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From the Neck Up and Other Stories (Paperback)

From the Neck Up and Other Stories Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
2 on hand, as of Sep 16 6:18am
(Science Fiction Fantasy)


“Feels like a major collection” – The Washington Post
A short fiction collection to stand with Ted Chiang's Exhalation and Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners.

The new collection of beautiful, strange and disarming short stories from the award-winning author of The Beauty, Clarke Award nominee The Loosening Skin and The Arrival of Missives, Aliya Whiteley. In 16 stories Whiteley deftly unpeels the strangeness of everyday life through beguiling gardens, rebellious bodies and journeys across familiar worlds, with her trademark wit and compassion. 
Witness the future of farming in a new Ice Age, or the artist bringing life to glass; the many-eyed monsters we carry and the secret cities inside our bodies; the alien invasion through our language to the Chantress and her twists on the fairy tale. Fascinating and always unexpected, Whiteley is unlike any other writer working today.

About the Author

Aliya Whiteley was born in Devon in 1974, and currently lives in West Sussex, UK. She writes novels, short stories and non-fiction and has been published in places such as The Guardian, Interzone, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Black Static, Strange Horizons, and anthologies such as Unsung Stories' 2084 and Lonely Planet's Better than Fiction I and II. She has been shortlisted for an Arthur C. Clarke Award, Shirley Jackson Award, British Fantasy and British Science Fiction awards, the John W Campbell Award, and a James Tiptree Jr award. Her stories are unpredictable; they can be terrifying, tender, ferocious and deeply funny. She also regularly reviews film, books and television for Den of Geek.  She blogs at:  and she tweets most days as @AliyaWhiteley.

Praise For…


"[Shows] Aliya Whiteley's poetic skill with horrific-tinged fantasy. From The Neck Up and Other Stories, feels like a major collection."
The Washington Post

"Readers of Jeff Vandermeer, Meg Ellison, and Jeffrey Ford will love this complex, grotesque, and brilliantly humanistic collection." - Publishers Weekly starred review

"When I read Whiteley's short stories I think of Japanese netsuke - magnificent miniatures, perfect in every detail. But netsuke don't keep me awake at night." 
– M. R. Carey

"Strange, playful, or downright heartbreaking, each of these tales is a storytelling masterclass. Aliya Whitely's endlessly inventive fiction is clearly in a league of its own. Quite another level of speculative fiction writing."
– Marian Womack

"If any more proof were needed, From the Neck Up secures Aliya Whiteley as one of the most important and interesting current writers of SF and weird fiction. Equal parts Shirley Jackson and John Wyndham, these tales are consistently unsettling, yet despite wild concepts they remain warm and humane, populated with recognisable people and their recognisable fears and compulsions. In short, this collection is an absolute triumph."
– Tim Major, author of Snakeskins and Hope Island

"Aliya Whiteley is one of this generation’s most exciting science fiction authors. Her stories are miniature universes that crackle with energy and intellectual acumen, combining keen observation, wry wit and a willingness to imagine the impossible. I adore everything she writes."
– Helen Marshall, author of The Migration

"Darkly delicious and strange, Whiteley uses the future to show us where we are, horror to unbury what we think about love, ageing and loss. I was never quite comfortable reading these stories, which is how it should be. They seize you from the neck up."
– Angela Readman 

"Aliya’s stories are gloriously inventive, wide-ranging and beautifully written. A vibrant collection."
– Alison Moore

"A masterful collection from one of the most talented and original speculative fiction writers working today. The stories in From the Neck Up are strange, unsettling, quietly beautiful and utterly unique. They got under my skin and lodged there."
– Stark Holborn, author of Ten Low

"This beguiling and beautiful, yet undeniably unnerving collection, with its tales of the ordinary made strange, will captivate readers. It explores provocative and intriguing feelings similar to those in the short stories of Samanta Schweblin, Kelly Link, and Carmen Maria Machado."
– Library Journal

"Phenomenal from beginning to end."
– Fangirl Nation

"Endowed with a powerful, versatile imagination able to produce dark stories, often in a surrealistic vein."
– Horror Tree

"Whiteley’s wild imagination and her ability to craft vivid, surreal imagery never ceases to amaze."
– Whimsy Dearest

"An imaginative, original and intelligent collection... Recommended for fans of something different and infinitely strange"
– Advance the Plot


"I firmly believe that Aliya Whiteley is one of the most original, innovative and intelligent writers of speculative fiction working in Britain today."
– Nina Allan, author of The Rift

"We can expect great things from Aliya Whiteley."
– Rising Shadow

"If you’re looking for deep waters and shadows in the pages of a summer read, come to Skein Island."
– Mookychick


"This book will cement Whiteley’s reputation as one of the finest of a new generation of weird fiction writers. More please."
– Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award winning author of The Migration

"The Loosening Skin works as a quirky new weird thriller, but its triumph lies in the way Whiteley uses the metaphor of shedding skin to examine the tortured process of love and attachment."
The Guardian

"In The Loosening Skin, Whiteley’s most fascinating book so far, we find an alternate history and an exploration of love in its many, strange forms... it is a book that will haunt the reader long after they finish the final page."
– Interzone


"Teeming with the spirit of feminist speculative trailblazers like Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Joanna Russ, Whiteley's original, gut-wrenching tale renders a world that exists somewhere between post-apocalyptic and fable-esque."
– Kirkus Reviews, on The Beauty

"Elegantly written, balancing on the line that divides prose from poetry."
– Booklist, on The Beauty


"Aliya Whiteley’s fiction scintillates with ideas, skips back and forth across genre boundaries with an ease and audacity that is glorious to behold. She is very much at the forefront of the new wave of UK genre writers"
– Mark Morris

"There’s something so easy about Whiteley’s prose despite constantly delivering a dense philosophical gut punch. Her characters are rich but mysterious, flawed and fascinating. The plot twists and turns, blindsiding the reader at every turn while feeling as though it could never really have gone any other way."
– British Fantasy Society
Product Details
ISBN: 9781789094756
ISBN-10: 1789094755
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: September 14th, 2021
Pages: 320
Language: English