Broken Fevers

By Tenea D. Johnson


From humor to horror, the speculative fiction in Broken Fevers has a gleaming edge. This new collection by award winner Tenea D. Johnson features 14 tales. Though many are dark, they pull one through the light, if only for a moment, to visit the next vista, a new world, or this one recast in an uncertain future. Whether it be the lengths a woman will go to for performance art or how best to communicate the Middle Passage’s horrors to the privileged, darkness has room to breathe here and bring wonder.

Social commentary and genetic adaptation exist alongside fairy crises, alien liminalities, and the responsibilities of those holding up the world and those who communicate with the next. Broken Fevers shares the heart in the hurt, the courage in a cataclysm, and the connections that make we wherever we find ourselves.


"The 14 hard-hitting, memorable short stories and prose vignettes in this powerhouse collection from Johnson (Blueprints for Better Worlds) are astounding in their originality… Intelligent, visceral, and gorgeously written, Johnson's work deserves a wide readership."

– Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

"Johnson is a versatile, intelligent author; there are many strong stories in this book … All told, it's really breathtaking work."

– Lightspeed Magazine

"Tenea D. Johnson’s Broken Fevers is a wildly imaginative short story collection that tackles some important topics with style and delivers a healthy heaping of meaning in each narrative, regardless of length. ...Johnson has a unique voice. Her straightforward style makes her message reach readers undiluted, and these stories pack a punch. Regardless of genre of preference, there is something here for everyone, and there is also plenty to digest."

– Gabino Iglesias, Locus Magazine

“Stories like thick dreams, stories rainbowing your thoughts into new patterns the way crystals scatter light, stories like diagrams of promises kept or buried, lost or exploded—Tenea’s Broken Fevers collection will fuel your inner truthseeker with beauty, strength, and a calm determination to carry on.”

– Nisi Shawl, author of Everfair

“Tenea Johnson’s new collection, Broken Fevers, is a wide-ranging selection of stories—science fiction, dark fantasy, horror, folk tales and mythologies, country magic—presented in clear, crisp writing, minus all affectation, and electric with undercurrents of politics, feminism, and social justice. For lovers of the short story, don’t miss this powerful voice.”

– Jeffrey Ford, author of A Natural History of Hell

“This collection of stories is unexpected and imaginative, disturbing and poignant. Each tale is a deftly crafted puzzle piece—a snapshot of life and society, where the present is tethered to the past and the future. An incredible read!”

– L. Penelope, author of Song of Blood & Stone

“Tenea D. Johnson is one of the most gifted protest singers of 21st-century speculative fiction. These stories are strong, beautiful music toward a future built by and for the people.”

– Andy Duncan, author of An Agent of Utopia: New and Selected Stories

“Brutal, lovely and excruciating, Tenea D. Johnson’s Broken Fevers is an amazing journey through your deepest fears, sorrow and beautiful pain. And you will appreciate every moment of it.”

– Dr. Chesya Burke, author of Let’s Play White

“Dazzling, gritty and provocative, this collection delivers big on style and speculative ideas. Kidnappers who recreate a Middle Passage experience for their abductees. Immortals who truck with depressed fairies in Harlem. Rebellions from above and below. Loss, joy and the truly strange collide here. These stories are so richly conceived they bring a fever to our imagination. And, best of all is Tenea D. Johnson’s razor-sharp prose.”

– Michele Tracy Berger, author of Reenu-You

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