An astonishing fiction debut from a UC Irvine MFA graduate and recent contributor to The New Yorker.

Bewitching and playful, with its feet only slightly tethered to the world we know, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover explores hope, love, and loss across a series of surreal landscapes and wild metamorphoses. Just because Jenny was born without a head doesn't mean she isn't still annoying to her older brother, and just because the Man of the Future's carefully planned extramarital affair ends in alien abduction and network fame doesn't mean he can't still pine for his absent wife. Romping through the fantastic with big-hearted ease, these stories cut to the core of what it means to navigate family, faith, and longing, whether in the form of a lovesick kraken slowly dragging a ship of sailors into the sea, a small town euthanizing its grandfathers in a time-honored ritual, or a third-grade field trip learning that time travel is even more wondrous--and more perilous--than they might imagine.

Andreasen's stories are simultaneously daring and deeply familiar, unfolding in wildly inventive worlds that convey our common yearning for connection and understanding. With a captivating new voice from an incredible author, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the supernatural and extraordinary to expose us at our most human.


Audiobook Table of Contents:
Our Fathers at Sea, read by Peter Altschuler
Bodies in Space, read by PJ Ochlan
The Sea Beast Takes a Lover, read by Michael Crouch
The King’s Teacup at Rest, read by Mark Bramhall
He is the Rainstorm and the Sandstorm, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, read by Emily Rankin
Rockabye, Rocketboy, read by Robbie Daymond
The Saints in the Parlor, read by Arthur Morey
Andy, Lord of Ruin, read by Michael Andreasen
Jenny, read by Kirby Heyborne
Rite of Baptism, read by Mark Bramhall, Cassandra Campbell, Robbie Daymond, Kirby Heyborne, Arthur Morey, PJ Ochlan, and Emily Rankin
Blunderbuss, read by John H. Mayer
Praise for The Sea Beast Takes a Lover

“A debut short story collection that treads the line between the speculative and the satirical with vivid prose, fatalist joie de vivre, and wild imaginative turns. Andreasen's style is reminiscent of George Saunders. . . . Energetic and engaging, these stories benefit from the sheer vigor of their telling.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Andreasen has the soul of a poet and the heart of a yarn spinner; he breathes new life into familiar tropes via the ingenuity of his storytelling and his tendency to color outside the lines. The 11 refreshing stories in this debut collection are full of delicious detours, and ultimately they’re the point.” –Publisher's Weekly

“Each [story] strikes the balance between fantasy as metaphor and fantasy in itself.…Highly recommended for both fans of literary speculative fiction and general readers.” -Booklist

“This debut author rightfully earns his place on the storytelling totem pole with this wildly original short story collection.” -San Francisco Chronicle

"These are stories that dare to be about love -- familial, monstrous, erotic, unrequited, doomed -- and their refusal to approach the subject by anything but unconventional means is a posture of deepest reverence." -Michigan Quarterly Review 

“Andreasen’s assured voice is a blend of quietly brooding naturalism and blithe surrealism, a kind of Raymond Carver sensibility and style mated with Mark Leyner’s fizzy, mad ideation. Employing sharp-edged yet deceptively unadorned prose, Andreasen succeeds in sucking the reader into his drolly insane and charmingly ghastly scenarios…Andreasen wraps his readers in literary tentacles that both stroke and throttle, and pulse with fervent alien life.” -Barnes & Noble Review

"The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a treasury of fantastic tales--full of mermaids, prophetic dancing bears, exploding children, and distraught time travelers. It's also a collection of longing, of loss, of loving deeply, and of learning what it means to care for others. A brilliant book, daring and wonderful." –Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World 

The Sea Beast Takes a Lover sits on a small shelf of books that I will read a dozen times over.  It is full of explosions of magic, aching tenderness and star-bright writing. This is a book that will make you want to tap the person next to you and say, ‘I’m sorry to interrupt, but you have to hear this.’”  –Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and A Guide to Being Born

"Andreasen has a big, roomy imagination, and a command of language to furnish the worlds he creates with both precision and grandeur. These stories are, by turns, timeless and urgent, dreamy and nightmarish, heartbroken and hopeful. A brilliant collection." –Charles Yu, author of Sorry Please Thank You and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

“The world is a very strange place. Michael Andreasen’s fantastic storytelling, ripe with tender monsters and understandably tortured humans, opens the window to our weirdness just a crack further, reminding his reader that the human heart is and always will be filled with wonder.” --Samantha Hunt, author of Mr. Splitfoot and The Dark Dark

"The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is such a wildly imaginative work that the book itself could be an artifact drawn from one of the sui generis stories it contains. Uncannily inventive yet unfailingly grounded in all-too-familiar struggles of the heart, these are stories that vary widely in subject matter--paternal pressures, the terror of stasis, our jealous hunger for love--but never in the confident distinctiveness of Michael Andreasen's voice. What a voice it is! What a vision! For what is more exciting to a reader than discovering a new way to see the world? This thrillingly original debut gives us just that in every story, on every page." –Josh Weil, author of The Age of Perpetual Light

The Sea Beast Takes a Lover
is a beautiful Wunderkammer of a book, filled with delights and curiosities that radically expand our understanding of the world. Tender and demented, hilarious and sublime, Andreasen’ stories achieve quote a marvelous thing: to be as deeply felt as they are wildly imagine.” -Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, author of Madeleine Is Sleeping and Ms. Hempel Chronicles