We are proud to reveal the table of contents for our last volume in Fox Spirit Books of Monsters: Eurasian Monsters!
The series, edited by Margrét Helgadóttir, has dark fiction and art about scary monsters and dark creatures from around the world, seven volumes between 2014 and 2020. The series is our grand world tour and we have so far been to Europe, Africa, Asia, the Pacific region, and Central, South and North America.
A number of the stories have been award winners individually across the series, many more have picked up nominations, and our editor won the very first Brave New Words award for her work on Pacific Monsters. These are beautiful books full of incredible tales and monstrous images.
It’s been a hell of journey so far. Sadly, all travels must have an end, and now this series will close with Eurasian Monsters. This December we bring you 17 dark tales from the vast region stretching from the Chinese border (but not including China) to Eastern parts of East Europe. We are proud to tell that we have stories from all over Russia, from Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
We have as many as seven translated stories, six are translated exclusively for this book. You will not want to miss this – we have stories from authors who’s never been translated to English before!
Table of Contents:
K.A. Teryna: Morpheus
Marta Magdalena Lasik: Daemons of their time
Yevhen Lyr: Sleepless in Enerhodar
Karina Shainyan: Bagatazh
Vlad Arenev: Rapunzel
Haralambi Markov: Nine Tongues Tell Of
Maria Galina: The Visit
Alex Shvartsman: A Thousand Cuts
Daryna Stremetska: The Whitest Linen
Shawn Basey: Lysa Hora
Karolina Fedyk: Our Lady of Carrion Crows
Bogi Takács: Veruska and the Lúdvérc
Eldar Sattarov: Mountain Maid
Kat Hutchson: The Housekeeper
Natalia Osoianu: The Serpent
Alexander Bachilo: This is Moscow, Old Man!
Ekaterina Sedia: Sleeping Beauty of Elista
The stories will be illustrated by K. A. Teryna, Kieran Walsh, Elzbieta Glowacka, Nata Friden and Vincent Holland Keen.
Daniele Serra is once again providing cover art, which we will be revealing soon.
Editor is once again Margrét Helgadóttir.
Translation by Mike Olivson, Maksym Bakalov, Piotr Swietlik, and Alex Shvartsman
The new novella from Shona Kinsella is due out in days so we wanted to treat you to the full wrap cover.
Stunning work by Sarah Langton to cover a brilliant novella.
‘In Slyvo, one child in a hundred is born with an affinity: a magical link to an element, able to shape and use it as they choose. If they are lucky they will become a master craftsman, able to command high prices; if they are unlucky, the factories always demand new wielders, kept as slaves and worked to exhaustion.
Talis and Almoris are free wielders, dedicating their lives to helping wielders leave the country for better lives abroad. But not everyone believes in their mission, and not everyone can be trusted – when Almoris takes in a runaway, they find themselves pulled into a mission that puts their lives in danger and threatens both their loyalties and their love.’
Looking for that quel-que chose for your summer or fall clothes? Have you not seen the headlines, darling?! The world is falling into chaos. Fascists have taken over — and not just on the runway. The only way to fight back?
Dress like a surrealist!
Look at Leonora! White leggings in the autumn? Rules are not made for her! She breaks them all. Hair wild, hyena by her side — everyone will be wanting one after Milan this year! The soft brown silk of her top sets off the verdant cropped jacket perfectly (and yes, it has pockets naturalmente!). Shoes by Fini.
And speaking of Fini, Leonor has more in store with the ne plus ultra of the season: masks! Feeling tired, uninspired or totally wired, no one need know if you wear your mask. Animals are all the rage — and why not? They are enraged as we destroy their environment, relegating them to slow death. And once they have expired, they make terrific masks with only a few laborious steps. Repurpose those passed on! Hide your brutal humanity behind their faces and amaze all your friends — or shock your enemies! What does it matter at the slow dance before oblivion?
Dorothea Tanning says, ‘Go bold!’ Will they notice your pert breasts before or after the adorable beast at your feet? What about the seaweed? You can refresh it daily for that ‘just rose from the sea and don’t know how the fish can survive in all that plastic’ feeling. The lace cuffs and gold ribbon give a luxurious feel as we prepare to step through the door into the new Roaring Twenties. Barefoot may be comfortable but revel in the rich layers of voluminous Midnight linen in her skirt. Cool enough for summer but it won’t look out of place in Paris this fall!
Ithell Colquhoun is going for the stripped down look. Looks like slimming is the only thing on the summer resort menu, ladies!
Accessories, cries Remedios Varo. Layers, layer, layers, yes! But accessories are a must. As you velocipede through London this year, don’t neglect to make the most of your accoutrements. Books, flowers, portraits of your lovers can all be buttoned into the ample space of her latest creation. The wheels are charming and so functional — and don’t forget your cat!
We’ll give the last word to Fini, because you know she will take it. And that word is SCORPION! Darling, you cannot do without one. Keep a spare in your glove for that next important meeting and you will leave an indelible impression.
‘Keep your eye on your inner world and keep away from ads, idiots and movie stars.’
I have an old rhyme in my head lately, so forgive the title. Still, did you know we have our own ebook store now? Sporting almost all of our titles?
There are some exceptions.
Our HEMA titles under the Vulpes line; the Giganti, Alfieri and Docciolini do not lend themselves to e-versions.
Our poetry titles, Multiverse by Jan Siegel, And the Fox Crows by V.C. Linde and The Velocity of Constant by Hardeep Sangha, likewise make such a feature of the formatting we decided to offer them in paperback only.
Of course the FS Books of Monsters, touring the world continent by continent to explore the darkest lurking terrors, are designed as coffee table books and will only be released as paperbacks.
Beyond that we have a few titles left to get caught up with:
Respectable Horror, Starfang vols 2&3, the last five fox pockets, and You Left Your Biscuit Behind, will all be joining the site soon, along with our new releases.
Check it out, there isn’t a single book over £3.99, we will be doing some value bundles for £9 coming online in due course and if you Join the Skulk at the bottom of this site you can claim 10% of every basket.
And if that isn’t enough! OurBuy Stuffpage has links to other amazing small presses, art and merchandise by some of the artists we have worked with, quick links to find our books on Amazon and more.
The best thing about our own estore, is even more of the money you spend goes to the authors you love!
I am so happy that Asian Monsters is now out from Fox Spirit Books, after one year of work. Asian Monsters is the third volume of the annual Fox Spirit Book of Monsters series. We started with Europe in 2014 and continued with Africa in 2015. Next stop will be the Pacific area in 2017 before we end the world tour at the continent of America.
This year we stop in Asia. We present you tales of beasties from the nights of urban Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Lahore to the monsters of the mountains and forests, told by fourteen authors who are either from, have lived in, or have another strong connection to this wide stretching continent. We want to show the world not only all the great monsters but also all the wonderful authors in the world who tend to be ignored in the western popular culture. Who else should tell us about the monsters from their regions but the authors who know them best? Thus, from volume two (Africa) I have searched for authors from the region who can either tell a tale based on local folklore or even come up with a monster of their own. I also try to locate illustrators and graphic artists from the regions we visit but have not managed to have this hundred percent in the books.
What I have learned from the monster book series, is that every country and region in the world has wonderful dark and eerie tales of monsters, some of them really old, maybe even thousands, of years old. No matter where you are in the world, the monsters have been someone to blame when bad things happen (sudden death of dear ones, bad luck, ship wrecks) or a source to explain mystical things happening around humans (like thunder and lightning). Many monsters also challenge the humans’ thoughts and fears of what happens when you are dead, or the relationship between human and the animals in wilderness.
If you are familiar with the book series, you might have noticed that we were two editors on the first two volumes, yours truly and the lovely Jo Thomas, who knows 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf. Jo had a special responsibility for the graphic stories and the art. In the last volume, African Monsters, Jo unfortunately had to step aside for parts of the production. Following up on this, we decided that I will edit the coming monster volumes alone. Then we’ll see. It wasn’t an easy decision, since the monster books are an idea and concept Jo and I created together three years ago, our baby so to speak.
Three years ago we demanded that something had to be done. We strongly felt that the monsters of this world are watered down and overused in the popular media, transformed into creatures which either long to be included in the human society and/or fall in love with a human girl. Also, some monsters have dominated the public scene in the last decades—vampires, werewolves, ghouls, demons, zombies—and they have mostly been from Western popular culture.
So Jo and I both felt it was about bloody time to show the world all the marvellous monsters which lurk, sneak, jump, glide, wander or fly around this planet, or even under your bed (you know they are there!). We also dreamed about giving the monsters a renaissance as real monsters, a comeback so to speak, their fifteen minutes of fame, with gorgeous art and in the style of a coffee table book so they will achieve a central and visual place in the humans’ homes.
The monsters in the Fox Spirit books of Monsters don’t sparkle or have any desire to be a human or part of the human society. These monsters have no interest in you except tearing you apart or putting terror in your heart. Bless them.
In the continent of Asia you find the shape-shifters, the flesh-eating walking dead and the great monsters of the lakes and sea. Also, what has struck me while editing this volume is all the spirits and ghosts who exist in much of the Asian folklore. Several of these spirits and ghosts are mischievous, some quite terrifying, many sad.
The stories in African Monsters were about place and origin, about immigration and going home—maybe a strong witness of how much the soil of Africa means to these authors. Home is an underlying theme in Asian Monsters too but here it’s not so much about the place but about the family itself and the strong relationships between loved ones, dead, living or not there.
This time we have managed to include one translated story, the lovely story by Xia Jia (translated by Ken Liu), something I am immensely happy about. Hopefully this is something I will also be able to include in the coming volumes and I am grateful for any recommendations of authors who tell great monster tales in other languages than English.
I have tried to be loyal to Jo and my mission with the monster books and hopefully I have succeeded in this with Asian Monsters. I wish to thank all who have made this book possible: Adele Wearing and her fantastic team at Fox Spirit Books, people who have helped out with research and local knowledge, Daniele Serra for his wonderful cover art, and all the amazing authors and artists. Thank you!
Margrét Helgadóttir is a Norwegian-Icelandic writer and editor living in Oslo. Her stories have appeared in a number of both magazines and print anthologies such as In flight literary magazine, Gone Lawn, Luna Station Quarterly, Tales of Fox and Fae and Girl at the End of the World. Her debut book The Stars Seem So Far Away was published by Fox Spirit Books in 2015 and was shortlisted as Best Collection to British Fantasy Awards 2016. Margrét is co-editor for the Fox Spirit Books anthologies European Monsters (2014) and African Monsters (2015). African Monsters was also shortlisted (Best Anthology) to British Fantasy Awards 2016. She is also editor for the Fox Spirit Books anthologies Winter Tales (2016), Asian Monsters (Dec 2016) and Pacific Monsters (Nov 2017). Learn more on her webpage http://margrethelgadottir.wordpress.com or chat with her on Twitter (@MaHelgad)
Hurrah! Welcome back to our continent by continent tour of the world of monsters! Discover something new and horrifying in the dark places and we put monsters back where they belong, lurking in the shadows of myth and tradition. So far we have visited Europe and Africa, and the books were accompanied with some fantastic blog posts by participating authors.
This year we are visiting Asia and exploring monsters from many countries in stories and art.
Find Asian Monsters on Amazon.co.uk now!
On Monday we begin a series of blog posts from the authors about monsters, both the sort in the book and the sort they deal with in life.
Edited by Margret Helgadottir
Cover by Daniele Serra
A HUNDRED GHOSTS PARADE TONIGHT Xia Jia, translated by Ken Liu
GOOD HUNTING Ken Liu
BLOOD LIKE WATER Eve Shi
BLOOD WOMEN Usman T. Malik
GOLDEN LILIES Aliette de Bodard
GRASS CRADLE, GLASS LULLABY Isabel Yap
UNRESTFUL Benjamin Chee
DATSUE-BA Eliza Chan 8
LET HER IN Eeleen Lee
THE POACHER OF QINGQIU CY Yan
ASWANG Fran Terminiello
THE VETALAS’ QUERY Sunil Patel
KOKURI’S PALACE Yukimi Ogawa
VIKURTHIMAGGA Vajra Chandrasekra, Art by Dave Johnson
A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight, Good Hunting, Kokuri’s Palace by Cindy Mochizuki
Blood Like Water, Blood Women, The Vetalas’ Query by Vincent Holland-Keen
Golden Lilies, Datsue-Ba, Let Her In by Kieran Walsh
Grass Cradle, Glass Lullaby, The Poacher of Qingqiu, Aswang by Imran Siddiq
Monsters are coming! Margret Helgadottir is back with another fantastic line up as she returns monsters to the dark. African Monsters is presently on the short list for the British Fantasy Society award for best Anthology.
Asian monsters is the third volume in a world tour exploring horror continent by continent, beginning in Europe. Release of the books is accompanied by a series of blog posts explaining more about the origins of some of the monsters. See more about the series and the monsters here.
Cover coming soon!
We are pleased to announce that Asian Monsters is due out this November. Asian Monsters will be the third in the Fox Spirit Books of Monsters series that started with European Monsters and continued with British Fantasy Awards shortlisted African Monsters.
In this collection we explore the old myths and monsters of the continent of Asia in short stories and art.
Edited by Margret Helgadottir and with cover art by Daniele Serra we are pleased to reveal the table of contents for Asian Monsters:
Xia Jia: ‘A Hundred Ghosts Parade Tonight’ (translated by Ken Liu)
Ken Liu: ‘Good Hunting’
Eve Shi: ‘Blood Like Water’
Usman T. Malik: ‘Blood Women’
Aliette le Bodard: ‘Golden Lilies’
Isabel Yap: ‘Grass Cradle, Glass Lullaby’
Benjamin Chee: ‘Unrestful’
Eliza Chan: ‘Datsue-Ba’
Eeleen Lee: ‘Let Her In’
CY Yan: ‘The Poacher of Qingqiu’
Fran Terminello: ‘Aswang’
Sunil Patel: ‘The Vetalas’ Query’
Yukimi Ogawa: ‘Kokuri’s Palace’
Vajra Chandrasekera and Dave Johnson (art): ‘Vikurthimagga’
The book will have illustrations by Cindy Mochizuki, Vincent Holland-Keen, Kieran Walsh and Imran Siddiq.
Well, I have never been much of a football fan, but I am Lestah born and aside from a brief education based sojourn to Newcastle I’ve lived in the ‘shire all my life. So it is that I can’t help but feel some pride in the Foxes achievement and enjoy the holiday mood in the City.
Congratulations Leicester City Football Club on a job well done, from one skulk to another.
When Jo Thomas approached me with this project I was immediately intrigued. Recently, in the art world there’s been a surge of interest in Africa and the continent’s distinct visual style has extended far beyond its borders. African culture is embedded with deep metaphors and unique colloquialisms that have not been favoured with the degree of translation and ease of access often enjoyed by other cultures. In South Africa, our past of forced segregation has historically kept us apart from the rest of the continent; a separation that, to my mind, was reawakened and hard felt by the spate of xenophobic attacks on African foreigners by South African nationals over the last several years. On a daily basis the unfathomable is captured in the harsh contrasts of everyday life.
Our monsters give voice to us, they guide us, they hold our hands.
It begs the question: how much of our existence is encapsulated in our darker impulses? How much of our conciousness is denied rational conception? Halved as it is, the human soul strives to live in the light, yet the tenebrous remains ever-present. Consequently, I viewed African Monsters as a collective nod of the head to the sharing of shadows.
From an illustrative perspective, it’s rare to come across a book project where creative interpretation is given free reign. As a result, illustrating for African Monsters was just pure fun! For once the creative beast did not rear her head and all was well in Artland. I took my easel and art gear to a friend’s top floor office and from there painted and drew with the Cape Town cityscape as backdrop. At heart, I’m a spontaneous artist, making marks with great aggression and consequently, no idea what they’re going to turn into. In this case, however, I had to be a little more specific, given the brief and subject matter at hand. I’d select a story, read it in the morning and let it permeate my mind for the rest of the day. In the evenings I’d draw from the narrative inspiration and in quick marks capture the gist of my feeling on paper – from there, I’d give those initial marks a more subtle definition as the night progresses.
To recreate a story you have to retell it, as Neil Gaiman once said. He was specifically referring to a case where one of his graphic novels was unsuccessfully translated into a stage production. But that aside, drawing these illustrations for African Monsters was in a large part an act of retelling. A personal re-creating. It must be interesting from a writer’s perspective to see the illustrator’s interpretation. Imaginations are not shared, but subjective occurrences. I find it fascinating to see how a singular story elicits a wide arch of interpretation.
With that in mind, I’d like to thank Margrét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas for organising such a great publication. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in it. I’d also like to thank the three writers I had to illustrate for: Nnedi Okorafor and Chikodili Emulumadu, your stories from Nigeria took my imagination to places rarely experienced before. Nerine Dorman, as a fellow citizen, I found your interpretation of an age old South African myth to be fresh and original. Let my last words then be, for those of you who read this blog to go read the book! You’ll like it.
As they are the editors of the Fox Spirit book of African Monsters, we thought it could be a good idea to let Margrét Helgadóttir (MH) and Jo Thomas (JT) start the little blog tour we are having here at the Fox Spirit Books since the book is now published. In the coming weeks we are going to let the contributors tell about their monsters or other things on their minds. Let’s start with Jo, who has something she wants to say first:
JT: ‘Last year, we did a question and answer session between the two of us explaining where the Monster anthology idea came from. This year… Well, this year, you have a blog post. A slightly hi-jacked blogpost as I (Jo) got to write the first draft and have a few things to say personally. So, this year, I’d like to heap some praise on my co-editor, Margrét, and my publisher, Adele at Fox Spirit Books, for working like Trojans the last few of months in order to get everything in place. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been moving and starting a new job, so I haven’t had much time for putting African Monsters together. So, three cheers for the hard-working team that did! And now on to the main event.’
The original intention a few years ago, the idea that formed with a Twitter conversation, was a “look at the whole world of monsters.” This eventually narrowed down to look at the monsters in our own pond, the European monsters. We were fairly eager to extend in to further volumes for other continents quite soon after imposing the restriction for European Monsters and happily Adele agreed this was a good idea.
JT: ‘This is, of course, a source of argument between we two editors, with one being raised with the five-continent model of the world and the other with the seven-continent model of the world.’
Africa became the next place to visit on the world tour. It is, of course, a continent we’re both happy admit to the existence of and we had the benefit of Margrét having spent some of her formative years there so that she had a familiarity with a number of regions and folklores. As with European Monsters, the anthology was invitation only and so we used and abused Margrét’s contacts while also researching new ones. It was important to us to make use of authors and artists who lived or had connections with the areas they were working on. Although we had hoped to have been able to have solely African authors in the book, we have not been able to secure a hundred percent African talent for the resulting anthology, mostly due to time constraints and communication problems. Also, since we mostly have authors who write English in this book, the geographical representation, is sadly not a full reflection on the world’s second largest and second most populous continent.
MH: ‘I feel we have learned much from editing these books when it comes to getting a good representation in the books. In following books we will try to have at least one translated story from a non-English speaking author. The key is to have the right amount of time, some luck and a good network.’
There is a wealth of skilled artists and published writers to look into and we consider our own anthology a jumping off point into the world of African fiction. But nevertheless, we have covered a small part of a large continent that we hope you enjoy. This is not the colonial “Dark Continent”—or, perhaps, not just the colonial, as that era is part of the history that formed the present day—but the stories we have gathered give grim glimpses of a darkness where the scariest thing is sometimes the bright light of day.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.