A romantic science fiction short story published in The New Yorker and written by Iowa author Kate Folk, Out There, is getting a small screen adaptation to be distributed on Hulu, as reported by Deadline. The executive producer team is led by Folk herself, as well as five-time BAFTA nominee Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Pulling) and Emmy winner Jason Winer (Single Parents, Modern Family), Deadline reports. Folk tweeted out the announcement and confirmed that Horgan would be collaborating with her on the scripts.
cat’s out of the bag.. i’m writing a tv show with sharon horgan based on my BLOT stories !https://t.co/vabMVoDHsT
— Kate Folk (@katefolk) November 19, 2020
Other executive producers involved in the project are Oscar nominee Kira Carstensen (The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, Glued) and Merman co-founder Clelia Mountford (This Way Up, Frayed), as well as former Imagine Entertainment VP Jon Radler (Perfect Harmony).
Folk’s short story was published in March 2020. It follows an unnamed woman whose first dating app experience connects her with a computer science major named Sam, who may or may not be one in a species of conventionally attractive artificial humanoids called “blots” engineered to steal data from vulnerable women.
Folk discussed the philosophical connotation of blots with The New Yorker‘s literary interview blog This Week in Fiction: “The blots play into our fear of someone who seems ‘too good to be true.’ In the early stages of dating, I think we are all comforted by a person’s obvious (but tolerable) flaws… because the alternative is worse– someone seeming perfect but then turning out to be terrible in an unexpected way. Being able to immediately spot a person’s defects can relieve a certain pressure.”
The blend of genre fiction and thematic material about relationships is common to Folk’s other published short-form works. Her 2016 short story Heart Seeks Brain tells of a world where it is common practice for romantic partners to feed on each other’s internal body parts. The Last Woman on Earth, published in Prairie Schooner, is a satirical tale about the gender discourse that arises from an apocalyptic event where every woman, save for one, is wiped off the planet. A zine called The Eyes of the Chest contains bite-sized stories from Folk about a Texas couple forced to bury fetal tissue, a woman who dates a version of Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock from an alternate timeline, and an unexpectedly violent Robot Beethoven, among other such surreal comic narratives.
You can read Folk’s short story Out There in its entirety on The New Yorker‘s website.