Monstrous Creatures

I’m finally getting a handle on my nonfiction collection, which I turn in about a week from now. The contents have begun to make some sense, thanks in large part to comments from Matt Cheney about the order. This isn’t final, but it’s getting close. All text that’s previously published has been edited and perfected, some of it radically. The idea of focusing on the theme of monsters and the monstrous has meant leaving out some worthy material but what’s gained by that is a more interesting focus. Some of the “monstrous” subtitles will be more subtle in the final, too.

MY EDUCATION IN MONSTERS: A Life Devoted to the Fantastical and Grotesque

Conversation #1: WICKED PLANTS AND MIRACULOUS MUSHROOMS

MONSTROUS THOUGHTS
The Third Bear
The Language of Defeat
The Romantic Underground
Politics in Fantasy
The Triumph of the Good
The New Weird – “It’s Alive?”

Conversation #2: CHINA MIEVILLE AND THE LITERALNESS OF MONSTERS

APPRECIATIONS OF THE MONSTROUS
Prague: City of fantasy
Catherynne M. Valente’s The Labyrinth
Making Her Own Light: Caitlin R. Kiernan
Unsung Heroes of Science Fiction and Fantasy
Additional Misadventures with Engelbrecht
Alasdair Gray and Lanark
My Love-Hate Relationship with Clark Ashton-Smith
Alfred Kubin and the Tortured Triumph of The Other Side
The “Black Books” of Derek Raymond
A Giant of Literature, J.G. Ballard
The Cosmology of Jeffrey Ford
Five Years of Sfar and Trondheim’s Dungeon Series
How to Raise and Keep an Imagination: Joseph Nigg and Dragons
Authors in Praise of Beer

Conversation #3: THE MONSTROUS CAPYBARA OF AUSTIN, TEXAS

PERSONAL MONSTERS
Hiking and Inspiration
Fantasy and the Imagination
The Hannukah Bear
My Father’s Pipe
The Music of Finch
The Novella: A Personal Exploration

Conversation #4: EATEN BY BEARS—MARGO LANAGAN’S TENDER MORSELS

OTHER PEOPLE’S MONSTERS
Prague Reimagined: Michal Ajvaz’s The Other City
The Perils and Triumphs of Transformation: China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun
Two New Anthology Series, Two Views of Comics
Tove Jansson’s Moomin
Bittersweet Fantasy: Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet
Dream Worlds: David B’s Nocturnal Conspiracies
Silence and Aversion: J. Robert Lennon’s Castle
House of Leaves [2000], Mark Z. Danielewski
Future Past: Brian Francis Slattery’s Liberation
Not Good at Dying: The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers
Re-envisioning the West: Emma Bull’s Territory
Hollywood Punk: Steve Erickson’s Zeroville
Exchange Students Plot: Chuck Palahniuk’s Pygmy
Looking for Love: Alexander Theroux’s Laura Warholic
Michel Houelleberq.’s H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life
London’s Last Stand: Jonathan Barnes’ The Domino Men
The Newt Speaks Volumes: Jack O’Connell’s The Resurrectionist
Not Enough Bite: Victor Pelevin’s The Sacred Book of the Werewolf
Rwanda in 1994: We Wish to Inform You…, by Philip Gourevitch
Hot Ice: Marcel Theroux’s Far North
The Past Is Our Future: Mark Von Schlegell’s Mercury Station
Philosophy in Fiction’s Clothing: Neal Stephenson’s Anathem
The Books of the Decade

Conversation #5: THE DEMONS OF AMBERGRIS

MONSTROUS JOURNEYS
Dispatches from Smaragdine
The Blur: Stolen Moments from a Five-Week Book Tour

A BESTIARY (Of Sorts)

Comments

  1. Johanna Vainikainen-Uusitalo says

    What, “Tove Jansson’s Moomin”?!!! I’m flabbergasted! Allright, there’s Groke and she is quite scary…
    Anyway this sounds pretty interesting. Definitely a book I want to read!

  2. says

    Ha ha. The OED’s definition of “monster” and “monstrous” includes things that inspire awe, things larger than life, etc. So I am playing off of all of the permutations of “monster,” “monstrosity,” and “monstrous”.

    Hee.

    jeff

  3. says

    On Sacred Book of the Werewolf:

    It’s been adrift in my TBR pile after a friend at work loaned it to me. I see it, and often feel like a bad friend, because I’ve been sitting on it for months. I’ve made only one serious attempt at reading it, getting only thirty or forty pages in, when my attempt was cut short when I was in the hospital in October.

    Is the book worth all this guilt, do you think, or should I just return it with apologies?

  4. says

    Great article and right to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thanks :)

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