Irregular Creatures by Chuck Wendig. This nine-story collection is full of wildly imaginative premises, very real characters, and a lot of heart.
Also, this is some weird shit.
Like Dog Man and Cat Bird (A Flying Cat Story). The title kind of says it all. But it doesn't really so you should read the story. Maybe my favorite in the collection, it's the tale of how a suburban dad gets his groove back through one airborne feline.
Of course this has been done before, but Wendig manages to make it new again.
Product Placement is another gem. What would happen if all the brands you knew suddenly disappeared? I think this is what the grad students call post-modern. Though I'm not sure. Anyways, this is also an accurate and hilarious breakup story. And it's science fiction.
As you might be able to tell by now, Wendig really knows how to say fuck you! to the whole genre thing. Or, as he puts it, these stories "drunkenly swerve between fantasy, horror and science fiction--with a dash of humor and absurdity thrown in for good measure."
This is the kind of book I'm thrilled to see in electronic form. It probably wouldn't have had a home in traditional publishing, but it's thriving as a self-pubbed ebook. Anybody who likes expertly crafted oddball stories will love Irregular Creatures.