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About the Author
Bishakh Som is an artist, illustrator, and writer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, BuzzFeed, the Boston Review, and the Brooklyn Rail, among others. Her books include Apsara Engine, Spellbound: A Graphic Memoir, and The Prefab Bathroom: An Architectural History, and she was also a contributor to We're Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology. Some is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.
"Provocative. . . . Som is a master of pacing, letting the emotion of her scenes churn and roil in the reader; her debut heralds the rise of new talent to watch." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Richly hued, gorgeously lettered, and often exquisitely detailed, Som's work, the writing as well the art, presents a brave new world of diverse women--talking, dancing, dreaming, plotting--living among friends, lovers, and chimerical creatures, in familiar cities and faraway landscapes, balancing the expectantly mundane with the utterly fantastical." --Booklist, starred review
"Som has created a collection of short stories that dance between genres and identities, moving from incisive descriptions of modern social realities to poetic ruminations on the future. This anthology by an up-and-coming comics superstar, which centers queer and trans South Asian narratives, is precisely what we need right now." --them.
"Bishakh Som's debut graphic story collection. . . . conjures up shape-shifting global cities, erupting with queer intimacies and witty banter in eight eerie and tender stories." --The Rumpus
"One of visual literature's most sublime scribes." --HiLobrow
"An astonishing collection of stories that expand and pulse into galaxy-sized moments of strangeness and wonder." --Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble
"Imaginative and poetic, Apsara Engine is powered by a fiercely complex heart. Bishakh Som builds a world in which queer and trans South Asians not only survive, but map the very future. Som is lighting the way forward with a stunning blend of mythology, futurity, and courageous tenderness." --Franny Choi, author of Soft Science
"A sweet mix of late nineteenth-century morals upended by early twenty-first-century juxtapositions, Apsara Engine is a set of uncanny shorts full of uniquely camouflaged and slow-moving yet effective trapdoors. Wish fulfillment is the book's true engine but--as in ancient tales--wishes are fulfilled in unhappy or muted or at least prickly fashion. Dichotomies--particularly those of gender, or of the global north and south--get less subverted than softly imploded. A welcome blueprint for a side entrance into an only recently imagined utopia." --Eugene Lim, author of Dear Cyborgs
"Bishakh Som's comics astonish me with beauty and invention; Apsara Engine opens up the medium to possibilities never before imagined. Luckily, Som has enough imagination for all of us." --Jason Adam Katzenstein, illustrator of Camp Midnight
"The eight pieces here sprawl far larger than the 200-odd pages that contain them. They slip in and out of time and telling; conversation, seduction, and the fantastic are their method, their object the elusive connections between people. Apsara Engine opens a new comics universe, one painted in the blood of someone incisive and hilarious and warm and intense and brilliant: say yes to it." --Jeanne Thornton, author of The Black Emerald
"This remarkable book does something rare and exhilarating: the stories the words tell are individual, familiar, and meaningful, but the images take the reader to situations and worlds that are alien, strange, dark, or numinous. Stories like these reveal the limits of what we consider 'realism'--and perhaps more, they remind us that the world is not always what we think it is." --Rachel Pollack, author of The Beatrix Gates