Table of contents – “Pacific Monsters” edited by Margrét Helgadóttir

Pacific MonstersLong time no see! Well, this is me stating the obvious, but for the past couple of months things have gone off the rails a bit. Again. And then followed a period of procrastination, days in which I would rather bask in laziness than do something that could be called productive. But it seems now that enough is enough, so here is my attempt of resuming my journey through bookish things.

In 2014 Fox Spirit Books started travelling across the world in search of monsters. A fictional expedition, that is, in form of collections of short stories under the guidance of Margrét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas. I am talking about the “Fox Spirit Books of Monsters”, a series of anthologies that began in Europe and then trekked across the African and Asian continents, diving deep in search of monsters of myth and legend, old and new, in their natural habitats or adapted to the urbanism of modern days. During the Asian tour Margrét Helgadóttir remained the sole editor of the anthology, but that didn’t stop “Asian Monsters” from being nominated to the British Fantasy Awards. This year’s destination is the Pacific, again with only one guide, Margrét Helgadóttir, and brings us myths and monsters with stories from Australia, New Zealand and some of the Pacific Islands. Fox Spirit Books deserves all the praise it can get for this wonderful series of anthologies, not only for the stories I was able discover within them, but also for the design of these books. Published in coffee book format each of the “Fox Spirit Books of Monsters” features beautiful illustrations from various artists and the excellent cover artworks of Daniele Serra. Therefore, it comes as no surprise from my part that I am waiting with anticipation and excitement to complete this admirable collection of anthologies coming November, when “Pacific Monsters” will be released.

Table of contents:

“Monster” by Tina Makereti

“From the Womb of the Land, Our Bones Entwined” by AJ Fitzwater

“The Hand Walker” by Rue Karney

“Grind” by Michael Grey

“Dinornis” by Octavia Cade and Dave Johnson (art)

“The Legend of Georgie” by Raymond Gates

“The Weight of Silence” by Jeremy Szal

“Above the Peppermint Trail” by Simon Dewar

“Ink” by Iona Winter

“All My Relations” by Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada

“Children of the Mist” by Tihema Baker

“Mudgerwokee” by Kirstie Olley

“I Sindålu” by Michael Lujan Bevacqua and Dave Johnson (art)

“Into the Sickly Light” by AC Buchanan

The book will have illustrations by Laya Rose, Lahela Schoessler, Kieran Walsh and Eugene Smith.


Table of contents – “Terror Tales of Cornwall” edited by Paul Finch

TTs of CornwallOne of my favorite anthology series, “Terror Tales” edited by Paul Finch, hit a bump in the road when its publisher, Gray Friar Press, sadly had to close its doors. Fortunately the anthology quickly found a new home at Telos Publishing and now the tenth volume, “Terror Tales of Cornwall” is available for purchase. As is the case with the previous nine volumes of Paul Finch’s series of anthologies “Terror Tales of Cornwall” features short stories based not only geographically on its specific region but gravitating around the mythology, traditions, legends and history of the area. Also, the interspersed little snippets of local folklore are not missing either so I am very happy to see “Terror Tales” growing with yet another collection of short stories.

Cornwall, England’s most scenic county: windswept moors; rugged cliffs; and wild, foaming seas. But smugglers and wreckers once haunted its hidden coves, mermaid myths abound, pixie lore lingers, henges signal a pagan past, and fanged beasts stalk the ancient, overgrown lanes …

The serpent woman of Pengersick

The screaming demon of Land’s End

The nightmare masquerade at Padstow

The feathered horror of Mawnan

The terrible voice at St Agnes

The ritual slaughter at Crantock

The hoof-footed fetch of Bodmin Moor

And many more chilling tales by Mark Morris, Ray Cluley, Reggie Oliver, Sarah Singleton, Mark Samuels, Thana Niveau and other award-winning masters and mistresses of the macabre.


“We Who Sing Beneath the Ground” by Mark Morris

Golden Days of Terror

“In the Light of St Ives” by Ray Cluley

Morgawr Rising

“Trouble at Botathan” by Reggie Oliver

From the Lady Downs

“‘Mebyon versus Suna’” by John Whitbourn

The Serpent of Pengersick

“The Unseen” by Paul Edwards

Finned Angels, Fish-Tailed Devils

“Dragon Path” by Jacqueline Simpson

Jamaica Inn

“The Old Traditions Are Best” by Paul Finch

Guardians of the Castle

“The Uncertainty of All Earthly Things” by Mark Valentine

The Hooper

“His Anger Was Kindled” by Kate Farrell

The Bodmin Fetch

“Four Windows and a Door” by DP Watt


“Claws” by Steve Jordan

The Cursing Psalm

“A Beast by Any Other Name” by Adrian Cole

Of the Demon, Tregeagle

“Moon Blood-Red, Tide Turning” by Mark Samuels

Slaughter at Penryn

“The Memory of Stone” by Sarah Singleton

Queen of the Wind

“Shelter from the Storm” by Ian Hunter

The Voice in the Tunnels

“Losing Its Identity” by Thana Niveau

Table of contents – “Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 4” edited by Helen Marshall & Michael Kelly

YBWF-4Undertow Publications has set upon itself the tremendous task of gathering some of the best weird fiction and bringing it into our attention through its published books. And for the past three years this brave independent press counted among its titles the anthology series “Year’s Best Weird Fiction”. There are various such yearly anthologies gathering short fiction of a particular genre or sub-genre on the market, but “Year’s Best Weird Fiction” stands out not only for the chosen subject, but also for the quality of its selections and by bringing different visions for each of its volumes. Because besides the work done by the series editor, Michael Kelly, each volume features a new guest editor, such as Laird Barron for the first, Kathe Koja for the second and Simon Strantzas for the third have been so far. The fourth “Year’s Best Weird Fiction”, coming out on October, is no different, this time Helen Marshall is the guest editor, features another excellent cover art, made by Alex Andreev, and by the looks of its table of contents it promises the same exciting quality of short fiction as the first three volumes. And since I am here I would also like to point out that same as the previous year Undertow Publications offers another subscription for those interested in its 2017 titles, “Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 7” edited by Michael Kelly, “The Dream Operator” by Mike O’Driscoll, “I Will Surround You” by Conrad Williams” and the already mentioned “Year’s Best Weird Fiction” edited by Helen Marshall & Michael Kelly. There is an offer for the paperback editions for 70$, one for the hardback editions for 110$ and one for the combo of the two for 160$, all shipping costs included in the prices. So, if you are interested in one of these subscriptions you can find all the details at the Undertow Publications website.

“I Was a Teenage Werewolf” by Dale Bailey (Nightmare Magazine #51)

“Breakdown” by Gary Budden (The Short Anthology: The Second Issue)

“The Signal Birds” by Octavia Cade (Liminal Stories #2)

“Breaking Water” by Indrapramit Das (

“The End of Hope Street” by Malcolm Devlin (Interzone #266)

“The Blameless” by Jeffrey Ford (A Natural History of Hell)

“Waxy” by Camilla Grudova (Granta Online)

“A Heavy Devotion” by Daisy Johnson (Fen)

“Red” by Katie Knoll (The Masters Review Online)

“In The Ruins of Mohenjo-Daro” by Usman T. Malik (The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu)

“Angel, Monster, Man” by Sam J. Miller (Nightmare Magazine #40)

“Outtakes” by Irenosen Okojie (Speak, Gigantular)

“Beating the Bounds” by Aki Schilz (The Unreliable Guide To London)

“The Kings With No Hands” by Johanna Sinisalo, translated by J. Robert Tupasela (Finnish Weird 3)

“The Dancer on the Stairs” by Sarah Tolmie (Two Travelers)


Table of contents – “Ecopunk! – speculative tales of radical futures” edited by Liz Grzyb & Cat Sparks

The world is constantly changing and everything shifts accordingly to its movement. But, sadly, some of the steps taken forward come with a heavy price, the climate and nature we are living in being among the most unfortunate on the receiving side of this progress. The extensive cut of the forests, the disappearance of thousands of animal and plant species, the global warming and the melting of Arctic icebergs are part of an irreversible chain of events leading toward an uncertain future, to say the least. Today’s climate change doesn’t leave me many reasons to feel optimistic, most of the articles regarding the impact we have on the world around us are making me sad and discouraged about the future humanity faces. Ticonderoga Publications is attempting to shake this pessimistic feeling with a new anthology, “Ecopunk! – speculative tales of radical futures”, a collection of 19 short stories edited by Liz Grzyb and Cat Sparks that challenges the glooming perspective of what Earth would become with brighter, more promising images of our future. I must admit, not many of the authors featured on the line-up ring a bell, I am more familiar with the editors of “Ecopunk!”, Liz Grzyb, who is behind the ongoing “The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror” series and anthologies such as “Dreaming of Djinn” or “Hear Me Roar” and Cat Sparks, the author of “The Bride Price” collection of short stories and the recently released “Lotus Blue” novel. However, I don’t see this as any kind of impediment, the anthology’s concept and the chance of discovering new, talented writers are main points of attraction for me, without mentioning that feeling a little better about Earth’s future, even though it’s for a short while and with the help of science fiction stories, is always welcomed. “Ecopunk!” will be released sometimes this year.

“The Radiolarian Violin” by Adam Browne
“Future Perfect” by Matthew Chrulew
“From the Dark” by Emilie Collyer
“Milk and Honey” by Jason Fischer
“The Mangrove Maker” by Tom Guerney
“Mr. Mycelium” by Claire McKenna
“The City Sunk, the City Risen” by R. Jean Mathieu
“The Wandering Library” by D.K. Mok
“The Today Home” by Jason Nahrung
“First Flight” by Ian Nichols
“Island Green” by Shauna O’Meara
“Trivalent” by Rivqa Rafael
“The Right Side of History” by Jane Rawson
“The Scent of Betrayal” by Jane Routley
“The Butterfly Whisperer” by Andrew Sullivan
“Monkey Business” by Janeen Webb
“Happy Hunting Ground” by Corey White
“Broad Church” by Tess Williams
“Pink Footed” by Marian Womack