FS Books of Monsters

The books of monsters are our world tour of things that lurk and savage us in the dark. The editors have worked with authors from all around the world to bring the horror back to monsters. 

European Monsters

 

Authors:

Adrian Tchaikovsky

Adrian Tchaikovsky is the author of the acclaimed Shadows of the Apt fantasy series, from the first volume, Empire In Black and Gold in 2008 to the final book, Seal of the Worm, in 2014, with a new series and a standalone science fiction novel scheduled for 2015. He has been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award and a British Fantasy Society Award. In civilian life he is a lawyer, gamer and amateur entomologist.

Aliette le Bodard

Aliette de Bodard lives and works in Paris, where she has a day job as a System Engineer. In her spare time, she writes speculative fiction—her short fiction has earned her two Nebulas, a Locus Award and a British Science Fiction Association Award. On a Red Station, Drifting, a space opera inspired by Vietnamese folklore and the Chinese classic A Dream of Red Mansions, is available as an ebook.

Aliya Whiteley

Aliya Whiteley was born in North Devon, UK, in 1974. She writes speculative and literary fiction, and her post-apocalyptic novella, The Beauty, was published in 2014 by Unsung Stories. Her first two novels were published by Macmillan and her short fiction has appeared in The Guardian, Strange Horizons, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the Lonely Planet anthology Better Than Fiction, and in many other places. She tweets most days as @AliyaWhiteley

Anne Michaud

Anne Michaud lives in an old house with her cats, dog and a dungeon full of ghosts. Her debut novel Hunter’s Trap is now available, as her collection of short stories Girls & Monsters. http://annecmichaud.com

Byron Black

Byron Black is a writer of dark fiction from an unknown location in an unspecified time. Influenced by HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Clark Ashton Smith, Byron Black finds solace in the macabre and seeks to emulate his forebears. He has no web presence nor email access, preferring to communicate via crow and or Nazghul, although the latter have become prohibitively expensive of late due to that whole Hobbit thing.

Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin writes and edits in Canada and Việt Nam. Her fiction, nonfiction and photos have appeared in various anthologies, literary journals and magazines, online and in print. Two of her stories appear in Fox Spirit’s Fox Pocket anthologies—one in Guardians and another in the forthcoming Reflections. Chris is currently working on a short story collection and polishing a nonfiction book about living in Việt Nam. She tweets as @ChrisGNguyen and blogs at http://chrisgalvinwriter.wordpress.com

Hannah Kate

Hannah Kate is a Manchester-based poet and short story writer. She has had work published in a number of a local and national magazines, as well as in anthologies by Crocus Books, Fox Spirit and Hic Dragones. She is currently seeking representation for her first novel. Under the name Hannah Priest, she has published numerous academic articles on medieval and contemporary popular literature.

Icy Sedgwick

Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and lives and works in Newcastle, where she teaches graphic design and illustration. She has been writing for over ten years, and had her first book, The Guns of Retribution, published in 2011. Her horror fantasy, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, was released in March 2014. She spends her non-writing time working on a PhD in Film Studies, considering the use of set design in contemporary horror. She also knits up a storm and makes jewellery! You can find her on Twitter @IcySedgwick or read her free fiction at www.icysedgwick.com.

James Bennett

James Bennett is not a monster, but he is a notorious monster sympathiser and has joined them on the occasional rampage. ‘Broken Bridges’ is clearly an attempt at monster propaganda. You can find more information about his stories on his blog: http://jamesbennett72.blogspot.co.uk and feel free to follow him on Twitter: @I_James_Bennett

Jasper Bark

Jasper Bark finds writing author biographies and talking about himself in the third person faintly embarrassing. Telling you that he’s an award winning author of four cult novels including the highly acclaimed Way of the Barefoot Zombie, just sounds like boasting. Then he has to mention that he’s written 12 children’s books and hundreds of comics and graphic novels and he wants to just curl up. He cringes when he has to reveal that his work has been translated into nine different languages and is used in schools throughout the UK to help improve literacy, or that he was awarded the This Is Horror Award for his recent anthology Dead Air. Maybe he’s too British, or maybe he just needs a good enema, but he’s glad this bio is now over. Website: http://www.jasperbark.com Twitter: @jasperbark

Joan De La Haye

Joan De La Haye writes horror and some very twisted thrillers. She invariably wakes up in the middle of the night, because she’s figured out yet another freaky way to mess with her already screwed up characters. Joan is interested in some seriously weird stuff. That’s probably also one of the reasons she writes horror. Her novels, Shadows and Requiem in E Sharp, as well as her novellas, Oasis and Burning, are published by Fox Spirit. You can find Joan on her website (http://joandelahaye.com) and follow her on Twitter (http://twitter.com/JoanDeLaHaye).

Jonathan Grimwood

Jon Courtenay Grimwood was born in Malta and christened in the upturned bell of a ship. He grew up in the Far East, Britain and Scandinavia. He has written for The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian & The Independent. Felaheen, the third of his novels featuring Asraf Bey, a half-Berber detective, won the BSFA Award for Best Novel. So did End of the World Blues, about a British sniper absent without leave from Iraq & running an Irish bar in Tokyo. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous other awards including the Arthur C Clarke Award & the John W Campbell.

Krista Walsh

Known for witty, vivid characters, Krista Walsh never has more fun than getting them into trouble and taking her time getting them out. After publishing a few short stories and novellas in various anthologies, she has now released her own anthology, as well as the first two novels in her Meratis Trilogy: Evensong and Eventide, with the third book, Evenlight, due out early 2015. When not writing, she can be found reading, gaming, or watching a film—anything to get lost in a good story. She currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Nerine Dorman

Nerine Dorman is a South African author and editor of horror and dark fantasy fiction. Sometimes she can be enticed from her Treehaus with promises of good coffee and dark chocolate. Occasionally she makes music. Most of the time she’s considering her next demonic evocation.

Peter Damien

Pulled from the sea in 1856, Peter Damien or “The What Is It From The Deep” was kept preserv’d in a large jar and put on display in museums to frighten and educate youngsters. Re-animated in 1984 by a madman (subsequently shot), he also writes articles for Bookriot.com. He can found on twitter @PeterDamien, or just below the surface of calm waterways, deep in the night.

Artists:

Daniele Serra

Daniele Serra is a professional illustrator. His work has been published in Europe, Australia, United States and Japan, and displayed at various exhibits across the U.S. and Europe. He has worked for DC Comics, Image Comics, Cemetery Dance, Weird Tales magazine, PS Publishing and other publications. Winner of the British Fantasy Award.

Eugene Smith

Eugene Smith grew up in sunny California.  He remembers distinctly being terrified of monsters as a young boy.  The only thing that made sense was for him to start drawing monsters.  He studied illustration at The Academyof Art University in San Francisco and is now illustrating for clients around the globe.  Currently he resides in Chicago withhis lovely wife and daughters.  He also has two cats which he is convinced are trying to kill him.

Gavin Pollock

Gavin Pollock is a Scots Cumbrian comic artist (http://benandantiastralbodyguard.wordpress.com) and occasional teacher and life model. He studied Politics (East Asia) at Newcastle and Fukuoka universities, which led to him living in Japan for eight years before moving back to Cumbria with his children. Gavin spent a few years busy raising them before starting drawing again.

Kieran Walsh

Kieran Walsh is an Irish artist who now lives in Leicester. Having completed a degree in Visual Arts in 1996, he has spent years working in deprived communities developing arts projects and passing on his skills. He also works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, though is happy working in many other media such as sculpture and printmaking. His illustration work tends towards darker imagery, and often incorporates atmospheric use of landscapes, both real and imagined.

Fabian Tuñon Benzo

Fabian is a graphic designer, Painter and Comic book artist. Studied at the School of Fine Arts in Cartagena – Colombia and correspondence courses in Modern School Inc. of Miami, he worked with advertising agencies, has collaborated with comic strips in several newspapers of Colombia, besides didactic publish comics with local government and he has participated as an inker on the comic “The secret lives of Julie Newmar” and worked with another company of United states by creating characters. More work can be seen at cartagenacomic.blogspot.com and atube.deviantart.com/gallery/

 

Authors

Chikodili Emelumadu is a writer and broadcaster living in London. Her work has been published in Apex, Eclectica, Luna Station Quarterly, Sub-Q, One Throne and Omenana amongst others. Follow her twitter rants and musings on twitter: @chemelumadu Chikodili is a 2015 Shirley Jackson award nominee.

Dave-Brendon de Burgh wanted to be an artist and speak French, but Fate saved him and pointed him in the direction of writing. He’s a bookseller, co-parent to two wonderful “furkids”, reads speculative fiction voraciously, and is the luckiest guy in the world because he has a blonde, blue-eyed woman in his life who supports his need to write and be crazy. He lives in Pretoria, South Africa, and when he’s not writing he’s watching TV series, movies or playing games. He’s on Blogger, Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, and is also a paranormal investigator with Phoenix Paranormal South Africa.

Dilman Dila is the author of a collection of speculative short stories, A Killing in the Sun. He has been longlisted for the Jalada Prize for Literature (2015), the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition (2014), shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize  (2013), twice longlisted for the Short Story Day Africa Prize  (2013, 2014), and nominated for the Million Writers Awards (2008). His stories have appeared in several anthologies and magazines, including the Apex Book of World SF 4. His films include What Happened in Room 13, which has attracted over two million views on YouTube, and The Felistas Fable, which was nominated for Best First Feature by a Director at Africa Movie Academy Awards  (2014).

James Bennett loves mythology. Mythology, to him, is like putty. You can play with it any way you like and that’s exactly what he did with this story. The Red Lawns also serves as a sort of prequel to James Bennett’s upcoming fantasy series from Orbit Books in 2016. Sort of. Feel free to join him on Twitter: @wytcheboy

Jayne Bauling’s YA novels have won the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa, the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Award and the Sanlam Gold Prize for Youth Literature. Dreaming of Light was chosen for the 2014 IBBY Honour List. Her short stories for adults and youth have been published in various anthologies, and have twice been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. A former Johannesburger, she now lives in White River in Mpumalanga Province.

Joan De La Haye writes horror and some very twisted thrillers. She invariably wakes up in the middle of the night, because she’s figured out yet another freaky way to mess with her already screwed up characters. Joan is interested in some seriously weird shit. That’s probably also one of the reasons she writes horror. Joan is deep, dark and seriously twisted and so is her writing

Joe Vaz is a full-time actor working in features and television. Perhaps due to this he’s had to earn a living in several other fields too, including singing, directing, writing scripts for children’s TV, publishing, and editing. ‘After the Rain’ was inspired by a story told to Joe by his best friend some thirty years ago. The friend had supposedly witnessed, in the middle of the night, large dogs across the mine-dumps of Jo’burg walking upright on their hind legs, their front paws outstretched. It’s an image that has haunted Joe ever since.

Nerine Dorman subsists on gourmet coffee, and spends most of her day unf*cking sentences, making words, and pushing little picture boxes around on screens. She freely admits to having impure thoughts about Dorian Pavus, Cullen Rutherford and Varric Tethras. Stalk her on Twitter @nerinedorman

Nick Wood is a South African clinical psychologist, with around twenty short stories previously published in Interzone, Infinity Plus, PostScripts, Redstone Science Fiction and AfroSF amongst others. He has also had a YA speculative fiction novella published in South Africa entitled The stone chameleon. Forthcoming is the novella The Last Pantheon in AfroSF Volume 2 with Tade Thompson. Azanian Bridges will be published by NewCon Press in 2016. Nick is currently training clinical psychologists and counselors at the University of East London, England. He can be found at Twitter: @nick45wood or http://nickwood.frogwrite.co.nz

Nnedi Okorafor’s books include Lagoon (a British Science Fiction Association Award finalist for Best Novel), Who Fears Death (a World Fantasy Award winner for Best Novel), Kabu Kabu (A Publisher’s Weekly Best Book for Fall 2013), Akata Witch (an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year), Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), and The Shadow Speaker (a CBS Parallax Award winner). Her latest works include her novel The Book of Phoenix and her novella Binti. Nnedi is an associate professor at the University at Buffalo, New York (SUNY). Learn more at Nnedi.com

Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist with a fondness for pseudonyms and collaborating. Among other things she writes horror novels under the name S.L Grey with author Louis Greenberg and YA novels with her daughter Savannah. Her latest solo books, The Three and Day Four are published in over twenty-five territories.

Tade Thompson lives and works in the UK. He is the author of a number of SFF, crime, general fiction and memoir pieces. His alternate history crime novel Making Wolf from Rosarium Publishing was published in September 2015.

T.L. Huchu’s fiction has appeared in Interzone, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Shattered Prism, Electric Spec, Kasma SF, The Sockdolager  and AfroSF. He is a creative writing PhD student at Manchester University. Between projects, he translates fiction between the Shona and English languages. He is not to be confused with his evil twin at Twitter: @TendaiHuchu http://www.tendaihuchu.com

Toby Bennett was born in 1976 in Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Cape Town. Like many writers he has had a varied career (we all do what we can to put food on the table and words on the page). His true passion lies in creative writing and to date he has written ten novels and appeared in various collections of short stories. His latest project, Viral (co-written with UK author Benjamin Knox), was released in October 2015 by Crossroads Press.

Vianne Venter is a scriptwriter and radio producer living in Cape Town, South Africa. She is the story editor for Something Wicked, a collection of spec fic short story anthologies, and has a background in entertainment and lifestyle journalism.

Artists

Amine Benali is a graphic designer/illustrator/comics author. His publishing career began in 2009. In 2010 he published his first manga ‘Sardar’ at Z-link, followed in 2011 by the publication of a short comic: ‘Pride & Jealousy… The Origins of Evil’ in the Collective album Monsters at Dalimen. He’s worked as a graphic designer since 2012. Amine would also like to work in self publishing with comics or web comics. He is interested in many fields: comics, graphic design, science, psychology, spirituality, music, cinema, humour (parodies).

Dave Johnson has had a love of drawing since he was a small child. Graduating from Norwich School Of Art & Design in 2003 with a degree in Graphic Design he has gone on to become a full time illustrator. He specialises in digital illustrations, book covers and concept design.

Daniela Serra is professional illustrator. His work has been published in Europe, Australia, United States and Japan, and displayed at various exhibits across the U.S. and Europe. he has worked for DC Comics, Image Comics, Cemetery Dance, Weird Tales magazine, PS Publishing and other publications. Winner of The British Fantasy Award.

Eugene Smith is an artist and illustrator based in Chicago, Illinois.  He lives with his wonderful wife and their two children, as well as two grumpy cats. Eugene graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California with a degree in Painting & Drawing.  He can often be found at home with pencil in hand, scribbling in sketchbooks or on the walls. His work takes inspiration from comic books, films, literature, and stormy weather.

Kieran Walsh is an Irish artist living and working in the UK. Based in Leicester, he has worked for over twelve delivering community-based arts programmes in disadvantaged areas. Kieran works in a broad range of media, from digital arts to more traditional art forms, and is always looking to experiment with new techniques. This is the fourth book he has illustrated.

Su Opperman is an artist and freelance illustrator based in Cape Town, South Africa. Though a fine artist by heart, an interest in the development of South African comic art remains a key concern of hers. As such, she works for the CCIBA (Centre of comic, illustrative book arts) as their comic art co-ordinator. In this capacity, she also functions as an organising member of Open Book Comics Fest and is curator to the POP the Culture creative hub initiative. Other than that, she draws things for other people and for herself.

Vincent Holland-Keen spent most of his formative years drawing in front of the television. He then stopped drawing for a while and tried writing instead. He now does both. Beyond that, his life is packed with incident.

The Editor

Margrét Helgadóttir is Norwegian-Icelandic and lives in Oslo, Norway. She was shortlisted for the British Fantasy Awards 2016 as writer with the debut book The Stars Seem So Far Away, and as editor for African Monsters, both published by Fox Spirit Books. Margrét’s stories have appeared in several literary magazines and print anthologies such as Gone Lawn, Luna Station Quarterly, In-flight Literary Magazine, Tales of the Fox and Fae, and Girl at the end of the World. She’s co-editor of the anthologies European Monsters (2014) and African Monsters (2015) and editor of Winter Tales (2016) and Asian Monsters (2016). Find out more about Margrét on her site: http://margrethelgadottir.wordpress.com or follow her on twitter where she’s @MaHelgad

The Authors

Aliette de Bodard is half-French, half-Vietnamese and lives and works in Paris, where she has a day job as a System Engineer. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Obsidian and Blood trilogy of Aztec noir fantasies, as well as numerous short stories. Recent works include The House of Shattered Wings (Roc/Gollancz, 2015 British Science Fiction Association Award), a novel set in a turn-of-the-century Paris devastated by a magical war, and its upcoming sequel The House of Binding Thorns (April 2017, Roc/Gollancz). She also published The Citadel of Weeping Pearls (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2015), a novella set in the same universe as her Vietnamese space opera On a Red Station Drifting.

The monster in Aliette’s Asian Monsters story is a hungry (unpropitiated) ghost—normally the ghosts of ancestors are meant to be protective, and Aliette guesses this one has a particularly… possessive way of going about it! (in China or Vietnam, ghosts who receive insufficient offerings from their descendants, or who die without descendants, can bring misfortune onto their families)
Carmen Yiling Yan was born in China and schooled in the US. Currently, she studies computer science at UCLA. Her writing has been published in Daily Science Fiction, and her translations of Chinese short science fiction have been published in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Galaxy’s Edge, as well as numerous anthologies.

The guanguan – the monster in her Asian Monsters story – is a creature from the Shanhaijing, an ancient Chinese bestiary and book of myth. It is described as having the appearance of a spotted dove, a cry like a rebuke, and feathers that grant the wearer immunity from confusion.

Fran Terminiello is half-Filipino and half-British and grew up in the U.K. She lives in Surrey with her family and a growing number of swords. She teaches renaissance sword fighting and writes stories. Find her on facebook, twitter and franterminiello.com

Fran chose the aswang as monster in her Asian Monsters story as it combines the horror of several monsters such as the vampire, demon and werewolf. The folklore that persists to this day, and the immigration of peoples in an increasingly technological world were the inspirations behind the story. The aswang is a much feared creature, even to this day. In a world where disease, child mortality and poverty threaten everyday life, particularly in rural Filipino villages, the aswang still occasionally rears its head. If milk has soured, crops fail, children are sick and weak, or births don’t come to term – the aswang can be to blame. It is a shapeshifter, taking the form of a dog or normal person in the day. For the latter it always appears very tired as it has been up all night searching for prey. The telltale sign is your own inverted reflection when you look into its eyes.

Eeleen Lee is a Chinese-Malaysian who was born in London, UK. She graduated from Royal Holloway College, University of London, with an MA in English Literature. Her short fiction and reviews have been published by Mammoth Books UK, Monsoon Books Singapore, Solarwrym Press Australia, Esquire Magazine, Malaysia and Intellect UK. Her debut collection of short horror fiction, 13 Moons, was published by Fixi Novo in 2014. She tweets at @EeleenLee

A langsuir – the monster in Eeleen’s Asian Monsters story – is the returning vampiric spirit of a woman who died during childbirth. She appears as a woman with red eyes, long black hair and a feeding hole in the back of her neck. The langsuir has the ability to fly or shape-shifts into an owl.

Eliza Chan writes about East Asian mythology, British folklore and madwomen in the attic, but preferably all three at once. Born and brought up in Scotland to Chinese parents, Eliza decided to be a stereotype and went travelling after her first degree in English and History. She lived and worked in Japan for three years: one in Sado, a sleepy island steeped in traditional culture and craft, and two in Sapporo, a vibrant city steeped in food and snow. Eliza has since returned to the UK and retrained as a speech and language therapist so she has an excuse to play with kids’ toys all day. Her work has been published in Fantasy Magazine, Lontar, Holdfast and Fox Spirit’s Winter Tales. Follow her on Twitter: @elizawchan or www.elizawchan.wordpress.com

Datsue-ba—the monster portrayed in Eliza’s Asian Monsters story—is the old hag of the Japanese afterlife. She judges those who have died and are trying to cross the river into the underworld by weighing their clothes and even skin on tree branches to gauge their sins. 

Eve Shi is an Indonesian fangirl and writer. She loves tea, singing to herself, and has lived most of her life in the West Java Province.

Lelepah—the monster in Eve’s Asian Monsters story—is a little known creature from Progo River, Central Java, and supposedly prefers meat, including human meat. You can contact Eve via Twitter @Eve_Shi or e-mail at stormofblossoms@gmail.com.

Isabel Yap writes fiction and poetry, works in the tech industry, and drinks tea. Born and raised in Manila, she has also lived in California, Tokyo, and London. In 2013 she attended the Clarion Writers Workshop. Her work has appeared on Tor.com, Book Smugglers Publishing, Uncanny Magazine, Shimmer Magazine, and Year’s Best Weird Fiction volume 2, among other venues. She is @visyap on Twitter and her website is isabelyap.com.

The monster in Isabel’s Asian Monsters story is a riff off a tiyanak – a malevolent creature that takes on the form a baby or small child. Many regions in the Philippines have their own take on the tiyanak. In some versions it is vampiric; in others, it’s more like an old man with wrinkled skin in its true form.

Ken Liu is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among other places. Ken’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings (2015), is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty. It won the Locus Best First Novel Award and was a Nebula finalist. He has a collection of short fiction, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016). He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

In addition to his original fiction, Ken is also the translator of numerous literary and genre works from Chinese to English. His translation of The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015, the first translated novel ever to receive that honour. Find out more about Ken on his website: http://kenliu.name

In “Good Hunting”—Ken’s story in Asian Monsters—Ken plays with the legends and lore around the nine-tailed fox, a shapeshifting creature of Chinese myth who has, over time, become the symbolic representation of potent, uncontrolled feminine sexuality. This story of postcolonial resistance turns the myth upside down and gives it a new chrome-coloured sheen.

Sunil Patel is an Indian-American Bay Area fiction writer and playwright who has written about everything from ghostly cows to talking beer. His plays have been performed at San Francisco Theater Pub and San Francisco Olympians Festival, and his fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Fireside Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, The Book Smugglers, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Lightspeed, among others. Plus he reviews books and TV for Lightspeed and is Assistant Editor of Mothership Zeta. His favourite things to consume include nachos, milkshakes, and narrative. Find out more at ghostwritingcow.com, where you can watch his plays, or follow him on Twitter: @ghostwritingcow. His Twitter has been described as “engaging,” “exclamatory,” and “crispy, crunchy, peanut buttery.”

As a child, he loved the stories of the Baital Pachisi as told in comics and the TV show Vikram Aur Betaal, which introduced him to vetalas—portrayed in his Asian Monsters story—ghostly creatures from Hindu mythology who possessed cadavers and haunted charnel grounds. In their most popular incarnation, they told moralistic tales with deadly consequences.

Usman Malik is a Pakistani writer of strange stories. He has won both a Bram Stoker Award and a British Fantasy Award and is a finalist for the Nebula and the World Fantasy awards. He resides in two worlds. 

Usman says about his Asian Monsters story: ‘”Blood Women” is an urban legend my cousins told me about when I was no more than five or six. Supposedly, one of our uncles was on his way to Murree, a small mountain city, one winter when he was stopped by a woman on the highway who asked him for a donation of blood for her sisters. That image haunted me all through teenage and adulthood, so one day I decided to write about it.’ 

Vajra Chandrasekera is a writer from Colombo, Sri Lanka. His stories have been published in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed and Strange Horizons, among others. He blogs occasionally at vajra.me and you can find him on Twitter as @_vajra

The yaka or yaksha – in Vajra’s Asian Monsters story – is not quite a god or devil, though they are called both. Yakku are otherworldly beings that have fulfilled many roles in Lankan lore over the millennia. They cause illness and prey on the unwary, but they are also guardians of treasure and tutelary spirits of ancient places. In the time before even gods were born, they were the first to worship the primordial waters of the newly created universe. This story takes liberties in reinterpreting their nature and lore: the masks are usually harmless, even in the hands of the obsessive. But just to be on the safe side, the only devil mask in the author’s house is a fridge magnet.

Yukimi Ogawa lives in a small town in Tokyo, Japan, where she writes in English but never speaks the language. She still wonders why it works that way. Her fiction can be found in such places as Fantasy and Science Fiction and Strange Horizons.

The monster in Yukimi’s Asian Monsters story, Kokuri Babaa, or Crone Kokuri, is a Japanese monster which is said to live in an abandoned temple, and to strip human corpses of their skin and eat the flesh. She also likes weaving things with the human hair.

As an undergraduate, Xia Jia majored in Atmospheric Sciences at Peking University. She then entered the Film Studies Program at the Communication University of China, where she completed her Master’s thesis: “A Study on Female Figures in Science Fiction Films.” In 2014, she obtained a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and World Literature at Peking University, with “Chinese Science Fiction and Its Cultural Politics Since 1990” as the topic of her dissertation. Now she is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at Xi’an Jiaotong University.

She has been publishing fiction since college in Science Fiction World and other venues. Several of her stories have won the Galaxy Award, China’s most prestigious science fiction award. In English translation, she has been published in Clarkesworld and Upgraded. Her first story written in English, “Let’s Have a Talk,” was published in Nature in 2015.

In the Asian Monsters story “A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight,” Xia Jia plays with some Buddhist and Daoist lore about monsters and monster hunters, specifically those based on stories from Pu Songling’s Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, a classic fantasy collection from the Qing Dynasty. The overall mythology of the story reflects the syncretic nature of Chinese folk beliefs, in which monsters with origins in separate religions are melded into a seamless whole. Other sources of inspiration include Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, a reinterpretation of Kipling’s The Jungle Book in the British gothic literary tradition, as well as Tsui Hark’s animation “A Chinese Ghost Story,” which embellishes Pu Songling’s traditional ghost story with cyberpunk images.

The Artists

Benjamin Chee, being from a Cantonese-speaking family in Malaysia, grew up on Hong Kong films. They taught him to be afraid of stiffened, but no less agile hopping corpses—the jiangshi—who would feed on his abundant flesh if they could get their claws on him. So far he has managed to avoid being monster chow, hiding in Singapore, drawing comics and making games. His comics appeared in Liquid City Vol. 3 and LONTAR Issue 5. He can be found at charsiewspace.com, don’t tell the monsters.

 Cindy Mochizuki is a Japanese-Canadian interdisciplinary artist who creates drawing, installation, performance, animation, and collaborative works that consider spaces that embody both the fictional and documentary. She has integrated shapeshifting monsters, ghosts and spirits in her narrative-based projects. Her children’s book Things on the Shoreline was published by Access Gallery in 2016 and tells the story of slow processes and how we call forth the creaturely life of our imaginations. Her illustrative work has appeared in West Coast Line, The Capilano Review and Alternatives Journal. She lives and works in Vancouver, Canada and has screened and exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Please visit www.cindymochizuki.com 

Daniela Serra is professional illustrator from Italy. His work has been published in Europe, Australia, United States and Japan, and displayed at various exhibits across the U.S. and Europe. He has worked for DC Comics, Image Comics, Cemetery Dance, Weird Tales magazine, PS Publishing and other publications. Winner of The British Fantasy Award (Best Artist).

Dave Johnson is a UK-based designer and illustrator who is a fan of all things comic, film and book related. He has had an interest in folklore and the supernatural since he was a child, having lived in a number of haunted houses. Currently working as both an artist and college lecturer, he loves the chance to draw images that fire up the imagination or take it to another place entirely. Working in both traditional pen and digital media, Dave enjoys fusing the creative ideas of his past life as a graphic designer with the punch and impact of illustration. He is married to Lynsey and they share their Nottinghamshire home with four cats, Annabelle, Olly, Midge and Dora.

Imran Siddiq has visited Asia, searching for dragons in Hong Kong or the hairy apemen in Borneo, though did cross paths with a Velociraptor (claimed to be a Monitor Lizard). Based in Leicestershire, UK, he writes with passion and dabbles in dark art. His genre of preference is YA Science Fiction but he would love to have a crack at a graphic novel. When not working in the NHS and writing, he’s looking after his cats. You can contact Imran at Flickimp@gmail.com His website is: www.imranwrites.com and he tweets as @flickimp

Kieran Walsh is an Irish artist living and working in the UK. Having completed a Visual Arts degree in 1996, he currently works for a successful community arts organisation (Soft Touch Arts) in Leicester, where he works on creative projects with disadvantaged community groups. This is the sixth book (and third monster book) he has created illustrations for.

Vincent Holland-Keen has provided illustrations and cover artwork for a number of novels and anthologies, including Fox Spirit’s African Monsters and the three titles in their Bushy Tales series. He’s also the author of novels The Office of Lost and Found and Billy’s Monsters, and creator of the upcoming audio series Fantasyland Undercover. By day, he works for a major Metropolitan University as a business analyst/systems designer.