Review: How to Dispatch a Human by Stephanie Andrea Allen

Pub. Date: March 2nd 2021 I BLFPress I Pages: 178 I Speculative Fiction I CW: Murder stuff, death, violence


How to Dispatch a Human: Stories and Suggestions is a collection of 11 short stories that fall across the spectrum of speculative fiction. The stories for the most part follow queer Black women’s ordinary lives at the point, where they suddenly intersect with the weird and the supernatural with whacky tech and unruly hair. The title definitely tells readers what to expect and there’s even a tongue-in-cheek glossary/list of suggestions in the back of the book, if you need inspiration (don’t tell me!) or want to make sure you’re up to reading about the many ways in which people are offed in this collection.

I really liked the range in tones of these stories. There’s the playfulness in “Chumps” and I enjoyed Sela’s adventure with the talking scooters, their conversations had me cracking up a lot, I could just imagine them sitting and chatting. And I will never look the same way at abandoned scooters, that’s for sure. Then there’s the unfurling sense of weirdness on Arya’s coffee date and the disturbing Luna 6000.

My favorite story was the kinda titular story Coral D. Cat, or How to Dispatch a Human, because of course I’d love the cat story 😀 Beware of your cats, friends! And I also really liked the pretty dark Luna 6000 and Project M, which are connected and sort of frame the collection. It was a nice surprise!

These stories are super imaginative and I think there’s something to appeal to most readers and the level of violence isn’t too bad either with some stories that even the easily creeped out can appreciate as well. I’m also a fan of the funny puns usually found towards a stories conclusion, so there are plenty funny stories as well, if your sense of humor is a bit dark I know the book was just published, but I still hope Stephanie will come out with more stories soon. I would also love to see some of these shorts developed into novellas or novelettes, there’s so much left to explore.

BLFPress is one of my favorite indie publishers, I hope you’ll check out their wonderful growing catalogue over on their website. There’s currently a discount on selected titles!

Happy international women’s day!🥳

8 thoughts on “Review: How to Dispatch a Human by Stephanie Andrea Allen

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  1. Hey there! It’s so nice to see you around the blogosphere again! I have historically not been great about reading short story collections — I tend to lose steam — but I am trying one right now (Office of Historical Corrections), and it’s going well so far. Maybe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between me & short story collections. 😛 This one sounds really good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heyyy, nice of you to stop by! Haha yes I am in too many places online and always forget about the blog 🙈
      Same! I love short stories but take forever with collections. I’ve heard really good things about Office, hope you’ll enjoy it and it’ll make you a fan😊


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