Rating – 2.5 stars
It seems like there is a theme in the making here for me where Mr. Gaiman’ books are concerned. The first book I read of his was Coraline and I loved it, next came American Gods and it bored the crap out of me, following which I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane & loved it. Once again I ventured into Mr. Gaiman’ works – his earlier release this year – Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman, an anthology edited by Gaiman which comprises of 16 short stories, one of which is penned by Gaiman himself.
The stories range from horror to science fiction and are in varying capacities appealing to readers. The complete list of the authors and their stories is as below :
1. (picture of weird line) by Gahan Wilson
2. The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu
3. The Griffin and the Minor Canon by Frank R. Stockton
4. Ozioma the Wicked by Nnedi Okorofor
5. Sunbird by Neil Gaiman
6. The Song of Theare by Diana Wynne Jones
7. Gabriel-Ernest by Saki
8. The Cockatoucan; or, Great-Aunt Willoughby By E.Nesbit
9. Moveable Beast by Maria Dahvana Headley
10. The Flight of the Horse by Larry Niven
11. Prismatica by Samuel Delany
12. The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me by Megan Kurashige
13. The Compleat Werewolf by Anthony Boucher
14. The Smile on the Face by Nalo Hopkinson
15. Or All the Seas with Oysters by Avram Davidson
16. Come Lady Death by Peter S. Beagle
I loved some of the stories, some of them were well written, some not so engaging to me personally.
Somehow with the title, came expectations which were not met completely. Werewolves, dragons, griffins, weird carnivorous things do sometimes make engaging reads but if and if only the book sustains the theme. Considering this was an anthology that was summarized as a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds – as mentioned on the blurb, I was prepared for all sorts of creatures but reading a sc-fi themed story right in the middle of a book in which I had just read a take on the popular fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, was kinda weird to digest.
I really am too bummed out at the moment to rate each story individually, so will just list my favorites of the list – The Griffin and the Minor Canon, The Cockatoucan; or, Great-Aunt Willoughby ( which I loved the most ) and the very first one with no title but a weird squiggly line.