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Unnatural Creatures

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  8,454 ratings  ·  998 reviews
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. Magical creatures from the werewolf, to the sunbird, to bei
Hardcover, 462 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by HarperCollins (first published April 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  8,454 ratings  ·  998 reviews

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Evelyn (devours and digests words)
True to its title, Unnatural Creatures is an unnatural collection. This anthology is packed with short stories ranging from multiple genres: from science fiction to fantasy, and from horror to a sprinkle of contemporary.

I really couldn't resist keeping my fingers away when I found out that this is a collection of Neil Gaiman’s personal favourite stories. If you're up for the new, the bizarre and the odd, I recommend this book.

So… there are 16 tales to choose favourites from, all of which are a
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Overall I enjoyed this! I really loved a lot of the different stories and it was a great collection. You can look at my updates to see my ratings of the different stories!
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was excited to read a collection of stories picked by Neil Gaiman as some of his favorites. As with all anthologies this is a mixed bag; but in general it was a better mix than most anthologies I have read.

This collection consists of 16 stories. Many of these stories feature things or creatures that end up being something different from what they originally seem to be. The stories span a variety of settings but in general are fairy-tale like in feel and have a large dose of irony to them.

pink (not just another shade of red)
Amazing how one book can teach you many important things. In prose and tones that are sometimes humorous, sometimes wry, sometimes lyrical, sometimes fantastic, sometimes scary, always charming, always ironic and captivating, always touched by Neil Gaiman's own unique magic,  Unnatural Creatures easily impart these things we've always wondered about yet didn't know for sure where to find. A collection of short stories, treasures...things we dare and daren't dream and imagine.
This book will teac
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Unnatural Creatures is a fun collection with a rather diverse set of authors, including Gaiman himself, Peter S. Beagle, Nnedi Okorafor, Nalo Hopkinson, Diana Wynne Jones… it includes some stories published before which fit with the theme, and a couple which seem to be published for the first time here. Most of them weren’t stories I knew already, and I thought overall it was a good selection; there were none which really didn’t work for me, though I wasn’t so interested in ‘The Compleat Werewol ...more
This book took me so many days to force myself through. I should have just DNFed it and found another book for the "Supernatural" square. Ah well. Not too much to say here except that most of these short stories were a flop IMHO. I have to say that the way these stories are pieced together doesn't really work very well at all. The flow between stories is so sharp and I keep getting taking out of each story as soon as I move on to the next one. Most anthologies have a central premise that all of ...more
Every single story in this collection is absolutely compelling. The fact that most of them are from beloved authors like Peter S Beagle, Diana Wynne Jones, E. Nesbit, and of course Neil Gaiman, was certainly what induced me to pick up the book. Most collections of this nature have a weak link or two, though. A story that you skim over because it either doesn't fit the spirit of the collection or simply isn't very well written. This book has nothing of the kind.

What this book does have are time
The worst stories in this collection are really fucking good.
The best ones are enrapturing, colourful and magical - and I'm talking about the magic in the words, not the magic in the tale.

I'm not good with anthologies. I can never manage to properly get into them and normally completely lose interest in them less than halfway through.
But this anthology's theme offers the perfect occasion to balance different genres and styles without losing the fil rouge that ties everything together, keeping me
Laura ☾
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy

Unnatural creatures is a great collection of short stories, that was very enjoyable to read!

Most are creepy, eerie or strange, and almost feel like fables/fairy tales!

As always Gaiman’s writing style and sense of humour are brilliant (even if most of this book is not written by him save one story and the introductions) and his taste is definitely reflected in these stories!
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gaiman selected the stories in this anthology but was allowed to include one of his own, which is quite good. In fact, I liked all the stories in this collection bar the one by E. Nesbit, which has that annoying "technique" that many children's stories of her era employ of talking directly to the reader. It always feels patronising to me, which is why I don't like it.

Aside from that, the stories vary from quite good to excellent and many of them were by authors new to me. Discovering new authors
The Red Lipped Reviewer
Like all anthologies, this collection has its high points and low points. The time traveling story was definitely my favorite from the bunch, but overall this just made me want to go back and re-read Fragile Things for a proper dose of Gaiman.
Taylor Knight
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Spoiler free
4.5 stars
About a month ago, I was in an indie book store for an author event and I seen Unnatural Creatures on the top shelf, cover facing out. I'd never heard of the book before but I knew from the second I seen it, I had to have it. The cover is so beautiful and has amazing texture. I didn't even read what it was about or anything. I bought it based 100% on the cover. I was so excited to get home, learn more about it, and start reading it ASAP. After I read the blurb, I was even mo
Dylan Lee
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was ok

You got me again, Mr. Gaiman.

Unusual subject matter. Your name, bigger than the title of the book. Hearseloads of fame and praise heaped upon you. It had to be great, right?

Deep sigh...

Only one of the stories is by you, and it was a 6 out of 10; and even the ones you chose were lacking in unexpected twists or making me want to turn the page or hungry to devour the next one.

So this is the last Neil Gaiman book I try to read. But I'm sure it won't be the last one I want to read. Damn you, Neil. (
Sylvia McIvers
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-f, ya, short-stories
In any anthology of sixteen stories by different authors, a reader is usually lucky to get three fabulous stories, five good ones, and the rest not too awful to finish. “Unnatural Creatures” is completely unnatural – it has eight fabulous stories, four really good ones, and four reasonably good stories.

1. The very first story is a mystery by Gahan Wilson – instead of something getting lost, something shows up and must be identified. Unfortunately for the protagonist, it isn’t identified fast e
-Bookish Gal-
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
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved the introduction.
First story: 3.5 stars. That was a really good one!

The Cartographer wasps and the anarchists bees: 2.5 stars. I think I didn't understand this one and I do not like bees and wasps

The Griffin and the minor canon: 3 stars. This one really seems a children fairytales, and it was a sweet one.

Ozioma The Wicked: 3.5 stars. This one was really compelling.

Sunbird: 4 stars. I loved this one the first time I read it, and I loved it even this second time!

The Sage of Theare: 3.5 st
Darth J
I really expected more from Gaiman on this one. The most he does for this is write the intro. While the stories in the anthology are mostly clever, they are pretty dry and dull. Too often there is too much build-up and the conclusions are largely unsatisfying. The little illustrations that accompany each story are enjoyable, but the tales themselves lack punch.
1.descriptionby Gahan Wilson tells the story of a spot that keeps growing. (4 stars)

2. The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu begins when a boy attacks the wasps in his village and they are forcet to flee. That swarm of wasps enslaves a nearby bee colony, and the bees, slowly but surely, begin to revolt, thanks to a group of secret anarchists living amongst them. (4 stars)

3. The Griffin and the Minor Canon by Frank R. Stockton is about a griffin who descends upon a town and the people
Mar 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I could go through each story in this collection and rate each separately, but then I would have to average all those ratings at the end. And I really try to avoid math whenever possible. I'm giving this 3 stars because I liked it. It may deserve more, but it certainly deserves no less.

This was quite the mixed bag - some slightly creepy, some pretty silly, some almost unforgettable, some all together forgettable. But this is a collection of Gaiman's favorites, not mine, so I can appreciate the s
Althea Ann
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it
3.2 average = 3 stars. Some good stories here.

**** [inkspot] - (1972) - Gahan Wilson
An ominous inksplot grows every time an obnoxious aristocrat takes his eyes off it. Both amusing and creepy.

*** The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees - (2011) - E. Lily Yu
Just read this earlier this month in Nebula Awards Showcase, when I said: I feel like maybe I missed something here. Or maybe the 'something' just wasn't there. I liked the set-up, the conflict between the two insect species and the rev
Aleksandr Voinov
Nov 01, 2013 is currently reading it
Okay, this anthology was irresistible for me when it came up as a Daily Deal, because I almost wrote my Masters thesis on medieval bestiaries, so it really hit my weakest spot. Its' not a review, just a couple thoughts.

1) Inkblotch story - enjoyed it, though I kinda didn't "get" what type of plant it was. The spiritualist started off as an interesting character (much more so than the others), but never had any room to develop. The other characters were a bit Wooster & Jeeves.

2) Bees and Wasps s
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Long ago, in a wonderful world where Dad paid all my bills and all I had to do was get good grades, I read a lot of SF&Fantasy short stories. I was almost tearful when I reencountered several of my favorites in this nice fat volume from Neil Gaiman. Avram Davidson's "Or All the Sea With Oysters" is an SF classic. Just the presence of this single story would make this collection worth your while. The Saki selection was as chilling as I remembered, and the Anthony Boucher story, while slightly dat ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
It's always so hard to rate collections of short stories because some are awesome but some are very meh which almost always leads me to giving the overall collection three stars.
Midu Hadi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Neftzger
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great collection of fantasy short stories that are all well written and extraordinary in very individual ways. I really enjoyed getting a taste of these different authors works and discovering some new writers I'd like to add to my TBR list.

One of the best stories in this book is an extremely well done tale called Prismatica by Samuel R. Delany. This piece could (maybe "should") be studied by aspiring fantasy writers. The story construction and creativity in the plot are excellent, with no loose
Noelia Alonso
The actual rating taking the ratings of the 16 stories is 2.8 STARS I initially gave this 3 stars because it made sense with the average rating of 2.8 but the general feeling this left me was quite meh and as much as I feel bad for it, I have to go with 2 stars.

I'm quite disappointed to be honest. Of the 16 stories I truly enjoyed 5 of them, and the rest were either okay or not really my kind of thing. I even had to DNF - which is not something I really do - one of the stories because I couldn't
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-won
I received this book through the First Reads giveaway program on Goodreads. Review to follow!

I am so excited to have won this book, my husband is a fan of Neil Gaiman and hopefully the stories he has selected!

My husband loved the book...(Thank goodness!!) He is a fan of Neil Gaiman, loved his story and the ones that he had selected for this book. He liked that he got a taste of other authors that he will hopefully enjoy in the future.
Lupe Dominguez
Yes. Yes to all of the stories. Each one touched me in my heart in their own special ways. But the last one, oh the last one. But they were all fantastic and fantastical and I loved it. Gaiman did a wonderful job putting this anthology together. Stories of finding who your are, finding your voice, of monsters in the dark, and of being afraid...this collection had them all. Truly a treasure trove.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed these SS, there was only one that was slow or not as interesting to me at the time
but now I cant remember which one. ^.^

Kaethe Douglas
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding collection of short stories of strange critters, with diversity of authors, time periods, styles, etc. Well chosen. Tremendously fun to read.

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