The Weird’s Bestiary

While creating the comic Reading The Weird for, Leah Thomas came up with these sketches of some of the monsters, human and otherwise, from fourteen of the stories collected in The Weird compendium — perfect for 12 Days of Monsters! Well, actually 15, as the gnole appears in stories by both Lord Dunsany and Margaret St. […]

The Grotesque Menageries of Greg Simkins

Monsters are tricky things. We love them, fear them, need them, despise them when they invade our dreams a little too often. Their ubiquitous and yet marginalized presence in our lives rests on the contradictory emotions elicited by such creatures. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen writes “The monster’s body quite literally incorporates fear, desire, anxiety and fantasy (ataractic […]

China Miéville and Monsters: “Unsatisfy me, frustrate me, I beg you.”

China Miéville (1972 — ) is an influential English writer known for revitalizing weird fiction. He has won the World Fantasy Award and multiple Arthur C. Clarke awards, among others. Miéville’s early novels — including Perdido Street Station (2000) and The Scar (2002) — fused the weird with body transformation, Marxist politics, secondary world settings, and a bold style. Later novels like […]

Pretty Monsters: "This is when things go seriously wrong."

Kelly Link (1969 — ), one of the guests of honor at this year’s International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, is an influential American writer of hard-to-classify short fiction that has been described as fantasy, slipstream, or magic realism. Link has published three collections: Stranger Things Happen (2001), Magic for Beginners (2005), and Pretty Monsters (2008). […]

Monstrous Creatures Collection: Free For 12 Days of Monsters Week

First of all, we’re proud to feature Kelly Link’s novella “Pretty Monsters” on today – available only through the weekend! – along with Edward Gauvin’s essay on a little-known vampire novel. In addition, you can read my essay “The Third Bear,” from my Monstrous Creatures collection. The essay is the nonfictional counterpart to my “Third Bear” short story, included […]

The Third Bear

I “Masha and the Bear” The first bear may be uncouth, but not necessarily unkind, despite appearances. He isn’t good at human languages and he lives alone in a cottage in the forest, but no one can say he doesn’t try. If he didn’t try, if the idea of trying, and thus of restraint, were alien […]

Mademoiselle B. by Maurice Pons: The swirling mass of insects crawling over the cadaverous face, devouring the eyes, plundering saliva as if it were nectar.

Tying in with my translation of Maurice Pons’ short story “Honeymoon” in the latest issue of The Coffin Factory (a terrific new magazine! Check it out!), I humbly offer this consideration of his 1973 novel Mademoiselle B. No real spoilers, especially for a book so light on plot, but passages are quoted at length. Maurice Pons’ Mademoiselle […]

The Monstrous in Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Collection The Ammonite Violin

Some writers cannot help themselves. Some writers, by the sheer complexity and reach of their imaginations will always be somewhat unclassifiable. For this reason, it’s their view of the world we value, not the category in which a publisher places them. These are the writers who create what they find to be perfectly normal, only to […]

The Fascinating Monsters of Artist Aeron Alfrey

 Aeron Alfrey creates unique imagery inspired by strange fantasy worlds filled with monsters, magic and death. His art has been published in numerous books and shown in galleries around the world. His monsters, perfect for our “12 Days” feature, are often frightening, but all are so intricately designed that every time you look closely something else […]

Creature: "[He] reacted quickly, bristling into a sudden forest of pseudopods..."

Ramsey Shehadeh splits his time between writing stories and writing software. His fiction has appeared in Weird Tales (where “Creature” originally appeared), Strange Horizons, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He blogs at Glass Maze. “Creature” is one of our favorite stories, in part because of the brilliant juxtaposition of an energetic and seemingly […]