Unnatural Creatures

Title: Unnatural Creatures
Author: Neil Gaiman & others
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Fiction

Neil Gaiman, the man who has given us Stardust, Sandman, Coraline and many other jewels to crown our imagination has collected 16 short-stories in this anthology, including one of his own. Every story features an unnatural creature ranging from Unicorns, Werewolves & Mermaids of myths and folk-lore to never-heard-before creatures conjured from the depth of fantasies and even Death; each possessing the effect of Gaiman’s macabre and potential to exploit the darkest corner of reader’s mind. 

Each story contains a preface from Neil Gaiman, which is not only a treat for the fans but also provides the yarn to hold the set of varying stories; along with a few beautiful illustrations adorning the tales. While most of the stories have a fairy-tale kind of approach, there are some which can be easily categorized in Sci-Fi and dark humor as well. And unlike modern gothic tales, there are no obscenities in these stories, making it an appropriate read for everyone. 

No one has ever collected or read an anthology with all the stories being favored by every reader. This book is no exception but it is the best it can get. Though some of the stories might seem puerile, why should one let logic ruin the entertainment? All stories are highly graphic with sub-texted humor and a surmounting sense of irony. 

Unnatural Creatures is compiled of following stories: 

1. (I’m unable to decipher the title) by Gahan Wilson – A black spot, reminds me of Stephen King’s The Raft, as brutal and as entertaining. 

2. The Cartographer Wasps And The Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu – The plight and fight of bees and wasps concealing political metaphor. 

3. The Griffin And The Minor Canon by Frank R. Stockton – The tale of a Griffin’s friendship with a Minister. 

4. Ozioma The Wicked by Nnedi Okorofor – Adventures of a girl who can talk to the snakes. 

5. Sunbird by Neil Gaiman – Epicurean club members, who got bored of eating everything, gets an invitation to Egypt. 

6. The Sage OF Theare by Diana Wynne Jones – Gods are plotting to change the prophecy which marks their doom. 

7. Gabriel-Ernest by Saki – A man comes to know about a strange boy who lives in his forest. 

8. The Cockatoucan by Edith Nesbit – A girl has to stop the bird from laughing who is changing everything. 

9. Moveable Beast by Maria D. Headley – A girl on the hunt of a strange beast with a stranger company. 

10. The Flight Of The Horse by Larry Niven – A man travels back in time to find a horse, but it is different from the pictures… and has a horn. 

11. Prismatica by Samuel R. Delaney – A boy’s quest to find 3 pieces of a mirror hiding a secret. 

12. The Manticore, The Mermaid And Me by Megan Kurashige – Things are not normal at National History Museum. 

13. The Compleat Werewolf by Anthony Boucher – He became werewolf to get the woman of his dreams, but things got out of claws. 

14. The Smile On The Face by Nalo Hopkinson – A teenage girl when bullied finds the fire within. Literally. 

15. Or All The Seas With Oysters by Avram Davidson – Two friends own a bike shop, but nothing is as it seems. 

16. Come Lady Death by Peter S. Beagle – A pretentious woman got bored and invited Death to her Ball; things do went interesting. 

Though most of these stories has been published before (including Gaiman’s Sunbird) and only two are new, it is a great collection regardless and a must have if you haven’t read most of them before. Highly recommended, not only to Gaiman’s fans or Harry Potter fanatics, but anyone who enjoys getting goosebumps from a read. 

Rating: 5/5 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher for reviewing purpose. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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