“Kern’s debut novella takes climate change and makes it personal. Readers will root hard for Noah and his found family to survive the crisis they’re facing, but Noah’s internal journey proves to be just as compelling. This book is a ghost story, but it’s a love story too: to the queer community, to those we’ve lost, and all we stand to lose if we don’t take drastic action. Kern’s prose is tremendously effective and will both break your heart and offer hope.
— “18 Notable Debuts by Trans, Non-binary, and Gender Non-conforming Authors” by Jen St. Jude for the Chicago Review of Books

“Texas is shaken by an apocalyptic flood in Kern’s tense, entrancing debut novella. Noah, a trans man, takes refuge in a Dallas basketball arena-turned-relief shelter, rubbing shoulders with the full spectrum of Texas society, from members of the Austin queer community to conservative good ol’ boys. Noah finds his place with Elena, a trans woman, and nonbinary Malone as the shelter residents band together in small groups to help one another. Noah is also visited by a ghostly boy, Abe, who he believes to be the spirit of his great grandfather, who delivers warnings and doles out advice. Noah struggles in a world without privacy, grapples with his complex relationship with his Jewish identity, and, as tensions rise between factions and conditions in the arena deteriorate, his loyalty to his newfound friends is tested. Noah faces the same choice his great-grandfather once wrestled with: to save himself or die helping his friends. With high stakes and a solid emotional core, and a perfect balance of speculation and an all-too-real vision of climate apocalypse, Kern shows the necessity of compassion, empathy, and community in the face of crisis.”
— Publishers Weekly starred review (link)

Depart, Depart! grabbed me from its first, tense page. Noah’s story of losing and finding community amid disaster, guided by the unreliable ghost of a traumatized ancestor, is too compelling to put down. Kern’s writing is fierce and fearless, equally dextrous with portraying apocalyptic climate change or the joy of a queer dance floor when a DJ starts spinning Beyoncé. I’d say this novella isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s for all of us trapped in unravelling situations, facing the seemingly intractable binary of being safe and alone, or vulnerable but together.”
— Nino Cipri, author of FINNA and HOMESICK

“DEPART, DEPART! is a prescient and thoughtfully intelligent novel  about a world in crisis. This is an important debut, and Sim Kern is a writer to watch.”
— Dan Chaon,  author of ILL WILL

“Nakedly aching, Sim Kern’s DEPART, DEPART! beautifully weaves together a ghost story about disaster, ancestry, trauma, found family, and ultimately what it means to survive with a whole soul. I couldn’t put it down.”
— Maxine Kaplan, author of THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL

“Sim Kern is a talented author whose ability to imagine frightening but credible futures highlights issues we face here and now.”
— Morris Allen, editor of Metaphorosis Magazine

Depart, Depart! is ultimately a story of hope. It’s a steadying hand on the shoulder of trans readers, particularly those struggling to feel safe and loved, and particularly those who feel that different parts of themselves can never be reconciled.”
— Em Rowntree, The Geekiary (full review here)

Order Depart, Depart!

Depart, Depart! Paperback | $18.99 CAD
Ordering directly from Stelliform, you will receive a paperback printed on recycled paper. At this time, paperbacks ordered from other sources such as Amazon are not printed on recycled paper stock. Payment is through PayPal, in Canadian dollars.
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Depart, Depart! EPUB | $9.99 CAD
Ordering directly from Stelliform, you will receive a DRM-free EPUB copy of the novella. Payment is through PayPal, in Canadian dollars.
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Also Available from:

  • Your local independent bookstore
  • Bookshop.org (link)
  • Weightless Books Ebooks (link)
  • Barnes and Noble (link)
  • Alibris (link)
  • Amazon.com (link) | Amazon.ca (link) | Amazon.co.uk (link)