Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Unnatural Creatures

Unnatural Creatures edited by Neil Gaiman

Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds—collected and introduced by beloved New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman.

The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified. E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries contribute to the anthology.

Sales of Unnatural Creatures benefit 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students in their creative and expository writing, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.
-Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads

It's a good time to be a Gaiman fan. Good Omens might finally get its long awaited adaptation, and HBO is developing a multi-season American Gods Series (I'm actively restraining myself from getting too excited about my own casting choices. "Benedict is too busy, don't get your hopes up" is a new mantra). On top of that, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was better than I had expected- while Gaiman builds on themes he's been exploring his whole career, the book never feels stale and if anything, the pseudo-autobiographical elements add weight to the narrative voice. Check out Tor's excellent review here. Add to that an anthology of stories about mythical creatures and you've got one happy fantasy fan. 

For one thing, how great is the cover design? I love the sketchy antler-tentacle design, and the longer you look the more things you see. I like the font, too, and the contrasty blue text (graphic design people, feel free to weigh in here!). As for the stories themselves, well, most were good, a few were boring, and one or two I loved. Some I had read in other collections, including Gaiman's- which turned out to be one of my favorites. It's not brilliant, but it's got a good variety and plenty of shelf appeal. Plus, the proceeds go to a very cool charity!


Tiffany H said...

It is a VERY good time to be a Gaiman fan. Did you see how his home town of Portsmouth is celebrating by renaming a road "THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE"? So cool :)

I do like this cover, but I'm not one for a collection of short stories. I would definitely check it out anyway, especially with the money going to a good cause!

Krystianna said...

I haven't actually read any of Neil Gaiman's books, though this one does sound really good! I love the cover too. :)
Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

Emily Mulvey said...

@Tiffany- I did not know that, that's awesome! Thanks for sharing ^_^

Emily Mulvey said...

@Krystianna it was pretty good, but I'd recommend something like Stardust of Neverwhere for a first read of his ^_^

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