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Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by…

Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Neil Gaiman (Editor & Contributor)

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7591817,880 (3.88)15
Title:Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:HarperCollins (2013), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:To read

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Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman by Neil Gaiman (Editor & Contributor) (2013)



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English (17)  German (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I have a love/hate relationship with short stories. No, that's not right. It's more like a love/apathy relationship. I love a good short story more than almost anything, though anthologies are a bit tough to chew on. It's hard to keep the momentum going, like you would reading a novel, when you reach a (hopefully) satisfying climax every fifteen to thirty pages and then have to step into the steep learning curve of an entirely new story. Then there's the issue of cohesion. Many anthologies are nothing more than a hastily cobbled collection of unrelated stories by authors whose names will sell the book.

In my experience the best anthologies are those by a single author. If it's a good author (as Neil Gaiman undoubtedly is) then you'll be in for a treat. I loved Gaiman's two short fiction collections, Fragile Things and Smoke & Mirrors. For this anthology he contributes one of his stories, which also appeared in Fragile Things, and picks a bunch of awesome stories to go along with it.

The anthology is surprisingly cohesive. It's held together by the idea that each story be about an "unnatural creature" though it's also held together by a surprising similarity in style. Gaiman's story picks are from old authors (some of them deceased) or authors who write in an old-timey style. many of these stories were written fifty or sixty years ago. One was written over a hundred years ago. This gives the book an old, victorian-era feel that I absolutely adore. These stories feel like they could have been written by Conan Doyle, or H.G. Wells.

In short, Gaiman has great taste, or at least taste that is very similar to my own, and I'm happy to sit back and let him share some recommendations with me.
( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
Just like any collection of short stories, this had some great ones, some "meh" ones, and some bad and skippable ones.
( )
  Sareene | Oct 22, 2016 |
An outstanding collection of short stories of strange critters, with diversity of authors, time periods, styles, etc. Well chosen. Tremendously fun to read.

Library copy ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
I enjoyed every one of the sixteen short stories in this book. All, more or less, featured an Unnatural Creature and were fantasy oriented rather than horror. Works ranged in publication date from the late 19th century through to this year (2013), and included one of Neil Gaiman's longer short stories, Sun Bird. This collection packs a lot of variety and good reading into its pages and proves Gaiman as strong a curator of the unnatural as he is a writer. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
When I downloaded this e-book (and I only did so because at the moment, it was either free or ninety-nine cents -- I forget which) I mistakenly thought this was another short-story collection by Neil Gaiman. I had read, and enjoyed, his collection titled Fragile Things , which also happened to be my first exposure to Neil Gaiman.

Alas, actually Unnatural Creatures is a short story collection, yes, but an anthology of various authors -- edited by Neil Gaiman. And the one short story actually authored by Gaiman is one that is already in Fragile Things . So I will have to keep looking elsewhere to find more of Gaiman. I'm thinking I would like to try his Coraline someday soon.

No, discovering that this was not a solely Gaiman collection did not make me throw my iPad across the room -- I went ahead and read all the stories. Of course, being an anthology, some I enjoyed more than others. While some of the stories were memorable I am not sure that any of them make me compelled to race out and find more works by any of the authors. The problem is not the quality of the writing itself but that I need more than one short story by one author to be sure.

So, while a nice diversion overall, it did not succeed in "selling" me on any one writer (some long since dead, as some stories were first published a hundred years ago or more). ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Mar 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, NeilEditor & Contributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Headley, Maria DahvanaEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Beagle, Peter S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boucher, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, AvramContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Delany, Samuel R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Headley, Maria DahvanaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hopkinson, NaloContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, Diana WynneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kurashige, MeganContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nesbit, E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Niven, LarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Okorafor, NnediContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
SakiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stockton, Frank R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, GahanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yu, E. LilyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrow-Cribbs, BrionyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Bigfoot, for the time travelers, for the pirates, for the robots, for any boring people (who obviously aren`t actually secret agents in boring disguise), for people in space rockets, and for our mothers. - N.G.
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Introduction:  When I was a boy, the best place in the world was in London, a short walk from South Kensington Station.
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I knew how to visit the creatures who would never be sighted in zoos or the museum or the woods. They were waiting for me in books and in stories, after all, hiding inside the twenty-six characters and a handful of punctuation marks. These letters and words, when placed in the right order, would conjure all manner of exotic beasts and people from the shadows, would reveal the motives and minds of insects and of cats. They were spells, spelled with words to make worlds, waiting for me, in the pages of books.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062236296, Hardcover)

Unnatural Creatures is a collection of short stories about the fantastical things that exist only in our minds—collected and introduced by beloved New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman.
The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. The magical creatures range from werewolves to sunbirds to beings never before classified. E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries contribute to the anthology.
Sales of Unnatural Creatures benefit 826DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students in their creative and expository writing, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:27 -0400)

* / Gahan Wilson -- The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees / E. Lily Yu -- The Griffin and the Minor Canon / Frank R. Stockton -- Ozioma the Wicked / Nnedi Okorafor -- Sunbird / Neil Gaiman -- The Sage of Theare / Diana Wynne Jones -- Gabriel-Ernest / Saki -- The Cockatoucan; or, Great-Aunt Willoughby / E. Nesbit -- Moveable Beast / Maria Dahvana Headley -- The Flight of the Horse / Larry Niven -- Prismatica / Samuel R. Delany -- The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me / Megan Kurashige -- The Compleat Werewolf / Anthony Boucher -- The Smile on the Face / Nalo Hopkinson -- Or All the Seas With Oysters / Avram Davidson -- Come Lady Death / Peter S. Beagle.… (more)

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