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Aliya Whiteley Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Mean Mode Median (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Three Things About Me (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Light Reading (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Skein Island (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Loosening Skin (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Witchcraft in the Harem (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Disturbing the Beast (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Beauty (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Arrival of Missives (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Aliya Whiteley is a British poet, short fiction author, and novelist best known for creating stories that take their inspiration from a variety of genres. Whiteley was born in Barnsaple in 1974 and was brought up in Ilfracombe a seaside town that provides the inspiration for many of her novels and stories. She went to Ilfracombe College and from there proceeded to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where she got her bachelor’s in Theatre, Film and Television Studies. In 2011, she graduated from the University of Northumbria with an MSc in Library and Information Management. She wrote her dissertation on the research techniques employed by contemporary novelists. Apart from her multi-genre novels she also writes nonfiction about television, books, and film for the likes of Interzone, Den of Geek and other online magazines. She currently lives in West Sussex and when she is not writing, you can find her taking long walks on the beach for inspiration.

Aliya Whitely first got interested in professional authorship while she was in the university reading Television, Film and Theatre studies. She had always wanted to be an actress but did not think she was a good enough actor and hence she took up a Creative Writing class to make up credits. She was instantly hooked and started writing some plays, then short stories and poetry followed before she wrote several sitcoms that were almost taken up by the BBC. She then decided to try her hand at romance novels and once she thought she had the basics for structure she started writing novellas. Her first published work was “Three Things About Me” which was first published in 2006. While she has asserted that nothing came easy, she loved the process and the craft she was learning. Following the success of her first novel, she went on to publish “Light Reading,” which was a comic crime adventure similar to her debut. “Beauty” her 2014 novel is science fiction horror novella that was shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson and the James Tiptree awards. “The Arrival of Missives” a historical science fiction novella made the final shortlist for the Campbell Memorial Award while “Loosening Skin” a noir novel made the shortlist for the Arthur C Clarke award. As it stands, Whitely has more than one hundred published short fiction that have been featured in the likes of The Guardian, Interzone, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Strange Horizons, Black Static, The Dark, and in anthologies such as Lonely Planet’s Better than Fiction and Unsung Stories’ 2084.

Whiteley is known for her works that usually do not fit neatly into any genre. “Beauty” is a post-apocalyptic horror novel full of gender stereotypes, biological evolution, sex combined to make one epic narrative. It plays on the reader’s fears of the pull and push of intimacy, loss of identity and contamination. She tells a story of truly vivid horror, interpersonal conflict, as the author crafts a narrative of the divide between women and men and how far humans can go when they are deprived of the basic need for companionship. In “The Loosening Skin,” she tells a confounding, strange and original story of the corrosive effect of time as she explores relationships. The novel is a fantasy noir detective crossover that scintillates while skipping back and forth across the boundaries of different genres as it questions the meaning of freedom. “The Arrival of Missives” is a story about the choices we make in life, free will and fate. It is an exploration of the ideas of duty and love and the future though the author asserts that these concepts do not necessarily have right or wrong answers. The novel is set following the years of the Great War where the lead character is challenging the social mores of rural England.

“The Beauty” is one of Aliya Whiteley’s best novels that tells the story of a world that had been taken over by a fungal infection. Every woman in this world is suffering from the infection while the men that manage to survive exist in a state of limbo with the knowledge that they are the last generation. They are living without hope until strange yellow mushrooms start sprouting from the graves of the dead women killed by the fungus. A trio of lonely men get curious about the new phenomenon and are soon engaging with the inexplicably arousing and beautiful feminine figures made of the organic, spongy and soft material. Beneath all the sci-fi surrealism and dystopian horror is a fascinating look into what it means to be human, gender roles and gender. What is strange though is that it tool the arrival of the strange Beauty for the men to change their lives. They had been living in a state of impending doom that had them living in a brotherhood of sorrow. But the discovery of the disturbing and creepy beauty rekindles the desire to live once again and sets them at odds with each other yet again.

Whiteley’s “The Arrival of Missives” tells of Shirley a teenage girl from Somerset, a small British hamlet populated by tradesmen and farmers. But the rural world that is her home is too narrow for her as she wants to become a teacher. Her desire happens to coincide with a secret – she has romantic feelings for Mr. Tiller her instructor. She intends to go away to get an education in Taunton and come back and get married to the man of her dreams. Shirley is presented as a self-driven girl that is maturing into a woman that has her goals and will do anything to attain them. Her love interest has been back home for the past years following the end of the Great War in which he had participated with honor. He is an embodiment of the overturning of old conventions and the latent fears of invasion still very real in the small town of Somerset. He has the scars he got from the battlefield and a rock embedded in his torso all of which he wears with honor. Shirley thinks the world of him until she spends more time with him and learns that he is a wounded man, which makes her world a more complicated place.

“The Loosening Skin” is a story of a world in which everyone molts their skin which changes their character and personality every seven years. However, Rose Allington has extreme molt syndrome which means that she molts more frequently especially during times of distress. After she is discharged from the Royal Air Force she gets a job as a bodyguard to Max Black a superstar in Hollywood. She never intended to but she soon finds herself falling deeply in love with the man, who also feels the same way. Max believes that medical science and pills can stop molting but Rose thinks nobody can stop it and that anybody claiming to do so is a quack. Several years later, Max tracks down Rose and asks that she help him with a very important mission. He needs to track down a thief who stole his old and very valuable skins that could be sold to the highest bidder. Old skins usually retain the emotions that the wearers had and Max understandably does not want people to get his skins. Rose agrees to help him and is soon deep in the world of horrors as the skins she shed turned to haunt her.

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