American Monsters Part 1, volume 5 of the series overall, covers southern and central America and American territories and includes a number of translated stories because of the prevalence of latinate languages in the region.
Cover art by Daniele Serra
- Liliana Colanzi: «The Wave»
- Santiago Santos: «A Carpet Sewn With Skeletons»
- Sabrina Vourvoulias: «Time’s Up, Cerotes»
- Ramiro Sanchiz: «The Pearl»
- Paula Andrade: «Almamula»
- Cesar Alcázar and Eduardo Monteiro (art): «Cerro Bravo» (graphic story)
- Christopher Kastensmidt: «A Parlous Battle»
- Mariela Pappas: «The Eyes of a Wolf»
- Solange Rodriguez Pappe: «The Entangler»
- Daniel Salvo: «Jaar, Jaar, Jaar»
- Flavia Rizental: «My Name is Iara»
- Gustavo Bondoni: «Vulnerable Populations»
- Fabio Fernandes: «The Emptiness in the Heart of All Things»
- Paula Andrade: «La Perla del Plata» (graphic story)
- Teresa Mira de Echeverria: «Lakuma»
Illustrations by Paula Andrade, Lynda Bruce, and Kieran Walsh.
The Wave by Liliana Colanzi
Translated by Jessica Sequeira
The Wave returned during one of the fiercest winters on the East Coast. That year seven students committed suicide between November and April: four threw themselves into gullies from the bridges of Ithaca, the rest turned to the blurry dream of drugs. It was my second year at Cornell and there were still three or four more to go, or maybe five or six. But it was all the same. In Ithaca all the days merged into the same day.
The Wave always arrived the same way: without any warning. Couples fought, psychopaths waited in alleyways, the youngest students let themselves be dragged down by the voices whispering spirals in their ears. What did they say? You’ll never be good enough for this place. You’ll be the shame of your family. That kind of thing. The city was possessed by a strange vibration. In the mornings I’d put on astronaut boots to go shovel the snow piling up like one castle above another, so that the mailman could reach my door. From the porch I could see the Wave embracing the city with its long pale arms. The whiteness refracted all visions, amplifying the voices of the dead and the tracks of the deer migrating toward the false safety of the forest. The old Dream had returned to visit me several nights, images of hell I won’t say a single word more about. I cried every day. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, I could hardly get out of bed.
The Wave had arrived and I, who had spent the last few years going from one country to another fleeing from it—as if it were possible to hide from its icy embrace—stopped in front of the mirror to remind myself for the last time that reality is the reflection in the glass and not what hides behind it. This is me, I told myself. I’m still on this side of things, refining my senses. I’m just overwhelmed by the imminent feeling of something I have already lived through many times.
And I sat down to wait.
“A wonderfully eclectic and compelling monster anthology that offers fresh, and often subversive perspectives on the weird, the dark, and the scary. The stories in American Monsters bristle with fangs and claws, introducing us to creatures that are formidable and terrifying, often ancient, and often dangerously capricious. Prowling the outskirts of society and the fringes of reality, many of these monsters live among the poor and the oppressed, and end up using their otherworldly powers to frighten, devour, or punish the oppressors. This is visceral, gripping, and satisfying horror with monsters that will get under your skin to haunt your dreams and your nightmares.”
Maria Haskins, writer and translator with speculative fiction in numerous anthologies and magazines. Blogs about science fiction and fantasy for Barnes and Noble.