Heuler’s stories dart out at what the world is doing and centre on how the individual copes with it. Anything is possible: people breed dogs with humans to create a servant class; beneath one great city lies another city, running it surreptitiously; an employee finds that her hair has been stolen by someone intent on getting her job; strange fish fall from trees and birds talk too much; a boy tries to figure out what he can get when the Rapture leaves good stuff behind. Everything is familiar; everything is different. Behind it all, is there some strange kind of design or merely just the chance to adapt? In Heuler’s stories, characters cope with the strange without thinking it’s strange, sometimes invested in what’s going on, sometimes trapped by it, but always finding their own way in.
“. . . Heuler’s vivid imagination, strong prose and remarkable visions make The Inner City a collection worth reading.” —Digital Journal
“Heuler continues to delight with her thoughtful brand of modern surrealism/magic realism—a criminally underrated writer.” —Jeff VanderMeer
“Heuler (The Made-Up Man) presents an engrossing collection of 15 tales of the ways individuals and society influence one another. Movements such as environmentalism and fundamentalism are presented without bias in “The Large People” and “The Great Spin,” pointing out both the sensible and the ridiculous. The only unredeemable concept is bureaucracy, costing one woman her job and identity in “The Hair” and another her sanity in “The Inner City.” Other stories focus more on the individual than on a particular issue, both in personal relationships (“Ordinary”) and professional ones (“Thick Water”). The tone shifts easily from fairy tale storytelling (“FishWish”) to internal monologue (“The Escape Artist”). Though the universally strong stories have no explicit connection, they blend to suggest a world that is at once recognizable and distorted, providing a new, clear perspective on the forces shaping contemporary Western culture.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“. . . Heuler blurs the line between genres. Science fiction, horror, fantasy—it’s all here. And so it’s exactly the sort of book that ChiZine Publications in Toronto has become known for producing, not only because of its genre blending—and bending—prose, but because of the excellence of the stories contained within.” —The Winnipeg Review