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Monstrous Affections

Fifteen top voices in speculative fiction explore the intersection of fear and love in a haunting, at times hilarious, darkly imaginative volume.

Predatory kraken that sing with — and for — their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side by side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.

With monstrous stories by

  • M. T. Anderson
  • Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Nathan Ballingrud
  • Holly Black
  • Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Cassandra Clare
  • Nalo Hopkinson
  • Dylan Horrocks
  • Nik Houser
  • Alice Sola Kim
  • Kathleen Jenkins
  • Joshua Lewis
  • Kelly Link
  • Patrick Ness
  • G. Carl Purcell


“Ten Rules for Being an Intergalactic Smuggler (the Successful Kind)” was nominated for a Locus Award in 2015.


Short stories with otherworldly creatures may be a dime a dozen, but rarely do they offer such nuanced scope. Link and Grant … know their way around excellent short fiction, and their editorial skills are on display here. From the light(ish) and delightful to the subversively unromantic, from humor to horror, each entry both tells a good story and says something about monstrousness. … An anthology of riches, even if they aren’t always fair of form.

—Kirkus Reviews

Link and Grant present an engrossing, morally complex anthology of 15 stories centered on the seemingly antagonistic concepts of monsters and love… all of the entries are strong, and many are splendid.

—Publishers Weekly