The weirdest love story you’ve ever read!
The love story of conjoined twins and their suitors, two men stranded in an underground military bunker, and the sentient CPU overseeing America’s nuclear armaments that falls for a Pentagon fax machine.
Scope out these reviews!
“Definitely outside of my comfort zone. Definitely worth it.”
“I doubt many books have defied categorization as much as Mark Miller’s The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World….A mind-blowing experience.”
“This is brave writing by a brave mind.”
“I found myself with a slight bit of mental whiplash and loved every second of it.”
“Bizarre, hilarious and captivating! A magnificent mindfuck!”
“A well-blended cocktail of weird fiction and superb storytelling. Miller has penned something
special. Highly recommended!”
“An absurd, marvelous delight!”
“Dr. Strangelove with a heady rush of hormones…. This is high-octane romance on steroids.”
“Mark Miller has redefined the genre. Put this on your to-read list now!”
“We could treat the imminent end of the world as a tragedy or as a comedy, and Miller comes down firmly—appropriately, in my view—on the side of the latter. This is heady and clever stuff.”
“The ending is beautiful. It’s perfect. It’s gorgeous. It’s so damn good. It is a symphony to the human heart, to humanity, to existence.”
Mark Miller’s The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World is an absurdist romp that ties together conjoined twins, mad gay love in underground nuclear bunkers, Yugos, sentient CPU’s, the 1980s, and the tribulations of young romance when you’re two girls in one body. With rock-solid prose, Miller’s tale comes off like a direct descendant of Dr. Strangelove and Catch 22. And there’s a distinctly subversive whiff of Terry Southern in there somehow. Maybe even a little Tom Wolfe at his unruly, pre-fiction best. The convolutions are many, and the jokes range from subtle to over the top. The robust, unpretentious prose never lets the story slip out of focus, and the sheer plenitude of imagination is stirring. This is brave writing by a brave mind.
— Polly Schattel, author of Shadowdays
I doubt many books have defied categorization as much as Mark Miller’s The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World. Nor do I think many novels could so challenge a reviewer to explain the content without giving away spoilers. And not a lot of books befuddle a reviewer to summarize the story without sounding like a rambling, confused idiot. Miller accomplishes all three of these things. And he does so in a delightful and wild ride. I loved it. You’ll want to read the tale for yourself, because Miller creates this unique atmosphere in a story of love, adventure, intrigue, science fiction, romance, twists and turns, and, well, you get the picture.
Miranda and Amanda sit at the heart of the epic journey. They are conjoined twins, though they lived life until high school as mere twins, until an unexplainable accident thrust their bodies together, while keeping their heads and minds separated. They moved out of their small-town Texas community but a series of strange events and forced decisions lead them to return for their 30th high school class reunion. Also, in part, they go back home because of unresolved love interests from high school, which means we meet Pierce and Jack, who play vital roles in the narrative.
Yet this seemingly simple love story comes with a 1980s legacy, villains threatening to blow up the earth, or at least part of Texas, and a rogue computer, who also seeks love. In other words, along with the romance, the novel serves as an action-packed thriller. Soldiers/government employees, Joe and Buck, become central to the action, after living an underground life for decades, thinking their job is still to protect the United States from the Soviet Union during the Cold War. What on earth will happen at the end? Will all these characters find the love of their lives? Will the earth explode from a Cold War remnant-nuclear catastrophe? Who is a secret agent, who seeks to protect humanity, and why are Amanda and Miranda at the heart of this chaos? This summary doesn’t even mention the sinister black Yugos or the rogue arm at the heart of the plot.
This novel is hilarious. Miller spins farcical dialogue yet makes the conversations sound perfectly plausible, given the circumstances. As a reader, you will cheer for the couples to find one another, even as you wonder if they all die at the end. The conversations between computers, fax machines, and the arm alone make reading this novel worthwhile for the laughs.
Miller crafts a distinctive world, and with it brings humor, action, adventure, romance, and positive LGBTQIA+ representation. Woven into the mind-blowing experience, Miller provides an intellectual commentary on the state of the contemporary world and humanity’s future. But I don’t want to let this serious aspect detract from the circus atmosphere of Miller’s universe. I am still giggling about the plot surprises and the genuine but amusing characters. You will too. And then you can try to figure out how to write your own review of what you just experienced, knowing the difficulty of the task but wanting to do it so others can experience the fun you just had with Mark Miller’s The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World.
–Damian Serbu, Windy City Reviews
While I was being introduced to what is one of the most colorful casts of characters I have read in recent memory, I found myself with a slight bit of mental whiplash and loved every second of it. This is a strange story, to say the least, but its strangeness was done in such a fun and immersive way that it’s easy to lose yourself in this fever dream of a plot. The puns, analogies, and little quips littered throughout are what really makes this an enticing read. Miller works wonders with a satirical spin, like the whole world is some big cruel joke, and you find yourself laughing at it too. The elements used to illustrate this keep the feeling light while hitting targets that are thought provoking at the same time.
I’m absolutely giving this 4 out of 5 stars. It was entertaining, immersive and one of the most creative reads I have had the pleasure of enjoying. It has everything you could want and reads like you are watching a movie. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a page turner full of quirks.
Manda Marie, BookBud Reviews
As a horror aficionado child of the 80s who grew up near a nuclear trigger plant, I never knew I could actually like, and even love, a romance novel about mutually assured destruction. I am not joking when I say that Mark Miller has redefined the genre. Put this on your ‘to read’ list now!
–Sarah Walker, co-editor of Walk in a Darker Wood
An absurd, marvelous delight! Light, breezy, and a joy to read, with well-fleshed characters and all their quirks and foibles. But for all its hilarious absurdity, Miller weaves a gossamer thread of melancholy into the story, giving it a depth that some might find surprising.
–Roxanne Bland, author of The Underground
Amanda and Miranda Morgan are identical twins dreaming about first kisses and playing spin the bottle in the ‘80s of rural east Texas, until a secret government particle collider hidden beneath their family farm accidentally conjoins them. Now they must navigate the normal teenage angst of love, hormones, and popularity as two minds trapped in one body –a situation made all the more excruciating because both girls have different dreams and are in love with different boys.
Meanwhile, two devoted military men, Joe and Buck, have been living in an underground bunker for thirty years with no contact from anyone. They realize they’ve fallen in love, and are quite content with their isolation. But when the CPU of their module becomes sentient and threatens to destroy the world, they must make a decision: let it all burn, or save the world that would reject them? The CPU has a life of his own. Without orders to protect the world from the cold war, he (of course it’s a he!) feels his existence is futile. He falls in love with the Pentagon’s fax machine, but after she rejects his repeated advances, he vows to use the particle collider to return the world to the time of the cold war, to a time when he had purpose and could complete his mission.
The Morgan twins grow up, investigate polyamory, search for autonomy, travel the world, start businesses, and try to find love. They receive an invitation to their thirtieth high school reunion just as the CPU plans to take the world back to the good old 1980s and everything spins out of control!
This book is sort of like throwing Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Buckaroo Banzai, Red Dawn, Weird Science, Spies Like Us, and Rocky IV into a blender with a bunch of Rubik’s Cubes, Debbie Gibson Electric perfume, and acid wash jeans, making a suicidal Slurpee, and sipping it as you stroll around the mall listening to The Dead Kennedys on your walkman. Miller makes us see clearly that all the stuff of a Gen X childhood was simply a magic trick designed to distract us from the fact that we were hiding under our desks waiting for the nukes to come; he shines a spotlight on the fundamental disconnects we all live(d) with: the bubble-gum fun dancing in the face of impending doom.
I am not going to compare Mark Miller’s writing to another author because there is only one Mark Miller. His humor is quirky and zany and a bright spot in this universe. He makes me laugh out loud. His characters are original. His books are considered absurd literature, but I honestly believe there isn’t a category that best suits him. His social commentary, his sensitivity to issues, the big hearts and dreams he pours into his characters, his humor and irony, all make his work special.
In the end, the last one hundred pages of this book made me cry. These days, I don’t cry very often at writing. But The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World is a beautiful love poem to what it means to be human, to be alive, to love, and seek love in a world that is ever-changing.
I love this book so damn much. The ending is beautiful. It’s perfect. It’s gorgeous. It’s so damn good. It is a symphony to the human heart, to humanity, to existence.
–Nora B. Peevy, co-editor Alien Sun Press
A story about acceptance, introspection, enlightenment, and love. So much love, it practically oozes the stuff! Along the way there are thrills, suspense, and banter so good it would leave the cast of Dawson’s Creek speechless. This story smells like gothic art, (just read it, you’ll see) entertains like a Duran Duran video marathon, and satisfies like a trip to the Tastee Freeze. It’s more than good. It’s nuclear.
–Jezzy Wolfe, author of Monstrum Poetica
A well-blended cocktail of weird fiction and superb storytelling. His novel is not only a statement about the mad world in which we live but an analysis of the complexity of humanity and a unique exploration of relationships. It can’t be denied that this author has penned something special. Highly recommended!
—James G. Carlson, author of Seven Exhumations and Midnight in the City of the Carrion Kid
The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World blends romance with ribald adventure and humor in a novel that promises to attract a wide range of readers to its unusual escapades and odd characters.
Their connection was not forged at birth, but was created by a government snafu involving a particle collider project hidden underneath the family farm. The Morgan twins are on the path to adulthood, facing romantic attractions complicated both by their physical connection and their separate outlooks on life and men.
Mark Miller also injects end-of-the-world drama into this story, which comes with unexpected differences. One example is two men ensconced underground in a survival bunker for 30 years who discover attraction for one another and reasons for not seeking a return to civilization. This is paired with a newly sentient CPU who, lonely for love, seeks a romantic connection with a fax machine at the Pentagon. Singularity never looked like this before. Nor has love.
As events evolve, these disparate characters assume the flavor of Dr. Strangelove mixed with a heady rush of hormones that returns a high-octane romance on steroids.
Expect the unexpected, because that’s one delightful strength of The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World. It ultimately examines the end of worlds, the beginnings of new worlds, and the promise and rush of romance under extraordinary conditions. A heady injection of social inspection with references to cis-gendered white male privilege, American patriotism gone awry, and a shockingly definitive conclusion ices the cake of both fun and serious social and political analysis.
Libraries and readers looking for a mix of romance, sci-fi, and relationship-evolving characters (and machines) will find The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World‘s creative blend of humor and conundrums to be involving, unique, and satisfyingly unexpected.
Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
Mark Miller is an author who’s new to me, and as I began reading The Two-Headed Lady at the End of the World (TTHLATEOTW) I will confess that I didn’t initially know what to make of it. Now having finished the book, I’m happy to say that this is a delightful, absurdist comedy novel about twin sisters conjoined into a single body, a pair of soldiers placed in a nuclear bunker and then forgotten about for decades, a cyborg assassin, a bunch of Yugos (you remember those cars, right?), and an artificial intelligence in control of America’s nuclear arsenal that becomes sentient and falls in love with a fax machine at the Pentagon that wants nothing to do with him.
This is a love story, a thriller, a comedy, and a science fiction epic, and that’s a tough genre combination to manage, but I think Miller does a good job of it.
[He] has an entertaining sense of humor (and sense of the absurd that sometimes metamorphoses into the surreal) and displays a deft hand with dark subjects. We could treat the imminent end of the world as a tragedy or as a comedy, and Miller comes down firmly—appropriately, in my view—on the side of the latter. This is heady and clever stuff.
Andrew Byers, Hellnotes
1. Y’all – THIS ISN’T HORROR. It’s an ‘absurdist romance’. Definitely out of my comfort zone. Definitely worth it.
2. One of the things I struggle with in the fantasy genre is suspension of belief (weirdly, this doesn’t bother me in horror at all), and if you’re going to read this book, you definitely need to suspend belief, but not to fantasy level. It’s weird, because honestly, I can see *most* of what is written actually happening. Is it the norm? Heck no, but would I put certain things past our government? Heck no to that as well.
3. That being said – this book is political – call politicians out by name political. But it also blatantly tackles other difficult societal issues and does so in a ridiculously blunt way that makes them seem so funny. In some instances, the laugh is short lived when you’re smacked in the face with the realization that this kind of thing is actually happening and it’s no longer on the fringe of society.
4. In the beginning there was a lot happening – a ton of both characters and plot lines; that felt a little disjointed for me, but the author pulled all the pieces together little by little and the overall picture of what was going on became clear. I’m so glad I stuck it out, because once things fell into place it was a heck of a ride!
5. There are some obscure pop culture references back to the 80’s and early 90’s which I flipping adored, especially the random block of pages that is made up of a jumble of song lyrics (it works) and even though it took me FOR-EV-VER to read it because I had to be sure I was singing the lyrics correctly, it brought me so much joy.
6. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect out of something with such an odd title, but it was such a delight! I laughed – a lot. And the busy plot was written so expertly – to take so many storylines and merge them in a way that makes sense is really impressive to me, especially while also writing weirdly relatable characters.
Rachel Schommer, Gym and Genres