THE MONSTROUS is thrilling and readable

With the impending release of superstar editor Ellen Datlow’s new anthology, excitement mounts for THE MONSTROUS.

Matthew Scott Baker at SHATTERED RAVINGS excitedly reviews the anthology.

Editor Ellen Datlow must be a psychic. There’s no other explanation. I mean, how else can she know exactly what horror fiction fans want? I read and reviewed one of her previous books last year (LOVECRAFT’S MONSTERS, click here to read the review), and I loved it. So when I was approached to review this one, I said ‘Yes!’ before I even knew the premise. Datlow is extremely gifted when it comes to story selection, and THE MONSTROUS is yet another fine example of her talent.


I also have to comment on the cover art. The imagery on the front of the book strikes a primal root within my brain that resonates with dread. I can’t put my finger on why, but the creature on the front of the book chills me to the bone. Perhaps its the hybridity of its characteristics, or maybe even the fact that it’s partially human…I’m not sure. But regardless, I find it horrifying.

If I were forced to pick a favorite story from within these pages, I simply could not do it. I like every single one of them. They all have merit in some form or fashion, and each does the subject matter justice beyond measure.

THE MONSTROUS is a huge win for me, and I highly recommend it. The twenty tales in this tome will leave you sleepless for many nights to come, and yet begging for more. The book hits store shelves at the end of the month, just in time for Halloween, so make a note.

Read the rest of Baker’s review at SHATTERED RAVINGS.

Over at PAPER BLOG, Bernie Gourley not only reviews the book but also comments on each story.

This is a story anthology offering tales of monsters—just not your everyday monsters. In her Introduction, Editor Ellen Datlow said her solicitation for stories asked for “unusual monster stories.” She wanted neither “human monsters” (i.e. no pedophiles or serial killers) nor was she interested in your classic Transylvanian Count Dracula. With this book’s 20 stories, the authors succeed in meeting Datlow’s request—in several cases spectacularly. Some of the stories are chilling, others are creepy, and two are even humorous, but all feature monsters that are out of the ordinary, or—at least—the monsters are in extraordinary situations.


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

Read the rest of Gourley’s review at PAPER BLOG.

Over at KIRKUS REVIEWS, John DeNardo includes THE MONSTROUS among Your Speculative Fiction Reading List for October.

And perhaps the most humorous observation about THE MONSTROUS comes courtesy of Andrew Wheeler on his THE ANTICK MUSINGS OF G. B.H. HORNSWOGGLER, GENT.

There’s a new entry in that old SFnal game, The Man Who Melted Jack Dann. Sometimes, a book’s title and author form a single thought – a sentence is best, but a thought is fine – and are arranged on the spine so they can be read that way. And we now have THE MONSTROUS Ellen Datlow. Now, Datlow is definitely NOT monstrous, since she’s a wonderful person and one of our best editors. And she edited this book, as you can see if you look at the small type. But she’s now in the Melted Jack Dann Club. 

For more on THE MONSTROUS, visit the Tachyon page.

Illustrations by John Coulthart

Cover by Reiko Murakami

Cover design by Elizabeth Story