Semi-sequel to The Thing, using John Carpenter’s gnarly monster to tell a story of AIDS, gay liberation, police brutality, & passing.
“When MacReady is not MacReady, or when MacReady is simply not, he never remembers it after. The gaps in his memory are not mistakes, not accidents. The thing that wears his clothes, his body, his cowboy hat, it doesn’t want him to know it is there. So the moment when the supply ship crewman walked in and found formerly-frozen MacReady sitting up—and watched MacReady’s face split down the middle, saw a writhing nest of spaghetti tentacles explode in his direction, screamed as they enveloped him and swiftly started digesting—all of that is gone from MacReady’s mind.”
“As is typical of Miller’s work, “Things With Beards” delivers a satisfying emotional punch, and serves as an excellent example of contemporary fiction in conversation with a SFF classic.” – Apex Magazine
“…this story just speaks to me in the way it tramples expectations, the way that it refuses to hide, the way it takes a text that in not queer and shows that, under the beard it wears, of course it can be queer. That lurking in these texts that people assume are only about straight issues, only about white issues, there are other texts. Dangerous texts. Affirming and complex and beautiful texts that cannot be denied or destroyed.” – Quick Sip Reviews
“A direct sequel to John Carpenters 1982 film The Thing, the short story not only asserts the characters MacReady and Childs as monstrous “things” but more importantly, gay men. Using science fiction to comment on the plight of oppressed or marginalized people is a proud tradition, but what’s telling here is that Miller plucks cinematic characters from an iconic horror/sci-fi film and inserts them into prose.” – Inverse
“It’s fucking amazing; Where my own “The Things” played with biology and the missionary impulse, Miller’s riffs off the same source material to more overtly political ends, and does it masterfully… TWB can’t seem to go for a single paragraph without making some new, visceral, political observation/metaphor, without ever once getting preachy (which is why I usually steer clear of this sort of story). Not to mention the prose rocks.” – Peter Watts, author of “The Things” (Hugo/Locus/Theodore Sturgeon Award Nominee; Shirley Jackson Award winner; BSFA award finalist)
Also available in audio format, read by the phenomenal Kate Baker!