I am very proud to have so many different author voices in the monster books. Not only do I wish to scare people with monsters they probably have never heard about. I also want the books to give the readers an realistic insight into the continents we cover—it is a journey after all.
So, one of the things I do, as anthology editor, is to actively seek out authors with an indigenous and First Nations background to contribute to the books. I think it’s important because I feel their folklore and history is a major part of a continent’s cultural history, but their voices are often neglected.
In the Pacific Monsters anthology I have been lucky to have quite many contributors with indigenous background. A while ago five of them chatted over at Institute of Classical Studies. Check it out, it’s a very interesting talk about comparative literature, mythology and its reception, and cultural sensitivity. The link between a more spiritual world and writing the speculative genres is quite fascinating.
The authors in the round table are Iona Winter and Tihema Baker fom New Zealand, Raymond Gates from Australia, Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada from Hawaii and Michael Lujan Bevacqua from Guam.
Thank you so much to Emma Bridges, and also Djibril al-Ayad at The Future Fire.
See the round table chat here.
Pacific Monsters is volume four of a world spanning hunt for scary tales that I do once a year through the Fox Spirit Books of Monsters, a seven-volume series with titles published between 2014 and 2020. The first three volumes cover European, African and Asian monsters. In November we continue to Central and South America. In 2019 we will visit North America before the journey ends in Eurasia in 2020.
Each book has short stories, graphic stories and art featuring monsters from the local folklore, legends and history: were animals, vampiric beings, sea monsters, reptilian creatures, etc etc.
We have two goals with the monster books. We want to show the world all the great monsters which lurk, sneak, jump, glide, wander or fly around this planet. We are tired of witnessing how the monsters are watered down and overused in the popular media, and we are tired of how only a few monsters have dominated the public scene in the last decades and how they are mostly from Western popular culture.
We also want to have the monster tales told by authors who are either from, have lived in or have another strong connection to the different continents. Who else should tell us about the monsters from their regions but the authors who know them best?
See more about Pacific Monsters here. Here you will also find links to blog posts by the authors, several about identity.