Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Creatures, Thirty Years of Monsters

Ho Ho Horror Stories galore here.

If you are looking for a last minute gift idea for that special twisted horror fan on your list, consider this book. Creatures, Thirty Years of Monsters. Quite a mix of really fun monster tales, but maybe the stories should speak for themselves.

Here are a few excerpts from some of my personal favorites ....

When Max Beecham  was eight years old, his mother Deena (delirious from antihypertensives) gave him a Polaroid and then lay down on the carpet behind him. Inside the white border of this photograph lurked a thing with the naked body of a gaunt man and the head of a dark, decayed stag. In sat on a tree stump the way neighborhood men sat on bar stools, surrounded by a cavalry of thin, burned trees …. Absolute Zero, by Nadia Bulkin

I enjoyed throwing them about. I raked meat off the bone, lathed, splintered, and shredded; wrung, wrenched, rooted. and uprooted. I opened them to the jungles. I unearthed their wet centers.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon, by Jim Shepard (note: this and other stories in the first section of the book are written from the point of view of the monster.)

It made its home in the deep forest near the village of Grommin, and all anyone ever saw of it, before the end, would be the hard eyes and the dark barrel of its muzzle. The smell of piss and blood and shit and bubbles of saliva and half-eaten food. The villagers called it the Third Bear because they had killed two bears already that year. But, near the end, no one really thought of it as a bear, even though the name had stuck, changed by repetition and fear and slurring through blood-filled mouths to Theeber. Sometimes it even sounded like “seethe” or “seabird”. The Third Bear, by Jeff VanderMeer

Even so, the numbered dead began a backward count. One by one, the bodies went gone, and when fifteen or twenty had most definitely been taken, or lost, that’s when we began to hear the noise at night. It was hard to calculate, hard to pinpoint. Hard to explain, or indicate. But it rattled like the bones of death himself. beneath a robe or within loose hanging skin. It wobbled and clattered back behind the sheds where the dead were kept.

It walked. It crept.

It gathered. Wishbones, by Cherie Priest

Also, even though I didn't have time to keystroke any of it into the post, Sarah Langan's The Changeling is fantastic--heart-breaking and terrifying. Looking forward to finding more of her work and (wishful thinking) her first collection.


  1. Monster stories are so cool. This sounds like it'll be an awesome read.

  2. Let me know whatcha think if you get your hands (claws) on a copy.