European Monsters

A visit to Europe to explore monsters old and new in their natural habitats. 


Here be Monsters!

They lurk and crawl and fly in the shadows of our mind. We know them from ancient legends and tales whispered by the  campfire. They hide under the dark bridge, in the deep woods or out on the great plains, in the drizzling rain forest or out on the foggy moor, beneath the surface, under your bed. They don’t sparkle or have any interest in us except to tear us apart. They are the monsters! Forgotten, unknown,  misunderstood, overused, watered down. We adore them still. We want to give them a renaissance, to reestablish their dark reputation, to give them a comeback, let the world know of their real terror.

Welcome to  ‘The Fox Spirit Books of Monsters’. A book series with dark fiction and art about monsters from around the world, starting with Europe, continuing with Africa in 2015 before the travel continues. Fox Spirit Books will take you from continent to continent, bringing you art and dark fiction about monsters based on local folklore, myths and legends from around the world.

European Monsters

Edited by Jo Thomas & Margrét Helgadóttir

Cover art by Daniele Serra

A study of some of Europe’s most interesting monsters presented as a coffee table book.

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“Here be European Monsters: a phantasmagoric delight of image and word direct from the uncharted realms of the imagination. Remember to keep those lanterns lit in the small hours, because darkness is an invitation to these horrors…” – Simon Marshall-Jones of Spectral Press

“A richly imagined and dangerous journey through the grimdark haunts of European monsters, some prey in their natural mythical habitats while others take their hunts into more modern and urban settings. Illustrated with beautiful evocative art, this is a wonderful and terrible book to treasure.” … Suzanne McLeod, author of the Spellcrackers urban fantasy series.

Jonathan Grimwood: Herne
Anne Michaud: Vijka
James Bennett: Broken Bridges
Byron Black: Upon The Wash of The Fjord
Hannah Kate: Nimby
Adrian Tchaikovsky & Eugene Smith (artist): Serpent Dawn
Joan De La Haye: Black Shuck
Aliya Whiteley: A Very Modern Monster
Nerine Dorman: Fly, My Dear, Fly
Aliette le Bodard: Mélanie
Krista Walsh: Moments
Chris Galvin: Hafgufa Rising
Peter Damien: Old Bones
Icy Sedgwick: The Cursed One
Jasper Bark & Fabian Tunon Benzo (artist): Mother Knows Worst

Artists/ illustrators: Daniele Serra, Eugene Smith, Gavin Pollock and Kieran Walsh.

Author Blogs

Unsympathetic Werewolves by Hannah Kate
Shadows under Bridges by James Bennett
We Can Still be Wolves by Anne Michaud
For the Love of Blackbirds by Nerine Dorman
Making Moments by Krista Walsh
Bringing the Cursed One to life by Icy Sedgwick
The Exmoor Beast by Aliya Whitely
Mermaid and the Deep by Peter Damien

The Editors Interview Each Other

Opening Paragraphs of European Monsters

Herne by J C Grimwood
There are leaves on the line at Waterloo. Thick twists of ivy have forced their way under the tracks and wrapped steel rails in sinewy wood. The ivy is winning. An engine and eight carriages have been pegged in place by roots. It clings to cast iron pillars that rise towards the station’s famous glass roof. Half the light is already obscured by the thickness of the growth and soon the whole roof will be hidden. Unless the ivy wins its battle to break through.
Despite signs from South West Trains forbidding entry and declaring the site private property, an impromptu city has sprung up. McDonald’s is a dorm. Delice de France a puppet theatre. Boots the Chemist a temple to the horned god. No one has seen him… Well, no one reliable but his image is stencilled everywhere.
Above the great clock, smoke from an open fire drifts through one of the panes the ivy has managed to break. The station is beautiful in a strange way. Like a giant Kew, says an old woman, who then has to explain botanical gardens to three teenagers who’ve never been further west than Marble Arch. One, the white one, has dreadlocks. The others have shaved their heads, girl included. She’s pretty, but fierce. Quickly glaring when she sees you watching.

Buy European Monsters: 1 (Fox Spirit Books of Monsters)
Buy African Monsters: Volume 2 FS Books of Monsters


Starburst Magazine on European Monsters  : EBooks have been a boon to the small press, allowing many independent publishers to produce work that would otherwise be too expensive. This has also meant that paper and ink books created by such companies have become much less common. So it’s nice to see that Fox Spirit’s latest anthology is not only available in the old fashioned format, but that it’s also beautifully produced and illustrated.

European Monsters is a gorgeous collection of tales of unnatural creatures, dealing with the rigours of the modern day. Each tale picks a creature from myth and gives us a short but sweet snapshot of its existence.

From Nerds of a Feather : These are beasts, mostly, but in each story there are monsters deeper still, human ones who see the world as needing something to hold it in check or emotional doubts and fears that lurk beneath the surface of consciousness.

James Nicoll on African SOME SPOILERS : The editors continue what appears to be an ongoing mission to keep monsters monstrous. This time they focus on the monsters of Africa. And, in a surprising twist for Westerners talking about Africa, on Africans themselves.

European Monsters on Goodreads

European Monsters on Amazon