Loss Soup and Other Stories

Published here: January 22, 2022

A journalist is invited to the fabled Dinner of Loss to drink a viscous soup made of lost and extinct things. In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a nihilistic sea captain becalms himself on a plastic sea, while in an English fishing village a senile Blackbeard reminisces about his bloodthirsty glory days. The failed conquistador Cabeza de Vaca sheds his personality on the swampy coasts of the New World, and in a cabin in the woods a couple are haunted by the ghosts of Homo erectus, Neanderthals and other extinct hominids. Elsewhere, a legendary beast is dragged from a Welsh mountain lake…

The fourteen stories in Nick Hunt’s debut collection of short fiction travel from sixteenth-century Mexico to a post-collapse near future, from a visionary supermarket to life on other planets. All of them revolve around different forms of loss. By turns blackly funny, disquieting and fantastical, Loss Soup and Other Stories is a journey through the Anthropocene, climate chaos and the Sixth Extinction to the strange new worlds that might lie beyond.

‘With their eerie dream logic, Nick Hunt’s stories get closer to the heart of what it is to live in a time of endings than a forest of dystopian novels. They hold a dark mirror to our predicament, allowing us to approach it without being turned to stone.’ – Dougald Hine, Dark Mountain co-founder

‘Nick Hunt’s short stories are two increasingly rare things – original, and uncategorisable. Once read, they are not forgotten.’ – Paul Kingsnorth, author of The Wake

Loss Soup is a heady concoction of speculative fiction, ecological fables, and historical stories with the scope of novels. If a computer writing programme were able to combine Borges with Calvino, it might come up with something like this book. Yet it would miss the humanity, the wit and the moral imagination that blaze forth from Nick Hunt’s strange tales of the Anthropocene.’ – Gregory Norminton, author of The Devil’s Highway

To be published in May 2022 by Sumeru Books. Available in the UK through Dark Mountain.