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Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by…
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Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman (urspr publ 2013; utgåvan 2013)

av Neil Gaiman (Redaktör), Maria Dahvana Headley (Redaktör)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9812616,279 (3.84)16
* / 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.… (mer)
Medlem:JaceAnthis
Titel:Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman
Författare:Neil Gaiman (Redaktör)
Andra författare:Maria Dahvana Headley (Redaktör)
Info:HarperCollins (2013), Edition: Illustrated, 480 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:currently-reading

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

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» Se även 16 omnämnanden

engelska (25)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (26)
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Ink spot: I'm waffling between 2 and 3 stars. The actual story was rather pedestrian and predictable, but the organic way the illustrations were interwoven was great.

The Cartographer Wasps...: 4 stars. I love wasps and bees, and love the idea that they're only superficially similar, and of course resent each other in part due to this fact. While the foray into the actual village of Yiwei (sp?) wasn't necessary, I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the story.

The Griffin and the Minor Canon: Again, waffling between 2 and 3 stars. I'm not a big fan of people/characters being self-sacrificing for others who don't appreciate them, and that's exactly what the Minor Canon does. And while the griffin's fondness for him is sweet, it is spoiled a little when it's revealed it's because he wants to eat him.

Ozioma the Wicked: Again, not at all a fan of people standing up for and saving people who hate them. While I love the idea of the goddess and the fickle snakes, I don't like that everything turned out better than OK for the villagers and they weren't even grateful to Ozioma. I'd say 3 stars, but that gross point brings it down to 2.

Sunbird: Hmmm... I normally like Neil Gaiman, and this idea is great, but... i don't know. I was left wanting something more, somehow. I like the idea that everything is cyclical and Zeb is orchestrating everything for his personal gain, but the characters never really fully developed. 3 stars.

The Sage of Theare: 3 stars. Again. Anf, again, I love Dianna Wynne Jones, and this story was entertaining while I was reading it, but afterwards it didn't really leave an impression.

Gabriel-Ernest: 1 star. Honestly, pretty short, boring and predictable.

The Cockatoucan; or, Great-Aunt Willoughby: 3 stars. I kind of want to have liked it more, since the idea is so great, but the actual execution was kind of flat and too old-fashioned for me.

Moveable Beast: 5 stars. I wanted more! The small hints into how life was different in Bastardville were great; subtle but not too vague, and the journey of the heroine was realistic and fun.

The Flight of the Horse: 5 stars. Funny, well paced, sympathetic, internally logical... the best story of the collection (even if it is slightly more sci-fi than fantasy).

Prismatica: 4 stars. A fun, quest-based fantasy story with strong characters and a little bit of mystery.

The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me: Hmm... 3 stars? While I like the idea, it seemed too short and rushed. The ending didn't need to be that kind of cliffhanger it was. Though I really liked the scene where Matthew was sewing himself into the manticore suit.

The Smile on the Face: 4 stars. A great story about being confident in who you are.

Or All the Seas with Oysters: 2 stars. I was looking forward to reading this one, since so many reviewers regarded it highly, but it didn't feel fleshed out. Maybe because, while I do always have too many hangers, I'm never short of paper clips. And the narrator was a jerk.

Come Lady Death: 3 stars. The ending is absolutely great; the fact that no one wanted her to stay but didn't want to say that for fear of being seen as jealous of her beauty is very true to life, and the choice of Lady Neville (in part because of her callousness to her hairdresser, which made me mad) was perfect. The lead-up was a little slow, though.

So the average rating is a 3. Some really good stories here, but some clunkers. Judging by the fact that it took me 20 days to finish the collection, I probably won't visit it again. ( )
  Elna_McIntosh | Sep 29, 2021 |
The thing about short story compilations is that there is almost always at least one story that you really enjoy, and one story that almost makes you put down the book. This collection, assembled by Neil Gaiman, has several of each; Gaiman himself only wrote one of the stories, and most of the others have been previously published in prior compilations or magazines. "The Griffin and the Minor Canon" by Frank Stockton is the standout story for me in this book. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
A diverse speculative fiction anthology of tales ranging from classic to modern. While some stories are imminently forgettable, others are delightful flights of fantasy. Not much substance but a great deal of charm and an abundance of wit.

INDIVIDUAL STORY RATINGS AND COMMENTS

------**------|||------**------ by Gahan Wilson
3 stars
Cute and amusing but not particularly suspenseful

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu
5 stars
A young boy destroys a wasp nest with a rock which sends rippling effects through the world of flying insects

The Griffin and the Minor Canon by Frank R. Stockton
3.5 stars
On the main, a charming and whimsical tale with a delightful end. However, I greatly disliked the bit about the poor which implied poverty to be a state of choice for all people.

Ozioma the Wicked by Nnedi Okorafor
3.5 stars
A modern story with the feel of an ancient myth

Sunbird by Neil Gaiman
4 stars
A thoroughly enjoyable and amusing tale

The Sage of Theare by Diana Wynne Jones
3 stars
Cute and fanciful with an unsatisfactory ending

Gabriel-Ernest by Saki
4 stars
A classic bit of horror, quaint yet creepy

The Cockatoucan; or, Great-Aunt Willoughby by E. Nesbit
3 stars
A whimsical and absurd adventure in the style of Lewis Carroll, regrettably marred by a racist, imperialist bit at the beginning.

Moveable Beast by Maria Dahvana Headley
4 stars
A snarky take on the village in constant peril by a beast

The Flight of the Horse by Larry Niven
4 stars
Whimsical, funny, and delightful!

Prismatica: Hommage à James Thurber by Samuel R. Delaney
3 stars
A sweet and magical fairy tale adventure

The Manticore, The Mermaid, and Me by Megan Kurashige
3 stars
It's an interesting story conceptually, but I felt no real connection to it.

The Compleat Werewolf by Anthony Boucher
3 stars
Sharp, clever, and witty but lacking in real feeling

The Smile on the Face by Nalo Hopkinson
4 stars
A girl finds her own strength and beauty at a pary
CONTENT ADVISORY: sexual assault and attempted rape

Or All the Seas with Oysters by Avram Davidson
4 stars
Utterly horrifying in a delightful way

Come Lady Death by Peter S. Beagle
4 stars
Bored with it all, Lady Neville decides to throw the grandest ball of her life in honor of an impossible guest ( )
  Zoes_Human | Nov 12, 2020 |
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 is one of the best functions of these anthologies.

This selection shows a notable bias toward stories that sound like folk-tales, which seems to fit with Gaiman as an anthologist.

Perhaps my favourite story was the one by Diana Wynne Jones, an author I have been meaning to try for some time. She certainly lived up to her reputation in this example. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
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 the authors are supposed to be writing to. For example, I have read Christmas anthologies where each other takes on one of the 12 days of Christmas. Or an anthology that focuses on speculative fiction. Gaiman put this together because he liked the idea of unnatural creatures and a link between animals and words. From the prologue:

There was no such museum, not then. But I knew how to visit the creatures who would never be sighted in the 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.

So I have to say that if that was the premise, maybe it was too wide for some of the authors. I just didn't get there for a lot of these stories.

1. I can't replicate what this first story is about here, it's a graphic of a dot that expands by Gahan Wilson (3 stars). This story had promise and I liked the idea of an unknown blot/dot becoming bigger and that it moves if someone stops staring at it. The last part of the story definitely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

2. The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu (2 stars). It's about wasps that make maps and bees that are anarchists. I don't know. I just know that I didn't like it and was bored from beginning to end.

3. The Griffin and the Minor Canon by Frank R. Stockton (2 stars). You would think a story about a griffin that comes to life would be interesting. It was not. Honestly most of these stories have a slimmer of a good idea but the execution is just not there at all.

4. Ozioma the Wicked by Nnedi Okorafor (5 stars). One of two stories that I gave five stars to. This was ingenious and I wanted to read more about Ozioma who can talk to snakes.

5. Sunbird by Neil Gaiman (1 star). Previously read in another short story collection of his. Was less impressed the second time through.

6. The Sage of Theare by Diana Wynne Jones (2 stars). This went on too long. We read about a special boy born of a good in a world that who supposed will end up being the Sage of Dissolution one day. So the gods, not being that smart go about trying to banish him to another world. This one went on way too long to the point I didn't even care anymore.

7. Gabriel-Ernest by H.H. Munro (3 stars). Reading about a boy and a wild beast that roams in the woods. This one had more horror elements which was a nice diversion from the slapstick type writing of some of the other stories.

8. The Cockatoucan; or Great-Aunt Willoughby by E. Nesbit (1 star). I honestly don't remember this one and I did re-read again this morning to refresh my memory and I don't know if my brain blanked it or what. This was too long and I just got bored by it.

9. Moveable Beast by Maria Dahvana Headley (4 stars). This was actually a great story about a beast that roams and the women, men, and girls who seem to protect it.

10. The Flight of the Horse by Larry Niven (3.5 stars). It's a story about time travel. It was an interesting idea and I liked this one for the most part.

11. Prismatica by Samuel R. Delany (1 star). I got nothing here folks.

12. The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me by Megan Kurashige (2 stars). This story was very try hard to me. I liked where the author was initially going with things, but the ending was just baffling and I assume we are supposed to learn a lesson here or something.

13. The Compleat Werewolf by Anthony Boucher (3 stars). It's the second story in the book that deals with werewolves. Interesting, but I was really happy to realize I was almost done with this collection at this point.

14. The Smile on the Face by Nalo Hopkinson (1 star). Nope. It just had a rhyme going through the story and you had to read about people coming back for a ride with a lady inside and it was just all me going for the love of all that is holy just be done.

15. Or All the Seas with Oysters by Avram Davidson (1 star). Nope number two. At least it was fairly short.

16. Come Lady Death by Peter S. Beagle (5 stars). What a great story to end on with a so-so collection. I loved this whole idea and wanted to read more. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (1 möjlig)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Gaiman, NeilEditor & Contributorprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Headley, Maria DahvanaRedaktörhuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Beagle, Peter S.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Boucher, AnthonyBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Davidson, AvramBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Delany, Samuel R.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Headley, Maria DahvanaBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Hopkinson, NaloBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Jones, Diana WynneBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Kurashige, MeganBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Nesbit, E.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Niven, LarryBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Okorafor, NnediBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
SakiBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Stockton, Frank R.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Wilson, GahanBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Yu, E. LilyBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Morrow-Cribbs, BrionyIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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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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* / 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.

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