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Your Mind Is a Terrible Thing

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Communications specialist Alto’s shift aboard the starship M.G. Yellowjacket turns hellish after waking from a tryst to learn every crewmate has vanished. Worse, a sinister presence has crawled aboard the ship. It’s violent, destructive, and it can reach into your thoughts to make you see and feel what it wants. Anxiety-ridden Alto might be the least-qualified person to fac Communications specialist Alto’s shift aboard the starship M.G. Yellowjacket turns hellish after waking from a tryst to learn every crewmate has vanished. Worse, a sinister presence has crawled aboard the ship. It’s violent, destructive, and it can reach into your thoughts to make you see and feel what it wants. Anxiety-ridden Alto might be the least-qualified person to face a creature that can hack minds like computers. Only a perilous journey to the ship’s bridge can reunite comms specialist with crew and give them a chance to call for help. But the intruder only scratches the surface of this crisis, and discovering the truth will bring Alto face to face against a nightmare beyond flesh and thought.


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Communications specialist Alto’s shift aboard the starship M.G. Yellowjacket turns hellish after waking from a tryst to learn every crewmate has vanished. Worse, a sinister presence has crawled aboard the ship. It’s violent, destructive, and it can reach into your thoughts to make you see and feel what it wants. Anxiety-ridden Alto might be the least-qualified person to fac Communications specialist Alto’s shift aboard the starship M.G. Yellowjacket turns hellish after waking from a tryst to learn every crewmate has vanished. Worse, a sinister presence has crawled aboard the ship. It’s violent, destructive, and it can reach into your thoughts to make you see and feel what it wants. Anxiety-ridden Alto might be the least-qualified person to face a creature that can hack minds like computers. Only a perilous journey to the ship’s bridge can reunite comms specialist with crew and give them a chance to call for help. But the intruder only scratches the surface of this crisis, and discovering the truth will bring Alto face to face against a nightmare beyond flesh and thought.

30 review for Your Mind Is a Terrible Thing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Baker

    This was my first Hailey Piper book but it definitely won’t be my last!! This was a very fun sci-fi horror with some pretty unique imagery and body horror. I struggled a bit with picturing the setting at times, but I think that’s only because I typically struggle with scifi and fantasy settings. Regardless, I highly recommend!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Zach Rosenberg

    The best way I can describe Hailey Piper's work is horror with hope and humanity. I've said in the past how few writers excite me like her novels, and Your Mind I a Terrible Thing is a sterling example of why. Alto awakens on a desolate spaceship after they spend the night with a counselor, and finds it empty. It is a scene of terror that has repeated itself through a great many blendings of horror and science fiction. Isolation is frightening. Isolation in space is even more terrifying, from Ali The best way I can describe Hailey Piper's work is horror with hope and humanity. I've said in the past how few writers excite me like her novels, and Your Mind I a Terrible Thing is a sterling example of why. Alto awakens on a desolate spaceship after they spend the night with a counselor, and finds it empty. It is a scene of terror that has repeated itself through a great many blendings of horror and science fiction. Isolation is frightening. Isolation in space is even more terrifying, from Alien to System Shock. But there's a more terrifying aspect to it: what if we're not alone? What is with us when we awaken? What remains there, to haunt us, if not our own fears and anxieties and can anything be more terrifying than that? Piper strives to answer that question in Alto, a person with so many insecurities and issues that many readers will see themselves in them. And on this ship is the mind and the message, proclaimed by the messenger. Something has happened. Something is coming. Alto steadily unravels a frightening mystery, where the most frightening thing of all is how they truly appear in the eyes of others. How are they viewed by those around them? How do they see themselves? Each of Piper's stories I have read so far feature the terror of something being out of the protagonist's control. In Benny Rose, a group of teenage girls are hunted by a ravenous ghoul actively aided by adults. In Queen of Teeth, Yaya faces her body's rebellion and begins to become something new. This is a loss of control of the mind, subsumed by a message humans can barely understand and the terrifying notion of what your individuality is worth when you can barely believe in yourself. But Piper is a writer who refuses to let her characters give fully into despair. Alto is not a victim, they re not helpless. Their self actualization and their ability to overcome is one of the best parts of the novel, since individuality against the collective that seeks to subsume it remains important to the final page. And of course with copious body horror. One scene when the crew is revealed reminds me of a Sci Fi Shunt (from Society!) and Piper knows when to bring the gruesome descriptions. Never does her writing feel gratutious and the story paces itself extremely well. It's claustrophobic, it's tense, it's scary, but it's also hopeful. It's inspiring. It's about a single person fighting to matter and invites us to cheer for them through it. Another terrific effort.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Robinson

    Review soon!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maddy

    Brief synopsis: Alto, a comms specialist on the M.G. Yellowjacket, wakes up to find their crew has vanished. There's another presence, though, and it's invading their mind. Hailey Piper has written an imaginative, queer world of cyperpunk, bodypunk, feral brains, and mind invasion. Her unique concepts for things like wraiths - androids created in a recycled human shell - were highlights for me. I also appreciated seeing inside the mind of a protagonist with anxiety and self-esteem problems, as w Brief synopsis: Alto, a comms specialist on the M.G. Yellowjacket, wakes up to find their crew has vanished. There's another presence, though, and it's invading their mind. Hailey Piper has written an imaginative, queer world of cyperpunk, bodypunk, feral brains, and mind invasion. Her unique concepts for things like wraiths - androids created in a recycled human shell - were highlights for me. I also appreciated seeing inside the mind of a protagonist with anxiety and self-esteem problems, as well as the non-binary representation (Alto uses they/them pronouns). Unfortunately, I don't think I was the audience for this story. I was expecting space horror, but this is very heavy on the hard sci-fi. I spent a lot of the story confused, and I had to reread sections multiple times. I also felt that most of the action was told rather than shown; combined with the confusion, that took away any suspense. I am avoiding a star rating all-together for this read. I am positive that there is an audience for this book who will love it, so I don't want to turn anyone away from it. I recommend it sci-fi readers in particular, as well as those who are looking for books with a non-binary protagonist.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Joyce

    Great concept delivered by Piper's unique voice. Fantastic read! I loved the fantastic world-building in this one. Piper gave us enough to understand how space travel was accomplished, as well as the different factions, without any huge chunks of exposition. The use of "wraiths" was really intriguing, as was the idea of body modification and how easily it could be done, thanks to the advanced technology. Alto is a great protagonist, exploring their mental health and feelings of self-loathing whil Great concept delivered by Piper's unique voice. Fantastic read! I loved the fantastic world-building in this one. Piper gave us enough to understand how space travel was accomplished, as well as the different factions, without any huge chunks of exposition. The use of "wraiths" was really intriguing, as was the idea of body modification and how easily it could be done, thanks to the advanced technology. Alto is a great protagonist, exploring their mental health and feelings of self-loathing while battling the mysterious enemy who utilise human flesh in a gruesome and visually stunning way. Great concept, delivered by Piper's unique voice. A fantastic read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Norman Miller

    With this and "The Queen of Teeth," Hailey Piper has proven herself to be the teller of some of the most unique stories I've read. She is a fantastic writer and this is a fantastic story. With this and "The Queen of Teeth," Hailey Piper has proven herself to be the teller of some of the most unique stories I've read. She is a fantastic writer and this is a fantastic story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Entazis

    Here's the thing. My mind is a terrible thing. Sometimes, I really want to punch my own brain. And punch it. So reading this was both a bit cathartic and hard. It would be so easy to say this book is only a metaphor for living with anxiety. I mean, it doesn't really hide it. The main character even goes to therapy for it. But it's also a gory, visceral, cyberpunkish space horror, reminiscent of old scifi movies. There's so many great scifi ideas regarding body modification (you'll know THE one wh Here's the thing. My mind is a terrible thing. Sometimes, I really want to punch my own brain. And punch it. So reading this was both a bit cathartic and hard. It would be so easy to say this book is only a metaphor for living with anxiety. I mean, it doesn't really hide it. The main character even goes to therapy for it. But it's also a gory, visceral, cyberpunkish space horror, reminiscent of old scifi movies. There's so many great scifi ideas regarding body modification (you'll know THE one when you see it), and what it says about body commodification is maybe not new, but still very important (the cargo of the spaceship and what happens to it is a discussion worthy topic. I wrote a bit about commodification of bodies and anti-capitalist themes in zombie fiction, post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction multiple times, so you could say I appreciate this particular issue portrayed in fiction.) This book is really unique, in style, subject matter and atmosphere. I liked the slimy feel of it, the weirdness of feral brains dragging around spaceship and attacking, the anxiety riddled main protagonist in a fight for survival against their own brain and literal monster brains. Even though Your Mind Is a Terrible Thing is a novella, it has a feel of a short novel. There's so many things packed in the short form. And yet, if it was any longer it wouldn't have been as impactful. Space horror is an amazing genre (the utter isolation in the vastness of space where people can't survive is already suffocating and anxiety inducing even without adding monstrous aliens), and this is a great addition to it. (I was a bit slow reading it, but it had nothing to do with the book, and everything with my busy schedule this month. I was mostly so dead tired I couldn't read anything.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brennan LaFaro

    Hailey Piper is the undisputed queen of luring the reader in with the two word synopsis. Want to convince someone to read Queen of Teeth? Vagina Kaiju. And she's done it again. So, here's your selling point for Your Mind is a Terrible Thing... Feral Brains. Intrigued? Step inside. Piper has repeatedly proven she can write in a multitude of horror subgenres, taking on slasher, possession, cosmic, and more, each seemingly with more fanfare than the last. Your Mind is a Terrible Thing takes the reader Hailey Piper is the undisputed queen of luring the reader in with the two word synopsis. Want to convince someone to read Queen of Teeth? Vagina Kaiju. And she's done it again. So, here's your selling point for Your Mind is a Terrible Thing... Feral Brains. Intrigued? Step inside. Piper has repeatedly proven she can write in a multitude of horror subgenres, taking on slasher, possession, cosmic, and more, each seemingly with more fanfare than the last. Your Mind is a Terrible Thing takes the reader to space. With staples of horror--copious corpses in cargo, anyone?--and a focus on isolation, YMIATT sets up all the pins for a successful space horror story. But it's Hailey Piper, so it's much more. As with the majority of her work, Piper adds a psychological elements that demands reflection from the reader. A perfect example of what a Piper story brings to the table, the antagonists bring both a surface-level horror as well as something deeper and more introspective. Alto, our protagonist, serves as a fully-realized character for the reader to relate to, a necessary addition to tie all of the elements together into something special. I'd like to say I hope Piper will incorporate further science fiction elements into her storytelling, and maybe she will, but I also have complete faith that whatever subgenre she puts her indelible mark on next will be all the stronger for it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wyrd Witch

    When it comes to mind-bending, gorgeous, and queer-as-in-fuck-you horror, there is no one quite like Hailey Piper. Piper’s work tends to blend the erotic and the terrifying. Her themes range from coming-of-age to liberation, anti-capitalist critique to queer agency. Piper’s creative ideas also reach the greatest heights, bringing new blood into old genres. Your Mind Is A Terrible Thing is the perfect example of the peak of Piper’s writing. The book deals with familiar ideas: sci-fi horror, a ter When it comes to mind-bending, gorgeous, and queer-as-in-fuck-you horror, there is no one quite like Hailey Piper. Piper’s work tends to blend the erotic and the terrifying. Her themes range from coming-of-age to liberation, anti-capitalist critique to queer agency. Piper’s creative ideas also reach the greatest heights, bringing new blood into old genres. Your Mind Is A Terrible Thing is the perfect example of the peak of Piper’s writing. The book deals with familiar ideas: sci-fi horror, a terrible attack on a working-class crew after hearing a distress signal, and the lockdown of a claustrophobic spaceship. However, the story’s variations on the sub-genre express where Piper as an author really shines. Read the rest of the review here.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    I don't normally like spaceship horror, but Hailey Piper is one of my most favourite authors and I am obsessed with everything she writes. I loved the character of Esme, one of the leads, right away--sultry confidence that vibrated through the text. Similarly, Alto was a strong lead. And then the violence erupted through the page and I was terrified. Wraiths, wraith parts, and feral brains have never been so scary. There's a lot of beauty in some of the pod parts and the ship itself, the Yellowj I don't normally like spaceship horror, but Hailey Piper is one of my most favourite authors and I am obsessed with everything she writes. I loved the character of Esme, one of the leads, right away--sultry confidence that vibrated through the text. Similarly, Alto was a strong lead. And then the violence erupted through the page and I was terrified. Wraiths, wraith parts, and feral brains have never been so scary. There's a lot of beauty in some of the pod parts and the ship itself, the Yellowjacket. This novella is gory body horror galore. The tension on each page is palpable as the reader wonders who will survive. This fits nicely into the trend of space horror we're seeing like Dead Silence by SA Barnes, and Screams from the Void by Anne Tibbets.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I liked the plot of this in theory (the twist as to what is actually going on is really cool) but I hated the clinical writing style and pretty much every character except the wraith sidekick.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    Very good but lost me a few times. That could have been a function of the audio more than anything though.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sammydavids

    i thought this was really great and different. my daughter is reading it now and she wants all this authors books for her birthday.

  14. 4 out of 5

    The Curator of Horror Chance Forshee

    I read YOUR MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING in a single sitting, hypnotized by the Space Horror unfurling before me like a tendril from a Feral Brain. This book is a wild ride, from our Non-Binary Protagonist, Alto, to the veritable army of Feral Brains. I cannot recommend it highly enough, because this one sticks with you long after the last page. Hailey Piper once again proves why she is one of the hottest names in Horror.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    A spectacular space horror mindjob that twists your brain into unexpected shapes. You probably won't be the same afterwards. You probably won't mind. A spectacular space horror mindjob that twists your brain into unexpected shapes. You probably won't be the same afterwards. You probably won't mind.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kassandra

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Thompson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Spaka Eon

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Huntington

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Horstmann-Allen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sjgomzi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Horcrux42

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scylla

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cumminscw

  25. 4 out of 5

    Candace

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sequoia Selah

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Blanchard

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sammi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Porter

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