The Fate of Mice

by Susan Palwick

Gathering together the most outstanding short stories of Susan Palwick’s twenty-year literary career, The Fate of Mice is a powerful collection from an extraordinary fantasist. These unflinching tales, including three original pieces, consider a woman born with her heart exposed and the heartless killer who protects her, a wolf who is willingly ensnared by a devious academic, a businessman resurrected to play at politics, and an ingenious mouse dreaming beyond the laboratory.

With the perceptiveness of Joyce Carol Oates, the inventiveness of Ray Bradbury, and the emotional resonance of Alice Sebold, The Fate of Miceis a meditation on the very art of storytelling: mythic, beautiful, and often brutal, filled with authentic compassion.


“Spanning the past 20 years of Palwick’s career, the eight previously published and three new stories in this outstanding collection (after her 2005 novel The Necessary Beggar) display the author’s versatility […] Palwick’s genre-bending short fiction defies categorization and blends humor with pathos.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“This, her first story collection is a welcome addition to her oeuvre and a fitting introduction to her wide-ranging talent and vision […] All 11 pieces explore conundrums of human existence, from the perennial pursuit of utopia to the many faces of mortality. Embracing elements of both horror and speculative fiction, Palwick’s unique and commanding fiction never fails to trigger an emotional response as it captures the imagination.”


“A potent brew of mystery and heartache […] gracefully knotted, densely lyrical.”


“Palwick uses both fantasy and science in her fictions, flinching from neither the rational nor the ineffable in her quest to write stories exploring the fate of all living things.”

Seattle Times

“Elegantly crafted short fiction.”


“Disturbingly brilliant […] the quality varies from very good to startlingly brilliant.”

“A powerful and complex utopian streak […] displays a keen intelligence and a fierce imagination.”

Montreal Gazette

Awards & Accolades