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A boy creates monsters from nanotech clay and programs them by reciting stories. A young woman finds the secret to save their doomed generation ship inside a children’s primer. Residents of Bukit Batok face a slow-motion disaster that threatens to turn them into living mathematical equations. Three Filipino siblings enter a black hole to save humanity from an enemy that uses words as weapons.The seventeen stories in this loosely-connected collection push the limits of form and trope, from realism to genre and experimental fiction. All speak of the unease of being between two worlds, of not quite fitting in, and also of the comfort of words and books, which illuminate our way through the darkness.