A trio of reviews for Ellen Datlow’s soon-to-be-released THE MONSTROUS.
From LIBRARY JOURNAL:
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.
Whenever I see Ellen Datlow’s name as editor on the cover of an anthology, I know I’m in good hands. Datlow has a made a thirty-plus year career of choosing good stories and developing collections that take different aims at the theme. The theme of THE MONSTROUS monsters, and Datlow makes sure to explore all facets of that word with this mostly-reprint anthology from Tachyon Press.
There are twenty stories in the book. One is original to the anthology. The reprints include one classic horror story and a few that read as dated to me. Datlow’s standards of excellent writing and good characterization stand throughout the book.
<Reviews of all 20 stories>
There is something here for everyone and just about every monster. My feeling, that I can’t go wrong with Datlow, is validated again.
“I thought of myself as a work of art. I caused responses without being responsible for them. This is the great freedom of art.” The quote is from “Ashputtle,” a story written by Peter Straub, which is included in the anthology THE MONSTROUS. The female protagonist of Straub’s tale has a skewed view of reality, yet her words seem somewhat applicable to the stories selected for the compilation. Editor Ellen Datlow has chosen works with a wide range of settings and situations, which indeed display “the great freedom of art.” While Straub’s character subscribes to the rationalization of not “being responsible” for the responses she causes, the 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.
For more on THE MONSTROUS, visit the Tachyon page.
Illustrations by John Coulthart
Cover by Reiko Murakami
Cover design by Elizabeth Story