Rin Kelly

Author    Storyteller   

Journalist    Photojournalist

Kelly presents a brief collection of offbeat short stories that span multiple genres.

In this anthology, readers will find eclectic works divided into three sections: “New Fabulism/Slipstream,” “Speculative,” and “Meditations and Benedictions.” In “Wax Works,” which was previously published in The Fabulist, she offers an offbeat take on the legend of Icarus, with a boy made of wax melting after getting too close to a microwave. In the horror-tinged “Kahlo,” a woman’s insurance coverage runs out during the middle of heart surgery, so instead of sewing the organ back inside her chest, the surgeons leave it outside her body, connected by seeping tubes and bloody bandages. During a war between gods, two deities fall in love, while another is trapped in a sheep’s body in “Sheep Baah Baah Baah.” Several tales feature solitary figures grappling with the wider world in their own unique ways; for instance, in “Upper Management, or GodCo., LLC,” angels test out a “de-lonesoming device,” and one woman questions the contract they’re required to sign. In “The Best-Known Unknown People Who Maybe Drew Breath Upon the Planet,” which appeared in the Kenyon Review, a man writes letters to the editor and op-eds under assumed names (a series of personas he’s created whom he pits against one another in his imagination and in print); it’s a work that straddles the line between the literary and the fantastic. In “Graceland and Greenland and Disneyland”—a notable example of a story without any fantasy elements, other than one character’s dreams of a better future—a runaway travels to Pittsburgh by train and briefly meets an older woman who had youthful adventures as a Rockette. Sarah B. Mohler, an associate professor of English at Truman State University in Missouri, offers a thoughtful analysis of Kelly’s work at the end of the collection that focuses on the stories’ genre fluidity. Readers looking for fiction that’s outside the mainstream, no matter what genres they generally prefer, are likely to find much to enjoy here. These are stories with sometimes-hidden depths that may be revealed to readers in moments of quiet consideration.

A wide variety of thought-provoking tales.

Kirkus Reviews
Into the Laughing Gas World


Rin wrote about trauma, about the basic dehumanization of being alive in late capitalism, about mass tragedy and about absurd speculative futures that are just around the corner or happening right now. She wrote stories of futuristic collapse and possibility, as her lens moved between dystopian and utopian possibilities.  Her fictional world is a dense, surrealistic, often absurdly funny place where our lives are inundated with media, marketing and technology, as we try to find our own souls.

Jenny Bitner
Here is a Game We Could Play



On her story, “White is for Complacent”:  I find her story to be sharp and clever and, most of all moving in the ways it dramatizes literally the ways in which women’s humanity and vulnerability are often subsumed into the dehumanizing world of medicine and/or male objectification.

Professor Jonathan Fink, Panhandler Magazine
Western Florida University



A very talented storyteller….reminded us of Kurt Vonnegut

William Welch, Editor, Doubly Mad



Her writing demonstrated her creative range as a poet, an inventor of characters, a witness to inequalities, a debater of public policy. In one of her stories, published in the Kenyon Review, she describes one of her characters who writes letters to the editor: [She] was just magnificent, all spittle and world-wrecking prose…you’d hear a kind of happy sorrow in your throat by the end of every letter.  By the end she’d always be calling on us to rise and fight and find our oneness again…”  And here, in these words, is Rin herself.  She noticed things.  She was a soul voice, a woman working at knowing people and justice, a woman writing with “spittle’ and verve and a play of mind and heart.

Carol Samson
Goose Summer



Of “Wax Works” (shortlisted for the Pushcart Prize): …In this wicked little stinger, social satire and speculative fiction converge to burst some techno-utopian bubbles.

The Fabulist


The boundaries of reality and surreality swim in an out”

Professor Adam Brooke Davis, Green Hills Literary Lantern
Truman State University



On her story, “Upper Management”:  We love this story, its wonderful language and surprising, fresh voice.

Elliot Alpern and Gauraa Shekhar, Editors, No Contact Magazine
Columbia University



Of “Seven Million Minutes in Heaven”: …an amazing story of loss, wit, and hope”.

Kimberly Bliss, Editor, Hobart Pulp