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Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales
     

Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales

5.0 3
by Kelly Link, Gavin J. Grant (Editor)
 

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Fifteen top voices in speculative fiction explore the intersection of fear and love in a haunting, at times hilarious, darkly imaginative volume.

Predatory kraken that sing with — and for — their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side by

Overview

Fifteen top voices in speculative fiction explore the intersection of fear and love in a haunting, at times hilarious, darkly imaginative volume.

Predatory kraken that sing with — and for — their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side by side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.

With monstrous stories by
M. T. Anderson
Paolo Bacigalupi
Nathan Ballingrud
Holly Black
Sarah Rees Brennan
Cassandra Clare
Nalo Hopkinson
Dylan Horrocks
Nik Houser
Alice Sola Kim
Kathleen Jennings
Joshua Lewis
Kelly Link
Patrick Ness
G. Carl Purcell

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 07/21/2014
Link and Grant (Steampunk!) present an engrossing, morally complex anthology of 15 stories centered on the seemingly antagonistic concepts of monsters and love. Throughout, troubled protagonists meet genuine monsters—some traditional, like vampires, others much less so. Almost invariably, it’s understood that other people in the protagonists’ lives are far worse than the monsters. In Paolo Bacigalupi’s poetic “Moriabe’s Children,” a teenager fleeing her abusive stepfather finds sisterhood with the kraken that haunt the nearby sea. In Holly Black’s bloody but funny “Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (The Successful Kind),” a girl stows away on her uncle’s spaceship, fights off pirates, and partners with a purported alien killing machine. M.T. Anderson’s wistful and beautifully realized tale of WWII on the home front, “Quick Hill,” concerns a young man’s sacrifice for his community’s safety, and Kathleen Jennings’s graphic short, “A Small Wild Magic,” is a delightful variation on the story of the boy who receives three magical wishes. Additional stories are written by Cassandra Clare, Patrick Ness, and others; all of the entries are strong, and many are splendid. Ages 14–up. Agent: Renee Zuckerbrot, Renee Zuckerbrot Literary Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Luminous... There are wonderful stories... M. T. Anderson’s "Quick Hill" is a tour de force of contemporary short fiction. It does, as well as anything I’ve read recently, what scary stories are supposed to do: It says what we feel, but cannot say.
—New York Times Book Review

From vampires to ghosts and from strange creatures made of mercury to half-harpies, these beasts will broaden readers’ perspectives. Teens will never think about monsters in the same way again. Long after the last page is turned, these tales will linger in readers’ brains, in their closets, under their beds, and in the shadows.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Link and Grant present an engrossing, morally complex anthology of 15 stories centered on the seemingly antagonistic concepts of monsters and love. ... All of the entries are strong, and many are splendid.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The authors of these tales brilliantly intertwine morally charged issues with elements of horror writing that engage the reader. ... This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys horror fiction.
—Library Media Connection

A deliciously gory collection of fifteen original stories... While the theme is certainly familiar, the diversity of interpretations of monsterhood is an asset, and the book sets a fresh and amusing note with the opening pop quiz that assesses readers’ views of monsters. ... Fans will be happy to find a well-edited, sharp collection of new stories about their favorite topic that covers both the creepy and alluring elements of monsters.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Short stories with otherworldly creatures may be a dime a dozen, but rarely do they offer such nuanced scope. Link and Grant ... know their way around excellent short fiction, and their editorial skills are on display here. From the light(ish) and delightful to the subversively unromantic, from humor to horror, each entry both tells a good story and says something about monstrousness. ... An anthology of riches, even if they aren’t always fair of form.
—Kirkus Reviews

Link and Grant clearly spent a lot of time building this collection, which includes a graphic entry, and consequently none of the stories disappoint. Authors such as Cassandra Clare and Patrick Ness—along with the monster dripping blood on the cover—will draw in readers eager for creepy, atmospheric tales.
—Booklist

A delightful (often frightful) anthology of short fantasy fiction. ... The strong writing brims with misdirection, humor, horrors and twisty endings. ... This substantial volume will provide older teens—and adults—with hours of thoroughly enjoyable reading. A monstrously entertaining anthology.
—Shelf Awareness

Provocative. One would expect no less from veteran anthology editors Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. ... Beautiful language.
—Boston Globe

For those who like a mix of fantasy and science fiction, "Monstrous Affections" is a stunning collection of original tales whose title explains it all. Who cares if it's nominally a young adult book — it's the best collection of monster stories of the year, with some unusual ideas as to what really makes a monster.
—Chicago Tribune

VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Donna Phillips
What do you get when you mix love and monsters? A tasty collection of macabre short stories from fifteen writers of fantasy and gothic fiction, including Paolo Bacigalupi (Ship Breaker [Little, Brown, 2010/Voya August 2010]), Holly Black (Doll Bones [McElderry, 2013]), and M. T. Anderson (Feed [Candlewick, 2002/VOYA December 2002]). They range in length from Kathleen Jennings’s thirteen-page comic strip “A Small Wild Magic” to Sarah Rees Brennan’s fifty-seven-page “Wings in the Morning.” Teens will bump into the familiar ghosts, vampires, and werewolves, lesser-knowns like harpies and krakens, and unfamiliar monstrosities like the Trinidadian douen (the half-faced embodiment of the soul of an unbaptized child) or the animistic Maori wairua. Varieties of love are also represented—Brennan’s harpy is gay. In Alice Sola Kim’s “Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying,” the characters are Korean adoptees who conjure a monster mother to replace those they never knew. The ambiguous ending suggests that the anonymous narrator may be romantically involved with one of her friends, who has ended what felt like an incestuous relationship with her Nordic adopted brother. Yuko Shimizu’s cover art will lure plenty of readers, who will be morbidly curious about the white-winged wolf, fangs dripping blood on the ghostly figure of a dead teen face down in a forest of blood-red thistles. Readers are immediately rewarded with a cheeky pop quiz to assess their own beliefs about monsters. Teachers looking for accomplished writing, complex points of view, ambiguous plots, and rich themes will enjoy exploring these stories—if they dare. Reviewer: Donna Phillips; Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Laura Ruttig
This fantastically spooky collection contains fifteen short stories from a wide range of young adult authors, including Paolo Bacigalupi, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, M.T. Anderson, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Patrick Ness. Each haunting story is truly unique, but bears some connection to the topic of “monstrous affections” —either with a protagonist that is a monster or a monster that is revealed through the course of the story. The entire collection has the wonderfully timeless feel of the dark, original, Grimm-kind of fairy tales, where the consequences of one’s actions can be amazingly heroic or incredibly villainous depending on the point-of-view. Black’s “Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggle (The Successful Kind)” is a particular standout. The protagonist Tera is a young girl who hides out on her uncle’s spaceship and dreams of becoming part of the galaxy’s best smuggling duo; she gets caught up in a battle with pirates, with some rather unexpected results involving a monster. It’s the sort of story that could go on for five hundred pages and still not be long enough. Another standout is Brennan’s “Wings in the Morning” about Luke, a Border guard who turns out to be half-harpy. Luke’s struggles with his changing sense of identity, with finding love, and with the complicated politics are deftly described—Brennan’s work is simply brilliant. If considering for a high school collection, note that this work would receive an R on the movie-rating scale for strong language and sexual situations. Reviewer: Laura Ruttig; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
★ 09/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Find a dark corner, light a candle, and wrap yourself in a blanket—these are stories that beg to be read in the dark. Between these pages readers will find entries by literary greats as well as new authors. Some of these tales are moving, others terrifying, but they all have one thing in common: monsters. In Paolo Bacigalupi's "Moriabe's Children," a girl hears the kraken that drowned her father calling her to come to them. A disobedient teen discovers that interstellar space pirates are more monstrous than the creatures she's been taught to fear in the amusing "Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (The Successful Kind)" by Holly Black. In "This Whole Demoning Thing" by Patrick Ness, a young demon discovers how to be true to herself through music. And "Left Foot, Right" by Nalo Hopkinson is an eerily touching story about one girl's crippling grief and the monsters that guide her through to the other side. From vampires to ghosts and from strange creatures made of mercury to half-harpies, these beasts will broaden readers' perspectives. Teens will never think about monsters in the same way again. Long after the last page is turned, these tales will linger in readers' brains, in their closets, under their beds, and in the shadows.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-18
Short stories with otherworldly creatures may be a dime a dozen, but rarely do they offer such nuanced scope.Link and Grant, who edited the fantasy half of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthology until its demise in 2009, know their way around excellent short fiction, and their editorial skills are on display here. From the light(ish) and delightful to the subversively unromantic, from humor to horror, each entry both tells a good story and says something about monstrousness. “This Whole Demoning Thing” posits a world of demons but demonstrates that sometimes the greatest power is just being yourself; “Wings in the Morning” and “A Small Wild Magic” are laced with romance regardless of species, while “The Woods Hide in Plain Sight” takes the “girl meets vampire, finds eternal love” trope and turns it inside out. On the other end of the spectrum, “Son of Abyss” and “Mothers Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying” guarantee cold shivers and probably nightmares, one through gore and the other through psychology. Standouts include Paolo Bacigalupi’s “Moriabe’s Children” and Holly Black’s “Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (The Successful Kind),” both of which clearly prove that monstrous behavior is usually human in form.An anthology of riches, even if they aren’t always fair of form. (introduction) (Anthology/horror/fantasy. 13 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763664732
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
09/09/2014
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
584,705
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
HL820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant edited the acclaimed anthology Steampunk! They also started a zine, founded an independent publishing house, own two letterpresses, and edited the fantasy half of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for five years. Kelly Link is the author of three acclaimed short story collections, and her award-winning stories have appeared in many anthologies. Gavin J. Grant has published numerous articles and short stories. They live in Northampton, Massachusetts, with their daughter, Ursula.

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Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The authors add new twists to previously established creatures and create new and interesting stories. Some stories are original concepts with truly interesting outcomes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just when I think I've surely read the best story, I find myself in the middle of the next one, falling in love all over again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will be totally honest: I bought this book solely because of the Sarah Rees Brennan story in it, which is a companion story to an online serial she's been releasing every few months for the past two years. (The serial is called The Turn of the Story.) her shorty story, called "Wings in the Morning" was so wonderful that even if every other story in this anthology was terrible, I'd give this book five stars. Sarah Rees Brennan is a treasure and her snark is always a great way to have a laugh. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago