Post by Mark T. Locker.
Unnatural Creatures: short stories selected by Neil Gaiman.
One of the great aspects of short stories is that you can often dive into the story and come out the other end within a reasonable amount of time. But sometimes I feel like even a great short story author can be pretty hit or miss and I often don’t like reading collections by a single author for this very reason. What I do like is collected stories, especially those carefully curated by a respected figure in the field. And you don’t get much more respected in the field than Neil Gaiman. Known for a million novels for adults, young adults, and picture books for kids, not to mention the Sandman graphic novels, Gaiman is a beloved figure in the literary scene. So a collection of short stories by him must be pretty good.
Unnatural Creatures is a collection of stories about creatures, both magical and otherworldly. The authors are as varied as the subject matter they cover: from 19th-century authors E. Nesbit and Frank Stockton to contemporary cartoonist Gahan Wilson to Neil Gaiman himself, this collection will have something to please just about everyone. The first story, by Gahan Wilson, is a creepy and strange tale of a mysterious blot that appears and disappears at random, always growing and causing distress. What is it? Where did it come from? Frank Stockton’s tale, “The Griffin and the Minor Canon” is a sweet tale about fear and misunderstanding. It’s also about a griffin. I love this story. With sixteen stories to choose from, this collection of unusual and imaginary creatures is a wonderful way to end the day, transported to a magical world in the safety and comfort of your blankets.