REVIEW: Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, edited by Jessica Augustsson

Review of Jessica Augustsson, ed., Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, (JayHenge Publications, 2017) — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

This wonderfully enticing collection is chock full of stories of all lengths and genres, as the listing of stories below indicates — more than 350 pages of monster stories. These are stories of

the bogey-men and devils who will eat you if you go out at night…the gods and demigods waiting to be offended…sinister mutations and imposters who try to fool us…the monsters we harbor deep in our own hearts (p. v).

The anthology is charmingly illustrated throughout, with a pen and ink picture for each tale, and sometimes a few small icons scattered within the story (depending on its length). Unfortunately, no information about the provenance of these images is provided — unfortunate, because whoever the artist(s) was (were), they should be credited!

The stories range from the quite short (a page and a half) to the quite decently long, such as Delilah Night’s “For the Love of Snow White” (just over thirty pages). The best way to get a sense for the variety of the stories told is to read the reviews of the individual contributions, which will be linked below as they are published:

One general comment about the typesetting — the font used in the table of contents and in the headers/footers is maximally confusing, with many letter forms being only identifiable by looking at occurrences of the same form in words which are unambiguous, so I apologise in advance for misrepresenting any of the titles. (I went back and forth as to whether Ptak’s third story was “Cuddles” or “Puddles”). (I did, however, manage to not to interpret all the l’s as long s’s, even though I really wanted to.)

Update! (24 Feb 18): One of the JayHenge staff members has more information about the lovely artwork used in the book. It all comes from the OpenClipart site, a collection of royalty-free clipart from various sources (including some images being from out-of-copyright books taken and turned into clipart). What an excellent little resource, and thanks to Susanne Hülsmann for passing on this information.

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