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Once Human: Stories  & Our Moon Poem

two collections


A manga artist who is afraid that she herself is slipping into a cartoon version of life; a lab technician who makes art with the cloning technology she uses at work; a sociologist hunting for the gene that makes some people want to take risks—these are some of the characters that people the stories collected in Once Human. Exploring the territory where life is shaped by the science, technologies—and changing worlds—we bring into being, the people here often find that the harder they look, the less they can say. The map that emerges from these stories just as often charts the territory of human longing—and that great poetic theme: the failure of poetry (and of science, and of technology) to explain the ‘why’ of the world if not its ‘how.’

IndiFab Best Book of the Year

(Short Fiction) Nominee


Stories in the collection have been selected for the Harper Collins Anthology of Best Science Fiction; The Iowa Prize, and have received other recognition.


…. a valuable sampling of the work of a compelling and genuinely experimental writer.  –Daniel Green, The Kenyon Review


...Tomasula creates a new postmodern, post-human realism that richly traces our infinite potential of self-production, with just enough human left to give it a beating heart. –Quarterly West


…. In Once Human, Tomasula impresses not only with his literary skills but also with the range of his knowledge. –The Collagist

312 pages • Illustrations throughout.

UAL/FC2 Press. ISBN: 978-1-57366-176-8 • $22.95 paper More information and sample stories at:


Available at:, B&N, UAL Press, and bookstores.




Seen at the time as the apex of civilization, the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969 was heralded as a turning point for humankind. More important than the technical and political achievement it represented—a demonstration of the belief that anything was possible—the moon landing ushered in a global, ecological consciousness of earth itself as a spaceship with all humans as fellow travelers in the vast darkness of space. Our Moon Poem is a novel that considers the moon landing as a more kaleidoscopic event. Told through the monologues of some 23 characters—from the astronauts themselves to Amish farmers to hippies in the park to the NASA employees that made it possible to those watching the moon landing on TV and those ignoring the moon landing—Our Moon Poem is a multilayered collage of the American myth it would become. Along the way, it explores how national mythologies of all kinds emerge from a cloud of storytelling, vested interests, and competing claims to shape how a people comes to think of themselves. An Audio Play of this novel is now in production.

Our Moon Poem


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