Mysterious and sometimes hallucinogenic, RATS NEST builds a narrative out of the complexity and dialectical uncertainty that many people feel about being alive in the 21st century.
This debut book of sci-fi stories by Mat Laporte introduces readers to a protoplasmic, fantastical underworld, as navigated by a self-reproducing 3D Printed Kid made especially for this purpose.
As the Kid descends the layers of a seemingly never-ending pit, its nightmares and hallucinations—recorded in stunning detail—unfold in twelve chilling stories of unreality that will make readers think twice about what it means to be a human (or humanoid) on the planet we call home.
Watch the BookThug Author Interview with Mat Laporte:
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Praise for RATS NEST:
“RATS NEST is a fragmented and extended transmission from ‘the world’s first 3D Printed Kid.’ It is a dissident, noir, cyberpunk diary that recalls the monotony of service/ office labour and projects that struggle onto the failed tropes of ‘what the future may hold.’ Here, the future is a recursive failure of both affinity and empathy, launched from the outer reaches of a space-time where both identity and narrative are in flux. This is a work that simultaneously calls to mind Ovid’s Metamorphosis and the prose of Philip K. Dick, both Alice Notley’s Descent of Alette and the riotous ‘cut-up’ novels of Kathy Acker. Has Mat Laporte eaten our dreams? Are these texts the cognitive-enteric-cybernetic remnants of a necessarily alienated posthumanity? ‘Bursting forth from the primordial/ id itself … a flickering/non-linear flood of fact and sensory data,’ Laporte has engendered for us an austere and gorgeous horror.” —Liz Howard, 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize winner for Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent
“Laporte defamiliarizes our understanding of the status quo through a dizzying, punk-vibed, and relentless layered universe, burping, throbbing, oozing, and bristling. ” —Jack Hill, American Microreviews and Interviews
“These 12 short stories, so thinly connected by a luminescent green thread, are written to make the reader think, to elicit a feeling, often discomfort, and to examine our own lives in the 21st century and it must bare repeating is not for the faint of heart.” —Exeter Examiner
“Like the best dystopian sci-fi, Rats Nest instills the sense that things are progressing normally even as everything goes horrifyingly wrong.” —John Nyman, Broken Pencil Magazine
The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Mat Laporte —Open Book
‘Being alive is hella complex and I want art that reflects that!’ In Conversation with Mat Laporte —BookThug Blog
Short Story Month: RATS NEST, an excerpt and interview with Mat Laporte —All Lit Up
Mat Laporte, born in Sault Ste. Marie, is a Toronto-based writer and co-founder of the micro-press Ferno House. Laporte is the author of a tetralogy of chapbooks: Demons, Billboards from Hell, Life Savings (nominated for the 2013 bpNichol Chapbook Award), and Bad Infinity. His poetry has been featured in numerous publications, including Poetry is Dead and Lemon Hound. RATS NEST is Laporte’s first full-length book.