Hate from the Sky by Sean M. Thompson
Publisher: Eraserhead Press, 2016
Review by Maxwell Bauman
We’ve all come across people in our lives who seem to hate us for no reason. For Kyle, this hate comes from the Sky. Sean M. Thompson’s novella Hate from the Sky, part of the Eraserhead Press‘s New Bizarro Author Series, is a surreal handling of the topics of hate, grief, control and judgment.
The Sky is personified as hating Kyle for no reason. It tells him so on multiple occasions, and has wrecked Kyle’s house so many times that he has a carpenter on speed dial. Kyle does his best to appease the Sky, via things like animal sacrifice and offerings of porn, the Sky isn’t having any of it (partly because the sky doesn’t have any genitals, and partly because it really loathes Kyle), to even dressing like a clown. But nobody likes clowns, not even the Sky.
Much like the biblical Job, Kyle faces a ripple effect of the wrath of the “Above” leading him to lose his home, girlfriend, his job, and his sanity. Kyle even begins to see connections where there aren’t any, like with the death of his father, assuming it’s another way the Sky is trying to make his life miserable.
Yet there is a saying, “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean you’re wrong.” The Sky has many servants, all out to inflict pain on Kyle. Even those who don’t directly have connections to the Sky mean to do Kyle wrong. My personal favorite character is a talking bathroom that literally fucks Kyle. I found this shitty character to be symbolic of how people will take advantage of you in your time of need for their own gain.
Hate from the Sky stresses the power of judgment. The sky in real life doesn’t judge, but we, as people, do. By the end of the story, we become like the Sky, hating Kyle. And trust me, Kyle makes some terrible choices worth hating.
When it comes down to it, we aren’t too different from the judgmental Sky. We judge people harshly all the time. Turn on the news and we see people at their worst and can easily say that criminals get what they deserve, when we only see a fraction of what and who they are. Thompson’s novella challenges us to step back and see what that kind of judgment can do to the individual.
So, if you’re looking for a thought-provoking book that will make you hate yourself and other people even more, pick up a copy of Hate from the Sky right now!
Maxwell Bauman is the Editor-in-Chief of Door Is A Jar literary Magazine. He is an M.A./M.F.A. graduate from Wilkes University. He is a wizard with Legos. He plays guitar and banjo. Maxwell has never had a strawberry.