The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow (2015).
Notes on a few of the stories:
"A Natural History of Autumn" by Jeffrey Ford is a superb tale of supernatural horror set in modern day Japan. It beautifully combines local legend with everyday life.
"Ashputtle" by Peter Straub
There's plenty of fancy creative-writing-class literary sweat on display in this story. The reader is plunged into the funhouse world of first-person mental illness. Is Straub boring? Taking the easy way? Am I too cynical over the works of an artist? Or is Straub a slumming tourist?
"Giants in the Earth" by Dale Bailey
A pretentious and exhausted literary conceit: that man is the real monster.
"Grindstone" Stephen Graham Jones
A powerful, imaginative, macabre story.
At first we think the moral is that man is the real monster. But how wrong we are.
"How I Met the Ghoul" by Sofia Samatar
A droll story worthy of Saki. Funny, modest, unpretentious.
24 April 2019