About Me

Zilla Novikov is fictional, but she asks you not to hold that against her. You may have a birth certificate, and a driver’s license, and maybe even a family, gentle Reader, but you are no less a construct than Zilla. You are the face you show at your work, and the face you show to your lover, and the face you make when you pretend your survival does not demand your complicity. You are a work of fiction built on a teetering scaffold of contradicting truths, and so is Zilla.

You can find her questionable wit on Twitter and Tumblr, and her excellent taste in books on Storygraph or Goodreads. Zilla has a website but surely you’ve worked that out by now.

Zilla is also a regular contributor to the Night Beats News, a very real, entirely free newsletter for the Night Beats community. Ever wonder what dish to pair with a romantic Friday night reading of Neuromancer? Curious what the cover of The Gruffalo would look like if it was a dystopian YA novel? Wish you had access to monthly pictures of extremely cute cats? Subscribe to Night Beats News for all this and more.

Night Beats

We’re not fully certain who came up with the concept of Night Beats in the first place. Rachel? Zilla? Sabitha? Three writers as friends lead to some questionable decisions. In this case, coming up with the idea for a fictional TV show, Night Beats, and writing it into every fictional universe our characters inhabit. All of our protagonists watch this rubbish paranormal police procedural, and they all claim to hate it, and they all secretly love it. Night Beats is simply the best/worst TV show that was never made.

Then we made Night Beats Creative Commons so all our friends could use it too. Night Beats in every ‘verse! From a musical theme to an RPG setting to a Wattpad novel, people are finding creative ways to use Night Beats into their art. Want to get in with the cool kids*? Find out more on the Night Beats website, and use Night Beats in your next work. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

*Zilla Novikov is no longer a kid, and has never been cool. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Sad Bastard Cookbook

Life is hard. Some days are at the absolute limit of what we can manage. Some days are worse than that. Eating—picking a meal, making it, putting it into your facehole—can feel like an insurmountable challenge. We wrote this cookbook to share our coping strategies. It has recipes to make when you’ve worked a 16-hour day, when you can’t stop crying and you don’t know why, when you accidentally woke up an Eldritch abomination at the bottom of the ocean. But most of all, this cookbook exists to help Sad Bastards like us feel a little less alone at mealtimes.

The Sad Bastard Cookbook is funny, realistic, and kind. It’s vegetarian/vegan. It’s a community-built project. And the e-book is free. It’s hard to survive late capitalism and we want to help. Get your free e-book as a PDF here.

Reprise

Most people play ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’ as a game of hypothetical questions, but Eddy’s life takes an unconventional path. When Dr. François Gagnon offers Eddy Courant a postdoc position studying time loops, the chance to revive her failing research career pulls her from her depression and makes her feel alive again. Eddy loses herself to the thrill of science, and to the simpler pleasures of life—like flirting with her boss and seducing his wife. That is, until the men funding the research demand more ground-breaking data to justify keeping her on board. Eddy is plunged into more violent, darker acts to appease the funders. So long as she’s employed, she doesn’t have to face the consequences of replaying countless deaths—including her own. But keeping track of shifting timelines while her mental state deteriorates means losing the ability to tell real life from its shadow.

Zilla signed Reprise to Bumblepuppy Press. More information about ways to buy the book, pre-order giveaways, and other questionable life choices you can engage in coming soon. Content notes for the book are here.

Query

Zilla’s struggling with working inside the system at the end of the world. To cope, she’s written a postmodern speculative fiction novel about her fears of climate catastrophe. In her novel, a repeating cast of characters confronts an impending apocalypse in six different worlds: Jewish folktale, dark academia, urban fantasy, steampunk portal fantasy, paranormal-investigation screenplay, and space opera. But finding literary representation isn’t easy, particularly given the state of the publishing industry in neoliberal capitalism. Zilla’s query letters devolve into a darkly funny exploration of her own psyche. The biography becomes a diary of her fights with her liberal friends and her growth in a community of activists; the blurb is replaced with snippets of her novel that echo her moods. Her letters include song recommendations in the comps, works of cut-up poetry, and an ASCII penis. Zilla might not be able to succeed inside the system, but she’s starting to question how much meaning that kind of success holds.

The fate of this novella is as hard to predict as that of the world it exists in. More information coming, maybe, someday.