Monster's Corner by Christopher Golden (Editor)

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Monster's Corner by Christopher Golden (Editor)

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Category: Anthologies
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A grim and grisly collection of tales that will please horror and fantasy fans. There are no vampires or zombies, but that's no bad thing – enjoy the company of a few gruesome beings that don't often have their share of the limelight!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: September 2011
Publisher: Piatkus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0749957858

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Monster's Corner is a collection of tales that are told from the monster's perspective. It takes the idea that we are all the heroes of our own story and has a gloriously good time with it. Ranging from the thought-provoking to the strange, to the shocking and gory – they're a great selection of stories from the likes of Kelley Armstrong, Kevin J. Anderson, Sarah Pinborough and many others.

There are no vampire love stories here – Christopher Golden outlines in his foreword that there were only two monsters out of bounds: vampires and zombies. Probably declared off limits because of the dearth of zombie and vampire fiction available, the complete absence of them makes this a fabulously refreshing read. As a fan of mythical creatures and monsters, it's nice to see a few new and interesting ones get to spend some time in the limelight. Hopefully a few others will read this and remember that vampires, werewolves and zombies aren't the only badass monsters out there.

And though there are love stories (notably between two man eating plants and a whole bunch of monsters fangirling – for want of a better word – over Joyce Carol Oates) there is none of the sickly 'monsters that aren't monsters really, deep down, falling for the pretty human' sort of love story that is also so prevalent at the moment. The emphasis in this anthology is definitely on the horror.

I loved the humour of Jesus and Satan Go Jogging in the Desert by Simon R. Green and the unflinchingly disgusting The Awkward Age by David Liss and The Screaming Room by Sarah Pinborough was an interesting take on Medusa (though I may be biased – I'm an unabashed fan of anything Greek Mythology). Less enjoyable, but by no means boring – just not up to the astronomical standard of the rest of the collection – were The Lake by Tananarive Due and The Other One by Michael Marshall Smith.

Overall, if your looking to dip your toes into the Horror genre and want to know a few good places to start, or simply if you enjoy horror stories, The Monster's Corner is a brilliant collection of stories that are guaranteed to horrify you, make you laugh and make you think in quick succession. Highly recommended.

For another great short story collection try Dark Alchemy: Magical Tales from Masters of Modern Fantasy by Gardner Dozois (Editor), Jack Dann (Editor).

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