The Monstrous

Ellen Datlow, editor

Take a deliciously terrifying journey led by the best horror editor in the business. Literary masters of suspense, including Peter Straub, Kim Newman, and Caitlín R. Kiernan go to the dark place where the other is somehow one of us.


The Monstrous

by Ellen Datlow, editor

ISBN: 9781616962067

Published: October 2015

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Ebooks

On “Best of” Lists

Shotgun Logic Favorite Reads of 2015
LitReactor Top Ten Short Stories of 2015: “The Last Clean, Bright Summer” by Livia Llewellyn
Locus 2015 Recommended Reading List: Best Novella, “Corpsemouth: by John Langan

“Superstar editor Datlow makes no missteps….”
Publishers Weekly


Take a deliciously terrifying journey led by the best horror editor in the business. Literary masters of suspense, including Peter Straub, Kim Newman, and Caitlín R. Kiernan, go to a dark place where the other is somehow one of us. These electrifying tales redefine monsters from mere things that go bump in the night to inexplicable, deadly reflections of our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s a seemingly devoted teacher, an obsessive devotee of swans, or a diner full of evil creatures simply seeking oblivion, the monstrous is always there—and much closer than it appears.

Praise for The Monstrous

[Starred Review] Datlow, horror anthologist extraordinaire, brings together all things monstrous in this excellent reprint anthology of 20 horror stories that explore the ever-widening definition of what makes a monster, with nary a misstep. The varied sources of monstrosity include a very troubled kindergarten teacher, a catering company that puts humans on the menu, and spirit-devouring creatures out of Japanese mythology, all creating distinctive microcosms where monsters reign in many forms. In Gemma Files’s “A Wish from a Bone,” an archeological reality show filming in Sudan uncovers evidence of the Terrible Seven, ancient beings who are bent on destruction and domination. Adam-Troy Castro’s “The Totals” skewers bureaucracy and the daily grind by populating a drinking hole with monsters, who create mayhem, commit murder, and kvetch with their deadly coworkers with the same sense of ennui felt by any office drone. Other standouts by Sofia Samatar, Dale Bailey, and Christopher Fowler round out this atmospheric and frequently terrifying collection. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The only direction editor Datlow gave her contributors when compiling this collection was that she didn’t want any human monsters. While some of the twenty stories here skirt that rule, there are a nice variety of inhuman beasties as well. A moody Japanese tale from Jeffrey Ford, “A Natural History of Autumn,” opens the collection, followed by Peter Straub’s school-set riff on Cinderella, “Ashputtle.” Other standouts include Adam-Troy Castro’s “The Totals,” which gives us a competitive monster office and “Down Among the Dead Men” from Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois about a vampire imprisoned in a World War II concentration camp. The anthology also finishes strong with John Langan’s Scottish-set “Corpsemouth,” the single story original to this collection. VERDICT The list of contributors, including Gemma Files, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Adam L.G. Nevill, and Kim Newman, will be enough to get horror fans excited. The assortment of styles means that there is a monster here for everyone’s taste.—MM”
Library Journal

“[T]he writers whose yarns appear in this collection are definitely responsible for eliciting some genuinely unsettling responses to their tales. Unsettling is a desired response for those who write and read horror fiction, and The Monstrous fulfills the desire. . . .The twenty high caliber tales in Tachyon Publications’ The Monstrous delve into egregious behavior with intelligent observations. Eerie and artfully executed, the narratives are highly imaginative and chilling.”

“Vivid imagery and compelling narratives”
Portland Book Review

“It is the monstrous wonders that come from the intelligent minds of these authors that make this book amazing.”
Suspense Magazine

“For my money, this is the official book for Halloween 2015, a collection of shadows, scales, flesh and bone that is beautiful and unsettling all at once.”
Ensuing Chapters

“If horror is your thing, you will most definitely find a lot to love here.”
Killer Nashville

“Datlow has more backed-up expertise and accumulated assets than almost any other horror/dark/weird editor in the business. It certainly shows in this collection. It’s one of the most monstrous compilations around, and you may find yourself dreaming of its various manifestations for weeks or months afterwards (just not tentacled ones).”

“Hon­estly, every story in this anthol­ogy is excel­lent. It’s really a tes­ta­ment to Datlow’s wealth of expe­ri­ence in the genre, and her mas­ter­ful touch in edit­ing and com­pil­ing the best sto­ries around.”
The Warbler

“Ellen Datlow presents us with yet another utterly compelling cornucopia of horrors.”
Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing

The Monstrous is one of the most impressive themed anthologies of the year, varied in terms of theme and style, but not in quality.”
This Is Horror

The Monstrous is one of the best collections of stories I’ve read in recent years. Every story in this collection shines.”
The Book Lover’s Boudoir

“A must-have for every fan of horror. Highly recommended.”
Reclusive Reads

The Monstrous will chill and darken your day in a terrifyingly sweet way. When you begin to read it, you’ll most likely have problems putting it down, because all of the stories are intriguing and they may cause a few moments of unease and distress to readers. Highly recommended!”

“This anthology is thrilling and readable, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to read about unusual monsters.”
Paper Blog

I highly recommend it. The twenty tales in this tome will leave you sleepless for many nights to come, and yet begging for more.”
Shattered Ravings

“[There are] excellent stories in here by such authors as Peter Straub, Brian Hodge, Dale Bailey, and Kim Newman. Each story is horrific, touching, dark–it’s easy to get drawn in.”
Errant Dreams

“Every story is written with mastery and the kind of originality and attention to detail that gets you into a Datlow anthology in the first place.”
Shotgun Logic

“There is something here for everyone and just about every monster.”
Fantasy Literature

“This collection has something disturbing for everyone.”
Washington Independent

“If you like horror, monster stories, or are looking for something to dip in and out of on chilly fall nights, this is a great selection.  I can’t rave enough about Datlow and the authors included here.”
Book Hooked Blog

“It is the monstrous worlds that come from the intelligent minds of these authors that make this book amazing.”

“For anyone familiar with editor Datlow the short review for her recent horror anthology The Monstrous would be that it is everything you’ve come to expect from her superb taste and expert experience.”
Reading 1000 Lives

“For those of us who enjoy reading both horror and short stories, Ellen Datlow’s new anthology, The Monstrous, is a real treat.”
The Emporia Gazette


Ten-time World Fantasy Award-winner Ellen Datlow is one of horror’s most acclaimed editors. She was the fiction editor of OMNI for nearly twenty years and also edited the magazines Event Horizon and Sci Fiction. Her many bestselling anthologies include the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series; Snow White, Blood Red; Lovecraft’s Monsters; Naked City, and Darkness. Datlow has won multiple Hugo, Locus, and Shirley Jackson awards. She has received several lifetime achievement awards, including the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Awards. Datlow lives in New York City.

Praise for Ellen Datlow

“Superstar editor Datlow makes no missteps….”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror

“This diverse 25-story anthology is a superb sampling of some of the most significant short horror works published between 1985 and 2005. Editor extraordinaire Datlow (Poe) includes classic stories from horror icons Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Stephen King as well as SF and fantasy luminaries Gene Wolfe, Dan Simmons, Neil Gaiman, and Lucius Shepard. The full diversity of horror is on display: George R. R. Martin’s ‘The Pear-Shaped Man’ about a creepy downstairs neighbor, and Straub’s ‘The Juniper Tree,’ which chronicles a drifter’s sexual molestation of a young boy, exemplify horror’s sublime psychological power, while Barker’s ‘Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament’ and Poppy Z. Brite’s ‘Calcutta, Lord of Nerves’ are audaciously gory masterworks. This is an anthology to be cherished and an invaluable reference for horror aficionados.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Eclectic . . . a complete overview of some of the best horror stories published in the last twenty years.”
SF Site

“I give my highest recommendation for this book.”

Praise for Hauntings

“Apt to entertain and disquiet the horror fans.”
SF Site, Featured Review

“Datlow once again proves herself as a master editor. Her mission to broaden readers’ concepts of what a haunting can be is nothing short of a success, and the twenty-four stories on display run the gamut from explicitly terrifying to eerily familiar. Readers who wish to be haunted themselves should not miss this one. Highly recommended.”
Arkham Digest

“Ms. Datlow has assembled a formidable community of eminent genre artists working at the very heights of their literary powers to create this outstanding dark fantasy anthology. This is the best of the best—don’t miss it!”
The Tomb of Dark Delights

“I have a short list of editors that I will buy an anthology of, regardless of whether or not I have even heard of the writers it contains, and Ellen Datlow is at the top of that list. She has this crazy knack of consistently putting together stellar anthologies and Hauntings is no different.”
Horror Talk

Praise for Lovecraft’s Monsters

“[An] amazing and diverse treasure trove of stories. As an avid fan of Lovecraft’s monstrous creations, THIS is the anthology I’ve been waiting for.”
Shattered Ravings

“Editor Ellen Datlow has put together an anthology that will rock your liquid fantasies. Tachyon Publications has produced an excellent themed anthology. Lovecraft enthusiasts will plunge into the volume and be happily immersed in the content.”

“Datlow brings together some of the top SF/F and horror writers working today and has them play in Lovecraft’s bizarre world. And that’s a delight.”
January Magazine

Praise for The Cutting Room

A Publishers Weekly Book of the Week
“Superstar editor Datlow makes no missteps in this reprint collection of dark tales involving movies and moviemaking. . . . the entire volume is outstanding.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

A Kirkus Excellent Horror Read for October
“This themed anthology revolves around the idea that the separation between what is real and what we see on film is not as clear as we’d like to think it is. What if, for example, the Wicked Witch of the West didn’t stay in Oz? What if James Dean got a second chance at life? These are just some of the weird-but-cool ideas explored in this tempting volume of stories from renowned editor Ellen Datlow”

“This collection of 23 stories should appeal to fans of horror and SF primarily, though noir and hard-boiled-mystery readers should feel welcome too. . . . Definitely worth checking out.”

“It’s pretty much a given that an Ellen Datlow anthology will at least be good, if not great. . . . ‘The Cutting Room’ is no exception.”

“Horror cinephiles and bibliophiles will have extra cause to rejoice this Halloween: The Cutting Room, a literary anthology, is an October treat.”

Visit the Ellen Datlow website.

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Ellen Datlow
“A Natural History of Autumn” by Jeffrey Ford
“Ashputtle” by Peter Straub
“Giants in the Earth” by Dale Bailey
“The Beginning of the Year Without Summer” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“A Wish From a Bone” by Gemma Files
“The Last, Clean, Bright Summer” by Livia Llewellyn
“The Totals” by Adam-Troy Castro
“The Chill Clutch of the Unseen” by Kim Newman
“Down Among the Dead Men” by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois
“Catching Flies” by Carole Johnstone
“Our Turn Too Will One Day Come” by Brian Hodge
“Grindstone” by Stephen Graham Jones
“Doll Hands” by Adam L. G. Nevill
“How I Met the Ghoul” by Sofia Samatar
“Jenny Come to Play” by Terry Dowling
“Miss Ill-Kept Runt” by Glen Hirshberg
“Chasing Sunset” by A.C. Wise
“The Monster Makers” by Steve Rasnic Tem
“Piano Man” by Christopher Fowler
“Corpsemouth” by John Langan

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