The Monstrous

edited by Ellen Datlow

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.

Reviews

“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.”

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.”

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.”

Diabolique

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

Suspense Magazine

“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).”

TeleRead

“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!”

RisingShadows

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

Fantasy Literature

Awards & Accolades

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