Off/Kilter: 2024 Spring Preview

Whether your spring is coming in more like a lion or a lamb, we’re loving these decidedly leonine Off/Kilter picks for the upcoming spring season: fierce, frightening, occasionally funny, and fantastically weird.

Off/Kilter Spring 2024's Most Anticipated Reads


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Withered by A.G.A. Wilmot (ECW Press)

The cover of Withered by A.G.A. Wilmot.

About the book: A queer paranormal horror novel in the style of showrunner Mike Flannagan (The Haunting of Hill House), showing the complex real-life terror inherent in grief and mental illness.

What people are saying: “In this clever mix of The Haunting of Hill House, Stranger Things, and Death with Interruptions, A.G.A. Wilmot has created a narrative that digs beyond the abyss and provides something entirely new, merely by asking a simple question: What if we just said ‘no’ to Death? It’s a beautiful examination not just of grief, but of the will to live — something we sorely need.” —Adam Pottle

Pre-order Withered on All Lit Up or at your favourite indie bookstore.

The Head by Robyn Braun (Great Plains Press)

The cover of The Head by Robyn Braun.

About the book: A surreal and penetrating tale of academia, work life, and surviving trauma, The Head imagines the life of a math professor turned upside-down when she discovers a living, wailing infant’s head — and its head alone, detached from any body — on her countertop.

What people are saying: “Robyn Braun’s The Head pulses with the abject horror of those worrying parts of your being you can’t put your finger on but just can’t seem to throw away.” —K.I. Press

Pre-order The Head on All Lit Up or at your favourite indie bookstore.

Disobedience by Daniel Sarah Karasik (Book*hug Press)

The cover of Disobedience by Daniel Sarah Karasik.

About the book: Following a young transfeminine person in a vast, dystopian prison camp, Disobedience is a remarkable work of queer and trans speculative fiction that imagines how alternative forms of connection and power can refuse the violent institutions that engulf us.

What people are saying: “Breathtaking in scope and thrillingly thoughtful, Disobedience lit up so many parts of my brain at once. In their dystopia that is a terrifyingly logical extension of our present moment, Daniel Sarah Karasik illuminates so much about our broken society, and the precious commodity of trust. A dire warning that is also dramatic, sexy, and bleakly hopeful, this story will stay with me for a very long time.” —Jessica Westhead

Pre-order Disobedience on All Lit Up or at your favourite indie bookstore.

Anatomical Venus by Courtney Bates-Hardy (Radiant Press)

The cover of Anatomical Venus by Courtney Bates-Hardy.

About the book: Anatomical Venus is a visceral collection of poems that invoke anatomical models, feminine monsters, and little-known historical figures. Grappling with the cyclical nature of chronic pain, these poems ask how to live with and love the self in pain.

What people are saying: “Healthcare professionals will never tell us that chronic pain can arouse the monstrous and otherworldly in our bodies. We must traverse this transfiguration without a guide. But, every once in a while, a work of literature offers a map. Courtney Bates-Hardy’s sophomore collection is just such a navigational text. The verse in Anatomical Venus is stark and persevering, candid and often fantastically weird. Bates-Hardy shows us the multifold nature of pain.” —Amber Dawn

Pre-order Anatomical Venus on All Lit Up or at your favourite indie bookstore.

Bird Suit by Sydney Hegele (Invisible Publishing)

The cover of Bird Suit by Sydney Hegele.

About the book: When summer ends and the tourists visiting Port Peter go back home, every local pregnant girl knows what she needs to do: deliver her child to the Birds in a laundry basket on the town’s lakeside cliffs. But the Birds refuse Georgia Jackson, and 20 years on, Georgia is wreaking havoc in Port Peter.

What people are saying: “Gorgeously strange, marvelously written, bursting with peril, howling with life, Bird Suit is a splendid novel, the kind you don’t want to end, the kind that follows you (listen for the flapping) around.” —Laird Hunt

Pre-order Bird Suit on All Lit Up or at your favourite indie bookstore.

The Downloaded by Robert J. Sawyer (Shadowpaw Press)

The cover of The Downloaded by Robert J. Sawyer.

About the book: In 2059, two very different groups have their minds uploaded into a quantum computer: astronauts preparing for Earth’s first interstellar voyage, and convicted murderers, serving their sentences in a virtual-reality prison. When disaster strikes, can they work together to save Earth from destruction?

What people are saying: The Downloaded is a wonderful demonstration of Sawyer’s deep understanding of — and compassion for — people. It’s a rare and potent humanity that elevates his work high above the rest.” —Julie E. Czerneda

Pre-order The Downloaded on All Lit Up or at your favourite indie bookstore.

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What Off/Kilter pick do you plan to add to your TBR first? Let us know on social media by tagging us @alllitupcanada.