Speculative fiction, art and graphic stories from African authors, based on African folklore, myths and legends about monsters. African Monsters is the second in a coffee table book series with dark fiction and art about monsters from around the world. “African Monsters is a fantastic anthology featuring many African writers at the forefront of the new wave of SpeculativeSpeculative fiction, art and graphic stories from African authors, based on African folklore, myths and legends about monsters. African Monsters is the second in a coffee table book series with dark fiction and art about monsters from around the world. “African Monsters is a fantastic anthology featuring many African writers at the forefront of the new wave of Speculative Fiction tapping directly into the deep and rich mythology of African cultures.”(Ivor W. Hartmann, editor for African Roar and AfroSF volume 1 & 2)"Absolutely smashing collection"(Starburst Magazine)"And while some of the stories wrangle with issues of colonialism, most of the stories take place in the present day, showing a contemporary, lived-in space that is seldom seen by most of the West. Reading it was a treat."(The Future Fire)"It's an almost who's who of African SFF in 198 glorious pages."(Bookshy)"If you want to get familiar with African monsters of every shape and size, this is a great jumping-off point."(Joanne Hall)"If you are looking to discover a broader set of monsters than your run-of-the-mill vampire or werewolf, African Monsters certainly provides the ticket for that journey."(A Fantastical Librarian)...
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African Monsters Reviews
Following on from the success of Fox Spirit’s previous coffee-table volume, European Monsters, African Monsters takes the series a step further, drawing on African mythologies, written by authors and illustrated by artists who, for the most part, have a deep connection with the continent. As the editors say in their introduction, “African mythology is as diverse as all the cultures that embody it, from the ancient Egyptian in the north to the old beliefs of the San desert people in the South. “With this in mind, there are plenty of creatures here who may be unfamiliar to the casual reader, such as the Impundulu bird of Joan de la Haye’s tale, which manifests as a witches familiar with the power to draw down thunder and lightening on her enemies. Or the mischievous and sometimes dangerous tokoloshe, leprechaun-like creatures that can be found in Nick Wood’s Thandiwe’s Tokoloshe, a dark fairy-tale of a young girl who searches for the end of a rainbow and discovers her own self.There are water-spirits here, malign entities preying on careless students (Severed by Jayne Bauling) or beguiling sirens (Nerine Dorman’s A Whisper in the Reeds, my personal favourite in the collection.) Spirits of the forest or the veldt, that appear as crying babies or unpredictable shape-shifters. Lizard-women and were-dogs stalk the rain-washed streets of Johannesburg as some of the continents most pioneering and celebrated SFF writers, including Sarah Lotz, Nnedi Okorafor and Tade Thompson, weave their magic. This is a collection as diverse and wide-ranging as Africa itself, dark in places, uplifting in others, showcasing not just stories, but art and comic work from a range of talents. If you want to get familiar with African monsters of every shape and size, this is a great jumping-off point.
Myth and legends are universal. Every people has their own myths, whether to explain why sometimes the sky makes this really loud rumbling noise, where they came from, why sometimes people just die, or who that one guy — you know the one from three houses down? Yeah, that guy — sometimes suddenly starts talking to even if he seems alone. Humans use myths to makes sense of their world. But it is not just people, each place has its own legends too. And while those myths and legends may differ in the telling, there is a remarkable overlap in their nature and subject matter.This goes for the nature of monsters as well. Every culture has an iteration of the shapeshifter, the undead, vengeful spirits, or beings that feast on human life force or blood. Yet they are all unique—none of them work exactly the same. Despite the wealth of monsters out there in the mythical world, literature not only seems to gravitate to the same monsters again and again, but to Western monsters at that (vampires and werewolves I’m looking at you). Fox Spirit Books is trying to bring more of them into the spotlight and, more importantly, to bring a more global and diverse array of monsters to the stage. In the second instalment of the series Jo Thomas and Margrét Helgadottir have curated a marvellous selection of stories about monsters found on the continent of Africa.Of necessity, the area of the African continent visited in the stories is limited, because Africa is huge and you cannot even visit half of the countries of the continent in the sixteen stories included in this volume. But what we see is amazing and I loved how the different languages shone through the text. While all of the stories are in English, we get snippets and words in the different languages and some of the dialects’ speech patterns.With sixteen stories there are always some you’ll like more than others, so it is no surprise that I have some favourites. The least surprising of those is probably Sarah Lotz’s That Woman. I love Lotz’s writing and the fact that That Woman is something of a crime story/mystery doesn’t hurt either. I loved this story’s look at how rumours can shape a community’s fears and how law doesn’t always equal justice. Plus who can resist a witch? Another cop story, but one of a completely different stripe is Dilman Dila’s Monwor. It’s titular monster is a succubus-like creature, whose true nature was rather surprising. But in this story the monitor wasn’t the true monster, the patriarchy and the corporations are. Joe Vaz’s After the Rain features something resembling a traditional ghost story and some really scary dogs. It was the visuals of this story that remained with me the strongest after finishing the collection. My final favourite was Vianne Venter’s Acid Test. This story felt more SF than fantasy and its themes of environmental pollution and resource scarcity felt immensely relevant and timely. I loved the unreliability of the narrative and the twist at the end.African Monsters doesn’t just contain prose stories, it also has two graphic stories and numerous illustrations. The art is gorgeous and certainly suits the somewhat eerie atmosphere of many of the stories. Overall, I really enjoyed the collection Thomas and Helgadottir brought together. The anthology was very entertaining and I loved meeting all the different kinds of monster. If you are looking to discover a broader set of monsters than your run-of-the-mill vampire or werewolf, African Monsters certainly provides the ticket for that journey.This book was provided for review by the editor.
Hm, I find it really tricky to give a star rating to an anthology of stories by different authors. Some stories I adored and thought were excellent, others I didn't really care for. That said, if you're looking to diversify your reading and want to sample a selection of scary tales by African authors, this is definitely a good place to start!
Stuff I Read - African Monsters ReviewSo short fiction collections are always difficult to review without reviewing each story individually (and for the sake of my own sanity I'm not going to do that here), but I must say I really have been enjoying the Monster books from Fox Spirit. European Monsters, which I read last year, was a fascinating read, and if anything this new volume turns things up even further. But then, with the trip south from Europe there are a few things that are different, in good ways and bad. The aim of the series in general has been to put the monstrous back into monsters, to make them more inhuman and give them back to the places they came out of. Which for the European monsters, which have seen a good deal of humanization over the years in popular culture, seemed quite needed. For the African monsters, too, even though there has been much less prominence for these creatures outside their regions of origin, it's very nice to see stories from writers who grew up with stories of the monsters being portrayed.Many of the stories have to deal with movement and immigration. With the way that Africa gets portrayed many times as one place instead of a great many places. And the stories of the collection to range quite widely, both in locale and in subgenre, though each of the tales could be easily classified as horror. Still, there are crime procedural stories and mysteries and fantasies and Gothic horrors and science fantasies and even a YA or two. There are stories of love and longing and isolation and loneliness and pride and oppression. Many of the stories deal with moving away and coming back changed. Many involve traveling from one area of Africa to another and finding yourself in almost an entirely different world. Some warn of treating the environment right lest we making it more hospitable for...something else. And many others look at how passing along abuse and hate and oppression can create monsters, both externally and internally.The art of the collections continue to shine, from the monster drawings to the graphic stories, though the graphic selections this time around felt a bit less complete than I might have liked. And I will say that a few of the monster drawings contain spoilers that I might have preferred be held until after the stories they were for. But the depictions are great, creepy and haunting and visceral. For most of these monsters I had never seen a visual representative before, so having that was an invaluable tool, though most the stories did a great job describing the monsters, selling the horror of the situations. And there are just so many good stories inside that it would impossible to list all the ones that I liked. I will single out a few, though, including "A Whisper in the Reeds" by Nerine Dorman as one of my favorites for its sensual feel and isolated loneliness. "One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sunlight" by Tade Thompson was also a great story about loss and difference and time and cycles of violence. And "Bush Baby" by Chikodili Emelumadu is an excellent and creepy tale of the power of the bonds of family and being stuck as a woman to make up for the mistakes of male relations. Really, all the stories are worth spending a lot of time with, and the entire collection is quite well done. I don't really think it needs to be read in any particular order, either. The collection is like a map, varied and unexpected at times. The final graphic story does wrap a bit of a bow on things, but I think I'd have almost preferred the collection closed on "Acid Test" by Vianne Venter, a story that looks into a future that might be and is hauntingly hopeful and nearly romantic. But there's so much to like! An 8.75/10.
Speculative fiction, art and graphic stories from African authors, based on African folklore, myths and legends about monsters. African Monsters is the second in a coffee table book series with dark fiction and art about monsters from around the world. Monsters should be scary African Monsters is a collection of stories where the monsters aren't misunderstood or easily turned to the side of good. These are the stories of monsters from sub-Saharan Africa who prey on humans.The locations of some of the stories in this collection.[image error]Reviewing a collection can be difficult because not every story resonates with every reader. Here are few of my favorites.On the Road by Nnedi Okorafor - An American policewoman returns to Nigeria and her grandmother but is confronted with a mystery surrounding an injured child.Severed by Jayne Bauling - A camping trip to a remote lake goes horribly wrongThat Woman by S Lotz - A policeman investigates reports of witches dispensing punishments in the countryside.After the Rain by Joe Vaz - A man who left South Africa as a child returns and finds himself trapped in a bar in his old neighborhood by werewolves.Taraab and Terror in Zanzibar by Dave-Brandon de Burgh - A man is brought from South Africa to Zanzibar to clean up a monster problem that he thought he had handled before.A Whisper in the Reeds by Nerine Dorman - Water spirits tempt a manAcid Test by Vianne Venter - After Johannesburg is evacuated due to an environmental catastrophe a team returns to monitor the recovery.Thandiwe's Tokoloshe by Nick Wood - A girl is put in a fairy tale and refuses to be satisfied with the typical endings. A photo posted by @dvmheather on Apr 20, 2016 at 6:07am PDTThis is a wonderful chance to familiarize yourself with some African authors. I'm already a huge Nnedi Okorafor fan but I've added some of Nerine Dorman's books to my TBR list too because they sound amazing. This review was originally posted on Based On A True Story
http://www.horrorblog.co.uk/blog/afri...African Monsters edited by Jo Thomas & Margret Helgadottir from Fox Spirit Books - winner of the 2015 British Fantasy Society Best Independent Press. "So, with all this in mind, please tread lightly on this little square of African soil we offer you. It houses monsters with bite along with spirits that will steal your soul away along with your breath."When this little gem landed in my inbox I read it straight away, not due to the editors of this anthology, but because of Adele Wearing of Fox Spirit Books. I had the pleasure of being on a panel with Adele at the 2015 Fantasy Convention. A lovely women who is passionate about her work, at the time I'd thought I must read one of Fox Sprit's books. So thank you, Adele, for sending me this. Fox Sprit are looking at monster legends from around the globe and ask writers to write about monsters from their countries. The first volume, European Monsters, has been available for some time, and you can now buy volume two, African Monsters. Volume two contains 16 stories with two being in graphic novel style. It features illustrations throughout and due to this, it is only available in paperback, but what a fabulous collection to don your book shelves. Due to the deep research, the editors, 'Jo Thomas & Margret Helgadottir', work on one volume per year, so there is a wait between volumes. It is also well worth mentioning Fox Sprit's blog, as you will find some of the authors have been explaining the stories behind the monsters there.Volume two 'African Monsters' also boasts illustrations from Su Opperman, Kieran Walsh, Mariam Ibrahim, Eugene Smith and Benali Amine, again worth having in paperback form. The editors set out to re-establish the scary side of monsters and to introduce people to traditions that may have been forgotten, due to Hollywoods interpretation of horror.What I prefer about African Monsters is Magret and Jo used authors and artists from Africa, as opposed to the Europe Volume which had contributing artists from around the world. I particularly enjoyed the biographies of all the contributing authors and artists. From an ageing witch women passing on her gift to her daughter, a monstrous child and one void of emotion, these are 16 great stories. My favourites being 'On the Road' and 'Sacrament of Tears'. I also enjoyed the artwork in 'Death of the One'.Readers of African Monsters are assured of straightforward, scary and painstakingly researched stories to keep you up at night. Available now on Amazon. ON THE ROAD Nnedi Okorafor IMPUNDULU Joan de la Haye ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DAYS OF SUNLIGHT Tade Thompson SEVERED Jayne Bauling DEATH OF THE ONE Su Opperman CHIKWAMBO T.L. Huchu MONWOR Dilman Dila THAT WOMAN S Lotz SACRAMENT OF TEARS Toby Bennett BUSH BABY Chikodili Emelumadu AFTER THE RAIN Joe Vaz TARAAB AND TERROR IN ZANZIBAR Dave-Brendon de Burgh A WHISPER IN THE REEDS Nerine Dorman ACID TEST Vianne Venter THANDIWE’S TOKOLOSHE Nick Wood A DIVIDED SUN James Bennett and Dave Johnson (artist)