The Evolution of Reptilian Handbags


cover art for The Evolution of Reptilian Handbags and Other StoriesAn unhappy housewife flees with her lover as civilization collapses in a tsunami of trash. A bank teller aids invisible thieves. A welder learns she has the power to kill with a kiss. A hive of women transforms tourists with arcane sexual rites. A Korean War sniper stalks his doppelganger: a children’s television host. Amnesiac goddesses-turned-farmers struggle for survival in war-torn, post-apocalyptic Iowa. 

By turns emotionally resonant and irreverent, surreal and sexy, these ten stories swirl with unseen currents, blending the fantastic and the mundane to get to the deeper truths of our existence.

Published by Metaphysical Circus Press
ISBN: 978-0-9899772-0-3  
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Praise for

The Evolution of Reptilian Handbags and Other Stories

“Melanie Lamaga’s stories are magical, but they’re not the same old magic. Old magic is made new again, and new magic blooms in the most unexpected places. With a remarkable range for a slender volume, these stories are delightful, moving, and just plain fun.”

 Dennis Danvers, author of The Circuit of Heaven

 “Melanie Lamaga’s stories are richly imagined, delightfully various, subtle, mysterious, humane, and very welcome additions to the growing canon of the American Fantastic.”

 —Tom De Haven, author of It’s Superman!

“Melanie Lamaga’s stories are weird, wry, startling and passionate. The reader stands entranced on a rocky headland, watching sleek marvels crest the surface all around.”

 —Andy Duncan, author of The Pottawatomie Giant and Other Stories

A collection of beautiful, eerie stories that hover on the cusp between nightmare and sunlit dreaming, the everyday and the never-was, Melanie Lamaga’s striking debut will appeal to readers of Karin Tidbeck, Kelly Link, and other writers who explore the literary twilight country of our unspoken fears and desires.”

 —Elizabeth Hand, author of Available Dark and Errantry

“This collection of stories aims to get at the heart of human possibility, offering mysterious and imaginative worlds that almost fool us into believing they are our own. Lamaga offers us her own uniqueand lovelyvision of American magical realism, which is branching out in the new millennium with authors such as Kelly Link, Amy Bender, and Jonathan Lethem.

Medusas, sleeping beauties, dark angels, happy sharp shootersthese are a few of the wonderful, quirky characters you’ll meet in this lively and playful collection of stories. Lamaga is the gatekeeper between the real and the fantastic and has opened the gate to her readers, leading us provocatively between one world and the other.”

 Nathan Alling Long, author of The Dog

 “Melanie Lamaga’s collection, The Evolution of Reptilian Handbags and Other Stories, bends both reality and the conventions of storytelling. In magical vignettes that transport readers back and forth in time and place, Lamaga’s characters confront alter-egos and shadows at every turn. These are thought-provoking, edgy, unconventional narratives that leave a reader both shocked and delighted.”

 Sheri Reynolds, author of The Rapture of Canaan