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The Humanity of Monsters

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  23 reviews
We are all of us monsters. We are none of us monsters. Through the work of twenty-six writers, emerging to award-winning and masters of their craft, The Humanity of Monsters plumbs the depths of humane monsters, monstrous humans, and the interstices between. Monstrous heralds of change, the sight of whom only children can survive. Monsters born of the battlefield, in gunfi ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by chiZine Publications
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3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  79 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
It's always hard to rate anthologies, and this one was particularly uneven for me -- not just because I'm not really a horror fan (not all the stories are horror, by any means).

The first story, "Tasting Gomoa" confused me. A barren women, sexually frustrated and now replaced by a new younger wife, seduces/molests her supplanter. It was not badly written, but there are no supernatural elements and no monster unless you view the protagonist as a rapist. Maybe there is some mythological reference
Alexander Páez
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Creo que como antología no funciona. Se trata de un popurrí de relatos supuestamente de terror, con nombres interesantes como Yoon Ha Lee, Neil Gaiman, Peter Watts o Laird Barron o Gemma Files. No la recomiendo como antología, aunque si recomiendo los relatos de los autores antes mencionados (leer por separado, ya que en una antología no pegan ni con cola). Y algún otro que me ha llamado la atención.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Consider this review with several grains of salt, as I'm close with the editor, the publishers, and three or four contributors. That being said, this is an excellent, at times challenging collection of short fiction. Its title is a bit misleading, I think, lending to the idea (at first glance) that these stories will be more about actual monsters in the classical sense. Or worse, the lazy, Joss Whedon sense where literally every character at one point or another expressly states that they are a ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt-characters
3,5 stars.

First of all, a breakdown of how the stories inside this anthology fared:

The Good: The Bread We Eat In Dreams, Six, The Nazir, Ghostweight, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream, The Horse Latitudes, Never The Same, You Go Where It Takes You, Dream of the Fisherman's Wife

The OK: Dead Sea Fruit, Muo-Ka's Child, A Handful of Earth, If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love, Boyfriend And Shark, Terrible Lizards

The Meh: Tasting Gomoa, In Winter, Mantis Wives, Out
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
You know that time when people churned out stuff that was not general fiction for general consumption, and was not good enough to count as real sci-fi or real fantasy, yet certainly tried to fit into some genre or another? That was when a new genre was created to encompass it – speculative fiction. Unfortunately, this book is a real throwback to those days, of obtuse near-genre pieces, that have a little bit of the aforementioned, plus horror, in their DNA. But I'm left speculating on something ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting short story collection that describes the connection between humanity on monstruosity in a very good way. Some of the short stories are not for me but there are a few golden ones. My absolute favorite is the short story by Nathan Ballingrud. His prose and the plot blew me away.

I appreciate reading short story collections like this because you always discover a new author that you want to read more from.

I recieved a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest revie
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
As with many anthologies The Humanity of Monsters had its ups and downs. There were stories that completely held my full attention and there were stories that I could not get through. Overall, most of the stories really gave you something to think about and interpret. I especially enjoyed Ghostweight by Yoon Ha Lee and Never the Same by Polenth Blake. This was a good way to get into the Halloween spirit and I will try to make sure my next read(s) are also monster themed.
Gabrielle Friesen
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Wildly disappointing.

Allow me to start off by saying, I love monsters, and really identify with certain subsets of monster tales -women turned or made monsters (a la Scylla and Charybdis) who either survive in spite of it, or have willfully made the choice to become monsters in the face of a world that hates them are particularly important to me. Monstrousness is a kind of act of resistance for me. There's one or two of those kinds of stories in the book, their number woefully small. I didn't ex
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A varied and interesting collection. In Winter by Sonya Taaffe and Never the Same by Polenth Blake were my personal favorites.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a spectacular collection, especially "The Bread We Eat in Dreams" - which made Catherynne Valente one of my new favorite authors - and "Ghostweight" by Yoon Ha Lee.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Not for me.
It has plenty of big names, plenty of big ideas, but, at the same time, leaves plenty of questions (mostly "Why is this story in this anthology?", "How does that fit the theme?", and the like). As I've said about other anthologies, no collection of short fiction is going to be perfect. There are some good stories in this collection, but too many weak and/or questionable choices to save it.
I want to warn you that this will be a rather long post. At first I simply wanted to write a summary, an overall opinion about the whole book, but all those stories and all these authors... I'll point out the stories that fell into my memory and write a sentence or two about them, the other stories you'll just have to check for yourself.

Out of all the authors listed bellow I only read books/stories written by Neil Gaiman, so they were all new to me and therefore, reading this book was a fascinat
Hope Sloper
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a book.

Rocked my socks!

I can honestly say there isn’t a story in here that isn’t epic. Relentlessly, each of them takes you on a short journey with someone (or something); all of them hold onto you, making it almost an arduous task to stop reading. I read it, walked away, and then went back and read it again. My favorites (Dead Sea Fruit, The Emperor’s Old Bones, Six, Ghostweight, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream, Never The Same, Mantis Wives, Yo
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think The Humanity Of Monsters has a little bit of something in it for everyone who enjoys horror and/or scifi stories, and includes some introductions to authors that I, personally, can’t wait to read more from. It has more strengths than weaknesses, and gave me a few pleasant hours.

Click here to see my full review.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Sorry, not sorry. If your first story has an explicit child molestation scene in it that is written like a sex scene, I'm not reading any further. The goal may have been to make child brides seem "normal" or something along those lines, but take a note from SVU and get the readers to care about the monsters in order to given them humanity. There are other ways to explain to us what a character was doing. I can handle humanizing the main character in the first story, I can't get past romanticized ...more
Lutfiya Fajandar
Sometimes a book and a state of mind meet in perfect symmetry and both are elevated to a state of magic, unfortunately that was not the case here. Before I started reading I was intrigued by the concept of exploring and understanding monsters. There are a handful of stories that I really enjoyed but overall I did not identify and feel this book. The stories are jarring but they did nothing for me. The terror and horror did not stir my empathy or make me wonder or think.
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I did not read every story. I skimmed a couple others. But the effect of the book was full force; seeing the alternative viewpoints, those that might be considered inhuman (or at least unorthodox). It's a delight to be challenged this way, with the different arguments and expoundations on certain themes or premisies. That I could not get into every story does not bother me, the combination I did get through were sufficient to be challenged, and for that it is a worthwhile read.
Sep 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a decent collection of short stories, but it didn't really grab me. There weren't any stories that really stuck out to me or authors that I immediately needed to read more of. It's a good collection but it just wasn't quite enough.
Tracy Porrevecchio
Dec 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Really hit or miss. This started off with a strong short story and had a few other bright stars but I found myself really slogging through and pushing myself to finish it. If you are going to read this, don't pick it up expecting to read it cover to cover. Read this story by story and enjoy other pursuits in between.
Josef Hernandez
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another very good ChiZine anthology

For a full review, please go to or and follow me on Twitter @josenher
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent anthology--something for everyone! Body horror, philosophical mind-benders, space catastrophes, and some garden-variety racism round out the monstrous situations in this collection.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Ok, there are some good stories here, lots of well written tales. But there is so much sexual violence and molestation that it's difficult to read.
Virgil T. Sharp
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A. B. Neilly
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Belle Brucken
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