but also sports tons of characters that feel like fully-realized, flesh-and-blood people. I found myself both wondering about what happened after each of these stories reached a haunting conclusion, but also thinking about the charac ...more
Bill Hsu
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, 2020-faves
The first three stories, "A Silly Love Story", "Which Super Little Dead Girl Are You?", and "Dead Air", are as smart, charming, and funny as anything I've read in months. The titles give a good indication of the warmth and irreverence. I was laughing out loud and slapping my thigh (not touching my face, thank you) every few pages. The fractured narrative of "Dead Air" also adds an unsettling entrapment/space-time anomaly element, ending with lots of loose ends and few explanations.

"Let Down, Set
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I really loved this collection of speculative short stories (and those who know me know that stories are not typically my jam, so they have to be excellent to keep my attention!) - top marks for transgender and nonbinary representation, also just playing with tropes in new ways.
Nadine in California
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love the juxtaposition of the warmth and humanity of the characters with the weirdness of the worlds they inhabit. Sometimes the weirdness is science fictional, and sometimes it's a plot quirk in an otherwise ordinary world. Always creative, always interesting. I don't feel the need to stress the gender diversity in the stories, because the characters are just so naturally who they are that it seems unnecessary. The writing also has a natural flow to it, descriptive in an unfussy way. "The lan ...more
3.5 stars

A fine collection of short stories dragged down a bit by a rather shapeless, over-long novella at the end.

If you're anything like me, you've probably read the two best stories in this collection. 'Dead Air' and 'The Shape of My Name' in one of the many best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror anthologies published last year (probably multiple times in fact, as they were good enough to be featured by different editors catering to very different markets). While the other tales in this volume
This gorgeous and eerie collection captured me completely, from the opening story "A Silly Little Love Story" in which the main character believed an art appreciating ghost had taken up residence in his closet, through to the second-to-last story “Presque Vu,”, in which spirits begin walking an apocalyptic earth and humans find themselves visited with their own very strange and specific hauntings.

While each story doesn't contain ghosts perse, they do all interweave a paranormal element. A child
Leo Robertson
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Certainly great to learn about queer characters, like the bigender Merion in the opening story--hadn't heard that term before--lovely to learn about someone who inhabits male and female at will being loved for who they are. It's of course of vital importance to read the writing of people who understand these characters and this emerging terminology, which is definitely the biggest plus of this collection. (As someone who is technically "queer", a little odd to see the word used in blurbs as a co ...more
Bogi Takács
Saving this for a longer review! Also a Tiptree eligible book, so I’ll need to think about how to do this. (I'm on the jury this year.)

Source of the book: Print ARC from the publisher
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Everyone needs to put Nino Cipri's work on their radar because it's damn good.

What I love about these stories is how gentle and humane they feel. There are poltergeists and flying trees and disappearing houses and time travel, but in every one of these stories the fantastical never overtakes the human; Cipri's work reminds me of Kij Johnson's At the Mouth of the River of Bees and Sofia Samatar's Tender in that regard. The first story in this collection, I think, encapsulates everything that Home
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! An instant favorite short story collection that I just could not stop reading. In these eight short stories and one longer novella, Cipri introduces the reader to their awesome creativity and a slew of unforgettable queer and trans characters. While these stories were naturally slightly uneven in my enjoyment, the highs of this collection were so phenomenally high. ⁣

Shades of horror reminding me of Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties abounded in the stories Dead Air, which tells the m
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Michelle at Dzanc Books for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

3.5 stars for...

Okay, that may not be 100% accurate but I came here for the gays and I got gays.

Homesick is a collection of nine stories full of sci-fi, horror, and gays (of course). I was very pleasantly surprised by each story. They were all super creative and unsettling in their own special way. I think my favorite part about this anthology (all anthologies really) is that I could just read a story h
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Small-press short story collections really are some of the best writing out there and this book absolutely proves my point. FANTASTIC collection that I swallowed in three gulps while wishing I had enough discipline to pace myself the whole time. I’d recommend this to anyone, but especially readers who loved Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body & Other Parties.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"Homesick" delivers the promise stated in the title: the nine stories all bring a sense of unfamiliarity, strangeness, and the wish to belong. And the strangeness is only partially related to the speculative element. Most often, the estrangement came from society, family, love, expectations of the outside world. The way Cipri writes this juxtaposition of subtle supernatural and weird or even unfriendly mundane is superb. And i
Homesick: Stories by Nino Cipri is an extremely versatile, creative, and enjoyable collection from the author. One of the things that really sets this collection apart from others of its genre is the diverse formats and genres the stories take on. There are some that are your run of the mill medium length short stories and some that read like plays. "Dead Air" in particular is one I would love to hear performed as a podcast. There are some stories that are scifi, some that are supernatural horro ...more
Artur Nowrot
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I encountered Nino Cipri’s stories twice recently – in the Transcendent anthology of best transgender-themed speculative fiction and in Capricious magazine’s Gender Diverse Pronouns issue. In both cases Cipri’s stories were among the highlights for me, so I didn’t hesitate much before requesting Homesick. They are a writer I want to read more of.

Homesick is a very tight collection. It doesn’t just present every story the autho
Uudenkuun Emilia
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

One of the best short story collections I've read in ages. I'd already read some of these stories in the publications they originally appeared in, but they are so great they absolutely deserved a reread. And there were many stories I hadn't read at all!

Favourites I'd previously read: Dead Air, and The Shape of My Name. Both beautiful, sad, and very queer. Ah, I love Nino Cipri's stories. The speculative element
Max Mulholland
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-time-favs
This LGBTQ centric collection of short stories features high quality writing with a serious creep factor. The horror is subtle, more Hitchcock-styled psychological suspense than Stephen King, and most of the stories contain paranormal elements. Although there are a few annoying grammar errors/missing words/typos which makes one question the quality of the editing, the quality of the stories rises well above these minor details. The individual sentences are glorious, often clever, with some real ...more
Oct 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Nino Cipri is one of my new favorite authors. Their imagination is stunning, and I like the light, humorous tone. This is a first-rate collection. It probably should get 5 stars, but a couple stories were more horror-ish than my taste (but funny!) and a couple had not-exactly-resolved endings, where I prefer more resolution. Then again, if those were expanded to longer stories, I'd definitely read them. ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqiap
trans power (or how more people should absolutely be writing about trans time travellers and trans scientists)
Jo Ladzinski
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Read an eARC I received from Edelweiss

Each story in this collection does an exquisite job conveying the multi-faceted concept of homesickness. Perhaps you're home sick for your literal place of being, or for a time of great triumph, or a past relationship, or it's the person you wish your parents in a different timeline knew you as.

My personal favorites were "the shape of my name," "presque vu", and "Which Super Little Dead Girl Are You?". The voice in these was so strong, telling tales with a
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I didn't get much out of this collection unfortunately. My favorites were "She Hides Sometimes" which shows a haunting, surreal, and heart-wrenching metaphor for dementia and "The Shape of My Name" which explores a dysfunctional yet subtly characterized family displaced in time. Both are fantastic and definitely worth a read.

Outside of those two, I felt the stories didn't have enough plot or character progression. Events would occur but without any clear indications of how that will impact the c
Amy Biggart
An absolute MUST read. Collecting my thoughts but girlies reading Carmen Maria Machado — this is for you.

Realizing I never went back to review this but I have to say this is everything I wanted Her Body And Other Parties to be, AND MORE. There was maybe 10% more humanity in the characters in a way that made me enjoy them more, but the speculative and "weird" vibes are just as good as that short story collection.

There's a story where a trans man born into a family of matrilineal time-travelers r
Shriya Uday
Oct 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I've reviewed a short story collection but after reading the first story I knew I had to express how much I liked them.

1. A Silly Love Story
• 4 stars
• This story is silly only in theory. In reality it's the kind of love story it hurts to dream about because it feels like something that could actually happen. The main romance in this story means everything to me and I'm still thinking about them. Wish there was more about the poltergeist shenanigans.

2. Which Super Litt
Sydney Chinowsky
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, fantasy
I got to read an early copy of this book, and I loved it so much that I went ahead and ordered my own copy once it was published! I will say right off the bat that I'm generally not a fan of short stories; I think short stories are very hard to get right, and usually end up too short, too long, or leave me feeling like there was no point to the story. Homesick contains nine perfectly crafted stories, each one completely different from the last yet always containing Cipri's beautiful, haunting to ...more
Aug 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Well, to say I loved the hell out of this would be an understatement.

I always cringe a little when one author's work is compared to another's - especially in the (still relatively small) world we have of queer speculative fiction writers.

But actually, the comparison to Carmen Maria Machado feels fairly apt, and her own endorsement on the cover is accurate af!

These stories are weird and queer and magical and warm and funny. I really enjoyed the novella at the end too, and for the first time in m
Courtney Chartier
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"There is something haunting Jeremy's closet."

Every one of these stories is wonderful. Most have a supernatural, or sci-fi, theme, but generally that is far from the point of the story.

An artist with a poltergeist decides to communicate with the spirit through painting. Take a quiz to find our what kind of dead girl doll you are. An art student falls in love with a woman with a troubled past who comes from a town with a name that can't be said. A woman notices that the hallway door in her parent
Laura Hart
Aug 25, 2022 rated it really liked it
I find it criminal that HOMESICK is as overlooked as it is, and concurrently I believe this book is a good example of the talent and range of independent publishers. As someone who works at an indie, I’m all too familiar with this.

Whenever someone highly recommends a book, I’m always a little skeptical. But I’d seen enough of Amy Biggart’s TikToks and finally decided, ok, what the heck. Might as well. This was a super fun read, extremely well written and inventive, with original and interesting
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-cis-authors
I love speculative, fabulist fiction, and this collection delivered. The formats of some of these stories were so creative. "Which Super Little Dead Girl Are You" is written as a quiz. "Dead Air" is an epistolary short story, using recordings, and whoa was it ever creepy! In "Before We Disperse Likestar Stuff," speculative elements served as a backdrop to give us a taste of Cipri's talent for writing character-driven stories. I'm in awe of the breadth of their imagination. Really enjoyed this co ...more
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding collection of smart queer/trans speculative short fiction -- standouts include "The Shape of My Name" an unusual time travel story, "Super Little Dead Girls" written in the form of a teen magazine quiz ("Which Super Little Dead Girl are you?"), and the final long story, "Before We Disperse Like Star Stuff," on the making of a documentary about the discovery of the remains of prehistoric weasel people in Nebraska. Imaginative and inviting. Each story sets its own rules to explore a ne ...more
Bryan Cebulski
"Before We Disperse Like Star Stuff" is one of the best short stories I've ever read and a model for the kind of fiction I'd like to see more of in the world (and, not to mention, write myself).

"Dead Air" is one of the creepiest stories I've ever read, a brilliant take on the transcript-of-audio format.

Every story in this collection is good--"The Shape of My Name" and "A Silly Love Story" are also particularly striking for me--but those two mentioned above are just, like, sublimely good.
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