I've recently been exploring the world of the short story in depth. I've read several anthologies of shorts, both contemporary and historical, and listened to the BBC short story competition finalists on Radio 4 iplayer. 'Stalking Leviathan' is absolutely the best of the short story collections I've been reading, or listened to, and this includes the '6 Shorts' collection, containing the finalists for a recent major competition. The unifying theme of mythical creatures helps conjur a series of magically involving and masterfully told tales. Some will quite take your breath away, and all will intrigue. I read it on Kindle, and I'm buying the paperback edition (with its beautiful cover design) for various Christmas presents. Highly recommend!
It’s great to see that anthologies of short stories seem to be coming back into fashion. Long may it continue, especially if they’re like this one with a host of different writers, different voices, different styles and, of course, different fabulous beasts. Something in it for everyone. I really enjoyed reading this. It reminded me how powerful short stories can be when they’re as beautifully written and imaginatively handled as these are. However it’s the beasts themselves that stayed with me for days after reading the stories : the shy, shadowy beast of Bodmin Moor, the glorious Simurgh flying high above the earth and the gentle Ghillie Dhu forest spirit. Like in the best fairy stories many of the beasts resonate with parallels to the situations the protagonists find themselves in and explore that, like Shell Bromley’s Black Dog and Martin J Gilbert’s Chimera. Loved it.
A strong collection of short stories from a talented group of writers. All of the stories included a different mythical beast or monster. Some were sympathetic while others were malevolent. The genres spanned fantasy, fairy tale, horror, and historical. I especially enjoyed the Japanese and Irish inspired stories. There was an excellent story that was like a cross between Tam Lin and the X-files on Bodmin Moor, and I'd be keen to read more from that world. The beautifully-written Black Dog made me cry, which is a great compliment. I thoroughly recommend this collection.