Gretchen Felker-Martin’s Manhunt – a post-apocalyptic novel about trans women fighting for their very existence – will be published by Nightfire in Spring 2022!
Manhunt is a fast-paced novel that follows a group of trans women in a post-apocalyptic world where a viral plague has transformed all cis men into violent, feral monstrosities. This found family of survivors must also navigate an authoritarian faction of cis women who see them as a dangerous liability, tricky relationship dynamics, and a truly gruesome method of scavenging for estrogen so they don’t miss a dose – all while outrunning the feral men. It’s a timely, powerful response to every gender-based apocalypse story that failed to consider the existence of transgender and non-binary people, and it’s full of body horror, desire, and a grotesque spectrum of pain.
Here’s what Kelly Lonesome, senior editor at Nightfire, has to say about Manhunt:
“Rarely has horror truly considered the LGBTQIA community in its stories. With Manhunt, Gretchen shines a spotlight on the experience trans women would face in this unique post-apocalyptic scenario, and deftly explores the complexities around identity during such a crisis. Manhunt feels like a much-needed creative response to Brian K. Vaughan’s comic series, Y: The Last Man. Her writing is phenomenal – I couldn’t put down the submission and immediately knew this book was one Nightfire needed to bring to horror fans! I can’t wait for readers to experience the thrill of diving into her story! “
And from Gretchen Felker-Martin herself:
“Manhunt is a story about the worst things I’ve ever thought about myself boiling over into reality. It’s about the visceral fear of returning to manhood, which I left at the age of twenty-five. It’s about what it feels like to stand in front of the mirror as a newly out trans woman, convinced down to your marrow that you’ll never pass, that no one could ever love you, and the hideous moment when those feelings start to poison your perceptions of others like you. I wanted to come back to these ugly emotions from a place of adult queerness, from a place of trans community and trans love and romance, a radically different context than the isolated and caustic one my twenty-five-year-old self lived in.
So much of transness is defined by isolation for so many of us, especially isolation within our own thoughts about ourselves and each other. We’re taught to despise ourselves, to look with contempt and fear on our own community, to endlessly subdivide the acceptable and unacceptable ways of being. Beth and Fran’s story is about the things we can’t admit to each other. It’s about the wounds we carry as trans women. I’m writing it in the hope that someone, seeing secret fears and private hatreds like their own laid out in front of them, might feel a little less alone.”
Gretchen Felker-Martin is a Massachusetts-based horror author and film critic. You can follow her work on Twitter: @scumbelievable