cover image The Monster’s Corner

The Monster’s Corner

Edited by Christopher Golden. St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-312-64613-4

Spotlighting monsters of all varieties (other than the explicitly proscribed zombies and vampires), Golden (The New Dead) assembles a solid variety of tales. The best is Gary Braunbeck’s gonzo, metafictional “And You Still Wonder Why Our First Impulse Is to Kill You.” Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, it gradually transforms into elegant musing on the nature of monsters in fiction even as the prose becomes deliberately chaotic. Other highlights include Tom Piccirilli’s “The Cruel Thief of Rosy Infants,” an intriguing faerie changeling tale; Sarah Pinborough’s “The Screaming Room,” a nice twist on the gorgon myth; Jeff Strand’s “Specimen 313,” an effectively funny tale of love and plant monsters; and Tananarive Due’s “The Lake” and David Liss’s “The Awkward Age,” both of which explore the nature of sexual predators. The few stories that miss the mark are well outnumbered, and readers will appreciate the diverse monsters, including radioactive giants and an Indian Rakshasi. (Oct.)