Are you sure something’s wrong? Or are you just hysterical?
Aseptic and Faintly Sadistic is rage-made-art, an unsettling meditation that also serves as a charitable platform to support abortion rights in the United States. Inside are twenty-six haunting speculative tales that explore the social, political, and personal dimensions of hysteria.
Women who are convicted of sexual transgressions are forced to become living seed mounds.
A lonely young man makes his perfect girl out of caulk and endeavors to teach her about the wonders of the world.
The poor barter for health insurance by serving as living batteries for the elite.
In this anthology of feminist dark fiction, presented by CHM, author and editor Jolie Toomajan has curated a collection of nightmares from both award-winning and emerging writers, including Hailey Piper, Christi Nogle, Joe Koch, Kelsea Yu, Laura Cranehill, and more.
Proceeds will benefit the Chicago Abortion Fund
Praise for Aseptic and Faintly Sadistic
In the introduction to Aseptic and Faintly Sadistic, Jolie Toomajan brilliantly describes hysteria as ‘a one-person riot.’ Not a lack of rationality. Not a sign of weakness or mental imbalance. A riot. A righteous rage against standards and terms established by a society with the specific intention of keeping ‘certain people’ under control. What is the current attack on autonomy but a reiteration of those standards?
For many years, medical science labeled as hysteria virtually any natural response to being silenced and manipulated. The zeal with which doctors and lawmakers applied that label resulted in a wide range of assaults. The label has been used to justify incarceration, hysterectomies, electric shock therapy, and lobotomies. Why? Because when you legally reduce people to the status of guinea pigs, they are fully objectified, incapable of demanding and exercising human rights.
This unflinching anthology addresses the recent reassertion of political power over reproductive choice not as another news story, or another debate, but as an assault on basic human rights. Expect rage. Expect a riot of epic proportions within these pages. Because whatever it takes, these voices will be heard.
S.P. Miskowski, author of The Skillute Cycle
Aseptic and Faintly Sadistic is the kind of book you open slowly; curious but afraid of the sheer power of the terror staring back at you. I was afraid it would wreck me, and I was right; but I also needn’t have worried. It put me right back together again. The sheer range and depth and breadth of stories and styles and emotions; the way one squeezes your heart until it cracks before the next tickles it back to life, the way that these stories represent US and speak about US and scream LISTEN TO US, there’s honestly nothing else like it. It isn’t just because of the cause it champions; if you know anyone with a body of any kind and a heart of any description, you’ve got to get this book.
Alex Woodroe, Editor at Tenebrous Press
Powerful and poignant, Aseptic and Faintly Sadistic resonates with brutal imagery, themes, and characters. Packed with 26 gut-wrenching tales brimming with blood, tears, and screams—this is one anthology you’ll need smelling salts for.
P.L. McMillan, Sisters of the Crimson Vine
Aseptic and Faintly Sadistic is a battle cry. For every ‘no’ we wanted to scream but couldn’t. For every chance left untaken. For the ones we had to break ourselves for, to leave behind. It reclaims the years we wish we hadn’t wasted. It grants second chances for loves lost and fights unfought. It’s validation and vengeance; tenderness and respect. These stories stoke the power within us while acknowledging our wounds and scars. They build us up while burning it all down. I couldn’t dream of a more perfect reaction to everything we’ve had to—and continue to—endure.
Chelsea Pumpkins, editor of AHH! That’s What I Call Horror: An Anthology of ’90s Horror