UNNATURAL CREATURES

Co-editor with Neil Gaiman

Illustrations by Briony Morrow-Cribbs

April, 2013

 

 

This anthology was a benefit project for 826DC, and was done with HarperChildrens. All proceeds/advances were donated to them - a worthy cause! I co-edited Unnatural Creatures with Neil Gaiman, who wrote about it here

 

I came onto this project a bit late, and in emergency capacity, because there'd been some chaos and the project was very due. I treated this book as though it was all my own writing, which I think it is what editors should do - though this was my first experience editing an anthology! Anthology editing is more complicated than it looks.  I helped Neil select stories, expanding his initial list a bit, talked to author's estates and to author's agents, got permissions, hired the wonderful illustrator Briony Morrow-Cribbs, and mashed the manuscript into the monster that it is.

 

Things turned out very well! The book includes work from such wonderful writers as Nnedi Okorafor, Nalo Hopkinson, E. Lily Yu and Megan Kurashige, as well as older stories from giants such as Peter S. Beagle, Anthony Boucher, and Diana Wynne Jones. 

 

If you're looking for a gift for a teenager or young adult interested in fantastical literature, or if you're into it yourself, frankly, this is a great place to start. 

EDITING

"In this striking anthology of 16 stories of strange and incredible creatures (most previously published), Gaiman and Headley have included several classic tales, such as Frank R. Stockton’s delightful “The Griffin and the Minor Canon” (1885), which concerns the unlikely friendship between a monster and a minister; Saki’s mordant werewolf tale “Gabriel-Ernest” (1909); and Anthony Boucher’s astonishingly silly “The Compleat Werewolf” (1942). There are also fine stories from such major contemporary fantasy writers as Peter S. Beagle, Samuel Delany, Diana Wynne Jones, and Gaiman himself. Particularly pleasurable are the stories by newer writers, such as Nalo Hopkinson’s “The Smile on the Face,” which demonstrates the benefits of channeling one’s inner hamadryad; E. Lily Yu’s “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees,” an animal fable with a sting in its tale; and Nnedi Okorafor’s original story “Ozioma the Wicked,” which concerns “a nasty little girl whose pure heart had turned black,” but who nonetheless saves her village from a monstrous snake. Teens with a yen for the fantastic would be hard pressed to find a better place to start. The collection benefits literacy nonprofit 826DC. Ages 13–up."

- Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review

New York Times Bestseller