There is a certain way that little old ladies look at you when they find you reading books with covers like this one. There were several times while reading the book, however, that not only did I catch some of those little-old-lady glances, but I caught myself looking at the book itself with what I imagine to be a very similar facial expression to those ladies. It’s been a while since I’ve come across quite so many great stories as those that have been contained in these horror anthologies compiled by Ellen Datlow. The best part is that I have one more of these beauties sitting on my shelf, waiting for me to sink my claws into it. And after this one, I can’t wait to do just that.
THE MONSTROUS is the second in a string of horror anthologies recently put together by Ellen Datlow through Tor and Tachyon Publications. They revolve around the idea of “monstrous” things, in all shapes, flavors, and sizes, and how the “regular” humans react. Herein were absolutely some of the creepiest horror shorts that I’ve ever read, and judging from the author list, this shouldn’t surprise any of you that are familiar with the genre. The writing varied some, as is wont to happen in these books, from decent to REALLY good, with the majority tending toward awesome.
Lovers of horror will love this anthology. A great one to bury you teeth in.
Generally Ellen Datlow’s anthologies are themed. This one is a follow up to her NIGHTMARES: A NEW DECADE OF MODERN HORROR anthology. They don’t really have a ‘theme’ exactly. Just a general collection of horror stories. So! Let’s get started.
First off, I love the cover. Even though I read the e-book this would be one I would want for the cover.
The stand-outs for me were Spectral Evidence by Gemma Files, Mr. Pigsny by Reggie Oliver and Ambitious People Like You by Richard Kadry. Spectral Evidence because I am a total sucker when it comes to document-type or epistolary type stories and books. And this was a good one. I loved Mr. Pigsny because it had an interesting demonic story and a creepy painting. Horror gold for me. Ambitious Boys Like You interested me because it starts with the often used ‘robbing the mysterious old man’ theme (which we all know does not end well for the would-be robbers, usually) and I was interested in seeing which way this one would go.
4 out of 5 Skulls
FROM THE BRINY DEEP
AND THE OUTER DIMENSIONS
THEY COME ONCE AGAIN
For more info about THE MONSTROUS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Reiko Murakami
Cover design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about NIGHTMARES: A NEW DECADE OF MODERN HORROR, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Nihil
Design by Elizabeth Story
For more info about LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by John Coulthart